The Ranker Widget - Frequently Asked Questions Anything

The Ranker Widget - Frequently Asked Questions

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Almost every list on Ranker is portable. It's true! You can essentially plug a live version of any Ranker list (that has the embed button in the sidebar) onto your site or blog. And your list (or any embeddable list) is totally customizable to whatever kind of site (tumblr, wordpress, blogger, etc) you have. Your site visitors can even vote on the list, and the order will update live. It's a living mirror of your (or any) Ranker list.

Find a list you like or make your own, then click the Embed button and customize that list. Grab the code, paste it onto your blog, and voila! Instant engagment with your audience. Give it a try!
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  1. 1

    Which Lists Can I Embed?

    1. Any list you create on Ranker, as long as it is displayed in list-format (and not blog or slideshow format). Once you have built it, ordered it, added voting (if you want) and published it, you will be able to embed this list to any website. 

    2. Any of the thousands of lists that are already published on Ranker. If you decide to use a pre-existing list, you will have the option to customize it before you publish it on your website. 

  2. 2

    Where do I find this embed button?




    You can find the embed list button right below the last item on any list. 

    Some lists on Ranker will not have this button - they just aren't the kind of lists that are right for a widget. A blog style list, for example, will not have an embed link.

    You can also find it in the "more options" dropdown, which is found on all lists in the set of buttons in the list header.

  3. 3

    Should I Use HTML5 or iFrame for My Widget?

    Most people should choose HTML5. This type of code is standard for many newer platforms and will give you more options for customization, including the ability to:

    - Customize the width and height 
    - Include a list image and list criteria on the widget
    - Allow users to add items to your list
    - Change the font color and font style
    - Select the background and footer colors 

    If the HTML5 widget will not embed on your site, go with the iFrame. You will have fewer customization options, but you will still be able to choose your width and height among the options available. 

    For both the HTML5 and the iFrame, you will be able to edit the content of the list as you see fit. 

  4. 4

    What if I want to edit the list I choose to embed ?

    So you found a list, but you would like to make changes to the order, content or votes before you publish it on your site? No problem. Editing a list is easy on Ranker.

    When you click the embed button on the list of your choice, you will have the option to "Use List as-is" or "Create Your Own Version." Choose the latter option and you will be able to make changes to the list you are embedding. Once you have it how you want it, you can go ahead and customize the list like any other.

    Note, however, that because you will be essentially creating a new version of the list you are embedding, you will need to either login or register to finish the embed process. (Embedding "as-is" does not require a login, since you are making no content changes).

  5. 5

    Can I get rid of the scroll bar?

    You sure can. When you are customizing your widget, click on the "Size" drop-down menu and type in the number of rows you would like to display. If the number you type in is larger than the amount of items on your list, they will all display at once. 

    The widget will not show extra, empty rows so feel free to add on a few extra to leave space for any later additions to the list. 

  6. 6

    Why do I have to make a list on Ranker? Can’t I just put it straight on my site?

    Ranker is the engine that makes the list and the widget is the live window to it.

    This separation allows you to go back to your list on Ranker at any time and make changes-- like adding new items, videos or images-- that they will reflect immediately to the embedded list on your site.

    Think of this list as a mirrored, real-time, wormhole of the list you created (or just embedded) on Ranker. It’s the same exact list, not a copy of it. When people vote on your list, it will automatically update your Ranker list, and vice versa. If someone adds an item to your Ranker list, that item will appear on your embedded list. Like magic! But without the unnecessary flourishing gestures and bad fashion sense.

  7. 7

    What if I want to edit my Ranker list AFTER I've embedded it?

    If you own the list --or you "created your own version" in the customization process-- go to Ranker, sign in and find your list under the "your lists" tab.

    Click ‘edit’ in the yellow strip at the top of the page. Any changes you make to your list on Ranker will update your site's version of the list.

    Note that if your list has been voted on, you will no longer be able to change the order of the items. The moment you allowed your site's visitors to vote, the power of the list order transferred from your hands to the masses.

  8. 8

    Can I embed the widget to my Facebook page?

    The widget compatible with Facebook apps that support iFrames. If you have a Facebook fan page, you can create a tab and embed a static poll to your fan site. We like using iFrame Apps for this, but you can use any Facebook app that allows you to embed an iFrame. 

