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Five Comment Related Plugins for WordPress

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May 18th, 2009
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WordPress Plugins

Next up on the “Five” series is a sampling of 5 comment related plugins from the WordPress Plugin Directory.  There are 395 plugins as of today that are tagged with the term comment to choose from.

Comments are the lifeblood of any website.  That is where the true interaction happens not only between the creator of the website and visitors but also between the visitors themselves of a website.

So I dug through the WordPress plugin directory and came up with what I believe are five plugins to help increase the interaction on your website:

SI CAPTCHA for WordPress: This plugin gives you an anti-spam measure on your comment form to help reduce the number of SPAM comments your website receives.  Now don’t get me wrong – ASKIMET does a terrific job of stopping SPAM comments (according to their website 82% of all comments are SPAM).  Well this plugin requires human intervention to answer/type in the CAPTCHA phrase in order to submit the comment.  Bots and other automated methods of spamming your blog can not answer that phrase and thus the comment never makes it into your site – not even into the ASKIMET SPAM queue.  This one is very popular – 28,130 downloads all time and 3,034 in the last week.

sicaptchascreen

WP Comment Auto Responder: Here is a great way to encourage commenter’s to come back to your site after making a comment.  This plugin will send them a customized email that you create in the settings.  This automated email is a great opportunity to thank them for their comment and invite them to come back to the website and continue the conversation.

wpcommentautoresponderscreenshot

Thank Me Later: This plug in takes the previous plugin and goes one step further.  The extra step is to insert a given amount of time in between the original comment and a thank you email for that comment.  It can be set to send that follow-up thank you email an hour, day, week or month later.  What this does is remind that commenter of the fact they were on your site and hopefully bring them back for a follow-up to that original comment.  The email message is very customizable with tags that represent several variables in the comments.

thankmelaterscreensettings thankmelateremailsample

Featuring CountComments:  Want a quick snapshot of how active some of your commenters are? This little plugin will insert the total number of comments that an author/user has made on your blog.  One catch with this one is that the commenter must be registered and logged in to comment.  This will not work with anonymous entries.

commentcount

Commenttwitter: Here is a little Twitter integration with your comments.  Imagine the conversation that could be driven to your website by having someone who takes the time to comment on on of your website postings tweet that comment and a blog post link to their Twitter stream?

commenttwitter

So what type of plugins do you use to enhance your website comments?  Would love to hear success stories on increasing the discussions and comments at your site.

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Comments

  1. tapirul says:

    Since you mention Akismet, I have a problem with Akismet… I am hosting three blogs on my domain and, with Akismet activated, I get several hundred of spam comments a day (which Akismet, supposedly, took care of). I deactivate Akismet and guess what? I got only two spam comments (filered anyway) in more than six months.
    Something is very fishy.

    • Milan (17 comments.) says:

      For me, Akismet generally creates a lot of false positives. That means I need to sift through all the tagged comments before I can delete them.

      I used to use Spam Karma 2, but had to switch to Akismet because I wanted to use WP Super Cache.

    • john (1 comments.) says:

      I knew it! I got Askimet too, and right after it was installed, my blog was supposedly bombarded with spam which Askimet blocked. It had felt like I had gotten it just in the neck of time. I also felt it was very fishy afterwords because the spam comments grew. I think it’s fake and just attracts spam so you think you have visitors and click on their links to see if it’s a real person.
      It’s all that guys fault who wants to make everyone’s penis bigger!

      • Babs (42 comments.) says:

        On the flip side, I’ve been using Askimet on all my blogs since I created my first one a year ago. That one has only seen a few spam comments and they were actually spam.

        My personal blog has seen little spam — until lately. I’ve been plagued with the stuff, but luckily Askimet has caught it all, with only one false positive.

  2. George Serradinho (107 comments.) says:

    Hi,

    this post is well written and really well thought through. Thanks for mentioning the plugins as I was deciding how to thank my commentators on my site.

  3. Christoph (1 comments.) says:

    Captchas are a – sorry – pain in the ass. They are NOT accessible for people with handicaps, and even when you can see, they need time to be solved. As a blogger you have to keep your page as easy to use as possible. If you use captchas, you’ll loose people who might comment on your articles. I run a wordpress blog too, i turned comment moderation off and relied – until a couple of weeks only – only on Akismet to filter spam and move it into the spam folder.

    This way i had a spam free blog without any captchas or moderation. Within a year and about 3000 spam comments, I had only one false positive and two false negatives.

