During last few years, GD Star Rating plugin was dominating the competition in providing a star rating management system for WordPress.org powered blogs, but now it seems that the plugin hasn’t stayed stabled anymore. The plugin isn’t working perfectly and several bugs are generated in it over last couple of months. Due the frustrating bugs, users are switching to other alternative star rating plugins. The most popular star rating plugin for WordPress blogs, which was once unbeatable and the only recognized name among its kind of plugins, is now being discarded by almost all WordPress users who are somehow strong in understanding technical complexities at their blogs.
So if you are a very basic WordPress user and don’t have enough knowledge about the stability of your WordPress blog, then you may stay with GD Star Rating plugin, but you must discontinue using it anymore. You should switch to any other good rating plugin listed here forever or stay away from GD Star Rating plugin till the bugs are fixed. Below reasons explain why you should not install GD Star Rating plugin or should uninstall it instantly if it is already installed there.
GD Star Rating is Messing Up with WordPress Database: GD Star Rating is one of the heaviest known WordPress plugins which slow down your blog by putting load over it. When you install GD Star Rating, it creates uncountable tables in your database and the content there in the database is messed up. You must be knowing that all information including posts, pages, comments, user information including names and passwords, plugin settings, theme settings and much more is stored in the database and if something goes wrong with it, you may lose your entire content.
So your database gets crowded upon installation of GD Star Rating and several untidy tables are left behind in the database even after you uninstall the plugin. To ensure that your database is always stable and tidy, avoid installing heavy plugins like GD Star Rating and others. Otherwise your blog may become too slow or your entire database may get corrupted.
Strange Characters in SERPs: As you know that GD Star Rating enables Google Rich Snippets and stars appear in Google search, but with past few versions of WordPress, it has been noticed that some untidy and strange characters appear in Google search before the meta description of concerned page at which GD Star Rating was used. Just text information about rating is displayed and sometimes other characters are added. Below snapshot shows how malfunctioned ratings generated by GD Star Ratings appear in Google search.
All above highlighted strange characters are generated by GD Star Rating plugin. You can see that no star is appearing, instead text information about the cast votes along with some strange characters “VN:F [1.9.22_1171]” is appearing. This problem is faced by 3 out of my 7 friends using GD Star Rating and it proves that the bug wasn’t a onetime issue and GD Star Rating’s developers need to look into it seriously.
Eats Up Bandwidth: Yes, the plugin eats up a lot of bandwidth. As I have mentioned earlier that GD Star Rating is among heaviest WordPress plugins, so it consumes a lot of resources. This slows down your blog and that’s not a good news as you always want to see your WordPress blog loading faster.
I would like to stop here. Some other small bugs are also there but they aren’t needed to be discussed as nothing is perfect in this world. Still GD Star Rating’s current working state is unacceptable and you should avoid using it if you want to keep your blog stable.
Already Have a Large Ratings Data? If you have long been using GD Star Rating on your blog, then you can export the rating information to any other rating plugin. Among known plugins, Purple Heart Rating plugin supports importing data from GD Star Rating and you can give it a try.
Now decision will be your own, either you want to stay with GD Star Rating or want to discontinue it. I have found it creating bugs. If it is doing good for you, you can continue using it. Don’t forget to share your experience in comments.