Best Practices, HowTo's, Success Stories

How to Use a Five Star Rating System on Your Website

five star rating

When you hear the phrase “five star rating”, your subconscious mind might jump to websites like Yelp, Facebook, or Google Places. These websites tout databases of five star ratings (and four star ratings, and so on!) that serve as customer testimonials.

While many review websites offer consumers the opportunity to heap on praise or lash out at companies they feel jilted by via text, five star rating systems offer sentiments at-a-glance. Using a five star rating system means that people can get an idea of whether something is great or meh without ever reading the text review if they don’t want to.

But here’s the thing: you aren’t limited to using a five star rating system for high-level business reviews. You can also use this same concept to rate the sum of its parts.

Here’s how to use a five star rating system on your website in terms of different types of content:

Rating Products

Besides rating businesses, the next most popular type of content to rate with a five star rating system is products. Amazon offers the perfect example for effectively implementing this concept. They incorporate star ratings and text components, in addition to the ability to upload photos and videos of products in use.

RatingWidget offers ecommerce-specific five star rating systems. Check out our Shopify App and WordPress plugin that integrates with Woocommerce.

Here’s how RatingWidget customer United Split uses a 5 star rating system on individual product pages:

Five Star Rating

Rating Images

Whether you’re a photographer or run a niche stock photography site, a five star rating system can help draw people to your top image assets. It also provides a tangible opportunity to build community with visitors and fans, enticing them to share their opinions on a given image.

Here’s how RatingWidget customer Bazaart uses a 5 star rating system to allow members of their community to rate their favorite image mashups:

Five Star Rating

Rating Videos

Youtube allows users to rate videos using a simple “thumbs up” to signify enjoyment or a “thumbs down” for a video that’s just plain bad. While you can certainly appreciate this intuitive approach, a five star rating system can tell a more complete story. It helps people to determine what content is performing well and what needs to be improved… or deleted.

If you’d prefer to emulate Youtube with your own video-focused website content, not a problem—RatingWidget is incredibly customizable.

RatingWidget customer ТБ-7 (a Russian TV channel) uses our thumbs/up down functionality to empower viewers to rate their programming:

five star rating

Rating Audio

Run your own podcast? Or perhaps you create music? A five star rating system makes it easy to get feedback on the audio content you produce.

RatingWidget client Dope Music uses a 5 star rating system to give visitors the opportunity to rate music posted on their website:

Five Star Rating

Rating Recipes

Food blogger? We’ve got a five star rating system use case for you too. A star rating system can provide you with invaluable feedback regarding the type of topics that are worth pursuing. It can also tell you which aren’t going over quite as well with your readers. Furthermore, they can help you to understand if there may be issues with a given recipe if readers are rating it low.

Here’s how RatingWidget customer Get Crocked has implemented a 5 star rating system on their food blog:

Five Star Rating

Rating Contests

Instead of relying on complex mechanisms for running a contest, consider a rating system. You can either use star ratings or the slightly more simplistic thumbs up/down rating system to tally votes.

Here’s how RatingWidget customer All My Faves put this concept to work for a contest about the best apps and sites:

Five Star Rating

Rating Forum Responses

If you run an online forum, it may be useful to empower users to rate each other. A five star rating system can let posters and lurkers alike know if a response to a given query is worth reading before diving in.

If you’re powering your WordPress forums with bbPress the RatingWidget Professional plugin version has got you covered! We also have created a guide for how to add ratings for SMF forums.

Rating Deals

Popular couponing websites like RetailMeNot rely on visitors to help them police deals: whether they’re currently working or have already expired.

RatingWidget customer IM Promocoder uses a 5 star rating system for these reasons. You can also use this concept to empower customers to help each other. A 5 star rating system can help people determine whether deals are truly worthwhile or if they can be missed without regret.

Rating Blog Posts

One of the most interesting potential use cases of a five star rating system is incorporation with your company’s blog content. It might seem scary to give readers the control as to how your blog content will come across to others. That said, they’ll appreciate the opportunity to contribute their two cents in a low-commitment way.

It takes just one click to set a star rating but many seconds or even minutes to leave a thoughtful blog comment. As with the ability to “like” content on Facebook, implementing a rating system will encourage additional engagement. It’s easy to do! Your resulting ratings will serve as social proof for the content, giving people an idea of whether or not it’s worth reading for them.

Here’s how made use of a 5 star rating system for individual page/blog content:

Five Star Rating

How to Use a 5 Star Rating System on Your Website

Besides the ability to rate products and blog posts, there really are a lot of potential use cases for a five star rating system. It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re in—any can benefit.

Check out unique RatingWidget use cases on our customer showcase. Then, submit your own by tweeting at @RatingWidget. If you’re using RatingWidget in a way we haven’t yet seen, we’ll add it to our customer showcase page!

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