Today we're release the new version of our "Reactions" rating plugin. It contains many changes, a bunch of new settings and is now also available in a neat "Plus" version. But first things first...
What is new?
The version before just allowed your readers to rate your content using one of five selectable Emojies, freely selectable by you. Now you're able to show them a Like - and optionally also Dislike Button instead, using one of 6 vector icons from the Font Awesome package. Not happy with those? No Problem! You can also use a 3 or 5 Stars rating system, which calculates and shows the average of all collected votes. Both new systems are also colourable with 7 different colours.
AND if you still want to use emojies... Of course this option is still available! Keep in mind, that each system stores the votes separately, so you can't "take over" the existing ratings on the new mode.
Protection against Bots
The Reaction system also had one issue: Bots really liked to click on the neat links, which leads to a really high rating counter. The new system TRIES to protect you from such ratings by...
- ... checking the User Agent and HTTP Referrer (The good bots identify themselves)
- ... checking and validating the existing Bludit Session Cookie (some bots won't store them)
- ... adding an invisible "Honey-Pot" eMail field (Bots like to fill out eMail fields)
Of course, this isn't perfect, but a good way to go. You can also disable each single protection mode, if you notice some issues with it.
More Configurable Widget
You also have a bunch of new hooks to inject the Reactions panel to your content. The Widget title can also be skipped. The Panel itself can be completely disabled, if the comments of a page are disabled too. The stylesheet can also be omitted, if you just want to use your own stylings. AND submitting the new rating form can now also be achieved using AJAX.
Next to this cool bunch of new features, you're also able to buy the Reactions+ Supporter package on gum.co. This neat package contains also a log system, where each vote and "changed vote" will be stored. This information are visible as own cool dashboard widget.
Another feature is the storage of all done ratings within a Cookie or directly on your server, using a hashed anonymized version of the clients IP address. Our European users are also able to pass a Cookie Key and - optionally - specific Cooke Value, which will be checked before such a storage happens. So if you're using a "Cookie Message" system, which validates the users decision within a Cookie itself, you can just pass them on the Plugin settings.
That's it for today
Thanks for reading this article, I hope the plugin works without any big issues, at least we couldn't find any on our test system. Keep in mind, that the new version requires Bludit 3.9.0+ AND PHP 7.2.0+.
You can download the Reactions package on GitHub, read more about it on the Reactions Plugin Page here on codeblu.dev or on Bludit's Plugin Page. And don't forget, if you really like this plugin, you can support us and receive some neat features on the gumroad page of the Reactions+ package.