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WordPress Email Comments Notifications: Everything You Need to Know

December 31, 2017

Blogging is important for many reasons, but it plays a special role in allowing individuals and businesses alike to reach out and communicate directly with an audience. And just as the prominent social media sites allow, it’s imperative that your site visitors have a way to provide feedback and interact with one another on your blog. This is how you build a community, and a lively community is one of the key assets that keeps people coming back to your site time and time again.

However, blog comments aren’t like social media sites, where notifications pop up on your phone or computer screen when a new mention, like, or comment is posted. You have to go back to the blog and manually check the comment section on the post on which you commented to see if anyone is engaging in a conversation with you. That is, unless comment notifications are enabled.

Why Comment Notifications Are Important

Allow us to paint a picture for you. Imagine you’ve visited a website, read a blog post and left a comment. You then go about your day. What are the chances you’ll go back to that website and check the comments to see if anyone responded to you? Slim to none, right?

This is why comment notifications are important. They turn potentially one-time visitors into repeat visitors and allow readers to keep tabs on conversations with ease.

Now, on the admin and author side, there are numerous benefits as well. For instance, if you run a multi-author site that uses comment moderation, each author can be notified when a new comment is made on their posts. This ensures they can read and respond to comments in real time.

Email Comment Notification Basics

WordPress comes automatically equipped with a function that notifies you when a visitor has left a comment on your posts. We’ll briefly summarize it here though.

To find out what email notifications are set as the default on your site, go to Settings > Discussion in the Dashboard. You should see a couple of options for when emails should be sent out, including when someone posts a comment and when a comment is held for moderation.

WordPress Discussions Settings Screen

If these items are checked, an email notification will be sent to the author of the post on which the comment was made.

The next settings are related to the admin for the site. Before a comment is published, the admin can opt to be notified when a comment must be approved. There’s also the option to automatically approve those from visitors who’ve had approved comments in the past.

If you require more options than what’s provided in WordPress by default, there are several plugins available to help kick your email notifications up to the next level.

Jetpack Subscriptions

Jetpack plugin

You can’t get much simpler than this, and since Jetpack is a plugin mainstay for many developers, it’s even better. Subscriptions makes it easy for site visitors to subscribe to your blog and to the comment threads for individual posts by adding sign up check boxes at the bottom of the comment input field.

With the click of a checkbox, your visitors will be prompted whenever a new comment is made on a post, encouraging them to come back to your site over and over. This is a great way to build long-term relationships with new readers.

Comment Notifier

Comment Notifier plugin

Another straightforward plugin, Comment Notifier allows visitors to subscribe to the comments on individual posts. According to the plugin’s description, this can improve site traffic and loyalty. Having your users receive a notification on their comments increases their chances of revisiting the post and the site.

What we like about this plugin though is that the emails can be customized by inserting a variety of tags. This allows you to display the author’s name, post title, post link, as well as several other options to make the emails more personal.

Better Notifications for WordPress

Better Comment Notifications for WordPress

Better Notifications for WordPress enables you to customize all of WordPress’ email notifications. You can send emails to multiple users at once, target both individual and multiple roles, and send out messages to single users. Once you’ve installed the plugin, you’ll see a Notifications menu added to your sidebar. You can use this menu to customize which users and roles you would like to receive customized notifications.

The plugin’s developers also offer a large number of premium add-ons, which can enable notifications through SMTP rather than the standard WordPress email system. They also let you set reminders for specific user roles. For example, if a user hasn’t made an update to a page or post in a certain amount of time, you can automatically send a message nudging them to get it done.

wpDiscuz

wpDiscuz Plugin

This wpDiscuz plugin was designed to take native WordPress comments to the next level. It is a Disqus alternative that enables you to keep all your comments in your database. You can also use it to replace other comment solutions such as Livefyer, Jetpack, and Facebook.

In addition to providing multiple features enabling you to customize your notifications, this plugin integrates with popular anti-spam tools like Akismet and WPBrusier. If you are running an e-commerce site using WooCommerce, you can use this comment system easily by installing and activating WooDiscuz.

Subscribe to Comments Reloaded

Subscribe to Comments Reloaded Plugin

Subscribe to Comments Reloaded enables your commenters to sign up for email notifications. Its full-featured subscription manager also lets users unsubscribe from certain types of messages, or suspend notifications for specific posts.

Other features offered by this plugin include the ability to easily manage your subscribers, fully customizable messages (including HTML capabilities), and the option to unsubscribe users with one click. As an added bonus, Subscribe to Comments Reloaded includes language localization for global users.

cbnet Multi Author Comment Notification

cbnet Multi Author Comment Notification Plugin

The last plugin we’re going to discuss here today is called cbnet Multi Author Comment Notification. It lets admins set up email notifications for new comments, even if they are not the author of the post in question.

Setup is relatively simple. Once the plugin is installed and activated, simply go to Settings > Discussion in the dashboard and select what email notifications you’d like users to receive based on user role. Or, you can manually insert email addresses for those you’d like to be notified. You can also disable email notifications for comments left by registered users.

Each user can also enable their email notification settings on their own by going to their profile in the dashboard and making the appropriate selections.

Conclusion

Email notifications for comments aren’t all that complicated, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. Enabling such notifications ensure comments are approved shortly after they’re made. It encourages authors to respond and interact with visitors. It also gives site visitors a nudge to come back to the site again, which is definitely good for building a loyal following.

