Comments are a reliable indicator of the popularity of a website, and having a lot of comments clearly indicates an active follower base. Unfortunately, the default commenting system of WordPress doesn’t come with that many management options.
While the default options are perfect for starters, advanced users will definitely benefit from additional options. If you want to get these options, you need to install third-party plugins. There are both free and paid plugins for comment management.
In today’s post, I will introduce you to the best comment management plugins for WordPress. Let’s start with the free ones first.
If you want an effective solution to disable comments in specific post types, this is the plugin for you.
Disable Comments plugin allows the site admins to disable commenting on different post types like pages, post, attachments or other custom post types. You can also choose to disable commenting on the entire site.
Once you disable commenting on a specific post type, the comment relevant options will be removed from the quick edit section and the other sections.
However, if you are looking for a solution to disable commenting only on a single post, you don’t need a plugin. You can easily do that by editing the post and going to Screen Options > Discussion and then unchecking the ‘Allow comments’ option.
Disqus is a highly popular comment management system. Disqus users can comment on any website which has Disqus commenting enabled. This plugin allows you to add Disqus commenting in your WordPress site. In order to use the plugin, you will need a free Disqus account.
An advantage of using this plugin is the auto comments backup feature. Therefore, the comments will remain in place even if you move your website to a new host or change the database.
The nicely designed threaded comments and replies will encourage visitors to engage in the conversation. They can also get email notifications and subscribe to comments.
As well as that, users can log into the commenting system via social media or their Disqus account, removing the need to sign up with your site as well.
While Akismet works fine for basic spam prevention, some people need a more powerful and more effective system. For that purpose, Anti-Spam by CleanTalk could be an excellent choice.
With support for the default commenting system, plugin-based commenting systems, and contact form plugins, this plugin can effectively block spam comments everywhere.
You can choose to move the spam comments into a special folder or delete them automatically. The plugin will check for spam comments in the registration form, contact, comments and custom comment forms. You can enable or disable any of these forms separately.
In order to use the plugin, you will need an access key. You can get the access key for free from CleanTalk website.
If the visitors need to register themselves in order to comment in your posts, only a few of them will go through the process. At the end, you will get fewer comments than you deserve. A practical solution to this problem is to allow your visitors to use their existing accounts to comment on your website.
Comments Evolved for WordPress enables that feature in your WordPress website. By using this plugin, you can allow your visitors to comment on your website using their Google+, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress.com, Disqus, or Livefyre accounts to log in. You can choose the order and label for each account. It is also possible to hide the icons.
The aforementioned plugin allows the visitors to use different accounts for commenting. However, if you are looking for an exclusive solution to allow Facebook comments, this is the plugin for you. In order to use the plugin, you will have to create a free Facebook app.
You can choose to enable Facebook commenting in the posts, pages and the home page. You can also choose to allow Facebook commenting for only specific pages.
Other customization options include choosing the colour scheme, number of comments to display, comment box width, title, display comment count, etc. The plugin is available in lots of different languages. Lastly, you can choose to display or hide the default WordPress commenting system.
wpDiscuz is a really interesting plugin to provide a fresh redesign to the default WordPress comment styles. If you are bored with the familiar interface of the default commenting system, Disqus or Facebook comments, you should definitely try this plugin.
Compared to the other comment plugin, wpDiscuz offers a lot more admin options. After installing and activating the plugin, you will find the options in the Comments > WpDiscuz Settings page.
You can choose to enable commenting on posts, pages and/or attachment pages. It is also possible to define the minimum and maximum length of the comments. And from the ‘Background and Colors’ tab, you can customize various appearance options. It is also possible to provide custom CSS.
If you have always wanted to create a guestbook in your site, this is your chance. By using the free Comment Guestbook plugin, you can easily create a guestbook of comments in your WordPress site. In order to do that, install and activate the plugin. Then, paste the following into a new page and save the page –
You will find all the customization options in the Settings > Guestbook page. The plugin will also create a custom widget. To use the plugin, go to Appearance > Widgets and find out the widget titled ‘Comment Guestbook’. Drag the widget to your desired place and configure the available options.
By default, WordPress reloads the page/post when someone leaves a comment. If the comment has any validation error like empty comment body or invalid email, the visitor will get an error message in a blank screen. They need to go back to fix the issue.
WP Ajaxify Comments attempts to make the process simpler by adding AJAX functionality into commenting system. As a result, the whole page will not be reloaded for adding a new comment. Instead, the visitor will be provided with a success or error message right on the page.
After activating the plugin, you have to enable it by going to the Settings > WP Ajaxify Comments page. On that page, you will also find lots of customization options for personalizing each aspect of the plugin.
If you want yet another alternative to the default WordPress commenting system or Disqus, you can give Livefyre a try. Livefyre Comments 3 is the official WordPress plugin for the service. In order to use the plugin, you will require a free Livefyre account.
You can control the comments from the Livefyre dashboard. It is possible to filter the comments by the user, network, time, location etc. And with the strong moderation options, you can easily control the conversation quality in your website. The plugin will automatically implement all the changes in your WordPress website immediately.
By default, WordPress doesn’t allow the non-admin users to edit their comments. If you want to have that feature, this is the plugin for you. This interesting plugin allows your visitors to edit their comments for a specific period of time. You can define the time from the AEC > Behavior page of your website.
The behaviour page provides a lot of admin options for the comment editing feature. For example, you can choose to allow editing the name, email address, URL for the registered and anonymous visitors. You can also disable trackbacks, pings and no-follows from this page. The ‘Appearance’ page allows you to choose the look of the comment box.
So far, I have discussed only about the free plugins. But there are some premium comment management plugins too. Let’s take a look at some of the best premium comment management plugins.
If you want closer integration with Facebook, this plugin could be an excellent choice for you. This premium plugin doesn’t only integrate Facebook comments with your WordPress site; it also comes with several other useful features.
The plugin comes with options like integrating Facebook like, send, follow and share buttons, embedded post, and embedded video etc. As all of these features are provided as widgets, you can easily place them in your desired locations.
With the help of this plugin, you can simply disable the default WordPress commenting system and introduce Facebook commenting in your website. It is also possible to enable Facebook commenting for some specific posts or pages only.
Commentator WordPress Plugin is a very powerful option for totally changing the default commenting system in your website.
Powered by AJAX, this plugin will make all the commenting activities instant and fast. Besides the visual redesign of the commenting system, the plugin allows the commenters to add image and video files in their comments.
For unregistered users, it is possible to register or log in by using their existing social media profiles.
After logging in, you can up or down vote any comment. Comments can also be sorted by best, picked, oldest, newest etc. You can easily customize the icon, or color, and choose from various available colour schemes.
If your website receives a lot of comments, you will need some kind of sorting options to outline the most popular and/or useful comments. By using the WordPress Comment Rating Plugin, your visitors can rate the comments based on their usefulness, value or other aspects.
Regarding customization options, you can choose custom FontAwesome icons, icon colors, size etc. You can also provide custom CSS to provide your own styling.
While the plugin is available in English and German languages, it’s possible to translate it into other supported languages too. Other useful features include IP address, cookie detection, auto updates, comment resorting etc.
The default WordPress commenting system doesn’t let you do anything else other than editing, deleting or marking comments as spam. The plugins mentioned above provide you with lots of additional comment management options.
Which plugin looks the most interesting to you? Have you used any of these plugins before? Let me know by leaving a comment below.