WordPress plugins make life easy. For those blogger who don’t want to get their hands dirty by editing codes, plugins are a blessing. And, I am more than 100% sure that there can be no wordpress blog that does not benefit from plugins.
Bloggers develop blogs for audience. And a substantial percent of your audience become your commenters. A blog with comments ensures that there are people reading and discussing your stuff. So every person who makes a comment to your blog is special. It is your obligation to make them feel warm.
So here you go!
1. Comment Redirect:
You can choose to redirect your first time commenters to a page of your choice. Since your first time commenters are your biggest part of success, embrace them with this plugin by saying a Thank You or redirect them to some other Welcome page. You can choose the page of your choice.
2. Comment Relish:
This plugin allows you to send a ‘Thank You’ email to your first time commenters; and you can encourage them to subscribe to your RSS feed for instance. You can customize your message by adding tags like author name, name of the post, post url, author’s website etc.
This is a cool plugin which I use myself. However there seems to be a issue for blogs with a substantial number of comments per day. And there is a fix for this issue at Patchlog where Mihai suggests an alternate method to optimize this plugin.
Download Comment Relish.
Note: This plugin is not yet available in the WP official plugins directory. I wonder why!
Comparing Comment Relish and Comment Redirect – I think that Comment Redirect is being less intrusive. It just takes the commenter to another page on your blog, thank them and communicate with them. On the other hand Comment Relish gets too intimate and sends an email message. I personally use Comment Relish and not Comment Redirect for two reasons:
(i) I do not want the commenter to be taken to another page when they have finished reading a post. Let him/her choose whether to read related posts or browse the archives or simply leave my blog.
(ii) I indeed want to be intimate with my readers. So I prefer to land my Thank You in the inbox.
This plugin distributes the link love. Perfect for newbie bloggers to gain comments. If you install this plugin, and when a commenter types his/her website address, the plugin will automatically fetch the recent post at their blog as the comment is being typed. It can also display tweets or digg submissions, the commenter can actually choose that.
However, as your blog grows you might want to consider using this plugin.
There is a premium version, which rocks (I’m using it on all my blogs. You can get the premium Commentluv here. This plugin has the functions of about 8 plugins incorporated in it. Read my reviews here:
4. Disqus Comment System:
Following are the features of this plugin
- Threaded comments and replies
- Notifications and reply by email
- Subscribe and RSS options
- Aggregated comments and social mentions
- Powerful moderation and admin tools
- Full spam filtering, blacklists and whitelists
- Support for Disqus community widgets
- Connected with a large discussion community
- Increased exposure and readership
But make sure you read my post about using native and non-native commenting systems.
UPDATE: I am currently using Disqus on my sites as a personal preference and for some reasons.
5. NoFollow Free:
This plugin basically encourages your visitors to submit comments because you will no follow their links back.
6. Subscribe to Comment:
You can offer a subscription to comments to the visitors who comment on your blog. This way they will be more engaged in the discussions. On the commenter’s side there are the following benefits:
1. Unsubscribe to certain posts
2. Block all notifications
3. Change notification email id.
7. Highlight Author Comments:
If you want to make it easy for your commenters to identify your (the author’s) comments, this is an ideal plugin. It highlights your comments with a different color, which you can change by editing the plugin style file to match your blog’s theme color. I use this plugin at this blog.
8. Thank Me Later:
This is similar to Comment Relish but it sends email to all commenters (unlike the first time commenters with Comment Relish) and encourages them to engage in conversations. You can configure the number of emails and the time they have to be sent after the comment is made.
However I have a bit of feeling that it may be a little intrusive. But if you are OK with sending emails to people every time they comment, this plugin will do the job.
9. Top Commentators Widget:
With this plugin the blogger can offer a more prestigious reward to the commenter by putting a widget anywhere, preferrably in the sidebar. The widget will automatically display the name, url and picture of the commenters who have made maximum number of comments in the decreasing order. You can choose the number of people to display, whether to display picture or not, whether to follow the url or not and so on. You can also set a custom message when there are no top commentators.
10. Facebook Comments:
This plugin will import comments/discussions from your facebook profile to your blog. I *think* that it might slow down loading of your blog a little bit.
Download Facebook Comments
11. Twitter Mentions as Comments:
Finds out who is talking about your blog’s links at Twitter and displays them as comments. You may ask what benefit a commenter has from this; it is although obvious that the blogger has some extra comments from Twitter too. But for the commenter there are two benefits:
1. He/She is encouraged to see a handful of comments so that he/she is not alone.
2. If the commenter prefers to use Twitter for discussions then it is easy. That is, the commenter can choose the medium of conversation.
You can choose to keep your Twitter mentions as trackbacks instead of comments. You can also choose to exclude/include retweets.
12. jQuery Comment Preview:
As the name says, it works on jquery and offers a preview of the comment without needing a page reload. You may have to know a little bit of css and html so that you don’t mess up with the server load. As the plugin page suggests, it is better to not to connect css of the plugin to reduce the number of queries to the server; this comes as an option.
Download jQuery Comment Preview
13. Gravatar Signup:
Gravatar helps a lot in brainding blog comments. If a commenter does not have a gravatar (for the email he/she types in) then this plugin gives an optional checkbox to select if they wish to sign up for a gravatar. If they check the box this will initiate the process of setting up a gravatar. Handy.
Download Gravatar Signup
14. SEO Super Comments:
OK I’m on it. And I like it. But not everyone will. So here is what this plugin is about. It creates a dynamic page on your blog for every comment. The name of the commenter is linked to that page. And, the blog owner can choose to either dofollow or nofollow the links at that page.
15. TinyMCE Comments:
If you are using WP 2.0 or above this plugin uses the internal TinyMCE library and turns the comment field from a primitive to a WYSIWYG editor. Little spice.
16. Comment Rating:
Let your readers vote for one another’s comments. Cool plugin for socializing with comments.
Download Comment Rating
17. Quote Comments:
Allows you to quote a full or part of the comment to appear in block quotes. This plugin is compatible with MCE Comments.
18. TP – TweetPress:
Integrate WordPress with Twitter and offer your commenters the option to “Login with Twitter” and “Comment via Twitter”. Those who are used a lot with Twitter will like this feature.
This one is your defender. Stop spam bots and ugly human spammers from invading your blog. But how does your commenter benefit from this plugin? It would be really irritating to see a valuable comment among all the spam ones. Keeping your comment section clean is like keeping your welcome room of your house clean.
If you use Commentluv Premium, you won’t need this plugin.
20. NoFollow WP:
You can optionally provide a DoFollow link to the commenter’s website. You can also choose between NoFollow and DoFollow for links in the comments.
Download NoFollow WP
21. Comment Reply Notification
This is such a sweet plugin. And, I am using it on Find All Answers here. What it does is basically to notify the commenter when a reply is posted. Now you can fine tune it to allow notifications at different situations like- (i) notify the commenter of all replies to his/her comments (or) (ii) notify only replies from the author of the post/blog.
This plugin therefore will make the commenter come back to your blog to check what the author’s response is. Also it makes the commenter feel warm that there is a response to his/her comments and a conversation is going on.
Feel free to add to any plugins to the list. Have you used any of the plugins above and have a thought/comment to add? Please feel free to do so.