There are so many WordPress Plugins that deal with blog comments, I’ve been working on this post since a month before this month long series on WordPress Plugins began. I’ve not covered all of them, so please include your favorites and why in the comments below.
There are so many things you can do with comments, from live commenting, various types of comment lists, threaded comments, silent (whispered) comments, count counting, comment scoring, and more. For information on handling comment spam, see WordPress Plugins Battling Evil.
Many of these WordPress Plugins for comments involve editing and modifying the WordPress Theme template files. For instructions, tips, and installation information on WordPress Plugins in general, see How to Install, Configure, and Use WordPress Plugins.
Monitor and Subscribe to Comments WordPress Plugins
Subscribe to Comments is the most popular comments-related WordPress Plugin. It allows readers to subscribe to comments on a specific post to be notified by email of new comments. Most WordPress bloggers really love this, believing this is a major draw to get return visitors. For customer service and support oriented blogs, this is a “must have” WordPress Plugin so people can easily be notified when there is a response to their question.
Enroll Comments WordPress Plugin is another “subscribe to comments” Plugin that works with WordPress 2+ versions and features AJAX. It allows quick and easy subscription and unsubscription options.
Note: It is considered bad form and manners if you set the checkbox for subscribe to comments checked. Please set it to unchecked so your commenters can choose to subscribe to the comments and not have it forced upon them, nor their email inboxes flooded with comment announcements. I once got 40 comment notifications by email in one day from one post that I didn’t know I’d subscribed to. It took me over an hour to figure out how to unsubscribe. I was not happy. Don’t do it.
Most Recent and Most Popular Comments
There are a variety of WordPress Plugins which showcase the most recent and most popular comments on a WordPress blog in the sidebar of your WordPress Theme. This is a great way to show activity on your blog and to highlight posts getting a lot of attention.
WordPress Plugins which will help you display the most recent comments on your WordPress blog include:
- Recent Comments WordPress Plugin by Jodies
- Recent Comments Plugin by R. Marsh
- Recent Comments WordPress Plugin
- Brian’s Latest Comments
- Fuzzy Recent Comments WordPress Plugin
- Fresh Comments WordPress Plugin
- WordPress Recent Comments Plugin / Widget
- Zap Recent Commented WordPress Plugin
The Customizable Post Listings WordPress Plugin also offers a variety of ways to showcase the most recent comments and most recently commented posts.
A novel twist on the most recent comments is Latest Comments with Gravatars WordPress Plugin which shows the latest comments featuring the commenter’s gravatar image in a list.
I featured a lot of different WordPress Plugins for comment statistics in Counting WordPress: Statistics WordPress Plugins. A few popular ones include:
- Top Commenters WordPress Plugin and Widget
- Show Latest Comments WordPress Plugin
- Most Commented WordPress Plugin
- WP Most Commented Posts WordPress Plugin
Show Top Commentators WordPress Plugin displays a list of the top commenters on your blog by name and comment count with optional links to their blogs.
Comment Plugger creates a list of the last people to comment on your blog and creates a link to their blog if they provided one.
Some of these allow for a variety of customized features and options. Some are widetized for easy insertion into your widgetized WordPress Theme. Check them out to see which one has the options that meet your blog’s needs.
Managing comments on your blog can be a challenge, especially when a post elicits many, many comments. There are WordPress Plugins which help you manage your comments in different ways, including adding comments to your post feeds.
To handle a lot of comments on your blog, consider a Plugin that reverses the order of the posts such as Reverse Order Comments Plugin. For blogs which offer customer support, such as WordPress Plugins or Themes, reversing the order help brings the most recent comment to the top of the list.
You can also force the comments into various pages rather than just one long list of comments. The WordPress Paged Comments Plugin breaks the comment list into pages and reverses the order so the most recent comment is at the top of the list. This way the visitor doesn’t have to page through pages of comments to find the most recent comment.
If you want some control over the “language” your blog comments may get, the Devowelizer WordPress Plugin helps to “safety net” your blog comments by changing a few letters of swear words to make them acceptable to publish (get around spam filters) for those who permit “colorful language” in their blog comments. It filters the swear words to get them past the spam catching filters. Polite-ifier WP Plugin is another similar Plugin, but I don’t know if it will work with current versions of WordPress.
While I’m not in favor of this practice, some people like to strip all the HTML tags out of comments for security reasons. The Comment Without Tags WordPress Plugin makes that happen automatically when the comment is saved.
Commenter Spy WordPress Plugin provides geographical location information in your Comments panel to help you determine where the visitor commenting on which country your visitor lives in or arrived from.
Alex King has an interesting WordPress Plugin called Old Post Alert. When a post passes a a month “old”, the Plugin displays an “This is old” banner in the comments form. If you suffer from getting a lot of irrelevant comments on old, past due posts, this might help make your readers know that this is “old news”.
