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Implementing a 5-Star Rating System with JavaScript


User feedback and ratings play a crucial role in the success of websites. They provide valuable insights into the user experience, help build trust, and influence the decision-making process of potential users. Implementing a 5-star rating system is an effective way to gather and display user feedback.

One of the main benefits of a 5-star rating system is its simplicity and familiarity. Most users are already familiar with the concept of rating something on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. This makes it easier for them to provide feedback and for website owners to understand the overall sentiment.

Additionally, a 5-star rating system allows for easy comparison between different items or services. Users can quickly identify the highest-rated options and make informed decisions based on the ratings provided by others.

In this article, we will explore how to implement a 5-star rating system using JavaScript. We will cover the necessary HTML structure, styling the rating system, handling user interaction with JavaScript, storing and retrieving ratings, displaying average ratings, and enhancing the rating system with additional features. By the end of this article, you will have a solid understanding of how to implement a 5-star rating system on your website to improve user engagement and gather valuable feedback.

Getting Started

Before implementing a 5-star rating system with JavaScript, there are a few prerequisites you should be familiar with. Having a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is essential in order to follow along with the implementation process.

In terms of necessary files and dependencies, you will need an HTML file to hold the rating system elements, a CSS file to style the rating system, and a JavaScript file to handle user interactions and update the rating.

Additionally, you may choose to include any necessary third-party libraries or frameworks that you would like to use for enhancing the functionality of the rating system. Make sure to include any relevant dependencies and include them in your project files.

By having a solid foundation in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and having the necessary files and dependencies set up, you will be ready to start implementing the 5-star rating system on your website.

Creating the HTML structure

To implement a 5-star rating system with JavaScript, we first need to create the necessary HTML elements. This can be done by using a combination of HTML and CSS.

The basic structure of the rating system consists of a container element and individual star elements. The container element will hold the stars and will have a unique identifier or class to target it with JavaScript.

Each star element represents a rating option, and it can be an HTML element such as <span> or <div>. These star elements should be placed inside the container element.

To make the rating system interactive, we need to assign some attributes and classes to the star elements. For example, we can assign a value to each star element using the data attribute. This value will represent the rating value associated with the star.

Here is an example of the HTML structure for a basic 5-star rating system:

<div id="rating-container">
  <span class="star" data-value="1"></span>
  <span class="star" data-value="2"></span>
  <span class="star" data-value="3"></span>
  <span class="star" data-value="4"></span>
  <span class="star" data-value="5"></span>

In this example, we have a container element with the id "rating-container" and five star elements inside it. Each star element has the class "star" and a unique data-value representing its rating value.

By creating this HTML structure, we have laid the foundation for our 5-star rating system.

Styling the rating system

To create the desired appearance for our 5-star rating system, we need to apply appropriate CSS styles. Here is an overview of the CSS styles needed:

  1. Star Icons: We can use font icons or SVG icons to represent the stars. It's recommended to use scalable vector icons for better control over size and color. FontAwesome and Material Icons are popular libraries that provide a variety of icons to choose from.

  2. Container: Create a container element to hold the rating system. This container will have a fixed width and height to ensure consistency across different devices.

  3. Star Rating: Each star will be represented by an individual element within the container. Apply appropriate styles to position the stars horizontally and evenly distribute them within the container. You can use flexbox or CSS grid to achieve this.

  4. Interactive Stars: To make the stars interactive, we can use CSS pseudo-classes like :hover and :active to change the appearance of the stars when the user hovers over them or clicks on them. For example, we can change the color of the stars or add a background color to indicate the selected rating.

Here's an example of how we can use CSS to make the stars interactive and highlight the selected rating:

/* Container */
.rating-container {
  width: 200px;
  height: 40px;

/* Star Rating */
.rating-container .star {
  display: inline-block;
  width: 20px;
  height: 20px;

/* Interactive Stars */
.rating-container .star:hover,
.rating-container .star:hover ~ .star {
  color: gold; /* Change the color of the stars on hover */

.rating-container .star:active,
.rating-container .star:active ~ .star {
  background-color: gold; /* Highlight the selected rating on click */

By applying these CSS styles, we can create an attractive and interactive 5-star rating system that allows users to easily select their desired rating.

Handling user interaction with JavaScript

In order to implement a 5-star rating system with JavaScript, it is important to understand how to handle user interaction and update the rating accordingly. This involves utilizing JavaScript event listeners and capturing user clicks.

JavaScript event listeners allow us to listen for specific events, such as a user clicking on a star in our rating system. We can then associate a function with that event, which will be executed when the event occurs. In the case of our rating system, we want to capture when a user clicks on a star to indicate their rating.

To capture user interaction and update the rating, we can add click event listeners to each star element in our HTML structure. Within the event listener function, we can update the rating based on the star that was clicked.

