This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.



The GoodReviews plugin displays information about a specific title from Goodreads, including reader reviews. This plugin was developed mainly for authors or booksellers who want to showcase Goodreads information about specific titles on their WordPress sites. You must obtain a Goodreads API developer key in order to use this plugin. You can obain an API key by following the instructions at This plugin was developed by a third party who is not affiliated with Goodreads.


  • Uses a shortcode to display Goodreads reviews and book information for a specific ISBN or ID in any page or post.
  • Returns book information in divs and reviews in an iframe that can be styled manually from the shortcode, via custom CSS, or via a built-in responsive style sheet.
  • Includes three separate widgets that can be used in place of the shortcode.
  • Supports WordPress localization (i18n)
  • Uses WordPress 3.8 and later Dashicons to display average ratings.


  • The Settings page
  • The plugin in action
  • The shortcode in a post


This section describes how to install the plugin and get it working.

  1. Obtain an API developer key from
  2. If you have a previous version of GoodReviews installed, deactivate and delete it from the ‘/wp-content/plugins/’ directory
  3. Upload the GoodReviews folder to the ‘/wp-content/plugins/’ directory
  4. Activate GoodReviews by using the ‘Plugins’ menu
  5. Under the WordPress ‘Settings’ menu, click GoodReviews and configure the appropriate settings
  6. Add the [goodreviews isbn=”<book ISBN>”] shortcode, where <book ISBN> is the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) of the book associated with the reviews you want to display. You can use either an ISBN-10 or an ISBN-13. Do not include dashes in the ISBN. If your title does not have an ISBN, you can use grid=”<Goodreads ID>” in place of the ISBN parameter, where <Goodreads ID> is the ID number assigned to your title by Goodreads.


Why would I want to use this plugin?

GoodReviews serves a very specific requirement. It was primarily developed to enable an author or a bookseller to display Goodreads title information and reader reviews on a WordPress site. Goodreads is a social network for book lovers that enables members to rate and review books.

Why do I need WordPress version 3.8 or later to use this plugin?

WordPress 3.8 introduced support for the dashicons font, which contains the star and half-star symbols that GoodReviews uses in the Book Info pane. If you do not use the Book Info pane, you can probably successfully install and use GoodReviews in WordPress 3.5 or later.

Can I use a widget to display reviews instead of a shortcode?

As of GoodReviews 2.0.0, you can use either a widget OR the shortcode to display each of the three GoodReviews panes (About This Book, Buy This Book, and Reviews From Goodreads). However, style issues might make it tricky to try to use both the widgets and the shortcode on the same site because any CSS/style changes you make will apply to both the widgets and the shortcode. It is recommended that you choose to use either the GoodReviews widgets or the GoodReviews shortcode, not both.

What if my title does not have an ISBN?

Version 1.0.4 or later supports the use of a Goodreads ID instead of an ISBN to retrieve title information from Goodreads. Replace the isbn parameter in the shortcode with grid and use the Goodreads ID number instead of an ISBN. ISBNs are still supported as well.

How do I customize the height and width of the book information and reviews pane

GoodReviews offers two ways to control the height and width of its elements. You can either create custom Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) in your theme, or you can specify height, width, and border values in the shortcode. To use the shortcode method, include one or all of the following parameters in the shortcode:

  • height=”<some value>”
  • width=”<some value>”
  • border=”<on | off>”

For example, to display the book information and reviews in 500×500 elements with a bordered iframe reviews element, you could issue the following shortcode:

[goodreviews isbn="0000000000000" height="500" width="500" border="On"]

How do I turn off the default CSS for this plugin?

Version 1.1.0 and later supports the complete disabling of the default styles by providing a valid URL to an alternate stylesheet on the GoodReviews Settings page. If you have previously altered your theme CSS to modify GoodReviews CSS elements for a previous version of GoodReviews, you should provide a URL to a blank stylesheet file in the Alternate Stylesheet URL field.

How do I customize the CSS for this plugin?

