Did you know that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? And that consumers read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business – all the more reasons for you to start considering being a part of that conversation.
Whether as a blog niche or you’re up to start a review website on your own, creating one with WordPress is a reliable way to do it, and we’re going to explain to you how.
Why use WordPress to create a review website some might ask?
Apart from being the most reliable CMS platform out there because WordPress is used by 32.5% of all the websites, which is the market share of 59.5%, it’s a straightforward tool to use. If you know how to work with Word documents, set up a Facebook profile or a Page, you’ll get around using WordPress for sure. It’s as easy as that, promise! From 5 minute installation to all the YouTube WordPress tutorials for beginners, you will have your review website in (almost) no time!
Now, just like in any other niche, getting started with a website has several common steps. Choosing a domain name, hosting and setting up with WordPress – just as we described in our travel blog guide, so we won’t be repeating those. Instead, here are specific steps on how to create a WordPress powered review website.
Four easy steps to create a WordPress review website
Knowing that more and more people are relying on the word of mouth recommendation, having a review based site can be a lucrative and reliable business opportunity. Everything from book, makeup and other beauty products reviews, travel locations and accommodations, restaurants and bars, mobile phones and gadgets, to various businesses and services – everything can be, and it is interesting to be measured by reviews. So, here’s how to make one with the help of our friend, WordPress.
1. Choose a specific niche
As we mentioned earlier, pick and choose the main topic industry you want to cover with reviews. This will help you communicate with the right audience as well as position yourself to the right advertisers and affiliate marketing programs. (We covered all the basics about affiliate marketing business in our recent article).
2. Know your topic
Closely related with the first step, you need to know and understand well the topic you’re about to cover. It’s the only way you’ll get the credibility and authority in your industry and gain trust from the target audience. To give the proper value to the people, you need to own the knowledge you’re sharing. Otherwise, people will see right through you, and you’ll lose that trust and all you’ve been working for.
3. Pick a proper WordPress theme
You’ll need a theme that is well-designed, fast, highly responsive (living in a mobile everything world here), and flexible enough to meet your needs. Now, you notice we’re not recommending you to pick a review WordPress theme here. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, on the contrary. Just, why limit yourselves with the minority of options when you can have a review website with any WordPress theme and a good quality review plugin, you know? So, pick and choose a theme based on your needs and let a proper plugin do the work. That way, you can be free to customize and change themes without needing a developer any time soon because the right plugin stays put while you play with the design.
That being said, feel free to check out some of our premium quality themes, maybe you’ll find just the one you’ve been searching for 🙂
4. WordPress Review plugins
WP Product Review plugin
A fremium plugin that has all the basic features you need to start a review website with WordPress. It helps you manage your comments as reviews; you can further customize its design to match your site as well as play with the settings options. Still, premium version gives you much more features like:
- Custom Rating Icons
- Product Review Listings
- Amazon Integration
- Comparison Table
- Priority email support from the developer of the plugin
- Support and updates for 12 months
The price varies depending on if it’s for personal use or developer/agency work and starts at €59.
Site Reviews plugin
A free WordPress plugin that gives your visitors the ability to post 1-5 star rating reviews on your site. Very similar feature as seen on TripAdvisor or Yelp. Furthermore, you can display them using shortcodes or in the form of a widget. This plugin even lets you choose and pin the best reviews, so they’re always on display first, and it comes with several really useful treats like:
- Approval requirement before publishing a new review
- Mandatory visitor login to write and submit a review
One note to add: to use this plugin, your server must be running a minimum of PHP v5.4 and WordPress 4.0.0, or it won’t work.
WP Review plugin
Another free plugin that is easy to implement and use. WP Review helps you set up a review website that doesn’t affect its speed. It’s a light and powerful plugin that allows your visitors post reviews based on stars, points or percentage ratings. Apart from that, this plugin also includes various supports like the ones for Google rich snippets, WPMU, translations, and unlimited colors. Initially, it was developed as a premium plugin, but the MyThemeShop decided to give it away for free – how cool is that? 🙂 However, they do have an upgrade to its great plugin, WP Review Pro, that comes with 16 predefined designs, 14 more types of rich snippets, even more rating systems, social network ratings integration and several other features. The price for the Pro version is $87/year or $19/month.
WP Customer Reviews plugin
People from all over the internet leave reviews and this plugin helps you set up a dedicated page for all of them to be in one place. So, you can use it to store all those UGC (user-generated content) as well as a way for your visitors to write a review. Whether it’s your own product or a service or a written (native advertising/affiliate marketing business) content, this plugin helps you have ratings to the comments and reviews people leave. You can use it on pages or posts, depending on your needs.
Customer Reviews for WooCommerce
Can’t have a professional looking e-commerce website without reviews, right? This plugin is developed especially for WooCommerce sites to help you improve engagement and sales. How does it work? Well, it enables you to set up automatic review reminders for people who recently bought something from your site. That way, you increase engagement, gather UGC content and, ultimately, help people with their decisions. People love reading other people’s remarks and experiences just aren’t so keen in leaving them; this plugin helps with that J Apart from that, there’s also Aggregated review form, Enhanced customer reviews, Review for a discount, Import reviews features to improve the quality of your site further. There’s also a premium version of this plugin for $39,99/year, and it offers a possibility to white label the plugin and dedicated support by email.
Facebook Reviews plugin
Have many Facebook reviews on your Page? Why not import and showcase them on your site as well? This freemium plugin does precisely that – displays Facebook reviews on your site in sidebar widget using the Facebook Graph API. Some of the features:
- Display all Facebook page reviews per location
- Support dark websites
- Shows real reviews from Facebook users and increases user confidence
- Nofollow, target=”_blank” links
There’s also a Facebook Reviews Pro plugin that comes with much more options, from Google rich snippets support, Shortcode Builder to Facebook Trust Badge, Priority support, customization. The price starts at $45.
Google Reviews Widget
Just as in previous Facebook reviews plugin, this one does the same thing. It’s a free tool to help you display Google Business Reviews on your site, increasing the credibility and trust. Those reviews are displayed in a sidebar widget – up to 5 per location; you can even show reviews from G+ users as well. Some of the free features include:
- Easy search of a place and instantly display reviews
- Review list theme
- Nofollow, target=”_blank” links
- Zero load time regardless of your site
- Works even if Google is unavailable
Pro version has more options – from more than 5 Google reviews, rich snippets support Google Trust Badge, to Shortcode Builder, Priority support and more. The price is $65 for a single site.
How to make money with WordPress review website?
A very often asked question whenever there’s talk about review sites. We mentioned above; there are a few ways to monetize this type of blog or a website. If you don’t have a product or a service of your own, there are native advertising and affiliate marketing. Both rely on content creation and SEO efforts since the point is to persuade people to perform an action based on what you write and recommend.
The basics of an affiliate marketing business with WordPress is covered in our recent article so that we won’t repeat ourselves. Unlike that type of business, native advertising reffers to creating paid content that matches the look, feel and function of the media in which they are published. So, if you’re having a photography niche blog or a site where you cover all photo-related news, tips, and tricks of the trade, native advertising would be a recommendation of a certain product or software to use written by you in your style and tone of voice. And the company behind those tools would pay you for that shoutout. There’s this research that shows that native advertising will drive 74% of all ad revenue by 2021 so, think about the ways you can be on that train 🙂
Hopefully, this article helps you clear your mind and focus on why and how to start a review website, as well as how to monetize it. If you liked the article, show us some love on Facebook and Twitter, pin it on Pinterest and comment below if you have more questions or suggestions.