As with anything related to WordPress, there’s a multitude of tools available for the job. Do you use any of the plugins described above? Or do you take a different approach? We’d love to hear your input, appropriately enough, in the comments.

wordpress-email-comments-notifications
Article by Tom Ewer WPExplorer Author
Published on: 04/21/2014
Last updated on: December 31, 2017
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23 Comments

  1. ilgili sozler says:

    Thank You Tom.

  2. Glamorous Bite Recipes says:

    Great list!

  3. Suds says:

    But what about comment notifications going back to the author? How do we disable them? There’s an option you could uncheck “Anyone posts a comment” which doesn’t seem to work at all. Authors get notifications even when its unchecked.

  4. S.M. says:

    Which plugin are you using here that’s allowing your commenters to use their WP.com, FB, Twitter or G+ account to comment? As I recall, Jetpack doesn’t have option for G+. Seems like you use a combination of plugins.
    But I don’t want to use Jetpack because of it’s size.

    • AJ Clarke says:

      Nope. I am just using JetPack. Don’t be scared of the “size” of Jetpack. The plugin only loads what you have enabled. I have the plugin active but only a couple modules enabled so its not going to slow down my site.

  5. Writing Experts says:

    Thanks for the informative writing. Would mind updating some good tips about it. I still wait your next place.

  6. Danielsmith12 says:

    Hi. This is my first comment on your site. Just wanted to thank you on all the great tips. Yes you are correct, Blog plays a special role in allowing individuals and businesses alike to reach out and communicate directly with an audience.So I just want detail information about the blog writing and commenting.Lucky for me finally I found it.Thank you very much once again.

  7. SteveInCO says:

    I have a different issue, and it’s driving me crazy.

    I have a moribund wordpress blog; I’ve not posted anything there in years.

    When I visit a VERY busy site (thousands of viewers) and comment on something, I get a huge number of people clicking on the little star. Every time they do that, I get an e-mail. Utterly pointless, because there’s nothing for me to do. I’ve often gotten sixty or seventy of these emails in a day.

    Meanwhile, if someone actually replies to my comment, I get nothing. And, it being a busy site, I don’t *dare* subscribe to comments…posts routinely get hundreds of comments, and I’d never be able to tell which one is a response to the comment I made. At least, that’s my understanding–subscribing gets you an email any time someone comments, not just when they reply to your comment.

    I find this to be just ridiculously stupid design and there doesn’t appear to be any way to change it.

    • AJ Clarke Avatar AJ Clarke says:

      Some systems do notify you whenever there is any new comment on the post. Some people prefer this because they want to engage in the entire discussion while others such as yourself (and myself) would prefer to only be notified when someone replies to the specific comment. Based on the URL you used for the comment I am guessing you are referring to WordPress.com sites specifically. I do believe the system they use will notify you of all comments. On the contrary people using self-hosted WordPress.org sites can use different plugins to send emails only for replies. Unfortunately on your end there is nothing you can do, this is something up to the person in charge of the site. If you want to edit the way it works on your personal site and you aren’t on a self-hosted install you may have to switch. I could be wrong, but I wasn’t able to locate any plugin for .com users for this.

  8. Chris says:

    Any idea if there has been any advancements in push notifications for WP comments? Email alerts are good but push notifications are what really creates stickiness these days.

  9. Daniel Z says:

    Hi, this seems like a great plugin. im just checking to see if it works. So theoretically i should get notified when this comment is answered. Thanks! D.

  10. Eileen says:

    How do you email people who leaves comments, when it is an
    external (organic) visitor cause there is no email sent out when I reply..

    • Kyla Avatar Kyla says:

      I think the original commenter would need to signup for comment notifications, otherwise they won’t know when there’s been a response. So you’d need to add a third party plugin – we use Jetpack which has that ability builtin.

  11. thebeachdancer says:

    Is it possible to send email notifications of comments that DO NOT include the person’s email and IP address?

    I had an article published on a site that uses wordpress and I am being sent notifications which include the email and IP address of the person making the comment. Is see that as a breach of security.

    Can the administrator prevent that?

    • AJ Clarke Avatar AJ Clarke says:

      You’ll need to contact the admin of the website. It is possible to use WordPress filters or 3rd party plugins to customize the output of the emails.

  12. G Prabhu says:

    hi
    Your article really made me understand the importance of notifications for WordPress. Am really excited to work with these plugins and check the difference among them. The plugins which you have mentioned above will it work for all the WordPress?

    • AJ Clarke Avatar AJ Clarke says:

      Yes, all the mentioned plugins should work with WordPress if you have any issues though let us know. Also let us know what you end up using on your site, even if it’s not included in the list (so we can check it out). Good luck with your site!

  13. Leon says:

    I tried better notifications for wordpress and it works for me. Thanks

  14. Kuba Mikita says:

    There’s also our free plugin Custom Notifications and Alerts for WordPress which is highly customizable and can send any notification about comments you wish.

  15. shengchew says:

    Nice suggestion but btw which plugin do you think is the best for you?

    • Kyla Avatar Kyla says:

      Everyone is different – I personally don’t use notifications because I log into our blog almost everyday 🙂 But if I had to pick I would say either JetPack (since if you already have it installed, why add another plugin when JetPack already offers a great subscriptions option) or WPDiscuz (which offers tons of advanced comments section features and GDPR compatibility).

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