Version 1.1.0 and later supports customizing the look of the book info, buy info, and reviews elements by supplying the URL to an alternate stylesheet on the Settings page. You can also use the following shortcode parameters:

  • grbackground – provide the hexadecimal code for the background color you want (do not include the # symbol)
  • grtext – provide the hexadecimal code for the text color you want (do not include the # symbol)
  • grstars – provide the hexadecimal code for the star color you want (do not include the # symbol)
  • grlinks – provide the hexadecimal code for the text color you want (do not include the $ symbol)

For example, issuing the following shortcode will style the GoodReviews elements with white text on black background along with blue stars and red links.

[goodreviews isbn="0000000000000" grbackground="000" grtext="fff" grstars="00f" grlinks="f00"]

Can I control the number of reviews that the plugin returns?

You can use the grnumber parameter to control the number of reviews that are displayed on each page of reviews. By default, 10 reviews per page are displayed. The following code would configure GoodReviews to return 20 reviews per page instead:

[goodreviews isbn="0000000000000" grnumber="20"]

What if I don’t want people to see 1-star reviews of my title?

You can configure GoodReviews to return only the reviews that meet a minimum star rating. By default, the plugin returns all reviews, regardless of star rating. The following code would configure GoodReviews to return only reviews that have a 3-star rating or higher:

[goodreviews isbn="0000000000000" grminimum="3"]

How do I make the cover image bigger or smaller, or turn it off completely?

Issue the shortcode with the cover parameter to select the Goodreads large cover image, small cover image, or no cover image at all. For example, to use the large cover image (which is the default), you would issue the following shortcode:

[goodreviews isbn=”0000000000000″ cover=”large”]

To use the small cover image, you would issue the following shortcode:

[goodreviews isbn=”0000000000000″ cover=”small”]

To turn off the cover completely, you would issue the following shortcode:

[goodreviews isbn=”0000000000000″ cover=”off”]

Can I display my author photo in the book information element?

Yes, as of version 1.0.4 and later. By default, the author photo is not displayed. You can enable the display of either the large version or the scaled version of your Goodreads author photo by issuing the shortcode with the author parameter. For example, to show the large version of your author photo, you could use the following shortcode:

[goodreviews isbn=”0000000000000″ author=”large”]

To use the small version of your author photo, you could use the following shortcode:

[goodreviews isbn=”0000000000000″ author=”small”]

What if I don’t want to display the book information element?

You can turn off the book information element by issuing the shortcode with the bookinfo parameter set to off. For example:

[goodreviews isbn=”0000000000000″ bookinfo=”off”]

What if I don’t want to display the book buying links?

You can turn off the book buying links by issuing the shortcode with the buyinfo parameter set to off. For example:

[goodreviews isbn=”0000000000000″ buyinfo=”off”]

What if I don’t want to display the reviews iframe?

Version 2.0.0 supports disabling the reviews frame by configuring the reviews parameter to off. However, because the main point of GoodReviews is to display reviews, this parameter was only implemented so that the Buy This Book widget and the Book Info widget could be dislayed without reviews.

Why is some information (such as the cover image, publisher information, or publication date) missing from the GoodReviews elements when it is visible on the Goodreads site?

This is a mystery to me. The GoodReviews plugin uses what the Goodreads API returns for a given ISBN. Therefore, if the information is in the API feed, GoodReviews will display it. Unfortunately, sometimes the information for some titles/editions appears to be excluded from the API feed even if it is present on the Goodreads link for that title.

Can I turn off the Goodreads credits at the bottom of each element?

No, nor should you. Turning off the Goodreads credits is a violation of their API Terms and Conditions.

The shortcode doesn’t seem to work. What should I do?

Ensure that you enter the shortcode in TEXT/HTML mode, not VISUAL mode.


March 19, 2024
This was free and it worked…though at the time of this writing, it is outdated with current WordPress version. My only gripe is with the way it looked on the website. I didn’t really care for the way it displayed things. I decided to go with a different plugin where I could incorporate both Amazon and Goodread reviews together.
Read all 4 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“GoodReviews” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


Translate “GoodReviews” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Updated API request to use HTTPS only.