    You will not be able to embed a widget into your newsfeed (Facebook doesn't allow this) and you will not be able to embed a widget on anything other than a fan site, so no personal sites.  

  9. 9

    What makes this different than a poll? There are lots of polling plug-ins that are super easy.


    Good question. 

    Traditional polls are great for asking a question that only has a handful of options for answers. But there are plenty of cases where a votable, ordered list gives a better “answer." You can't really use a multiple-choice poll to ask your users what the best movies of all time are or which historical landmarks they would like to see before they die without limiting how they can respond. By allowing user submissions to your list, you give your readers more options and get a better answer.

    Ranker polls can also offer rich data on your users. If you embed multiple lists, we can provide you with anonymous data that compares your users' preferences across a variety of topics.

  10. 10

    If this is so great, why is it free?

    Our main goal is to power the best rankings about all topics, based on aggregated user votes. The more votes our polls receive on any topic, the more accurate our rankings become. Ranker's own Ultimate Lists combine user lists with all votes about a topic, including votes on sites like yours. Just imagine all that delicious data pooling into one place... it gives us goosebumps.

    While we don't plan to ever charge for these embeddable lists, in the future we will be rolling out a subscription version of the list widget for eCommerce companies and other publishers who want each item on the list to link to a unique page within their site.

  11. 11

    What does Ranker's embeddable list do that I can't just do myself?

    These portable lists have been known to eat 18 hot dogs in one 10-minute sitting.

    Okay-- seriously: Firstly, we have a monstrous database full of … everything. And it comes with metadata, images, all stuff you would have to go find and build yourself. So building a list for your visitors to rank is super easy. This is what we do, after all.

    And the Ranker list you embed changes and updates as visitors vote on items. Sure, you can always make a static list about something - find the content, search google images and design something on your own site. But if you want your visitors to rank the list, you need to use our widget. (PS - thousands of sites have used our widget to post static lists as well)

  12. 12

    Ok. Fine. Why else would I want to do this?

    Two more really good reasons, actually.

    1. Branding. When you create a list for your site, you can upload your own logo as the image for the list that lives on Ranker, and Ranker gets a lot of traffic (over 90 million pageviews a month.)

    2. Traffic. Since the list lives on Ranker.com as well as within the widget, you can also add a link to your site on your Ranker list. This link can drive traffic back to your site and increase your site's backlink profile. 

  13. 13

    What happens when users click the ‘rank your version’ button on the widget?

    Somewhere in the world, a hedgehog will fall down a hole.

    No, actually, it will allow users to completely reorder your list in accordance to their own preferences. This new list will be visible under the "list stats" button on your widget. A copy will also be attached to your list on Ranker.com. 

  14. 14

    Why aren't all lists on Ranker embeddable?

    Some Ranker users prefer to showcase their lists in "blog view," which displays much more room for images and text about each item. Typically these lists don't convert well to the smaller size of the widget, so the "embed" button does not show on those lists.

    There is a way around this, though - you can click the small "info view" link next the the print button on the list, which will change the display of the list to "info view". At that point, if you are happy that the "info view"-style list will look good on a widget, you can go ahead and click the Embed button (which has now magically appeared).

  15. 15

    What happens if I delete my Ranker list? Will the list on my site live on?

    No. The list you embedded will be driven out to the country... to our cousin Rankster’s farm... where it will be able to run and romp and play in the fresh air, eat treats all day, and chase rabbits.

    Since the embedded version and the list on Ranker are tied together like conjoined twins, or like the Doublemint Gum girls, when one dies, the other cannot survive. We’d recommend that, if you delete your Ranker list, you should remove the widget code from your site, but if you don't, we'll display a nice error message with a cute mascot (ominous music).

  16. 16

    Is it better to embed the list as a post or a sidebar?

    Your portable list looks and works equally well in a sidebar or as its own post. Typically you have more space to play with on a post, but it still looks great in a 300px sidebar - if you need to put it in a more narrow space it will work fine but it probably won’t display with images.

    A post obviously allows you to add your own text context to the list, and is more “permanent," resulting in better SEO for your site.

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