User Ratings & Reviews – Which Rating System is Best for Your Users? How to Get More?

Ratings and reviews are a straightforward way for users to express their opinion towards a business, product, or service. They can be used for all any purposes such as in eCommerce stores to rate different products, Business sites to show customer reviews, Streaming service to rate movies and tv-shows, App Store to rate and rank various apps, and many more.

But not all user rating systems are the same and different purposes require different user ratings. Using a mismatched rating system might not give you any results. In fact, it might impact your business or service negatively. So we will see the various user rating systems and find which user rating is best for your users.

User Rating and Review:

A user rating system is a quantitative system that is represented by symbols like stars that are used to judge the quality of things like businesses, products, services, etc.

Mostly user reviews will accompany the ratings to elaborate on how and why they have a positive, negative, or neutral opinion. The user ratings and reviews serve as social proof that helps other users to decide if they want to purchase a product, install the app, use a service, etc.,

How User Rating Impacts Business?

According to a survey by Brightlocal, 51% of consumers won’t use a business if it has less than a 4-star rating. And 90% of users form an opinion about a business, just after reading less than 10 reviews. 

User ratings are crucial for any business especially when you have competitors. Users like to compare ratings between similar products and in a close competition even a 0.1 or 0.2 rating difference might make a big difference. So having the most positive user ratings and reviews make you stand out from others.

What are the different types of Rating Systems?

There are many different rating systems and each differs in their usage and purpose.

Point Rating System

It’s a very common rating system. Users give rating points and the system takes an average rating and displays it in the overall review summary. There are many subtypes based on the number of points for user ratings with many use cases. They are:

5-Star Rating (5-point rating system)

It’s the most popular user rating system and often represented by a star symbol and also called the 5-star rating system. It’s commonly used for many businesses. You can find the 5-star rating system in many popular review sites such as Yelp, Trustpilot, Tripadvisor, Google Business Reviews, Amazon, etc.,

This system is so popular with businesses to the extent that customers are prompted as “Like our product! Give us 5-stars!”

5-Star rating meaning

The simple meaning behind the 5-star rating is:

  • 4 – 5 stars – Excellent
  • 3 – 4 stars – Decent/ Good
  • 2 – 3 stars – Average
  • 1 – 2 stars – Bad / Poor

According to ReviewTrackers, 4.5/5 stars is the best user rating to have because it’s a very reliable score.

10-point rating system

It’s another form of point rating where every point from 1 to 10 points each carries a big difference. Especially 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, and 5 each carry a distinct meaning. It can also be denoted by star rating.

  This user rating system is usually used to quantify performance such as employee performance in a company. It is also used in popular IMDB movie rating sites.

100-point rating system

The 100-point rating system is used when there are thousands of items to be rated. Also when even small point differences also make much meaning.

For example, the rating 4.2, 4.3, 4.5, out of 5 stars and 8.4, 8.6, 9.0 out of 10 points may not seem to be much different to users but in 100-point ratings, there is a big difference between 86/100 and 90/100.

This user rating system is used in Wine Tasting and also in popular movie review websites Metacritic.

Percentage rating system

It is similar to the 100-point rating system but is displayed in %. It is also calculated differently. It is used in rating systems such as review aggregators.

It takes the user ratings from multiple sources and multiple rating criteria, calculates a weighted average, and displays the final ratings in percentage.

It is used in popular movie review aggregate sites such as RottenTomatoes.

Thumbs up-Thumbs down rating system

Thumbs up-Thumbs down ratings is a binary rating system used when users rate by giving a simple Yes or No answer. This user rating system is mostly used to get feedback in personal feedback from uses.

One good example of this is Netflix in 2017, changed its movie rating system from the 5-star rating system to a Thumbs-up thumbs down system. They found that their users even when giving average ratings to movies would like to watch them again.

Even YouTube initially had a 5-star user rating system but changed to the Thumbs up-Thumbs down the system. But still, YouTube asks for 5-star ratings for videos to know the video quality. But they don’t display the rating publically.

The key difference in video streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube moving to a Thumbs up-Thumbs down is because they did not want to assess the quality of the video (Movies and Tv-shows for Netflix) but only want to know if users are willing to watch it.

Emoji Rating system

It is used in Social Media sites such as Facebook to give users various options to react to each post differently. This rating system is used to increase user engagement and sometimes to get feedback for the content.

Some sites use the Emoji ratings to understand if their users are satisfied with their content.

Upvotes / Likes rating

This rating system is used in Social media sites such as Instagram where users can upvote various posts in their personal feed. When a user likes a post the algorithm notes it and brings related content in their personal feed.

How to Create a User Rating Website?

Now that we have seen various user rating systems, you can pick the right rating system that fits your purpose.

If you want to create a user rating website then the best way to do it is using a WordPress user rating plugin. StarCat Reviews is an advanced WordPress rating and review plugin, to easily create any kind of user rating and review system site. It has:


  • Customizable Ratings – create a customized rating system that especially suits your brands and products.
  • Multiple Rating Criteria – allow users to rate multiple criteria (features) of your products
  • Pros and Cons – users can add the various pros and cons of the products in their review
  • Google Rich Snippets – can implement Google Schema markup to your rating system to display rich snippets with star ratings on Google search results page
  • Review Voting – users can upvote the reviews that they find helpful
  • Review Reply – can reply to user review especially for negative reviews which require an explanation from your side
  • Photo Reviews – allows your customers to attach media such as images, GIFs, and other media files along with their review.

Advantages of WordPress User Rating Plugin:

When many people search online for creating a user rating site, they are led to create them using coding with HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, and even with Javascript. But the StarCat Reviews plugin that uses the WordPress platform is a better alternative to every who wants to create a user rating site.

  • Straightforward and easy to use
  • No coding involved and everything is customizable using options from settings
  • SEO friendly and implements Review Schema markup

How to Make a User Review Page?

With StarCat Reviews, you can include the user ratings and reviews into any post or page. So you just need to include the post type which you need in plugin settings and you will have the user reviews in any post or page you want.

How to Get More User Ratings and Reviews:

It is important for any business to get more positive ratings and reviews. But in reality, only less than 10% of the users actually give ratings and reviews.

And within this 10%, negatively impacted users are more inclined to give a review rather than positively impacted ones.

So it is essential that you use some strategies to get more positive user ratings and reviews.

Send Notifications But don’t be Nagging:

Send notification and remind users to rate your products is a simple and effective way to get more user ratings. StarCat Reviews comes with a Review Reminder Notification add-on that helps you to send notifications after the customer makes a purchase.

But remember not to nag the users with your reminder. If you’re a plugin or app developer, don’t send notifications that interrupt when users are seriously working. For example, you can ask users to rate in Google play store, through in-app notifications.

Properly time the review reminder notification so that users are free to follow your reminder link and give their rating and review. If you disturb users very much you might end up getting negative ratings.

Ask a Question Before Rating:

You can get user ratings as a part of the feedback process. First, ask a question like,

Are you enjoying our service? Yes or No. If they say ‘Yes’, you can say please consider giving a 5-star rating. If they say ‘No’, you can lead them to a page with additional questions such as Why do you dislike our service? Give the users some options to choose from. 

In this way you can get more positive user ratings and reviews and avoid triggering negative user ratings. Also, you can get user feedback to improve your product or service.

Offer Incentives:

Another way to get more user ratings is by offering some incentives. eCommerce stores usually give incentives like vouchers and coupons. You can use the StarCat Reviews plugin if you want to offer incentives from your eCommerce store.

For example, if you have an App you also offer points and rewards for any in-app purchases for users who give 5-star ratings.

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