Rating Systems for Recipes - They Don't Work

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Profile picture of Paul

Posted 25 March 2013 16:52


One of the most requested features for our recipe plugin for WordPress is a rating system, that visitors to blogs can use to rate recipes; but people don't really think (or at least they don't tell us) 'why' they want it.

We have thought long and hard (well actually, only for about 8 seconds) and have decided against it.

You see, we only want to include features into our plugin which we think are genuinely useful.

We don't think that rating systems (in particular a star based rating systems) are useful or accurate for recipes. They are open to mis-interpretation, abuse and laziness, as well as a variety of other variables, such as the ingredients used, quality of the chef, cooking equipment, etc.

For example, our recipe plugin for WordPress has been rated 1 star - in fact most of the recipe plugins on WordPress have at least one 1 star rating. If your blog has 10 tomato soup recipes and they all have 5 star ratings, it then doesn't mean much to the visitor as the visitor still can't distinguish between them - the rating just becomes 'noise', on the page.

Plus on WordPress, our recipe plugin has only been rated 13 times, even though it has been downloaded over 14,000 times. So a review from just 13 people is too small a percentage to be at all relevant.

So instead of adding a rating system for recipes, we are concentrating on other features to make the plugin really useful for both the author and the visitor.

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