Comment Timeout WordPress Plugin helps you automatically and manually control when a specific post’s blog comments should close.
Auto Moderate Comments WordPress Plugin is a similar Plugin but it doesn’t close comments as much as helps you automatically moderate them. It compares the comment time and date to the date of the post, date of the last comment on the post, and other information to make a judgment about releasing or moderating the comment. Just because a post is old doesn’t mean it still can’t come alive, so this helps you keep your comments open while giving a little protection.
WP Chunk WordPress Plugin shrinks down long and ugly URLs that people leave in their comments.
There are more WordPress Plugins which help you monitor the activity and traffic of comments on your WordPress blog listed in Counting WordPress: Statistics WordPress Plugins.
While I listed a lot of comment statistics WordPress Plugins in in Counting WordPress: Statistics WordPress Plugins and Testing Readers: Survey, Polling, Rating, Testing, and Reviewing WordPress Plugins, I found a few more that offer some interesting statistics and rating scores on your blog comments.
Comment Analysis WordPress Plugin by Be Lambic or Green is a potentially powerful comment statistics Plugin. You can customize a listing on your blog (or from within your Administration Panels if you wanted) to include your total comments, total pingbacks, total trackbacks, last comment, last pingback, last trackback, latest comments, latest commented posts, and most commented posts. You can feature some or all of the comment statistics.
Comment Count counts the number of comments on a specific post or globally.
Comment Karma allows you to rate a commenters comment with a thumbs up or thumbs down, accumulating points. For highly social sites, this is another fun way to get interaction from your readers, allowing them to score each other. Currently, the Plugin does not offer statistics on who has the highest score with their comment in a post or globally. Another one to try is Rate Comments WordPress Plugin.
Month Comment Count WordPress Plugin provides a count of how many comments your blog received during that month.
CountComments by Author WordPress Plugin adds a count of how many comments each “author” has submitted to your blog, keeping a running tally. Authors/users must be logged in for their comments to “count”.
Styling and Formating Comments
You can style your blog comments form and comments within your WordPress Theme to change the look of the comments area, and you can add some fun WordPress Plugins to change the look even more.
On a simple scale, many WordPress bloggers want posts from the authors to look different from the other comments, singling them out visually. Plugin pour WordPress: affichage personnalisé des commentaires (English and French) and Author Highlight WordPress Plugin highlight author’s comments. This is excellent and recommended for WordPress Theme and Plugin authors and others who provide support via their blog. The most important answers in the comments come from the blog owners, so making these stand out helps visitors scan the comments list for the answer from the authority figure.
Custom Comment Text WordPress Plugin allows you to customize the comment text that says “You have 2 comments” to whatever you want. This is an easy way to add some custom lines to encourage comments on your blog.
Tired of seeing the date and time of the comments on your blog? Change them with the WordPress Relative Date Plugin. It sets your post and comment dates to be “2 hours ago”, “1 month ago”, “2 years ago”, and such.
WP Grins WordPress Plugin and Smiley JS Buttons WordPress Plugin add “clickable” smilies to your post and comment forms, encouraging you and your readers to click on the smilie icons to use for writing posts and comments.
Comment Quicktags WordPress Plugin adds a quicktag button bar to your comments form to help the commenter format their comment, similar to the Write Post panel buttons.
I found two WordPress Plugins which allow the commenter to have access to edit their comments after they make them for a specific time period. I couldn’t tell if these work in WordPress 2+ but they are worth a try. They are Zero Rule’s Edit Comments and Jalenack’s Edit Comments.
Filosofo Comments Preview WordPress Plugin and Comment Live Preview offer a preview button option for blog comments near the comment form. For more information on using comment previews on your blogs, see Comment Live Preview Placement.
Quoter WordPress Plugin allows the user to quote easily from a post or another comment inside of their comment to keep the conversation connected and flowing. Requires WordPress 2+.
CoComment Enhancer Gives comments the option of tracking the comments for that post using CoComment.
NoFollow and Follow WordPress Plugins
It appears that the use of the
rel="nofollow" to stop comment spammers is over. It never worked in the first place. WordPress currently automatically turns on
nofollow on every link side of a comment. There are several hacks to remove the nofollow directly from the core programming. Or you can remove it with the following WordPress Plugins:
- I Summon One Kim – Dofollow WordPress Plugin
- Semiologic’s Dofollow Plugin For WordPress
- No-NoFollow WordPress Plugin
- GoodLinks WordPress Plugin
- Link Love WordPress Plugin
Andy Beard offers some others, including some nofollow WordPress Plugins.
Threaded Comments WordPress Plugins
Threaded comments allow comments on a blog post to be connected together. Instead of replying to the entire queue of comments, you can reply to a specific comment, connecting your reply to that comment and not the rest of them.
Brian’s Threaded Comments WordPress Plugin offers threaded comments on your WordPress blog, similar to forums.
