This is a list of questions that users ask frequently. While we try to make our plugins as intuitive and easy to use as possible, sometimes you need to customize them in ways that aren’t as obvious. This is the place to get those answers.

I want my site visitors to be able to add reviews from my website. Does Google Places Reviews Pro do that?

Unfortunately not. The Google Places API does not allow users to submit review data FROM any website besides the G+ Profile page. It’s not really in Google’s interest to allow you to do all of that off of their site, they’d rather get traffic to their sites. So that’s why we have links to your G+ page where users can leave a review there.

I have new reviews that aren’t showing up on my website. What’s the deal?

This isn’t actually an issue with our plugin, but a quirk of the Google Places API. The Google API doesn’t actually show your latest reviews at all. It has a sorting method they call “Most Helpful”. You can see that in action by going to your G+ profile page and scrolling down to where all your reviews on. You’ll notice a button on the top right of that section that is defaulted to “Most Helpful”. Here’s a screenshot:

google-sorting-by-most-helpful

Though you can change the sorting method on that page, Google hasn’t yet made the different sorting methods available in the API which means we cannot do that in our plugin.

The Stars aren’t showing in my widget. What do I need to do?

9.99 times out of 10 this is a problem with the theme. Theme’s have to register your sidebars with specific id’s and class names for the widgets that are inside them. If your theme doesn’t do that correctly then Google Places Widget can’t target our widget correctly. Here’s a few quick tips on how you can remedy this situation.

  1. Contact your theme author and ask them to update the theme. Refer them to this Codex article and mention that they are not using the proper IDs and class names for the before_widgets and after_widgets attributes.
  2. If you are using a child theme, you can deregister your parent themes sidebars and re-regiseter them correctly in the child theme. We have a detailed article on that and other useful child theme functions here.

If you want to implement the fix yourself here’s what you do:

  1. Go to your theme’s functions.php file and search for register_sidebar
  2. One of the items in that function should be “before_widget”. If it’s not there you’ll need to add it. If it is there, you’ll need to add the id and class according to the snippet below. The “%1” and “%2” are what allows the sidebar to automatically generate the correct id and class names that all your widgets need.
  3. If you didn’t have a “before_widget” item, then you’ll also need to add the “after_widget” item which closes out the wrapper for each widget in your sidebar. The example below is a list element (“li”), but you can use whatever element makes sense for your theme.

Properly formatted register_sidebar() function

'before_widget' => '<li id="%1$s" class="widget %2$s">',
'after_widget' => '</li>',

//NOTE: You can change the "li" to be a div or p, whatever element you like that works for your theme.

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How do I get my widget to fill the whole content area rather than just be 250px wide?

You’ll need a combination of the max_width shortcode attribute (see here) and some custom CSS. So, step one, customize your shortcode like so:

max_width-shortcode-attribute

The `max_width` attribute can also take percentages. For most cases it should automatically fill the content area just fine. Occasionally, your theme may put restrictions on widget widths. If that’s the case you might also need to add this custom CSS to force the width

Set Widget to Full Width

#gpr_widget {
    width: 100%;
}

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I bought the Pro version, but it’s only showing 5 reviews. How can I get it to show more?

Unfortunately, that’s a limitation of the Google Places API itself, not specifically our plugin. Google wants users to click over to their G+ website for more reviews. If they give them all away on your website then there’s less clicks for them.