5 Plugins To Make The Most Of Comments In WordPress

Whilst the WordPress comments platform is a solid basis for promoting engagement on your blog, the potential extensibility is great. Check out these 5 plugins that can take your blog commenting to the next level.

5 Plugins To Make The Most Of Comments In WordPress

Last week we discussed the options when it comes to WordPress comments platforms. Livefyre emerged as the clear winner in our humble opinion, but that does not mean we shun the alternatives.

There are many reasons why you might choose to stick with the standard WordPress comments system. Whilst platforms such as Livefyre offer an extraordinary set of features and can really take engagement on your blog to the next level, it is entirely self-contained. This can be a hard sell to WordPress bloggers who enjoy complete freedom over the features and formatting of their blog.

And that is in essence what this edition of WordPress Quick Tip Tuesday focuses on – the flexibility and potential extensibility that you are afforded with the standard WordPress comments system. Today we have a selection of five feature-rich plugins that can take your blog’s comments platform to the next level. Enjoy!

1. Minimum Comment Length

This plugin was created by the prolific Joost de Valk, so you instantly know that it is of a certain quality. The concept is simple – nobody likes spam comments. Whilst certain forms of spam commenting are easily caught by the likes of Akismet and GASP, completely useless comments such as  “Great post!” and “Thanks!” can slip through the net.

It is clear that such commenters are only on your blog to get a link back to their own site, and their comment offers nothing of value to you or your readers. An easy to way to prevent this issue from ever raising its head again is to install the Minimum Comment Length plugin on your site. You can set the minimum number of characters and customize the message that is displayed when someone does not leave a lengthy enough comment. Comments by editors or administrators are not filtered.

Minimum Comment Length

Download it here.

2. Twitter Mentions as Comments

In our article last week, we argued the point that conversations are now taking place across multiple mediums on the web. One of the key selling points of Livefyre is its ability to pull related conversations from social media outlets into a post’s comments stream.

Twitter Mentions as Comments does exactly that (but only for Twitter, as the name suggests). It searches for any tweet that links to a blog post (regardless of URL shortening) and places it within the comments stream of the post itself. The “comments” can be handled just like any other, as we discussed last week.

Download it here.

3. Live Comment Preview

In my humble opinion, this plugin provides functionality that should definitely come as standard in WordPress. As you may have gathered from the rather self-explanatory title, Live Comment Preview allows your blog’s readers to see a real time preview of their comment as they are writing it:

Live Comment Preview

Download it here.

4. Comment Reply Notification

One of the best ways of increasing engagement on your blog is to bring commenters back into the conversation. After all, what is the point in commenting if you are never going to read the response? Comment Reply Notification gives you a flexible set of options for notifications:

Comment Reply Notification

You also have full control over the contents of the email that is sent to commenters:

Comment Reply Notification

A word of warning – this plugin is out of date, having last been updated in 2010. However, our testing (in addition to user feedback) has shown the plugin to be fully compatible and operational with WordPress 3.3.

Download it here.

5. Newsletter Sign-Up

It is a safe bet that commenters on your blog are amongst the most likely to convert into a regular reader (if they haven’t already). So what better thing to do than present them with an opportunity to keep up to date with your blog on a regular basis?

Just install Newsletter Sign-Up and your readers will be presented with an option to join your email list as they are commenting:

Newsletter Sign-UpThis is a very slick plugin. It integrates very nicely with the major email list services and offers plenty of customization options (including the rather cheeky pre-check feature). Installing this plugin on your blog will give your newsletter subscribe rate a genuine boost.

What Do You Use?

Although each of the above plugins can give your comments a boost, the above list is by no means exhaustive. Are there any plugins that you would recommend for your fellow ManageWP readers? Let us know in the comments section below!

Tom Ewer

Tom Ewer is the founder of WordCandy.co. He has been a huge fan of WordPress since he first laid eyes on it, and has been writing educational and informative content for WordPress users since 2011. When he's not working, you're likely to find him outdoors somewhere – as far away from a screen as possible!

5 Comments

  1. MrSmith

    Hi Tom,

    Can I ask for an idiots guide to something please? I’m quite new to WordPress.

    I’m looking for a comments system for my wordpress website (licensed theme) which looks more up to date that the standard issued wordpress comments system.

    Many plugins I find mean the customer signs in to somewhere else that keeps their private email address etc, then allows that customer to be logged in on your site. The nature of business I’m in, information = money. I don’t want a 3rd party receiving all my customers private details. I’d also need these emails later for marketing. I’ve spent a long time researching the background registration details for companies offering “login widgets” which clearly have a hidden agenda for what they are using the new sign up information. One in particular which I wont go into.

    I’m not using a sidebar panel on my website to add a login; do you know a modern / decent comment system which when a customer logs in to leave a review or comment, I am the only one who see’s their name, email and login details? Are those details normally saved in the “users” part of the dashboard?

    Thanks Tom.

  2. Kim {Stuffed Suitcase}

    Hi, I’m wondering if you have any knowledge or experience as to whether the Comment Reply Notification works with WP 3.6.1? I unfortunately just realized that my replies to all my blog comments have not been receiving notifications of my replies by default and want to fix that. However I’m trying to avoid all the bells and whistle comment plugins that require logins bc I like the basics. Might consider CommentLUV but don’t know if they have the reply function. Would really appreciate your advice!

    1. bvn

      which plugin u use for comment reply..??

  3. Takiyah Noble

    Hello Again, Tom…
    This is a nice list of plugins. What are your thoughts about the email comment verification plugin that Joost De Valk said he uses as well? Too much of a deterrent?

    I think this presents a fundamental issue of how much work should a commenter really have to put in to get on your site.

    1. Tom Ewer

      Hey Takiyah,

      I’m not familiar with the plugin you’re talking about, but my outlook is pretty straightforward:

      1. If you’re a small blog, the barriers for commenting should be extremely low
      2. If you’re a big blog, you may be able to afford to be a little more picky

      Cheers,

      Tom

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