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How to change kk Star Ratings

There is a popular and useful WordPress plugin called kk Star Ratings that allow visitors to the website leave feedback in the form of star rating. The usage of this plugin brings some benefit to the webmaster. First of all, the click rate in search result may be slightly higher because Google (perhaps other search engines too) display star rating icons which encourage people to click. The second benefit is the feedback the website owner gets from visitors. If the rating is low, it is clearly a sign that there is something wrong with the post. If this happens, the editor should re-write the post and make it more valuable.

Tampering with these ratings is not a great idea and my intention is not to write instructions how to cheat 🙂 It is more how to protect your website against fake ratings posted by a hater or a competitor.

I have recently had exactly such a case. The ratings of one of articles on of my site Smart Polak were suddenly suspiciously low. I have checked Google Analytics and it turned out that while usually there are around 15-20 visits per day, there are some days with more 200 visits. During these days the ratings went really low. I know that the percentage of visitors that actually leave these rating is very low, probably around 1% if not less, so when suddenly I got 200 ratings in one day, I knew that something was wrong 😮

I suppose that some dodgy competitor found a way and visits my website to leave low ratings. I am not entirely sure how it is done, because kk Star Ratings has got the build-in mechanism to prevent leaving ratings from one IP address, but it is happening. I have contacted my host about it, and we may do further steps, but in the meantime, I have changed ratings back to where they were before.

How to manipulate kk Star Ratings

There are a few things that we can do. If the problem is not serious and you are OK with losing existing ratings, the easiest way is to reset all the ratings back to zero. You can do it by visiting the plugin settings in the WordPress Dashboard. Click on the Reset tab, then click on the post or posts where you want to reset the ratings, and confirm by clicking Reset button.

reset kk star ratings

If you do not want to reset the ratings and start from scratch, you can temper with it disabling unique voting, and then voting several times. Go again to plugin settings, click Unique voting section so it displays red x, then save the settings by clicking on Save button. Go to the post where you want to change the rating and cast several votes. Do not forget to go back to the settings and switching unique voting back on as this will prevent visitors to cast several votes.

switch off unique voting

How to quickly change kk Star Ratings

I didn’t use any of these methods because I did not want to lose all previous votes. Changing votes manually would also be time-consuming and not very effective. If I got 200 bad votes one day, I would probably have to vote over 1000 to revert this change. To change this information quickly, you need to access the database, where kk Star Ratings stores information. There are a few different values there but basically the average ratings is calculated by dividing the ratings sum by the number of votes cast.

For instance, if there are 3 votes: 1 star, 2 stars and 5 stars, the average rating is 8 / 3 which is 2.66. You can easily change the rating by changing the number of votes cast. Let’s say we will change it from 3 to 2. As a result, you would get overall score 8 / divided by 2 equals 4 which much higher rating than 2.66.

OK, but how to do it? First, you need to access the database. The information about the database and how to access it should be available in your hosting account. You can also have a look at the wp-config.php file that is located in the root of your WordPress site. This file also contains all the information about the database. I can access the WordPress database via web application phpMyAdmin and will describe below specific steps. They should really be similar to other circumstances. In order to change kk Star Ratings you need to:

Log into phpMyAdmin with credentials from wp-confing.php file. You need to put 3 information: database username, password and the ip address of the server:

Php my Admin login

On the left-hand side you will see the database name, click on the plus sign to reveal the tables. Find the table wp_postmeta (this wp_ part may be different if the database has been changed, in my case it is riwrk_) and click on it. You should see something similar to this:


Then, visit the post where you want to change the ratings and see the number of votes cast:

votes cast

As you can see, in my case there was 289 votes cast and the overall rating is 4.1.

Next, go back to the tab with the database, click on the Search tab in the menu. A small window will be visible, in the meta_value row, put the namer of votes cast from the post and press Enter. Basically, you are trying to find the record of that particular rating.


If everything is OK, you should find the record. The meta_key should be _kksr_cas and contain the number of votes cast. All you have to do now is to lower it. Click on Edit link as indicated below:


You need to put lower number of votes cast. Do not go crazy, if the figure is too low, you may get more than 5 stars (or more than 10 stars if you use 10 stars for rating). Replace an old value with a new one and click Go button. For the purpose of this article, I will change 289 of votes cast to 275, and we will see what happens to the rating.


That is all. The rating should be different although that change may not be immediately visible if your website or web browser stores some data in the cache. Try to refresh the page several times and see if ratings changed. You can also open the article in incognito mode.

If you are not happy with the new rating, you can change again. All you have to do is to find an appropriate record using the new value and overwrite it again.

In my case the ratings increased from 4.1 to 4.3. Here are ratings before and after the change:

ratings before and after

I hope this little trick will help you out. As mentioned, I do not recommend abusing it. If the natural rating of your posts are low, this is a valuable indication that you should spend some more time on this article or even re-write it completely.

Quick and easy way to reset kk Star Ratings

There was a recent update of kk Star Ratings plugin and one of the changes introduced, apart from a slightly different look, is the ability to quickly reset ratings for a particular post. This is slightly different than changing star ratings because you basically remove every vote and start from scratch, but because it is so easy to do and can be a valid approach for many posts when you have a relatively small number of votes, I have decided to quickly let you know.

Perhaps you have already noticed after this update in the right-right corner of the post form kk Star Ratings widget. It gives you a few options. Have a look:

kk star ratings options

As you can see, you can display star ratings on your post, hide them or set them up to auto. And, of course, you can reset all the ratings accumulated by clicking the checkbox Reset Ratings

I hope you have found this post interesting and it will help you to achieve your goals online. Please leave the comment below if you have any question regarding kk star ratings plugin and I will try to help.

11 thoughts on “How to change kk Star Ratings

  1. Thank you so much for this post !

    1. You’re welcome!

  2. Hi!

    I’d like to add one review to all post 1 time because i migrate the page from joomla to wordpress and all reviews were deleted. Is it possible?

    Can i do it in database?

    Thank you so much.

    Best regards

    1. Hi Ricardo, not sure how to do it, to be honest. I presume you have a lot of posts and cannot change kk Star Ratings manually?

  3. Very informative post. But do search engines detect that we are manipulating the ratings?

    1. Thanks, Raj, as I mentioned in the article, I wouldn’t use this trick to manipulate the ratings. I how only found out how to do it when one of my articles was ‘under attack’. I do not have any information that at the moment this can have negative effects in search engine rankings but it can happen in the future. The number of reviews should never drop and this can be easily discovered. So, to sum this up, do not worry too much about ratings and focus on writing good posts.

  4. Do you think this kk star ratings plugin is worth installing? I do not see it on your blog. What increase of the CTR I can expect?

  5. Hey Pawel

    Great tips. Do you perhaps know if there is some kind of way to log or see the IP addresses that voted and block accordingly?

    1. I am interested in this too. I would like to block those IPs.

  6. Any tips on how to get more users to leave a rating? Thanks for the helpful article

  7. Hello! HOw would you change kksr_avg? I am trying to change the value in the metavalue but nothing happened. If I change kksr_casts, my number of stars decrease.
    Do you know how I can find the value kksr-score in the database?? THanks!

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