WordPress comment plugins allow you to completely customize the design and functionality of the default WP comment section of your blog. While commenting systems like IntenseDebate, Echo, and Disqus offer lots of nice features, a common complaint is that they slow WP page loads and most comment plugins aren’t compatible with them. To help you trick-out your commenting section, we’ve put together a quick review list below of some of the best WordPress commenting plugins currently available. We will continue to update this list as other terrific comment plugins for WordPress are discovered. For other great WP plugins that can improve your WordPress blog, take a look at our directory of premium WordPress plugins.
Comment Plugins For Email Subscription
Action Comments – A great little plugin that adds a powerful feature to your commenting section. When you install this premium WordPress plugin it will place a check box under your commenting section to allow commenters to effortlessly subscribe to your email list. It offers a double opt-in feature, a snappy popup to ask commenters if they’d like to sign-up for your newsletter, and a silent sign-up (NOT recommended) feature for adding subscribers.
StandoutComments – Another email subscription plugin that helps you grow your email list by promoting subscriptions through the comment section of your blog. The unique aspect of this premium WordPress plugin is that it allows you to promote your Twitter account and RSS feed as well. It does this by simply adding another set of small check boxes below your blog’s comments. Thus, all the commenter needs to do to sign-up for your RSS feed and newsletter, or become a Twitter follower, is to checkmark each box.
SubscriberMagnet – A premium WordPress plugin to help you increase the number of email subscribers for your blog. It auto-fills the email subscription form once the visitor is logged into your blog or after they comment. Hence, all they have left to do is hit the submit button to join your email list. It offers single or double opt-in, a form builder, a toolbar, a delayed popup, and a check box at the bottom of the comment form. There’s also an option to send a personalized email message to each commenter (i.e. similar to what the Comment Relish plugin does). SubscribersMagnet users can even track each email sign-up method to quickly identify which ones are the most effective at gaining subscribers.
Anti-Spam Comment Plugins
Akismet – The default WordPress anti-spam plugin that utilizes Akismet’s web service to determine if a comment is spam or not. When a person marks a comment as spam that information is transferred to the Akismet web service so other WP blog owners won’t get spammed with the same message. In order to use the plugin, you must obtain an Akismet API key by signing up for an account on WordPress.com.
Bad Behavior – This free WordPress commenting plugin stops spam by identifying the software and the method of delivery that is used to submit comments. In comparison to Akismet, Bad Behavior doesn’t depend on the collective intelligence of others to tag a comment as spam. Instead, it can block spam that no one else has seen yet.
SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam – Adds captcha to the WordPress comment form, login form, registration form, or all three. The administrator can select which forms should display the captcha and which ones shouldn’t. It offers audio captcha and additional customization features like hiding the captcha for registered users with certain rights (admins, edit posts, publish posts, moderate comments).
Plugins That Incentivize Commenting
CommentLuv – Adds a link to the commenter’s latest blog post, tweet, or digg underneath their comment. The commenter can choose only one link to display underneath their comments. When you hover over the CommentLuv icon located at the end of each link it will display information about the commenter. CommenLuv is compatible with the IntenseDebate comment plugin for WordPress.
Dofollow – A free WordPress plugin that let’s you remove the nofollow attribute from all comments. This encourages commenting as it passes authority/PageRank to the commenters’ links.
NoFollow Free – Just like Dofollow, this free WordPress comment plugin allows you to remove the nofollow attribute to from comments. However, it offers extras not included with Dofollow such as support for multiple languages and the ability to remove the nofollow attribute for a user only after X number of comments have been posted.
Top Contributors – Lets you reward your blog’s top commenters by displaying them in a sidebar widget or anywhere else on your site. It includes options to display the commenter’s Gravatar, style the design, exclude blog authors, and caching to speed up loading. You can even add an extra field to assign special recognition to your top commenters.
Easy Comment Uploads – Permits WP site visitors to upload images and files to their comments so others can view them. This added feature can be especially enticing to for design focused sites that attract a lot of visual designers and photographers that want to share their latest work and comment on your blog all at the same time.
Comment Styling Plugins
Highlight Author Comments – Allows authors to draw attention to their comments by assigning a different background color to them. This free WP plugin will work with your existing WP theme, you just need to add a snippet of CSS styling to the text box that provided.
Quote Comments – A free WordPress comment plugin that simply adds a quote link to each comment so other commenters can reply to a specific line of text from the previous commenter. This is particularly useful when the WP admin has disabled nested replies for all comments.
