How to Engage Readers with Post Reactions in WordPress

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Are you looking to increase the user engagement of your site? Post reactions are an easy way for your readers to leave feedback on your blog without leaving a comment. In this article, we will show you how to add post reactions in WordPress.

Post Reaction Buttons

Reactions is a feature in the Blogger platform that allowed your visitors an easy and anonymous way to provide feedback on your posts without leaving a comment. When one of our users switched from Blogger to WordPress, they asked us if there was a way to replicate that functionality in WordPress.

Luckily there is a plugin for that.

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First thing you need to do is install and activate the Reaction Buttons plugin. Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Reaction Buttons to configure the plugin settings.

Configuring the reaction buttons

The first option on the screen is to show reaction buttons, and you want to make sure that it is checked. If you leave it unchecked, then reaction buttons will not be displayed on your site even if the plugin is active.

Next, you have the option to choose where you want the buttons to appear. The default option is below the posts.

You can also customize the text that would appear before the buttons along with the button labels. The default buttons are Awesome, Interesting, Useful, Boring, Sucks.

Among other settings, you can decide which WordPress pages the button appears on, restrict one vote per user, exclude categories, and more.

Customizing The Appearance of Reaction Buttons

Even though these buttons are pre-styled, it may not match your site’s color scheme. If you want to customize their appearance, then first you must disable the plugin’s default CSS.

You can do that on the plugin’s settings page.

Disable loading plugin's stylesheet

Below the checkbox, you will see the link to the plugin’s reaction_buttons.css stylesheet. Click on that link to copy the elements you have to customize.

Next all you have to do is copy and paste your customized CSS in to your theme or child theme’s stylesheet.

Here is a sample CSS that we used to add custom background color to the buttons.

  /* the reaction buttons region */  div.reaction_buttons{      margin-top: 20px;      font-size: 0.8em;      text-align: left;  }    /* a single button */  div.reaction_buttons .reaction_button {      line-height: 3.2em;      padding: 5px;      margin: 0 3px;      margin-bottom: 25px;      cursor: pointer;  background-color:#007fba;  color:#FFF;  }    /* the button while hovering over it */  div.reaction_buttons > .reaction_button:hover {      background-color: #0F6;  }    /* the button after voting   div.reaction_buttons > .voted, div.reaction_buttons > .voted:hover {  }   /*    /* number of votes including parantheses.  .reaction_buttons .reaction_button .count {  }   */    /* number of votes in between the parantheses.  .reaction_buttons .reaction_button .count_number {  }   */        #sidebar div.widget_reaction_buttons h3 {  	margin: 0;  	margin-top: 4px;  	font-size: 1.1em;  }    #sidebar div.widget_reaction_buttons ol {  	margin-left: 25px;  }    

This is how the buttons looked on our test site:

Post Reaction Buttons

We hope this article helped you learn how to add post reactions in your WordPress blog to boost your engagement.

You may also want to check out this tutorial on how to notify users when their comment is approved in WordPress.

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