  • Updated widgets for compatibility with WordPress 4.3.
  • Enhanced security by hardening URL sanitization.


  • Added a button to the WordPress text editor to automatically insert the GoodReviews shortcode
  • Updated ready
  • Updated POT file


  • Fixed a WP_DEBUG notice that could be displayed on WordPress content types that are not pages or posts
  • Added a Donate link on the plugin management page
  • Updated POT file


  • Replaced cURL and file_get_contents with wp_remote_get
  • Fixed some CSS issues with the_iframe element
  • Updated Readme
  • Updated POT file


  • Segregated widgets from shortcode so they can operate more independently.
  • Modified caching mechanism naming system.
  • Modified styles so that they are only loaded on shortcode/widget pages.
  • Modified CSS so that star ratings styles are applied only to GoodReviews container.
  • Fixed some text alignment issues in the default CSS files.


  • Removed some unneeded CSS that was causing some issues in Firefox.


  • Fixed a typo in some input form field markup.
  • Tested in WordPress 4.0


  • Added a caching mechanism and related settings for faster performance.
  • Added the option to defer loading of GoodReviews until the page footer.
  • Optimized shortcode input defaults.
  • Fixed some style issues that hindered responsive design.
  • Fixed a stylesheet/script loading issue that caused some WordPress debug errors.
  • Fixed some variable and index initializations.
  • Updated context-sensitive help.
  • Updated POT file.
  • Updated readme and FAQ.


  • Optimized instantiation/destruction of data retrieval function.
  • Fixed an issue with data retrieval that could have resulted in performance problems on some sites.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented used of file_get_contents on sites that require it.


  • Plugin has been completely rewritten to better integrate with the WordPress Settings API.
  • Now shows ratings count for all editions of a title.
  • Added widgets for book buying links, book information, and book reviews.
  • Added support for styling the output in a more responsive way.
  • Added support for WordPress localization (i18n).
  • Added support for HTTP retries and an exponential backoff method of dealing with throttling problems.
  • Added support for context-sensitive help on the Settings page.
  • Added support for an uninstall process that removes all settings and plugin files.
  • Added support for a shortcut parameter that disables the reviews pane.
  • Removed support for grheader shortcode parameter because calls to Goodreads API appear to no longer support modifying the header text.


  • Fixed a default stylesheet bug that could cause links sitewide to display as HTML color #660.


  • Fixed a stylesheet loading bug.
  • Added code to remove clear space div element when only the reviews pane is displayed.
  • Cleaned up some leftover pre-1.1.0 code.


  • Replaced star images with text-based stars so that colors can be easily modified.
  • Added a field to Settings to enable the use of an alternate stylesheet.
  • Moved default stylesheet to an included file instead of echoing it from functions.
  • Removed support for the grstyles shortcode parameter.
  • Added the grstars parameter to enable changing the color of the review stars.
  • Added the grlinks parameter to enable changing the color of the review links.
  • Added the grheader parameter to enable changing the text of the header above the reviews iframe.
  • Added the grbackground parameter to enable changing the color of the review background.
  • Added the grtext parameter to enable changing the color of the review text.
  • Added the grnumber parameter to allow configuration of the initial number of reviews that are returned.
  • Added the grminimum parameter to allow the configuration of a minimum review rating requirement.


  • Added a link to Settings on the Plugins page.
  • Added basic PHP environment detection on the Settings page to assist in troubleshooting.


  • Added the ability to retrieve a title by its Goodreads ID instead of ISBN.
  • Added the ability to display an author’s Goodreads photo beside the author’s name.


  • Fixed a DIV closing element that was creating problems with the reviews frame. Thanks, Conq and Baden!


  • Fixed an issue that was preventing some “Buy This Book” links from functioning properly.


  • Fixed an API key issue that could prevent GoodReviews from display information from Goodreads.
  • Updated the readme.


  • Initial release