Comment Management Plugins
Minimum Comment Length – From time to time you may get visitors that merely comment for the sake of getting traffic without actually contributing anything to the conversation. Adding this free WordPress plugin to your blog allows you to set a minimum number of words that must be included in the comment before it can be submitted. When the commenter doesn’t meet this minimum they are shown a customized message that encourages them to say a little more.
Ban Hammer – Enables you to ban unruly commenters or spammers via email address or a common email domain. This free WordPress plugin uses the Comment Blacklist feature located in your Discussion Settings to determine what emails should be blocked. Instead of sending all the submitted comments to the spam inbox, users attempting to comment using these emails are blocked completely. The WP admin only needs to update the Comment Blacklist with the correct email address to block anyone. When a user attempts to register using a blacklisted email, they will see a message telling them they cannot register.
Comment Plugins For Social Media
Twitoaster – This free WP plugin automatically tweets your blog post to Twitter and then retrieves all replies and retweets to the original tweet into your WordPress comments section. The imported tweets are threaded within other WP comments so that the conversation can be tracked easily between Twitter and your blog. The plugin also comes with two widget that display reply and retweet stats as well as your latest twenty conversations on Twitter.
Facebook Comments for WordPress – Allows visitors to submit comments to your blog using their Facebook profile. Users that are already logged into Facebook can post comment with ease. If the user is not logged into Facebook they can comment using the default WP commenting form. Additionally the admin can choose to hide WordPress comments on any posts where Facebook comments are allowed.
Comment Rating & Voting Plugins
Comment Rating – This free WordPress plugin delegates some of the comment moderation to the users allowing them to vote comments up or down. Comments that receive more thumbs down votes are minimized in a click-to-view manner and popular comments are highlighted to give them more attention. Votes are counted per IP address to prevent voting fraud and widget is provided to display the highest rated comments. The premium version of this plugin comes with more features, easier customization, and additional measures to prevent fraudulent votes from being counted.
GD Star Rating – A star ratings system that can be used to allow readers to rate posts and comments. Plugin owners can display stars or thumbs up/down images for voting purposes and allow multiple ratings. The free version of GD Star Rating is compatible with popular caching plugins like WP Super Cache and it supports multiple languages. The premium GD Star Ratings plugin version offers that same features as the free version plus it includes priority support, additional modules and templates, video tutorials, extensive documentation, a features wishlist, and nightly builds.
Plugins For Subscribing To Comments
Gurken Subscribe to Comments – The popular Subscribe to Comments plugin created by Mark Jaquith isn’t supported any longer and there are several bugs that exist for it. Thankfully, Martin Spuetz has written an improved version to replace it. Gurken Subscribe to Comments is a free WP plugin that fixes all the known problems with the old Subscribe to Comments plugin and it also includes a double opt-in feature to confirm email subscribers. If you’re using the old Subscribe to Comments plugin, make sure you deactivate it before you try installing the new one.
Plugins For Corresponding With Commenters
Multi Author Comment Notification – By default WordPress only sends email notifications to the author of a blog post when comments are submitted. If your WP site has multiple authors however, you can recruit other authors to contribute to the discussion just in case the primary author isn’t available for comment. The Multi Author Comment Notification solves this problem by pushing the notifications to the individuals you select.
Email Commenters – A very helpful and free WordPress commenting plugin that adds a link to each post permitting the administrator to send an email to all the article’s commenters. This is a terrific option for when you update an article and you want to notify all interested parties.
Comment-Emailer – Lets the WP admin totally customize the approval email notification that WordPress sends when new comments or trackbacks are created. You can alter the ‘from’ address, email message, remove the author names, change the website title, reply address, and even the IP address.
Commenter Emails – The purpose of this free WordPress commenting plugin is to extract the email addresses of all commenters on a given post. Like the Email Commenters plugin you can use it to later send an email message to interested commenters about an updated article. Unlike the Email Commenters plugin however, you can use your own email service to include photos and professional email templates that punch-up the design.If you liked this article, please take this time to share it with your Facebook friends using the Facebook button (see Facebook post button to the left) or retweet it using Twitter (see retweet button to the left). You may also want to follow us or subscribe to the site to stay up-to-date with this article. If you'd rather follow us from your Facebook account, join our Facebook fan page or subscribe to our NetworkedBlogs profile.
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