Ratings and customer reviews are a formidable tool towards increasing sales. They set perspectives, educate and give customers reassurances about what they are interested in buying. Almost any size of website offering products or services can benefit by displaying user-submitted ratings. Especially with so many products and services moving online and the need to sell remotely.

The CommentsStack has always supported customer ratings. The dedicated RatingStack helps you get this data displayed on your website better. RatingStack looks great anywhere on a webpage. It's flexible, drag-and-drop modular nature means it can be integrated alongside other stacks like QuoteSlider or product videos.

All the wording, styling, colours and icons displayed by RatingStack are customisable in the stack settings. It doesn't matter if your website is in English or another language. Swap the star icons for smiley faces, thumbs or hearts if you want! Therefore you can make your RatingStack look like a part of your website. The data that RatingStack uses is fetched from your datafile or CommentsStack automatically; meaning you don't have to keep republishing your website every time a new rating is received.

Examples

Here are some examples of the RatingStack, taking data from the CommentsStack page. Yes, you have the freedom to place RatingStack and CommentsStack on totally separate pages if you prefer! The box shadow effect is achieved using Shady.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
5 star
47%44
4 star
37%34
3 star
8%7
2 star
4%4
1 star
3%3

What our customers think...

A total of 93 customers have reviewed this product. They have given it an average rating of 4.2. From the ratings given, 84% of customers would recommend this product to others. 44 customers gave it the highest rating of 5 stars.

Want to leave your own feedback and rating? Please click here and complete the form. We'd love to hear from you!

Setup

Using RatingStack is easy. No complicated code or configuration is required (this has all been done for you) for basic usage. Install RatingStack into Stacks and RapidWeaver in the normal way. Drag and drop a copy of the stack into your page. Make sure the page file extension is set to .php in the RapidWeaver Page Inspector.

Within the stack settings for RatingStack, set the relative path to the datafile storing your customer ratings. If you are using RatingStack on the same page as a CommentsStack, then you only need to type database-001-ratings.txt to match what you have entered as the data file name for CommentsStack. If your RatingStack and CommentsStack are on different pages, then use the normal notation of ../ and directory names to specify the relative path to it. Search online if you don't know what a relative path is.

From the configuration menu, you can choose what you want RatingStack to display. Based on the selection you make, you will be shown different settings.

RatingStack always loads a sample of data in RapidWeaver preview, unless you opt to use a datafile added as a RapidWeaver site resource. When your webpage is published, either the RapidWeaver site resource will be used or the relative path to a datafile (e.g. CommentsStack) on the live server is used. The datafile format is simply a text file with each rating on a new line. It is possible to use RatingStack without CommentsStack, although CommentsStack offers the easiest way for website users to contribute new comments and ratings.

Star icons require a theme that includes Font Awesome Icons or a similar font icon library. Nearly all the free and paid themes provided at ThemeFlood include Font Awesome icons, so they've got you covered. If your chosen theme does not include a suitable icon library, you will either need to consult with the developer to ask what library they recommend you use or replace the little HTML icon snippets with some image tags.

Integrating RatingStack with CommentsStack

You must first ensure that you have CommentsStack 1.4 or later installed on your computer. Use the 'updates' button in the Stacks library to check for any pending updates. Read the change logs for any updated stacks and then install the updates (after first ensuring that everything is suitably backed-up on your computer). RatingStack is able to reuse the datafiles that CommentsStack 1.4 and later generates on your hosting server.

If you are wanting to use RatingStack with a datafile that was previously generated by an older version of CommentStack, you must first open that ratings data file (it is in plain text format) and modify its contents to remove the surplus spaces between each number. In other words, converting the format from this:

5

4

5

2

1

5

4

To this:

5
4
5
2
1
5
4

Save the changes when done. This simple modification to the datafile ensures that RatingStack will only count numbers, and will ignore the spaces between each number when calculating averages and percentages.

Custom code

Within the configuration menu of RatingStack, the Custom PHP Code option provides a convenient space for any RapidWeaver users with PHP knowledge to code more sophisticated setups. For example a series of else / else if functions could be used loop through all the ratings data in more detail, define new variables, apply special maths and output text or other content, depending on the result returned. The sample code provided echos one of two sentences, depending if there are fewer or more than 50 ratings.
 

Contribute

If you find this stack element useful in your personal or commercial web projects; please consider making a small contribution towards ongoing support and updates. There are many different ways you can contribute to the Stacks4Stacks project, and benefits for doing so.