How To Create a WordPress Book Review Website

By Last Updated: January 2, 2020

If you want to share your book reviews with the world, you can use a WordPress book review plugin to collect all your reviews in one spot and make it easy for your visitors to find reviews for certain books. You can list all your reviews in one convenient table and let visitors search by title, filter by author or genre, and more.

WordPress book review plugin

With the right WordPress book review plugin, you can set up a flexible system that meets your needs without any complication. You won’t need to write any code or have any special technical knowledge, but you can still create a review site that’s customized for you and avoid the “one size fits all” approach of some WordPress review plugins.

Below, you’ll learn step-by-step how to start using Posts Table Pro as a WordPress book review plugin to create a review site that looks something like this:

WordPress book review plugin example

You’ll also be able to control exactly what information displays in your book review list. So if you want to add a review summary, list the book’s ISBN, or anything else, you’ll be able to easily set that up.

Why Posts Table Pro is the best WordPress book review plugin

Posts Table Pro is an easy-to-use WordPress plugin that lets you take any content on your site and display it in a customizable table.

For this implementation, that “content” is your book reviews. You can publish your reviews using the normal WordPress editor. Then, you can collect all of your reviews in one spot and add helpful filter and search options.

The benefits of using Posts Table Pro as a WordPress book review plugin are:

  • Control You can choose exactly what to include in your book review list. Want to list a star rating? Amazon buy link? Thumbs up/down rating system? Publishing date? ISBN? You can add anything you want.
  • Ease of useYour visitors can easily find the reviews they’re interested in with filters and search boxes.
  • Flexibility You can create different lists for different books. For example, you could have one collection of science fiction reviews and another collection of fantasy reviews.

You can also use Posts Table Pro with all WordPress themes, which lets you keep using your favorite review website theme. And because you can control exactly what information to include, you can also write other reviews, like video games or product reviews.

Below, we’ll show you a real example of Posts Table Pro in action and then we’ll take you through how to set it up as a WordPress book review plugin.

Posts Table Pro
The best WordPress book review plugin for bloggers.

Case study: Science Fiction Book Reviews

Science Fiction Book Reviews is a real-life book review website that’s published over 500 book reviews for books from over 140 different science fiction authors.

That’s a lot of books — so Science Fiction Book Reviews needs a user-friendly way to help visitors find reviews of books they’re interested in.

To create an easy-to-browse archive of all those reviews, Jim, the man behind the website, uses Posts Table Pro to create an easy-to-browse list of all his book reviews:

WordPress book review plugin case study

If users want to filter out reviews for books from a specific author, they can use the drop-down to select that author. And the great thing is that visitors can filter by author without reloading the page, which creates a really convenient experience for them:

WordPress book review plugin with filters applied

If users want to see the full review, they can click through to the review’s page. This also improves SEO and gives each review a chance to rank in Google.

Want to set up your own WordPress book review plugin like Science Fiction Book Reviews? Here’s how to do it…

How to use Posts Table Pro as a WordPress book review plugin

Below, you’ll learn how to set up Posts Table Pro as a WordPress book review plugin to duplicate the setup that you saw in the Science Fiction Book Reviews case study above.

1. Create a book review custom post type

To house your book reviews, you have two options:

  1. You can write them as regular blog posts.
  2. You can create a custom post type.

While the first method works, it’s not great if you still want to post non-review blog posts because everything is mixed together.

With a custom post type, you can create a separate type of post for just your book reviews.

You can create a new blog post when you want to blog, and a new book review post when you want to write a book review. You’ll also be able to add extra information fields to your book reviews to collect important details, like your star rating for a book and the Amazon purchase link.

Don’t worry — it’s pretty easy to set up using a plugin called Pods.

We have a detailed tutorial on how to use Pods to create custom post types, so you can check that out if you want more details. But here’s the fast version…

  • Install and activate the free Pods plugin from WordPress.org.
  • Go to Pods Admin → Add New in your WordPress dashboard.
  • Click Create New.
  • Select Custom Post Type.
  • Enter the singular and plural labels. E.g. “Book Review” and “Book Reviews.”
  • Click Next Step.
Create new post type

And that’s it! You just created a book review post type. You should see it as a new option in your WordPress dashboard sidebar.