AJAX Comments WordPress Plugins
Through the use of AJAX, pages no longer need to reload in order for a comment to be submitted, speeding up the process. Some WordPress Plugins which control comments with AJAX include AJAX Comments WordPress Plugin and Inline Ajax Comments WordPress Plugin.
Expand Comments WordPress Plugin is designed to work off the front page or category pages of your WordPress blog, not on the single post view. On most multi-post view pages in WordPress, you will see a post meta data bit that there are “6 comments” on the post. Instead of clicking the link to view the post, and then the comments, you can click “Expand Comments” and using AJAX, you can see the comments right on the front page of your blog. This is great for blogs with short posts and those who put more emphasis on the comments than the posts, bringing them right up front.
Where Do Comments Come From?
EasyIP2Country WordPress Plugin puts an icon representing the commenter’s country next to their comment name.
WordPress Browser Detection Plugin has an option to show the world which web browser the commenter used.
Gravatars, Avatars, and Funny Pictures on Comments
Gravatar Signup WordPress Plugin allows you to give your users the opportunity to sign up for their own Gravatar image to be shown on any blog comments that feature Gravatars. Why not invite others to join in the fun?
Plugins which add avatars or gravatars, images or graphics representing the comment author, include:
- Gravatars2 WordPress Plugin
- Favatars WordPress Plugin
- Comvatars WordPress Plugin
- Latest Comments With Avatars Reloaded Plugin
Live Chats and Shoutbox WordPress Plugins
Shoutboxes offer the ability to have a live chat on your WordPress blog. Visitors can leave messages or talk to each other while visiting your blog.
Jalenack’s Wordspew WordPress Plugin was one of the early popular shoutbox WordPress Plugins. He has turned over support to Pierre Sudarovich whose improved it dramatically. It now includes a sound alert, a list of whose online, anti-spam features, adds smilies, and more. It works with the latest versions of WordPress.
Rudd-O’s Wordspew claims they have made a few improvements in the original code, including decreasing the burden on the database and speeding up and securing the process of handling the live comment load.
Wordspew Ajax LiveChat eXtended WordPress Plugin also an improvement from Jalenack’s original Plugin. The author says that there are now “enhancements in the WordPress LiveChat-Backoffice, added User-Capabilities and provided gettext translation”.
Interesting Odds and Ends for WordPress Blog Comments
I featured the novel Whisper WordPress Plugin in WordPress Plugin to Whisper Comments to the Blog Administrator. It allows comments directly to the blog administrator that aren’t “seen” on the regular blog comments.
Comments Posted Elsewhere retrieves a list of comments from other sites. It’s not simple to install, but if you need to keep track of comments between blogs, this could be an interesting tool. There is a Tutorial to go with it.
FAQ Auto Responder for WordPress Comments is an interesting twist on a FAQ and responding to comments. If you, for example, have authored a WordPress Theme or Plugin, you will probably get the same questions over and over again that come from mistakes people make by not reading the well-written and specific instructions on how to use it. You can create a list of the most common questions and their answers and the Plugin will auto-detect them and automatically respond with the appropriate answer. You could use this for all types of customer service support blogs. Very clever!
Official Comments WordPress Plugin checks in with the WordPress Support Forums to see if you are logged in. If you are, it highlights your comment on that blog differently than the rest of the commenters, honoring you as an “official WordPress user”.
WordPress Review Site Plugin turns your WordPress blog into a review site, where the comments people have to make on products, services, and more, rule. If you want your reader’s voices to be heard loud and clear, this might be an interesting Plugin to integrate into your WordPress blog. I covered it more in depth in Testing Readers: Survey, Polling, Rating, Testing, and Reviewing WordPress Plugins.
What Are Your Favorite Comment WordPress Plugins?
I’m sure I missed some WordPress Plugins that help your readers comment on your blog. I covered Plugins related to comments in:
- Counting WordPress: Statistics WordPress Plugins
- WordPress Widgets: The Next Generation of WordPress Plugins
- Customizable Post Listings WordPress Plugin
- Testing Readers: Survey, Polling, Rating, Testing, and Reviewing WordPress Plugins
- Subscribe, Email Mailing List, Blog Update Alerts, and Newsletter WordPress Plugins
- WordPress Plugins To Help You Administer Your Blog
- Blog Navigation WordPress Plugins: Related, Recent, Most Popular Posts and More
- WordPress Plugins Battling Evil
What are your favorite WordPress Plugins that help you encourage, manage, style, and have fun with your blog comments?
- Comments on Comments
- What is Comment Spam?
- Comment Live Preview Placement
- How NOT to Comment on Comments
- Mean Spirited Comments and Blogging
- You Must Be Logged In To Comment
- One Year Anniversary Review: Comments on Comments
- I’m Winning the Battle Against Comment Spam
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