    To reduce my spam related workload (reviewing the spam folder) I installed NoSpamNX [1] on my blog. It adds additional hidden fields to your comments, which will be filled by stupid spam bots, but can’t be seen by your visitors. If one of these hidden fields get’s filled, the comment get’s dumped. It works perfect.

    So, please get rid of the web-2.0 pest “captcha” and use more user friendly methods to get rid of spam. Thanks!

    [1] http://www.svenkubiak.de/nospamnx/

    • WindowsObserver (55 comments.) says:

      Christoph – thanks for sharing your passion about the CAPTCHA’s. I took a look at this plugin you mentioned and it certainly seems as if it is a very effective way to cut down comment spam and yet not leave anyone without the ability to comment on a website.

      Those numbers you mention are very impressive. I think I am going to try this one out and see what happens myself.

      Thanks again for being part of the conversation.

      Rich aka WindowsObserver

      • bubazoo (213 comments.) says:

        from a blind users point of view, the problem I have with captchas, is the audio letters don’t match the video, and since the captcha field only accepts the video captcha input, it leaves the audio useless. I have this problem with this captcha here on this site, and that recaptcha place that alot of people are using now. Google same issue, when u click on the handicap symbol, an audio comes up of some numbers that don’t match the field your typing into.

        whoever writes these stupid audio captchas, doesn’t test the audio part themselves when they program them, which is really stupid, why would you write an audio captcha without testing it out first???

    • Babs (42 comments.) says:

      I agree with your thoughts on CAPTCHA. I don’t use it myself, but have come across it often enough to loath it.

      The first problem is, as you already pointed out, it is difficult to read. Some versions are better by either providing an audio “translation” or not requiring that the entry be case sensitive.

      But that still leaves the second issue I have: Every time I have written a comment to a blog post that uses CAPTCHA I am told that I typed in the code incorrectly, which I know I didn’t. It appears that CAPTCHA “times out” after a (short) period of time. If you are unable to comment and enter the code quickly enough you have to hit the back button and pray your comment is still there for a second go.

      So, if you should come across a comment in your blog which reads “I had something really nice to say, but CAPCTHA ate it,” that’d be me. :D

    • Ipstenu says:

      I can’t stand captcha either. My best spam plugin is Bad Behavior, which when used with Akismet drops my spam to almost nothing.

    • Milan (17 comments.) says:

      Like most users, I hate CAPTCHA. To me, it suggests the site operator is too lazy to copy with false positives and negatives from a system that annoys visitors less.

      Writing a blog is making an investment in your readers. The politeness of not using CAPTCHAs justifies the time required.

  4. Li-An (13 comments.) says:

    Well, if some of my commentators get a mail each time they post a comment, they will go mad ! It’s nearly spam…

  5. Babs (42 comments.) says:

    My comment related plugins include:

    Askimet

    Comment Relish (recommended here)

    Subscribe to Comments (also recommended here)

    A combo of Twitter Tools and Tweetbacks

  6. Sue (10 comments.) says:

    Am I the only person on the entire internet who loathes the idea of being emailed thanks for leaving a blog comment? Unless that email also comes with some **seriously** useful content, it’s at best fluff and at worst spam: the ones I’ve received up til now have been full of “please come back” and “please read my other stuff” – well look, I’ve been to your blog (you know that, because I’ve commented). If your stuff is good, I’ve subscribed; if I haven’t subscribed, then the post I commented on was the only one that interested me. Either way, I’ve taken the action *I* choose to take, so quit bugging me already!

    I’d also like to tell the world that I’m not nearly as grumpy as this comment makes me sound ;-)

    • Babs (42 comments.) says:

      You provide a good argument against using such plugins.

      I, myself, focus more on my appreciation of the comment than trying to get the commenter back to the site in my thank you emails, but I can see how someone could easily become annoyed by even that.

      And I’m sure you’re normally a lovely person. :)

    • Li-An (13 comments.) says:

      I agreee with you. I get the Comment Aprover Notifier only to tell people that their comment is not lost in the antispam.

    • Lynne (1 comments.) says:

      and what’s wrong with grumpy… huh? >-)

    • Kosmo @ The Casual Observer (3 comments.) says:

      Yep, you’re the only one :)

      I typically send an email – manually – the first time someone comments on my blog. I’ve had positive responses to that.

      I do make an effort to visit the commenter’s blog (if they have one) so that I can say something reasonably intelligent in my email :)

      I’m not a fan of the auto-responders, though. Then again, my readership is pretty small, so it’s easy to keep up with the comments.

