How to Make a Movie Review Website

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Ben Sibley

“Follow the plan outlined here and you can create your own website from scratch without writing any code for less than $300.”

Are your opinions different?

Is everyone missing out on the best films?

If you’ve got something unique to offer as a movie reviewer, there’s still plenty of space online for your voice.

You’ve probably posted reviews on IMDb and other sites, but building your own website will allow you to turn your reviews into a business.

With your own website, you can publish and share your reviews, and earn from advertising on your site.

The best part is that making a website is pretty easy these days. Here’s how to get started.

How to create a movie review site

Before we get into the design or anything like that, there’s one step you have to complete first.

Get a domain

I’m sure you’re familiar with domain names, but just to make sure we’re on the same page, a domain name is the address of a website. For example, and are both domain names.

If this is a side project and you don’t have a lot of funding then you’ll likely want to get a domain for as cheap as possible. Unregistered .com domains only cost about $10/year, but any domains for sale by flippers will cost thousands of dollars (then $10/year to keep).

The problem is that finding an unregistered domain is really tough. That’s why I put together a guide on finding available domains.

Domain Name Post

If you’re having any trouble finding a good domain name, try the techniques listed in that article and I’m sure it will help.

Once you have your domain name picked out, you’re ready to get a basic site online.

Get your site online

The next thing you need is hosting.

What is hosting?

When someone visits your domain, you need a server to deliver your website’s content to the visitor’s browser so the site loads.

Visualization of server sending files to computer

This doesn’t mean you need to purchase a server rack and put it in your house. Only the world’s largest companies (like Google and Amazon) maintain their own servers. Everyone else rents space on a server from a hosting company. Renting the use of a server is called hosting.

How to get hosting

Signing up for hosting is just as easy as making any other online purchase.

There are thousands of hosts to choose from, but for a new WordPress user, I recommend Nexcess.

Nexcess WordPress Hosting

Nexcess has a great mix of affordability and reliability. If you go any cheaper with hosting, you tend to have lots of issues.

They also have services bundled with the hosting, such as automated daily backups.

Once you signup, they’ll auto-create a brand new WP website for you, so you’ll be ready to get started with the WP dashboard right away.

Get to know your new website

Your website will use the latest default theme, so initially, it will look something like this:

Twenty Twenty theme

If you want to get familiar with WordPress and how it works, this video will give you a walkthrough of the whole dashboard.

You won’t be a master of WordPress just yet, but after watching that dashboard tour, you’ll be familiar with the interface itself.

With a live WordPress site and a basic understanding of how it works, you’re ready to turn your boring site into a gorgeous movie review website.

Transform your site for movie reviews

WordPress websites change their design primarily by using themes, and they add new functionality by adding plugins.

Depending on your site vision and goals, there are two different paths you can take. I’ll outline both and make some product recommendations.

Make a simple movie review blog

The first approach is to make a simple movie review website where your personal brand and perspective will be the focal point of the site.

To do this, I would recommend picking a free blog theme. We have 19 free themes all made for content creators.

Compete Themes Templates

Adding one of these themes will give your site a clean look and a design that adapts well to mobile devices. Once you’ve switched your theme, you can follow this basic customization guide to set things up the way you want.

Now your website isn’t just a blog, it’s a movie review website which means you need a way to add star ratings to your posts. For that, I recommend the Schema Pro plugin.

Schema Pro

This plugin will add schema data to your site that lets your ratings show up on Google, which can greatly help with the search traffic your site receives.

For many people, that’s all they’ll need, but if you have something more ambitious in mind, try this next approach.

Build a movie review database

If you want to build a database and potentially have multiple reviewers on your site, the Moview theme is an incredible tool.

Click to see more

This theme comes with a review system and also an IMDb importer. You can import movies and celebrities from IMDb with this automated system and display their info automatically on your site.

Using these tools, you can quickly build a large website and have thousands of movies to write reviews for.

Moview is also extremely customizable. It includes a page builder plugin called Visual Composer which lets you create entirely custom page designs. It’s more work, but you get total control over layouts this way.

If you want additional alternatives to choose from, you can check out this collection of movie themes.

Best WordPress Movie Themes

While not specific to movies, we also have a collection of product review themes with more excellent templates.

Start publishing your reviews

By following the steps above, you’ll get a WordPress website online in record time.

Regardless of the content and design, you’ll need to get a domain and hosting, and Nexcess is an excellent host to get started with.

Signup with Nexcess

If your goal is to create a simple review website where you’re the only author, that can be done entirely with free themes and plugins.

Check out our free blog themes

Creating a large movie database website is possible, too, using the Moview theme. It’s an interesting option to explore if you hadn’t even considered it.

See the Moview theme

I hope this tutorial has helped give you a clear understanding of how to create your movie review website.

If this guide helped you out, make sure to share it with someone else before you go!

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.