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What are WordPress Email Comments Notifications?

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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.

In any case – comment notifications are important, and they’re also easy to add. Below you’ll find 5 simple methods to add automatic comment notifications to your WordPress site.

1. Default WordPress Email Comment Notification

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.


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.

Article by Tom Ewer author
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  1. ilgili sozler

    Thank You Tom.

  2. Glamorous Bite Recipes

    Great list!

  3. Suds

    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.

    Which plugin are you using here that’s allowing your commenters to use their, 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

      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

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

  6. Danielsmith12

    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

    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

      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 sites specifically. I do believe the system they use will notify you of all comments. On the contrary people using self-hosted 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

    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.

    • Kyla Avatar Kyla

      Checkout this post on push notification plugins we put together a while back – there are lots of free options you can use to add push notices to your site straight away 🙂

  9. Daniel Z

    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

    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

      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

    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

      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

    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

      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

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

  14. Kuba Mikita

    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

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

    • Kyla Avatar Kyla

      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).

  16. PressTigers

    Good to know about email notification feature that helps whenever the reader or user comes read your blog and article and do a comment. These wordpress email comment notification works amazing

  17. Varun

    It seems the current comments plugin you’re using here is neat and good. Is it from Subscribe To Comments Reloaded?

    • Kyla Avatar Kyla

      We do use StCR but only for the comment subscription feature – our comments section is styled as a part of our custom WPExplorer theme

  18. WonderPush

    WordPress push notifications offer an elegant solution to this problem if you know how to set them up.

  19. Eric Nyaga

    I like the ‘ability to easily manage your subscribers’ best. Are you able to downlad the list of subscribers and maybe email them on new products or something?

    • Kyla Avatar Kyla

      It’s actually illegal to send people emails they did not sign up for. So for example, in this post we share methods for users to subscribe to your blog and be notified of all comments or just replies to their comments an a post. Legally, that is all you are allowed to send them. Downloading their email addresses without explicit permission and sending them promotional emails would be in violation of FTC laws, and could land you with some heavy fines. Instead, if you’d like people to subscribe to your newsletter (for any and all emails you want to send) then create an account with MailChimp, Aweber or another email provider and use one of these plugins to grow your email list.

  20. Maegan D. Thomas

    I have benefited a lot from reading your very informative and helpful article and will be adding notifications to my blog comments. Thank you very much

  21. Aws Managed Services

    I must say this post is one of the best for deciding on comment notifications. I really love this .

  22. Meet Shah

    I googled about WordPress Email Comments Notifications and found this blog, after reading this blog my all confusion about the WordPress Email Comments Notifications is clear.

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