Here's an example of how we can handle user interaction with JavaScript:

// Get all the star elements
const stars = document.querySelectorAll('.star');

// Add click event listeners to each star
stars.forEach(star => {
  star.addEventListener('click', function() {
    // Update the rating based on the clicked star
    const rating = parseInt(this.getAttribute('data-rating'));

    // Perform any necessary actions, such as updating the UI or sending the rating to a server

// Function to update the rating
function updateRating(rating) {
  // Perform any necessary actions, such as updating the UI or sending the rating to a server
  console.log(`User rated ${rating} stars`);

In the above example, we select all the star elements using document.querySelectorAll('.star'). We then add a click event listener to each star using forEach(). Within the event listener function, we retrieve the rating of the clicked star using getAttribute('data-rating'). This rating can then be used to update the rating UI or perform any other necessary actions.

It's important to note that the example above only handles capturing user interaction and updating the rating locally. If you want to store the rating on a server or perform other actions, you will need to incorporate AJAX calls or other server-side interactions.

Storing and retrieving ratings

In order to make the rating system functional and persistent, we need to implement a way to store and retrieve the ratings from a server-side database. JavaScript and AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) can help us achieve this.

AJAX allows us to send and retrieve data from the server without having to reload the entire webpage. This enables us to update the rating system in real-time and provide a seamless user experience.

To store and retrieve the ratings, we can use the JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format. JSON is a lightweight data-interchange format that is easy to read and write for both humans and machines. It is widely supported by modern web technologies.

When a user submits a rating, we can use an AJAX call to send the rating data to the server. The server can then process the data and store it in a database, associating it with the relevant item or entity.

When we want to display the average rating or retrieve the ratings for a specific item, we can use another AJAX call to retrieve the rating data from the server. The server can respond with the rating data in JSON format, which we can then parse and use to update the rating system on the webpage.

By using JavaScript and AJAX to send and retrieve ratings from a server-side database, we can ensure that the ratings are stored securely and can be accessed and displayed accurately. This allows us to provide users with up-to-date and reliable rating information.

In the next section, we will explore how to calculate and display the average rating based on all user inputs.

Displaying average ratings

To provide users with a comprehensive understanding of the overall rating of a product or service, it is essential to calculate and display the average rating based on all user inputs. This average rating gives users a quick snapshot of the overall satisfaction level of other users.

To calculate the average rating, we can use JavaScript math methods and functions.

First, we need to store all the individual ratings provided by users. This can be done by either saving the ratings in a server-side database or storing them in the browser's local storage.

Once we have the individual ratings, we can use JavaScript to calculate the average. We can sum up all the ratings and divide the total by the number of ratings to get the average rating.

Here is an example of how we can calculate the average rating using JavaScript:

// Assuming we have an array of ratings called 'ratings'
let totalRating = 0;

// Summing up all the ratings
for (let i = 0; i < ratings.length; i++) {
  totalRating += ratings[i];

// Calculating the average rating
const averageRating = totalRating / ratings.length;

After calculating the average rating, we can display it on the webpage using JavaScript by targeting the appropriate HTML element and updating its content.

// Assuming we have a <span> element with id 'average-rating' to display the average rating
const averageRatingElement = document.getElementById('average-rating');

// Updating the content of the element with the average rating
averageRatingElement.textContent = averageRating.toFixed(1); // Rounded to one decimal place

By implementing this functionality, users will have a clear idea of the average rating based on all user inputs, allowing them to make informed decisions.

Enhancing the rating system

In order to enhance the rating system, we can add additional features to allow users to leave comments and reviews. This will provide more detailed feedback and increase user engagement on the website.

To implement this, we can add a text input field where users can enter their comments or reviews. We can then store this information along with the rating in a database.

Additionally, we can incorporate third-party libraries to improve the functionality of the rating system. There are several libraries available that provide advanced features such as star animations, tooltips, and customizable rating styles. These libraries can make the rating system more visually appealing and user-friendly.

One popular library for enhancing the rating system is the jQuery Raty plugin. This plugin allows for easy customization of the rating system and provides additional features like half-star ratings and customizable icons. By using this or similar libraries, we can enhance the user experience and make the rating system more interactive.

By adding the ability for users to leave comments and reviews and incorporating third-party libraries, we can greatly enhance the functionality and usability of the rating system, providing a more comprehensive feedback mechanism for users.


In this article, we have explored the process of implementing a 5-star rating system with JavaScript. We covered the necessary steps to create the HTML structure, style the rating system with CSS, and handle user interaction with JavaScript. We also learned how to store and retrieve ratings from a server-side database using JavaScript and AJAX calls.

Additionally, we discussed how to calculate and display average ratings based on user inputs, and we explored the possibility of enhancing the rating system by allowing users to leave comments and reviews. We also mentioned the potential use of third-party libraries to improve the functionality of the rating system.

Implementing a 5-star rating system on websites can greatly improve user engagement and provide valuable feedback. Users appreciate the ability to rate and provide feedback on products, services, or content, and it allows website owners to gather important insights and make improvements.

So, whether you are building an e-commerce platform, a review website, or any other web application that requires user feedback, consider implementing a 5-star rating system using JavaScript. It is a powerful tool that can greatly enhance user experience and lead to improved customer satisfaction.