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How to Make a Review Site with WordPress – Making Money by Writing Product Reviews

How to Make a Review Site with WordPress – Making Money by Writing Product Reviews

When you develop online marketing, you will find that product review plays an important role to promote business. To get benefits from this effective online marketing method, many people plan to make a review site and get started to make money by writing product reviews. If you trust WordPress and wonder how to make a review site with this powerful site building platform, the following guide can make a big difference for you.

Here, we are going to show you the way to create a unique review site step by step. Make sure that you have thought out a proper domain which should be perfect for your website.

sample review site

Install WordPress on Your Review Site

The first step to hit is WordPress installation. For most webmasters preferring cPanel because of its high integration with Softaculous, a powerful 1-click installer for the installation of multiple applications, we are ready to install WordPress via this powerful control panel. Log into cPanel with your account and find out the Softaculous under Software and Services.

install wordpress

Click it and then come to Softaculous interface. WordPress is included in the Blogs category. Pitch on it and click Install.

install wordpress

And then, you are required to choose a domain name where to install WordPress. The Site Settings enables you to modify the site name and site description while the Admin Account requires you to set up the admin username, password and email. After confirming all settings, click Install to go to the next page.

install wordpress

WordPress will show you an administrative URL. Click it to go to your website backend and get started to set up it.

install wordpress

Setup Your Review with WordPress

Before everything, you have to make a thoughtful plan on what kind of service you would like to review and how to categorize those reviews properly on your website. For instance, we are going to write a series of reviews about WordPress web hosting and that should be classified into several groups, such as web hosting company, web hosting comparison, WordPress themes, WordPress plugins, and services. Certainly, you are allowed to adjust the classifications according to your own needs.

Note that, before making this guide, we have installed a premium WordPress theme designed for review site, which is called Ready Review. This is a great theme available to spotlight certain of product reviews and let visitors view each category clearly.

And now, let’s create the above-mentioned categories one by one via Dashboard > Posts > Categories. The first one is web hosting company category. Enter the name of this category in the blank and customize the slug as required. You are allowed to describe this item briefly in the Description field. And then, click Add New Category button to make it public. The rest categories, including Web Hosting Comparison, WordPress themes, WordPress plugins, and services, can be created in the same manner.

set up review site

Since we are going to display all categories in the menu bar, we suggest you to create a general category that includes all newly created categories so as to avoid the sense of messy. Here, we name the general one as Category and showcase all items as below.

set up review site

The next step is to add all categories to the main menu. Go to Appearance > Menus and target the Categories option. Click View All and check the categories that need to be shown on the home page. And then, click Add to Menu. You are able to drag and drop the items to arrange them orderly. Move all items except for Category slightly to the right and make them subject to the general category as the following example.

set up review site

Besides, you can customize the menu name and then set it as the main menu. Finally, click Save Menu to confirm all changes. Go to your website frontend and the menu should be like the following screenshot.

set up review site

Once settling down all categories, it’s time to write some posts for every category. Go to Post > Add New. For example, we have made a BlueHost Review and then enter all content in the blank. Include this post in the Web Hosting Company category and set a featured image via the Featured Image function. Before publishing the post, you can check if there is something wrong with the post by clicking Preview button. If everything is OK, click Publish.

set up review site

Likewise, you are required to publish more posts on your review site and make sure that each post is included in the right category and comes with a proper featured image.

Keep in mind that each product review should gear to the physical truth and never include false information. Besides, the tone has to be objective without any surmise. However, the most important matter that needs attention is the content quality, which takes great influence on your website search engine ranking.

Add Ratings to Each Product Review

If you wish to allow visitors to evaluate each product review and know more about their preference, we suggest you to add ratings to each product review. Since WordPress enables a large number of rating & review plugins, we select one of them called Rating-Widget to realize the goal. Certainly, some other plugins like WP Review, GoodReviews and Rich Reviews are also good options for you.

