8 Best Plugins for Managing WordPress Comments
Comments are an important component of user-generated content. Having an active comment section on your posts can help engage users, inspire them to share their opinions, leave feedback, start discussions, and even form a sense of community around your content. In short, comments are one of the best methods to engage with your audience.
Now, while WordPress comes with a default commenting system out of the box, you always have the option to extend its capabilities even further by adding some advanced features. If you want, you can even replace this default system entirely and use a new one. This can be especially useful if you strive to get more comments on your blog in general, or simply want to find a way to moderate your WordPress comments better. And that’s precisely where WordPress comment plugins can come in handy.
There are many different plugins on the web that can enhance the look and functionality of your commenting system, which is why this time around, we made our best effort to list only the best ones. Check out some of the top comment plugins you can use to improve the overall look of your WordPress comment section and create more user engagement around your blog:
Subscribe to Comments Reloaded is a practical plugin that can help you easily build a community around your blog. Namely, the plugin gives the ability to commenters to subscribe to comments and receive e-mail notifications that will notify them when there’s a new comment on posts they are interested in, or if someone replies to their own comment. People will be able to easily manage their subscriptions, disable subscriptions for specific posts, or unsubscribe with one click. What’s also great about the Subscribe to Comments Reloaded plugin is that even if you uninstall the plugin at some point, you still have the option to keep all your subscribers. Plus, if you ever want to reinstall the plugin and use it again, all your previous settings will stay intact.
Simple Comment Editing is a paid add-on (you can buy it at a price of $19.99 for 15 sites) that gives the anonymous users a five-minute window during which they can edit and delete their comments for a certain period of time. What’s also great is that you only need to install the plugin and it works right out of the box – no additional configuration required. Some of the options include the ability to set, stop and hide the comment timer, allow unlimited editing for logged in users, select different button styles that will fit your theme, enable logging of the comment editing (this will show a comment editing history), and receive email notifications about all the comments that have been edited or deleted.
While the default comment form in WordPress has 4 fields – name, email address, website name, and the comment text itself, WordPress Comment Fields is a handy plugin that comes with the ability to insert some additional fields into your comment area. You can do this using a simple drag-and-drop system. Some of the fields that come with the free version of the plugin include Text, Radio, Checkbox, and Select. Also, you get the ability to attach as many fields as you want to your comment form. And if you opt for the Pro version ($35 for a single site), you will also have access to features like file upload, inputs that include Date, Mask, Autocomplete, and Color picker, custom post types support, and plenty more.
Most online forums add many fancy elements to their comment systems, such as the ability to rate and share comments – and if you use a plugin like wpDiscuz, you will get all that, and then some.
This plugin comes with a rather simple three-step installation wizard and a clean and simple-to-use interface. Most importantly, though, it allows you to modify the look of your comment forms in full detail. This includes adding comment and article ratings, allowing users to add anonymous comments, the ability to insert an Ajax “load more” button (that you can use instead of simple pagination), post sharing options (on a network like Facebook and Twitter), and so on.
While wpDiscuz can be downloaded for free, there is also a bundle of 18 premium add-ons you can purchase for $99 (unlimited site license). The bundle is ideal for developers and includes features such as Google reCAPTCHA, the ability to create private comment threads, add author info, embed options for video, audio, social network, and photo content, etc.
Easily one of the most trusted and most popular commenting systems around (with over 100,000 active installs on WordPress.org), Disqus Comment System is a great plugin that can help you grow your audience and increase traffic and user engagement. When installed on your blog, it allows you to add the Disqus system to your WordPress site and basically replaces your default comment system with Disqus, while still importing all your existing comments. It also comes with powerful spam filters, web and email notifications, guest commenting support, login support for Facebook, Twitter, and Google accounts, etc.
In addition, there are some fun engagement features your site visitors will be able to use, such as the ability to vote on comments, upload photos and videos, add mentions, spoiler tags, and many more. Last but not least, aside from the actively updated knowledge base and a vast support community, there is also the option to contact their support team if you run into any issues.
If you want to set the lazy loading for your comments to help improve your website speed, Lazy Load for Comments is just the plugin for you. In its essence, the plugin allows you to get rid of unwanted HTTPS requests that will help boost the speed of your entire site. Moreover, it is rather straightforward and simple to use (coming with just one setting). You will get to choose from three different options – the ability to lazy load your comments on scroll, on click, or to choose the no loading option. The Lazy Load for Comments plugin is translation-ready and is also made in a way that follows the best WordPress coding standards.
A good alternative to Disqus, ReplyBox is a fast and lightweight plugin that will allow you to set up a simple, privacy-focused comment system on your WordPress site with ease. You will get the option to import all your existing comments as well as sync your comments (which means all your comments will still remain on your WordPress site in case you uninstall the ReplyBox plugin). Some of the other features you will get include an anti-spam system (powered by Akismet), the option to control all new comments with a manual and simple approval system, the ability for your visitors to use email subscriptions, nested comments, social login (currently only Facebook is available, with Twitter and other networks coming soon), and so on.
Made by Team Yoast, creators of the well-known Yoast SEO plugin, Yoast Comment Hacks is a free plugin that allows easier comment management using some simple but effective hacks. This includes cleaner comment notification emails, the module that allows the ban of comments under and above the specific length, the ability to redirect users commenting for the first time to a thank you page, a handy button that allows you to email all commenters on a specific post, and more.
Wrapping Things Up
Comments are a vital element of every WordPress blog. As such, they can help you connect with your audience better and generate more user engagement as a whole. If you end up using some (if not most) of the WordPress comment plugins we listed above, you will get an excellent opportunity to enhance your default WordPress comment system and transform it into something that is even more functional, user-friendly, and visually appealing to your visitors. Make sure to check out all the suggested plugin options carefully and pick those you think are best suitable for your specific blogging needs. By doing so, you’ll be that much closer to building an online community around your blog that you can be proud of.