If you want to let visitors comment on your reviews and/or include a book’s cover image, go to the Advanced Options tab. Then, scroll down and check the boxes for:

  • Featured Image
  • Comments
Advanced options

2. Add custom fields and taxonomies

Custom taxonomies and custom fields let you store extra information about a review:

  • Custom Taxonomies These are like blog categories or tags, but tailored to your reviews. For example, “Book Author” or “Genre”.
  • Custom Fields These let you store extra information about a review. For example, the star rating you give it, a book’s ISBN, or the Amazon purchase link.

You can add both with Pods. Again, you can consult our full Pods guide if you want to see the process in more detail.

To add custom fields, go to the Manage Fields tab in the Edit Pod interface for your custom post type. Then, click Add Field to add a custom field.

For example, to add a custom field for your star rating, you could add a:

  • Plain Text field — you can use emoji stars for full star ratings.
  • Image field — you can use star images if you want half ratings.
Add custom field

You can also add additional fields for a book’s ISBN, the Amazon purchase link, or anything else:

Example of multiple custom fields

Make sure to click Save Pod when you’re finished.

To create custom taxonomies, go to Pods Admin → Add New → Create New. Only this time, select Custom Taxonomy. For example, here’s a custom taxonomy for the book’s author:

Create new custom taxonomy

Once you add your taxonomy, go to the Advanced Options tab and associate it with your Book Reviews post type:

Attach taxonomy to post type

If you want, you can create additional taxonomies, like for a book’s genre.

3. Write some reviews

Now, you can visit Book Reviews → Add New to write your first book review:

  • Add the book/review title at the top.
  • Write your review in the main text editor.
  • Select the Book Author and Genre on the side.
  • Add the book cover image as the Featured Image.
  • Enter your star rating in the Star Rating box. You can use the ⭐ emoji.
  • Add the Amazon Purchase Link as a link in the text editor.
  • Fill out any other fields (like the ISBN)
Add WordPress book review

To add additional book reviews, you just need to repeat the process as needed.

If you enabled comments in the first step, visitors will be able to leave a comment on your full review. Some other ways to enhance your individual review page are:

  1. Use a social media plugin to add share buttons.
  2. Use Pods shortcodes to add a review box to your individual review pages.
  3. Install a rich snippets/schema markup plugin to get Google rich snippets.

4. Display your reviews with Posts Table Pro

Once you’ve added a few book reviews, you’re ready to set up the Posts Table Pro WordPress book review plugin to list your book reviews for visitors.

To get started, install and activate the Posts Table Pro plugin on your WordPress site.

Then, go to Settings → Posts Table Pro to configure its settings.

First, select book_review from the Post Type drop-down. This tells the plugin that you want to display your book reviews.

Then, use the Columns setting to control what information to display. In addition to the title and image, you can also display custom fields and custom taxonomies. Learn more here.

Here’s a good starting point:

image,title,tax:book_author,tax:genre,cf:amazon_purchase_link:Purchase,cf:star_rating

It displays the:

  • Cover image
  • Book title
  • Author
  • Genre
  • Amazon purchase link
  • Star rating

You can find the names of custom fields and taxonomies in the Pods interface.

Configure columns

Further down, you can use the Search filters section to add filters for the author and genre:

Add filters

Feel free to check out the other settings, as you might find something useful.

When you’re finished, make sure to click Save Changes.

Now, to display your book review listing, create a regular WordPress page and add the [posts_table] shortcode:

Add shortcode

And once you publish your page, you should see your full book review list:

WordPress book review plugin example

Visitors can browse and filter the list. Then, they can click through to the book review to read your thoughts.

Congrats! You just set up your own WordPress book review plugin.

If you wanted to, you can also create another stripped-down table to add as a sidebar widget. Learn more about using shortcode parameters to achieve this.

Create your own WordPress book review plugin today

With Posts Table Pro, you can create your own WordPress book review plugin that lets you create a unique book review experience.

You can choose exactly what information to include in your book review list, and your visitors will be able to easily browse your entire catalog of reviews.

Best of all, you can achieve this level of customization with easy-to-use plugins — no technical knowledge required. So even if you’re just a casual book review blogger, you can set this up!

To set up your own WordPress book review website, purchase Posts Table Pro and get started today:

Posts Table Pro
The best WordPress book review plugin for bloggers.

And if you want to sell books on your own eCommerce WordPress website, you can use WooCommerce and WooCommerce Product Table to list books for sale and create your own book store, as well.

Colin Newcomer

Colin Newcomer is a freelance WordPress writer for hire with a background in SEO and affiliate marketing. He helps clients grow their web visibility by writing primarily about digital marketing and WordPress. You can hire him to write for your website.

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