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Best WordPress Comment Plugins

Posted on 5.22.2012

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 available today.

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 to date.

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.

WP 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 and/or reversed. 

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 downloads.

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 styling. 

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 explore is Extended Comment Options, which allows bloggers to close or open comments (or pings) on entire batches of posts (which can be scheduled automatically too).

SEO 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 feature.

MSMC - 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.

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