The default WordPress comments functionality works just fine, especially if you are just starting out. However, your commenters are likely your most engaged readers, so you may want to take full advantage of the access you have to them.
Using WordPress plugins, you can make the commenting experience more powerful for your readers – you can make the comments on your blog faster and easier to use, so it is even simpler for them to engage with you and your content.
This article will look at 15 great comments plugins that you can use to help take charge of your comments section and turn it into the engine of your blog. Let’s get cracking!
1. Jetpack (Free)
We’re starting our list with a plugin that many sites are already using (over 1,000,000 at the latest count), even if not for the comments functionality.
Jetpack is a free plugin from WordPress.com that provides a suite of useful services. Jetpack Comments replaces the default comments form with one that includes integrated social media login options (WordPress.com, Twitter, Google+, or Facebook) and email notifications.
2. Disqus (Free)
With over 200,000 installs, the Disqus Comment System remains popular, although it hasn’t been updated in about a year. What makes Disqus unique is the discussion community it creates by connecting commenters across different websites.
Unfortunately, the satisfaction rating for this free plugin has dropped to a 3.4 due to recent plugin and theme incompatibilities coupled with a lack of updates and support – so be warned.
3. Facebook Comments (Free)
If you’re only interested in Facebook comments for your audience, the free Facebook Comments plugin can help. Over 100,000 sites have it installed, helping them to setup, customize, and administer Facebook comments.
While this plugin enjoys a 4.2-star satisfaction rating, there are some speed concerns and browser compatibility issues noted by some users, so be sure to test it first.
4. Facebook Comments for WordPress (Free)
Our next plugin is also focused on Facebook – Facebook comments is a free plugin used to add a Facebook comments box to WordPress websites. The pro version of the plugin starts at $10 for a single site, and adds significant customization and premium support.
With over 10,000 active installs, this plugin is quite popular, but only has a few five-star reviews, so try it for yourself first.
5. Comments + ($49 per Month for WPMU DEV Subscription)
The first premium plugin on our list, Comments+, enables your readers to comment on posts using Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or WordPress.com accounts, and shares comments on Facebook and Twitter. It also includes a dozen add-ons for functionality like MailChimp integration, including Twitter handles in auto-tweets, and featured images for Facebook posts.
Comments+ is available as part of a WPMU DEV membership ($49 per month), which includes all of their plugins and themes.
6. Comments Evolved (Free)
Comments Evolved (formerly Google+ Comments for WordPress) adds tabs to the comments section for Google+, Facebook, Disqus, WordPress.com, and Trackbacks.
With over 10,000 active installs and a 4.5-star satisfaction rating, this plugin could be a good option for you. However, it hasn’t been updated in a year, not has it been properly tested with recent WordPress releases, so use it with caution.
7. wpDiscuz (Freemium)
If you’re looking for an alternative to Jetpack and Disqus, wpDiscuz could be it, with over 10,000 installs and a 4.5-star rating.
This freemium plugin uses Ajax to create a realtime comment system, and has a long list of features, including live updates of new comments and social media logins. Several premium add-ons are available (from $25) to add even more functionality like media uploads.
8. Subscribe To Comments Reloaded (Free)
The free Subscribe To Comments Reloaded plugin will let your commenters subscribe to email notifications for future comments. It provides a full-featured subscription manager and enables commenters to also unsubscribe to specific posts or all of them. Double opt-in functionality is also available to help reduce spam reports.
With over 30,000 installs and a 4.7-star rating, this is a solid plugin.
9. CommentLuv (Freemium)
CommentLuv is unique in the comments space, as it visits the comment author’s site and lets them include a link to their latest blog post below their comment. With over 30,000 active installs and a 4.6-star satisfaction rating, this plugin is keeping a lot of site owners very happy.
The premium version ($67 for a single site) adds features like Twitter handle links, spam prevention, and social unlocking of features.
10. WP Ajaxify Comments (Free)
If you just want to speed up the use of your WordPress comments form, WP Ajaxify Comments has you covered. No more page reloads when comments are validated, posted, or updated. Over 7,000 sites have this plugin installed, and it has a 4.7-star satisfaction rating.
11. Decent Comments (Free)
Decent Comments enables you to display a widget with not just the familiar posts with recent comments, but also the comment authors’ avatars, and an excerpt of the actual comments. You can also display comments for a specific post, specific post types, or posts in a specific taxonomy (category or tag).
Over 4,000 installs and a 4.5-star rating make this a good choice for driving eyes to your comments.
12. WordPress SEO Comments (Free)
By default, WordPress does not do anything for the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of comments. WordPress SEO Comments fixes that by generating comments pages that include the full content of each comment, and any recent comments by the same author for Google to index.
With over 4,000 installs and a 4.3-star rating, it’s well worth checking out.
13. Postmatic (Freemium)
Letting readers subscribe to comments or posts by email is not new, but Postmatic goes further and enables comments to be added to a post simply by readers replying to the email. Postmatic is still relatively new, with over 2,000 active installs, but a 4.8-star rating suggests their reader engagement results are worth trying for yourself.
The plugin is free, but the developers will be launching a premium version (the prelaunch price is set at $9 per month), which will include moderation, customization, and monetization options.
14. WP Advanced Comment (Freemium)
WP Advanced Comment provides a powerful and easy to use comment system that enables you to create custom comment forms on posts, pages, and even products. Other features include automatically unpublishing flagged comments, liking and disliking comments, and comment notifications.
The premium version ($20) adds functionality like image and file uploads, sticky comments, and word filters.
15. Commentator ($17)
Commentator is another premium offering. Commentator is a full-featured Ajax-enabled comments system that provides social login using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google+, image uploads, comment up and down voting, thread liking, and comment sorting. It only has a few hundred sales, but with a 4.49-star rating and a very affordable price of $18, it may be worth a look.
16. Yoast Comment Hacks
The Yoast Comment Hacks plugin is a free plugin on the WordPress.org repo that adds some tweaks to the WordPress comments that the Yoast team actually uses on their own site! Some of these tweaks include:
- Cleaner comment notification emails.
- The option to disallow comments below a certain length.
- The option to redirect first time commenters to a thank you page.
- An input field on the comment edit screen to change the comment parent ID.
- Links in the admin comments section to email individual commenters.
- A button in the WP toolbar to email all the commenters on a post.
- Adds a comment routing option. This adds a dropdown in a post’s discussion settings, allowing the routing of comment emails to another user.
While the default WordPress comments functionality may be fine to start out with, you can use the power of WordPress plugins to transform your comments section and really engage with your readers.
From our list you should be able to find the perfect plugin(s) to supercharge your blog’s comments. So read through and choose whatever meets your needs, and ramp up the level of engagement with your readers today.
How are you supercharging the comments section on your own WordPress sites? Share your tips and tricks in the comments section below!