The Lite edition of the GD Rating System plugin is updated, and version 3.0 is the biggest update to the Lite edition since the plugin is first introduced. Version 3.0 is not a continuation of the Lite branch, it is made on the base of Pro version 4.1.3.
Over the past few years, the Pro version changed a lot, and the core codebase has become too different from the Lite version, making maintenance of the Lite version really tough and problematic. Now, with the major changes in the Pro version 4.0, I decided to clean the Lite plugin code base, and start it from the latest Pro codebase.
But, there are two major new features added in the Lite version that previously were not available: Like This rating method and Enhanced Rich Snippets addon. Also, all other addons have been updated to the latest code base with new settings. Rich Snippets addon will cause the biggest difference in how the plugin works, because Rich Snippets have to be set for each post individually, providing new data required by Google.
Now, a lot of things have changed with version 3.0, and many existing features have been enhanced with updates from the Pro edition. Here is the overview:
- Like This rating method
- Improved adding of rating blocks into posts
- Automatic sort of post types archives by rating
- Old rich snippets settings are no longer used
- Voting throttle protection and more security measures
- Rich snippets with support for snippets types that allow rich snippets with ratings
- Enhanced loading of CSS and JS files on the frontend
- Additional templates for rating block and lists
- More shortcodes and more widgets
Once the plugin is updated to new version, there are few things you need to know:
- You must go through the update screen where the updates will be performed, including the conversion of the settings rules, database structure, and few more things.
- The plugin has to update the database to the new version with one more table and few changes to other tables. The new structure allows for better performance and it makes ratings easier to handle.
- Make sure to check out all the plugin settings to ensure that everything is the same. There are some new settings that you need to check out and decide on using.
- Old rich snippet settings couldn’t be preserved, because they have no effect on how rich snippets are generated now, so if you want properly setup snippets that Google will accept, you need to set them again for all the posts you want them to appear, and only with the snippets that Google will allow for ratings.
- Check out the plugin knowledge base to get additional information about the upgrade, rich snippets, and other new features.
If you find any issues with the new version, please, report them in the support forums.