Comments on WordPress can sometimes be more trouble than they’re worth. However, when used properly, WordPress comments are a fantastic way to engage with your readership. They encourage feedback, allow your readers to connect with each other, and ultimately provide additional reasons for your readers to come back to your site. Comments are powerful.
To encourage commenting on your site, you should carefully consider the options that you want your readers to have. What should the comments section look like? Are people likely to engage with one another, or the content on your site, or both? What types of feedback should users be able to leave? With comment plug-ins for WordPress, you can customize the look and feel of your comments section, to match your website’s style and personality. Here are six amazing comment plugins for WordPress that might help get you started.
Tired of being bombarded with spam comments? If you haven’t been propositioned by a former Nigerian finance minister – or a company selling pills through the mail – through your comments section, then you’re one of the luckiest people on the Internet. Akismet is a handy tool that prevents comment spam from bombarding your blog. This plugin is free for personal use and quite cheap even for larger businesses.
This is one of the best comment widgets for WordPress, as it creates a discussion platform that makes it easier for users to engage with one another. Unlike regular WordPress comments, it easily allows for nested conversations, with a tidy, clutter-free interface. Installation is relatively easy, and Disqus is search-engine optimized to enhance the visibility of your site and its online community.
With some types of content, it’s helpful to have numbered ratings as feedback. After all, to take last week’s example, if I post one of my delicious cake recipes, it would be nice if my readers could rate the recipe after trying it for themselves. GD Star Rating is a plugin that allows you to set up rating systems for posts, pages, and comments.
Have you ever submitted a comment to a thread, and then kept clicking refresh to see if anyone else has commented? OK, maybe it’s just me. Subscribe to Comments is a plugin that enables your commenters to sign up for e-mail notifications of subsequent entries. Readers can unsubscribe from certain posts, block all notifications, and even change their notification e-mail address. This will help your readership remain engaged even when they’re not on your site.
If you have ever felt that the world needs more smiles, then this plugin is for you. By default, WordPress has 18 smileys that can appear in comments. Tango Smileys Extended disables the built-in smileys, and extends the number of available smileys to 202. Best of all, your readers will have the option to input the smiley through standard shorthand, or through a click-to-insert interface.
The title pretty much says it all. This WordPress plugin uses Twitter to show avatars in WordPress blogs. Developed by the folks over at smashing Magazine, it loads the reader’s avatar by matching the e-mail address to the reader’s Twitter e-mail address. (If this doesn’t work, it attempts to load a Gravatar or a default image.) You also have the option to set a border to the images, as well as choose the size of the image.