Normal People, Great Plugins Article Series

Normal People, Great Plugins:
with Bridget Willard

“Normal People, Great Plugins” is an article series focused on reviewing really useful plugins and resources available to you to build out your WordPress website. Bridget brings her wit and unique perspective of being a beginning user of WordPress to talk about how user-friendly the plugins are. If you are just getting started with WordPress and looking for high-quality and user-friendly solutions, then you’ll love this series.

Get Google Places Reviews NowGoogle Places Reviews for WordPress

This is a great plugin by WordImpress. I chose this plugin because I think Google Reviews are helpful but are needlessly difficult for people to find. I mean, unless you look up a company on Google Maps, it’s an enigma. Reviews shouldn’t be Speak-Easies. But I digress.

The Good News:

It takes five minutes to install the plugin.

The Bad News:

You need your Google Places API.

Get Your API On!

Get Your Google Places API
How to get your Google Places API

Yes, the real catch is to get your Google Places API which is a short way of measuring intelligence or determination. Let’s go with determination.

API is fancy for “some special code we give you that grants the plugin access to our data.” I honestly have no idea what it means. You need it. Get it first.

API is fancy for "some special code we give you that grants the plugin access to our data." Click To Tweet

To get your API, follow the steps from the WordImpress documentation page here.

After you get your API key (you saved it, right?), login to your website, navigate to plugins, click add new and search for “Google Places Reviews.” Activate the plugin. You feel like a superhero now, right?

Configure Your Settings

Google Places Settings
Google Places Settings

Go back to plugins on the side, find to Google Places Reviews and click settings. Then add that API key (string of random characters) into the box and click save. You have more options in the widget area so rest assured.

Go to Appearance, then Widgets. You’ll see Google Places Reviews as a widget. Drag the widget where you’d like it to appear. Where is part of your theme. You may have footers or several sidebars to choose from.

Configure Your Widget

If you expand the widget options (with the light gray triangle), you can add a title like “We’re better than you and here’s why” or something nicer. It’s up to you. You can also limit the number of views or decide how much of their information will be displayed.

This widget also has a theme. Now, don’t be confused. Yes, this plugin creates a widget. But, it’s still a plugin. And though your theme controls your overall site’s appearance, you have some more control over the appearance of this box.

Another cool feature is being able to filter out bad ratings. We like to have nice reviews, not bad. But that’s a pro option so it’ll cost you. 😀

Boom. Just like that you’re done.

Confession:

I did things a bit wrong at first and also found out we have a Plus Page and a Places Page. If you have to merge these, go here for the steps:

But alas, my reviews are live and functioning.

You should be able to get it up and running in 15 minutes, twenty tops.

Google Places Reviews Pro is way worth the time, especially since it makes it easier for a client to write a review. Click To Tweet

Download Google Places Free Here  |  Buy the Upgrade (worth it!) Here

Bridget is co-host of WPblab, co-organizer of Women Who WP Meetup, and Team Rep for the Marketing Team for WordPress.org.

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5 Responses to “Normal People, Great Plugins: Google Places Reviews”

  1. Bridget Willard

    You guys are so awesome. Thanks for inviting me to your world.

    Reply
  2. Carol Stephen

    “unless you look up a company on Google Maps, it’s an enigma. Reviews shouldn’t be Speak-Easies.”
    I love how you break it down so it’s simple to do. Great job!

    Reply
  3. Devin Walker

    It’s all too true: Google doesn’t make it easy to get an API key. It should be much simpler. Nice write up. I look forward to seeing more.

    Reply

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