Add Ratings, Polls and Reviews in Minutes Without Programming

Aug 14 2008 by Andreas Krohn | 19 Comments

Editor’s Note: Andreas Krohn runs the web hosting comparison site WebHostNinja.com and is blogging on digitalistic.com and on the swedish blog mashup.se.

Polling feature on WebHostNinja

There are many scripts that makes it possible to add polls, reviews and ratings to your web site relatively easily. Many of them do require a lot of configuration, uploading various files to the server and maybe even some programming to get them to work. Lately I wanted to add polls and reviews to my web hosting comparison site, but I did not have much time to spend on it, so complicated scripts where not an option. Thanks to js-kit I managed to add both a poll and hosting provider reviews in a matter of minutes. It didn’t require any programming and most of the configuration was done directly in the browser. It took me more time to style the poll and the reviews than it took to get them included in my site and working, and I suspect that most Six Revision readers are much better with CSS than I ever will be.

Poll

With JS-Kit you can add comments, ratings, reviews and polls to your website, you can even use their navigator service to highlight the most popular content on your site. All this is added simply by including a few lines of HTML to your site. The configuration is done directly in the browser, or for some components also partly in the HTML you include on your site. This code is used to add a poll for example:

<div class="js-kit-poll" style="width:350px"></div>
<script src="http://js-kit.com/polls.js"></script>

Once you have included the code in on one of your web pages you simply go to your the page and configure the poll from there. You do not even have to register at JS-Kit first, instead JS-Kit identifies you by cookies they set on your computer. That way they know that you are the administrator of this poll and only shows it to you until you have finished configuring it. During the configuration you can define the options of the poll, decide the color of the result bar and much more. The nice thing is that JS-Kit takes care of all backend things, so there is no programming involved and no database scripts to worry about.

Interface for configuring Polls

If you later want to edit the poll you do that in the same place as you first configured it, that is directly in your browser. Since the poll is styled by CSS you can override the classes it uses to style the poll perfectly to your own site.

Reviews

Reviews are a little more complex than Polls, so let’s take a look how you can add reviews like the one below to your site in minutes without writing any code. A JS-Kit review is actually a mix of two other JS-Kit components – ratings and comments. For a review you want users to both rate something and motivate the rating. If you just want comments or ratings you can of course add those individually as well.

1. Copy the HTML code you find at js-kit’s review page and paste it into your own HTML pages at the place you want the review to be shown.

<div class="js-kit-rating"></div>
<div class="js-kit-comments"></div>
<script src="http://js-kit.com/ratings.js"></script>

2. Once the page is uploaded to your web sever you just go to your web page and you can start reviewing! Note that if you run your web site locally during development you will not see the review (or any other JS-Kit component), it needs to be on a publicly available domain. This is an example from WebHostNinja of how such a review looks:

Example Review from WebHostNinja

There are a lot of options to configure the review. It is easy to change the color of the stars used, or to use a thumbs up/down image instead of stars. To do this you need to add attributes to the JS-Kit div tag that you have included in your HTML page.

This code shows a thumbs up/down rating (note the view="score"):

<div class="js-kit-rating" view="score"></div>
<div class="js-kit-comments"></div>
<script src="http://js-kit.com/ratings.js"></script> 

Thumbs up/down rating

Check out the JS-Kit site for all the available customization options.

Administration

Getting the polls, ratings and reviews into your site is only half the project. You also need to be able to administrate them and get some statistics how popular they are, fortunately JS-Kit makes this very straight forward as well.

Got to js-kit.com/settings to handle the administration of your sites and your js-kit components. Here you can approve new comments and invite others to moderate new comments with you. You can also configure and personalize the components you are using.

Configuring and personalizing components - screen shot

To track how popular your newly added polls and reviews are you can go to the JS-Kit dashboard. Here the popularity of all your JS-Kit components for the last year are shown in helpful graphs.

JS-Kit identifies you as the administrator of the JS-Kit components you have added by using cookies. So if you use a different browser or computer, or if you have cleaned out your cookies JS-Kit will not know who you are. If that is the case you need to identify yourself to JS-Kit by either upload a file with a specific name to your site or add some data to the header of your web pages. Go to js-kit.com/settings, enter the URL of your site and then follow the instructions.

Administration

Summary

JS-Kit have done a great implementation of easy to use components that are very useful for most kind of sites. It is just a matter of some copying and pasting to get a poll into any site. The only negatives are that you do not have full control over the data since it is hosted on the JS-Kit servers and that JS-Kit will start showing advertising sometimes in the future. Still there are no available details how this advertising will work, but it is worth keeping an eye on the JS-Kit blog if you are starting to use their components.

19 Comments

xual

August 15th, 2008

Thanks for that
finally i got the rating stuff

N. Haran

August 22nd, 2008

The JS-Kit website claims that the ads will be opt-in via a revenue sharing model. So, that doesn’t seem like a huge deal to me.

My biggest question is: Is it branded? I don’t see any “Powered by JS-Kit” links in any of the demos. But, just making sure.

ryan

September 10th, 2008

thanks! that was easy enough!

marz

October 7th, 2008

Finally a simple solution! I’m a newbie at programming and still struggle with it. I’ve been searching all over Google for a non-complicated way to add reviews and ratings and it looks like this is it.

Thank you a million times over. ^_^

brenth

November 9th, 2008

thank you so much!

i can finally start re-designing my website.

Keep up the great work!

samuel

December 19th, 2008

thanks

i’m still not sure how you add comments

renren

February 7th, 2009

if i add 2 or more star ratings box, whenever i rate one, it will also show up on the others. how can i create individual/different star rating boxes?

Wrex

June 17th, 2009

Are the comments submitted by visitors searchable by Google on my website and will they bring up results within the search engines for me, or will the comments belong to J-S Kit?

Armig Esfahani

July 15th, 2009

thanks a lot! this will be so useful!

rob

July 20th, 2009

when i put this code in multiple places on the same page (rating different articles on the same page) every article ends up with the same rating. for example, if i vote 4 stars for the first article, all the others get the same rating. how do i correct this? thanks for the help!

cheryl

May 7th, 2010

I use MS Live for my website. It allows me to put html into an HTML Module. I pasted the script above for reviews, but all that showed up was a blue line. Can you help me figure out how to add the five star review to my page?

Benjamin M. Strozykowski

May 20th, 2010

@cheryl JS-Kit discontinued their ratings/reviews service in November. I came here looking to add the same functionality, and found this blog post: http://blog.js-kit.com/2009/08/10/the-cost-of-innovation/

Bryan

November 15th, 2010

Its too bad Js-kit is discontinued, I like it better than the live twitter facebook social network feed offered in its place. When I am shopping for products I don’t want or need all kinds of twitter comments, but more stable solid comments from users of the product. Hoping to find a similar product from another source.

Kaden Hamilton

February 14th, 2011

Great article! Helped me out alot! Thanks man!

-Kaden

Chris Briardale

April 7th, 2011

Thanks for this info. Is there a way to easily change the overall look of the polls though. And can you redirect people once they submit thier vote?

Wendy

November 22nd, 2011

Thank you a lot. Now I know how to write a review ;) http://www.cigs4girls.com/

Peter SImms

June 9th, 2013

Thanks for this information. I will add this code to my site now. Fingers crossed

Ashish

December 1st, 2013

Looks like the js-kit system has been shut down. Anyone has a backup or something of their script?

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