    • Martin (20 comments.) says:

      I agree, I would class it as spam also. If the content is good you will go back without the need of a email…

  7. Jon Bishop (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks for including the commentwitter plugin. I love when others support and apreciate the idea behind it.

    I’d have to echo the auto responder sentiment. It’s like with auto DMs, they’re empty automated repetitive notices that i don’t need.

    This is why I go with the “subscribe to comments” plugin instead so people have the option of following up later.

    http://txfx.net/code/wordpress.....-comments/

    • Sue (10 comments.) says:

      Totally agree with Jon – subscribe to comments leaves the control in the hands of the commenter rather than the blog owner. That’s the way it should be.

  8. Pera says:

    Sweet, especially the last plugin It’s only that they’re commenters and not commenter’s. You might want to fix that.

  9. Paulo Matos (1 comments.) says:

    I assume that these plugins are not compatible with IntenseDebate, right?

  10. Ricky Buchanan (3 comments.) says:

    I wish there was a comment plugin like Thank Me Later or Auto Responder but which sent the automated message to me as the blog owner, with the email address and name of the commenter clearly marked so I could then personalise the message and email it to the commenter if I so choose.

    I like to thank new commenters on my blog personally, there are only a few new commenters a week so it’s an easily managable number for me but at the moment my only options are complete automation or relying on my memory and hand-done blog searches to see who’s new and who’s commented before. I don’t want complete automation because I loathe it as much as the commenters above, but I could do with some help remembering who needs thanking and what they wrote and where.

    I see a need!

    – Ricky

    • Kosmo @ The Casual Observer (3 comments.) says:

      Maybe I’m not understanding what you want, but there’s a similar feature built into wordpress. Go into Settings … Discussion. There is an option to send you an email whenever someone leaves a comments. It’s pretty easy to pick the relevant data out of the email.

      • Ricky Buchanan (3 comments.) says:

        I just want to know when it’s a new commenter – those who haven’t commented before. And having a template reply already concocted which I could edit and send would make the replying quicker, although it’s not so hard to do that locally.

  11. Angie (1 comments.) says:

    A bunch of completely worthless plug ins. The only worthwhile plug in requires member registration, which basically also means that it’s completely worthless.

  12. Joe (6 comments.) says:

    Good stuff, making comments more interactive is what it’s all about. Really like the ‘Thank Me Later’ plugin.

    • bubazoo (213 comments.) says:

      One comment plugin I like to use, is the plugin to login using Facebook
      everybody I know uses facebook, so that would really come in handy for me.

      I just don’t like the facebook connect plugins they have now, because they don’t use the users facebook gravatar after they’ve logged in, which would be a very useful feature I think.

      I mean, someone who logins using facebook, should have their facebook gravatar added too,
      and another thing, that fbconnect plugin that is so popular, each time the same user loggs in using their facebook account, it creates a new user for that same person every time, and thats definitely not a good thing, the list of users just keeps growing and growing for the same user logging in using facebook multiple times. it sucks, someone needs to create a better facebook connect plugin then the ones that exist now.

  13. silent (2 comments.) says:

    Hi all,

    Sorry, spamming your comment with my post and plugin.
    -http://bayu.freelancer.web.id/2009/05/08/wordpress-plugins-to-kill-almost-all-spam/
    -http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/cr-flexible-comment-moderation/

    Fell free to delete this comment if you don’t like.

  14. narukdee (1 comments.) says:

    thanks for the owner this blog, after I read your artical.
    I fell prefer it so much and I think it’s useful for deloping
    to another blog&website too.

  15. Suraj Reddy (1 comments.) says:

    IntenseDebate seems overlooked, and is worth a try :P

    The Thank me plugins are great!

  16. Hikari (79 comments.) says:

    Is that twitter plugin secure?

    I’d not like to give my pass to an unknown site…

  17. Unoblogger (1 comments.) says:

    This is the sort of auto reply I was looking for.. this has been well addressed and I must admit this article has initiated interest from my side to view your blog a lot more… thanks…

  18. Microsoft Guy (13 comments.) says:

    SI Captcha and Thank Me Later are all good plugins I use for my blog. SI Captcha reduces Spam even more along with Akismet and Thank Me Later is good to have people return for follow ups.

  19. ePIKI (4 comments.) says:

    Nice list, the feature comment count plugin is quite different among all and it can be useful plugin. but, about captcha I think the best is to go with question or numeric captcha, cause image captch is not always great to protect spams.


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