First of all, go to Dashboard > Plugins > Add New and search for Rating-Widget. Click Install Now and then active this plugin.

add ratings to each product review

And then, you are required to activate your account and fill out a username, password and email address. Besides, pitch on a suitable category and check the box for the agreement of Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Finally, click Activate Account button.

add ratings to each product review

Here is the setting page of Rating-Widget plugin. You are allowed to add ratings to Blog Posts, Front Page Posts, Comments and Pages. In addition, a list of settings enables you to determine where to display the ratings and which type of rating should be. Once confirming all settings, you need to click Save Changes and then check if each product review comes with ratings.

add ratings to each product review

And now, each post comes with a rating section that encourages visitors to grade the product review optionally.

add ratings to each product review

What’s more, this plugin also enables a Top-Rated Sidebar widget used to showcase the top rated posts on the web page. It’s a great method to increase visitor’s retention and help people target the top-rated product reviews at the first glance. Go to RatingWidget > Top-Rated Widget and click “Add Widget Now!” button.

add ratings to each product review

Drag and drop the “Rating-Widget: Top Rated” option to the Sidebar 1. And then, customize the given options as you want and click the Save button.

add ratings to each product review

The top-rated post should be listed like that:

add ratings to each product review

And also, if there is any comment published, visitors can rate it as well.

add ratings to each product review

If you don’t want to display ratings on certain posts, you can disable this function via the post backend.

add ratings to each product review

Enable Comments for Each Post

Feedbacks are important for you to understand your visitors whether they can get valuable information from each review and how they feel about this product. You are able to enable this function by customizing the settings via Dashboard without the need to use a WordPress plugin.

Go to Settings > Discussion and target the first part called Default article settings. Check the box “Allow people to post comments on new articles”, which is the key to determine whether your visitors can leave comments to each post.

enable comments for each post

Besides, there are some other comment settings available for you to limit comment authors and specify the comment structure. You can also determine whether to receive an email when there is a comment published and which avatar should be shown on each comment. And then, click Save Changes.

enable comments for each post

To view all comments on your review site, you are required to go to Dashboard > Comments. This is where to check the comment author, publish date and where the comment is. Besides, you have the right to unapproved, edit and delete a certain comment.

enable comments for each post

Add “Buy Now” Button to Each Product

The ultimate purpose for each product review is to let people know about this item and decide whether it is worth going. If visitors take a fancy to a certain product and wish to buy it, a “Buy Now” button may be a great choice to lead them to the purchase page. Here, we would like to show you the way to add a “Buy Now” button by using MaxButtons plugin.

MaxButtons is a great plugin used to add any type of buttons on your web pages and posts. You are allowed to make it link to any page as you want. In the same way, we complete the installation and activation via WordPress Dashboard. And then, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins > MaxButtons and click Buttons. Here is the settings page of this powerful plugin. And now, you are required to click Add New and get started to create a new button.

add buy now button

Enter the name and description about the new button and fill out the URL that the button should be linked to. For instance, we have made a BlueHost review just now and wish to give visitors a link to BlueHost.com on this post. To this end, we should fill out some needed information as the following screenshot. Click Save and then you will receive a shortcode.

add buy now button

Copy and paste the given shortcode in anywhere of the post and click Update to confirm the change. And then, the post will come with a Buy Now button that links to BlueHost.com.

add buy now button

The above-mentioned steps lead you to categorize all reviews properly, add ratings to each post, add rating list to home page and add “Buy Now” button below every product. In fact, WordPress provides you more possibilities than what we have told you. You can integrate your website with social media or develop a partnership with some affiliate programs to earn more money online.

An Alternative Method

Personally, we think the WP Review plugin is another good option to set up the review site, with which you can review anything you want using the point rating, percentage rating or star rating. In addition, this plugin is a lightweight one with the full freedom of customization, with no serious influence on your website running speed.

After finishing the installation and activation process of this powerful plugin, now, you can find a WP Review button in your WordPress Settings section. Just click it for the general settings of this tool.

