Few things signal the quality of a blog better than its comment activity.
It's not always easy to draw users into your blog who are capable of sharing
their high-quality insights (or those that are interested, for that matter) but
once you've got a few reliable members participating in this on-site
social community, there are myriad benefits.
Comments have a bad wrap, however,
and many believe that it's directly attributed to the poor experience associated
with not just leaving comments but managing them too - it's time to change that. In this edition of Website
Magazine's WordPress Wednesday, let's look at a few of the best comment plugins
Those looking for more than just a few unique twists and tweaks to their
commenting system should consider adding solutions such as IntenseDebate,
Disqus or LiveFyre, which act as full-on replacements of the built-in comment
engine of WordPress.
IntenseDebate Comments: IntenseDebate comments enhances and
encourages conversation on your blog. Build your reader community, increase your
comments and boost pageviews. The IntenseDebate plugin has over 400,000 downloads
Disqus Comment System: The Disqus comment system, which boasts
nearly 700,000 downloads, replaces the WordPress comment system with a
full-featured comment system hosted and powered by Disqus. The plugin can be a
little tricky to implement in my experience, but once it is working well,
supporting a comment-supportive environment is a breeze.
Livefyre Realtime Comments: Livefyre is a real-time comment
solution that centralizes conversations from around the social Web back to your
content, while encouraging live engagement between users on your site.
Disqus, IntenseDebate and LiveFyre might be the most well-known comment
plugins, and some would also argue the best, but there are numerous others
plugins for WordPress blogs to deploy and improve the user experience of
commenting. Here are several others that have caught our attention recently.
Facebook Comments for WordPress: Allows your visitors to comment on
posts using their Facebook profile. The plugin supports custom styles,
notifications, combined comment counts, recent comments and has over 350,000
downloads. Another Facebook related commenting plugin is
WordPress is Facebook Comments by Fat Panda, which replaces WP commenting
with the Facebook Comments widget.
Ajax Edit Comments: It's not uncommon for users to want editing
capabilities of their comments after they have been published. This plugin
enables users to edit their own comments for a limited time, while
administrators can edit all comments. The plugin has nearly 230,000 downloads.
Better WordPress Recent Comments: A common tactic to elicit more
comments is to showcase the current commenting activity on a blog. This plugin
displays recent comment lists at assigned locations, and features comprehensive
support for widgets. Even though the plugin works well, it does require some
extensive configuration, one possible reason it has generated just over 12,000
downloads since launch.
Greg's Comment Length Limiter: Some blog commenters can take
advantage of the forum you provide in your commenting system. This plugin solves
that problem in part, by providing a configurable limit on the length of
comments left in the comment form, with a dynamically updated character count
displayed for the user. Also see
Greg's Threaded Comment Numbering plugin, which numbers comments
sequentially and hierarchically; handles comments which are threaded, paged
Top Commentators Widget: Why do users comment? Sometimes for the
link, but sometimes for the glory. For those valued blog commenter's, you need
to do something special. This widget can be added to the sidebar to showcase the
top commentators in your WP site. The widget currently has over 98,000
Wizzart - Recent Comments: Another sign that a blog is open for
business is the recency of comments. The Wizzart plugin offers a customizable
widget to do just that, showing recent visitor comments in the WP sidebar.
Output is completely customizable with features including custom tags and
One Click Close Comments: Blogs are targets for spammers, but this
plugin could eliminate much of the problem. From the admin listing of posts
('Edit Posts') and pages ('Edit Pages'), a user can close or open comments to
any posts to which they have privileges to make such changes. This plugin should
have far more than the nearly 17,000 downloads reported. A similar plugin to
Comment Options, which allows bloggers to close or open comments (or pings)
on entire batches of posts (which can be scheduled automatically too).
Super Comments: If search engines crawl comments - and you know
they do - why not consider optimizing the content within those comments? This
plugin turns blog comments into entirely new, dynamic, standalone pages that
hold the actual comment information without requiring the WP database. The
plugin has over 38,000 downloads.
Subscribe To Comments Reloaded: Need to increase the amount of
return visits a post is receiving? This plugin enables commenters to sign up for
e-mail notification of subsequent entries, and includes a full-featured
subscription manager that commenters can use to unsubscribe to certain posts or
suspend all notifications entirely. Another option to consider is the
Subscribe to Double-Opt-In Comments plugin, which allows reader to receive
notifications of new comments posted to an entry with offers a double-opt-in
- Redirect After Comment: If a blog visitor takes the time to write
a comment, they are likely very engaged with what you're discussing which means
they might just be interested in what you're selling. The "Redirect After
Comment" plugin allows blogger to automatically redirect users to a predefined
page after they leave a comment.
Twitter Mentions as Comments: While I've never been a big believer
in Twitter, I can see that it has its merits and commenting is likely one. This
plugin scans Twitter for people talking about blog posts and inserts their
Tweets alongside existing comments, leveraging the power of WordPress's built-in
commenting system. The plugin has nearly 20,000 downloads.