Our Reviews Connect widget allows for always up-to-date reviews and testimonials. Like other widgets in our Connect series, review data is fed to your site from Google spreadsheets instantly. This means that new reviews can be published remotely at any time by you or your client.
We've built in all the perks you would come to expect in a full-featured reviews widget. Multiple layout options include List, Carousel and Grid views. Fully responsive functionality means that your reviews will look great on all screen sizes. We've even included a Rating Snippet option which makes it easy for Google to index and display custom ratings in search results.
Review Connect is a great choice anywhere you want to display quotes – from service-based businesses to ecommerce websites and much more!
Widget Compatibility: Highly Compatible (No known issues when combining with other MuseThemes widgets)
Current Version: 1.4
Supported Devices: Desktop, Tablet, Phone
1.4: Fixed issue causing quote graphics to display incorrectly (03/25/2021)
1.3: Fixed anomaly causing 5 star reviews to display as 4 star reviews after eight reviews are accumulated. (03/21/2018)
1.2: Added HTML Support (09/28/2017)
1.1: Fixed issue causing an extra line when using local CSV files (08/11/2017)
1.0: Initial Release
Drop the widget into Muse Design mode. Place the widget where you would like the reviews to appear.
If you're using multiple Reviews Connect widgets on the same page, be sure to use unique names in the Unique ID field.
Select a CSV Source:
Google Spreadsheet - Allows for linking to spreadsheets in the Google Sheets app. This is our suggestion in most all cases since it allows for instant updates without having to open Muse.
Local CSV File - This option uses local CSV files uploaded from your computer. This option may be best if you are given table content in .CSV file format. Requires opening your Muse project.
Google Sheets Setup
Detailed instructions for working with Google spreadsheets can be found in the "Editing the web-based Google Spreadsheet templates" below.
Open the Google spreadsheet template links found in the bottom of the widget option panel.
If you are not already signed into your Google account, do that before proceeding.
The content and presets sample spreadsheets cannot be directly edited. Make a copy of each: File > Make a copy.
Name your copies.
Publish the copies: File > Publish to the web. Make sure to publish the documents as .CSV files.
Grab the Google spreadsheet keys and paste into the content and presets spreadsheet key fields in the widget option panel in Muse.
Your spreadsheets are now linked to the widget, and may be previewed in browser if you wish. If no edits have been made, you will see the sample table.
The column names indicate the purpose for each columns. These names may not be changed. The purpose of the columns (left to right) are as followed:
Number of Stars for Review
Date of Review
Title of Review
Enter review information similarly to what is seen in the sample template, placing review information below column title as appropriate.
The presets spreadsheet has more than 80 separate options. These options enable/disable certain feature, as well as provide styling options, and more. See the rightmost column for a brief description of each setting.
Widget Option Panel
Like the other Connect widgets, the widget option panels are rather simple since the majority of settings are found in the presets sheet. Some key options can be found in the Settings section:
Preloader Type: A preloader is displayed on the page while the table is loading. The Preloader Type setting offers several preloader types. Some preloader options allow for both preloader and preloader background colors, which can be set below.
Local Storage: This setting is offered to provide custom control over the caching of review data on the visitor's computer.
Rating Snippet: This section provides all of the information that Google looks for when creating the rating snippets you see in search results for things like movies or restaurants. Filling out this section is optional, though is handy if you would like to provide rating information to Google.
If you experience any intermittent issues with the table loading, or "script" errors, clearing your browser's cache should help
Editing the web-based Google Spreadsheet templates
You will need a Google account and access to the free Sheets web app in order to edit the template (no Google account is required for viewing the template).
Follow the link in the bottom of the widget panel to open the templates.
The template is view-only and cannot be edited as-is. Make a copy of the template: File > Make A Copy.
Name the new copy.
The new copy can now be edited.
When ready, you will need to publish the spreadsheet in order to use it with Reviews Connect. Go to File > Publish to the web...
Click the "Web Page" dropdown and select comma-separated values (.csv).
Copy the long set of random characters in the browser's URL field, or in the link shown in the Publish To Web pop-up.
Paste this Google Spreadsheet Key into the Widget option panel in Muse (you will need keys for both the Content and the Presets spreadsheets).
Tips for editing CSV files
Once you've published your Google Spreadsheet, ANY change made to the spreadsheet will be updated on your website. This is handy and quick, though you will want to be careful to make sure that your changes are exactly what you want.
The data within the CSV must be entered carefully:
Spaces are not supported in most entries
Be careful if you're cutting and pasting (be sure not to include extra characters or spaces)
Do not create empty rows
In the Presets Spreadsheets, the only fields that need to be updated are the cells in the "option_value" column. Values in this column may be numbers or letter text. For basic enable/disable options, 1=enable, 0=disabled. We've built in dropdowns wherever possible for common variables.
Check your progress often while editing CSV files. Small errors such as spaces or typos can make it so that your sidebar menu does not appear. If you’re working with a local file, save and load the file into the widget, then publish to check for functionality. If you’re working in Google Sheets, simply preview your sidebar and refresh the browser to see ongoing updates. If you do have an issue, use the “undo” function in your spreadsheet editor to back up to a point where the widget was working.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is a .csv file?
A .csv file is a basic spreadsheet file that can be edited in Excel, Numbers, Google Sheets, or similar.
Should I use the web-based template, or the local file? What's the difference?
Ultimately, there's no difference in the functionality of the sidebar menu, whether you use the web template or the local template. Local files allow for traditional editing and backup in your favorite spreadsheet editor. The web template option allows for immediate remote updates for you or your client.