Software Category Review Format

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 Style

This site encourages an informal, chatty style rather than a formal or scholastic approach.  For full details see this site's style guidelines.

Scope

Software category reviews are comparative reviews of a particular class of software such as "Registry Cleaners." Consequently, reviews should include at least two products with recommendations about the best. If you only want to review one product consider writing a product review instead.

Structure

At Gizmo's Freeware we encourage the use of a standard format for all our software category reviews. 

The standard format divides the review into sections, with predefined headings for each section and in a particular layout style. When creating a new set of category reviews you can use this script to preformat a blank page into the standard set of headings.  Here's a list of the standard headings:

1. In a Hurry?

A short section containing a link to the Quick Selection Guide section at the end of the review.

2. Introduction

A section outlining the function of this software category and its application.

3. Discussion

This section lists the reviewer's top pick, along with reasons, plus a list of other products to consider with some brief pros and cons for each.

4. Related Products and Links

A hand-compiled list of links to Related Topics at Gizmo's Freeware.

The most difficult part of this task is deciding exactly what you want to link to, and making sure that the corresponding links back to your review are correct. (You may find the site "Search" very useful here.)

5. Quick Selection Guide

This is a list of all products mentioned in the discussion. The information in this section is automatically inserted in the review for all products in the software product database that are flagged as being mentioned in the review.  See this video tutorial for more details.

The following details are provided for each product:

  • Product name and rating out of ten. (The top recommendation also has the Gizmo's Top Link award added.)
  • Product strengths
  • Product weaknesses
  • Product website homepage
  • Product download page (Link to the page, not to the file)
  • Download size
  • Version
  • Freeware license
  • Portable version availability
  • Operating system compatibility
  • 64 bit compatibility

These headings are generated automatically by the script that generates the page in standard format.

6. Author contact details

An optional statement about who wrote the review and how they can be contacted. Usually it is in this form:

This category is maintained by volunteer editor Joe Bloggs. Registered site visitors can contact Joe by clicking here.

Optionally, you can also add a small, 50 words or less, bio about yourself provided the bio is relevant to your category review and is not in itself an ad.  For guidelines see here.

Link the "here" (the last word in the example above) to your Drupal contact page. To find the link address to your contact page go to your Drupal account and click the Contact tab. Then note the address in your browser's address bar. The bit you need is user/XXX/contact where XXX is your Drupal user number.

Instructions about how to create the link to your contact page can be found here.

Don't ever put your real email address (or even your techsupportalert.com email address) in your reviews, otherwise the address will be harvested by bots and you will be spammed.

Instead always use your Drupal contact page as your email address is not revealed there. Additionally, the contact form is subject to CAPTCHA verification to further reduce the chance of spam.

Only logged-in site users can view your contact form. That's a "feature" of Drupal and it's not a bad thing. Besides, anyone can contact you via comments.

In conclusion

All of this sounds more complex than it really is.  The main things to remember are:

1. Our reviews are in a standard format.

2. We have a script available that helps you create reviews in the standard format. The same script can be used to add new products or new headings to an existing review.

3. The easiest way to understand the standard format is to look at and imitate an existing review such as this.