Many bloggers ditch WordPress default commenting system because of its limited functionalities. They often migrate to other commenting systems. The fact is that you can add really cool features to your default WordPress commenting system with the help of some simple plugins and hacks.
The plugins and hacks, that I'm presenting here are tested on my blog.
Jetpack plugin for WordPress
This is the default plugin that comes activated with all the WordPress installations. Many think that it is merely for site stats, Akismet, contact forms, spell checking and others.
In reality, it's more than that. When you dig deeper into the features of this plugin, you can witness dozens of features.
Head over to the settings page of the Jetpack.
This module adds two checkboxes below the comment box.
Interested commenters can easily subscribe to your blog by opting in. You are also asking them whether to get notified of the follow-up comments and replies to their comments by email. It increases your returning visitors.
Simple Comment Editing
Plugin: Simple Comment Editing
This is one of the must have plugins for every serious blog. Commenters tend to make typos and other mistakes while leaving comments. Then they notice that they have made a mistake. In this kind of situation, this plugin allows the commenters to edit their comment within the time set by you.
Here I've set the time to 5 minutes. It means within 5 minutes of leaving the comments, the commenter can edit the comment.
Yoast Comment Hacks
Plugin: Yoast Comment Hacks
This plugin provides some of the basic tweaks to be applied on the default WordPress commenting system.
These are some of the tweaks that can be made.
- Disallow comments below a certain length.
- Option to redirect commenters to a page. For example, thank you page. Where you can convince them to subscribe or follow your blog.
- Option to easily mail all the commenters on a post.
- The input field to change parent ID of the comment.
- Much more
This is a little plugin that offers some of the greatest tweaks for default commenting system.
If you want a separate plugin to handle mailing for commenters, I would strongly recommend you trying Thank me later plugin.
Plugin: Rounded avatars
This is one of the best things that beautifies the comments. I absolutely love rounded avatars. They are visually appealing. If you know how to add a little bit of CSS code, then there's no problem for you to achieve rounded avatars. If not, you could make use of the plugin, which alters the CSS code.
Below is the screenshot that shows you how I changed the avatars on my blog to rounded ones.
You can just locate the CSScode associated with the avatar and edit the same in the style.css file of your theme.
margin: 0 16px 24px 0; border-radius: 40px;
Minimum Comment Length
Plugin: Minimum Comment Length
If you are tired of moderating one-liner comments, this plugin comes in handy. This plugin forces your commenters to leave meaningful comments. If the comments that commenters leave on your blog are below a preset character length, then the comment will not be accepted.
Having a minimum comment length makes your blog a place with insightful comments.
WordPress Comments Fields
Plugin: WordPress Comments Fields
This plugin lets you easily add some fields like checkboxes, radio buttons, inputs and others.
It will be helpful for you to survey the kind of traffic you are receiving that helps you in further improving your blog. Via these extra fields, you can ask your commenters to rate your articles.
Highlight Author Comments
Plugin – Highlight Author Comments
This plugin helps you highlight the comments made by the author of the post in distinctive style. The plugin hasn't been updated since 2 years. You need not worry about it. Because, all it does is modify a single CSS entry to achieve the result.
However with little CSS knowledge you can achieve the same.
Above is the code that I've added to my child theme's style.css. In order for you to really differentiate the comment, I've set the background color to creepy one.
The CSS code differs between themes. I'm using Genesis framework.
These are some of the plugins that help improve your existing default WordPress commenting system, and make it more feature-rich. If you've got any plugin suggestion for me to add to the post, suggest them in comments.