Firstly, you can decide the overall styling of the item review by deciding the color schemes of review box, font, background, heading background and border. Note that you’d better choose the proper color that can fully meet the overall color scheme of your webpage. In addition, for the highlighting purpose, you’d better pick up some bright colors. Here, we personally suggest you to start multiple tests to figure out how your review is displayed and whether it fully fits your personal requirements.

Also, if you want, you can check the box of backlink to tell people how can this plugin power your review site, but we sincerely do not recommend you to do so.

WP Review Styling

Next, you need to configure some default settings for your review. For instance, you can choose the review location between the options of Before Content and After Content. Also, if you want to display the review content in the central of your pages, you can choose to use the automatically generated shortcode.

After that, you need to add or delete some review features. For instance, if you are going to review a smartphone, you can add the features of price, manufacturer, key specifications, screen size, operating system, carrier and some others. You can simply add as many as you like.

WP Review Default Features

Now, you can edit a review article for a specific item. In the editing screen, there is a newly added Review meta box available at the page bottom, with which you can display the review content easily.

Review Type and Headline

Here, you firstly need to choose the review type. There are 3 options for you to pick, which are Star, Percentage and Point. This time, we take the star review as an example.

Then, you can add a review heading. Here, you can add the product name or some words like “We Recommend It” or “This Is Not A Good Option”.

Review Type and Headline

Review Items

Next, you need to decide the review items. In fact, you already set up some default reviewing aspects when configuring the general settings of the plugin. But now, you can make further modifications to showcase the review in a better way.

In addition to the items, you also need to add the stars you give to each aspect. The rating system is ranging from 1 to 5.

Review Items

Also, you can customize the display location and color schemes to overwrite the default settings.

Review Description

If you want, you can also add some personal opinions of your reviewed item. Just edit the content as you are writing a blog post.

Below the editing box, you can click the box to hide the description and the total rating if it is necessary.

Review Description

User Reviews

For a truly quality review site, there need to be two rating systems. One is for the reviewers and another is for the readers. In this case, we highly recommend you to enable the user review function and do not forget to choose the rating type. In this case, your readers can find out the opinions from you and from many other people about a specific item.

User Reviews

That’s it! Now, you can publish this post and check the final result. Here, we’d like to showcase the screenshots of the three review types, and you can pick one based on your preference.

Star Review

Star Review

Percentage Review

Percentage Review

Point Review

Point Review

Special Notes for the Creation of WordPress Review Site

In addition to the basic steps for starting the WordPress review site, we also want to show you some special tips for the better running and management of this kind of website.

Pay Attention to the Homepage Design

Here, you can check some hot review sites to get the inspirations of how to showcase a professional design for your homepage. Frankly, you need to have a large search box available so that people can search for the reviews for some specific items. Also, there need to have some areas like “The Top 5 XXX” to get your readers the general suggestions.

Review Site Homepage Design

Add the Buy It Button

If you have joined some affiliate programs, you’d better showcase the Buy It button below or next to your review content. Generally, if your reviewing item is really worth buying, people will click that button to make a purchase instantly. Thus, you can earn the affiliate commission easily.

Add the Rich Snippets

The rich snippets can give you a highlighted effect when your content is showcased on the search engine results. This feature allows people to check the rating of your reviewed item before they enter into your webpage. As researched, the utilization of rich snippets can boost the amount of your organic traffic greatly.

Showcase the Sidebar Reviews

Sometimes, the sidebar is a great area to showcase some top recommended options, along with their ratings. In this case, if you use the WP Review plugin, you can leverage its default WP Review Widget to showcase a sidebar review effectively.

Author

Lucy has been a very experienced SEOer, technical writer, web developer, c# developer since 2002. Now she owns a startup in San Francisco, CA, focusing on running a couple of blogs to share knowledge and experience with global readers and deliver exceptional results to global sponsors by leveraging the power of Internet.

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