I was recently browsing one of my favorite blogs, Daily Blog Tips, and realised that their commenting system was lacking many important features. I couldn’t reply to other comments to create a threaded message and I couldn’t subscribe to the comments to receive email notifications when another user has commented. These are two necessary features that every blog needs to have successful discussion, but there are a couple more that will help you as well.
The most important feature for any blog commenting system is the ability to reply to already-existing comments. For example, if a reader leaves you a question in the comments, the only way you can answer them is by either emailing them or creating another comment that will simply appear after theirs. If you had threaded comments, not only would you be directly replying to that person, but any reader with the same question can easily find the answer in your reply.
Threaded comments also make it easy for readers to respond to one another, so if you have a big following, you can get some pretty constructive conversation going on.
Subscribe To Comments
One of the things I use when I comment on other blogs (that is, if they have the button) is the subscribe to follow-up comments box. This way if somebody replies to my comment or leaves a brand new one, I will be notified via email. It sounds annoying, but if I’m interested to see what other people have to say about a particular post, I don’t want to have to bookmark the blog post and keep returning – this is why the emails are so great for me.
On this blog (and my others), I use a WordPress plugin called Subscribe To Comments. This plugin is easy to install and allows users to opt-in for email notifications using a small check box underneath your comments area.
Thank You Email
If you have ever left a comment on this blog, you will receive an email from me to thank you for leaving a comment. The email raises awareness about my blog and makes it look more personal. It will be sent out for the first five comments you leave on my blog, but after that you will no longer be bothered with the emails because you seem to be a regular commenter.
To do this, I use a plugin called Thank Me Later. The plugin isn’t the easiest in the world to figure out, but it gets the job done and it works properly.
Ever since I have installed CommentLuv on Omega Web, my comments went from none to a couple a day. I now have over 225 comments on this blog and I launched just a few months ago. CommentLuv is a WordPress plugin that allows other bloggers to share the URL of one of their recent posts. This helps them build an audience and backlinks, so that makes more people want to come comment. And the more comments you have, the more professional your website looks.
Perhaps one of the most useful backend plugins is Akismet. Akismet is a WordPress plugin that detects for spam comments and automatically puts them in the spam folder. For a blog that gets over 20 spam comments a day, this is a great plugin because it saves me a lot of time going through each one.
Besides spammers putting URLs in their comments, it makes your blog look unprofessional when you have five comments on a post that are all “I love the content you write here” or “I discovered your website by the use of Google search engine and…”. These are common spam comments that I encounter and any experienced blogger will automatically recognise them as junk. So please do us a favor and just delete these!