Encourage Discussions In Your Blog With These Comment Plugins

January 23, 2007 by  

In the early days of, I surfed the web looking for plugins to make more functional and interesting. From the findings, 10 of the plugins became my favorite. I’ve installed almost all of them in every new blogs that I’ve created.

In addition to the top 10 plugins, I am also using Google SiteMap, several SEO plugins among others.

And now it’s time to talk about another useful plugins which I’ve incorporated into

These four plugins enhanced the features of your comment function. They all shares one thing in common in that they inspire conversation and encourage discussion in your blog.


1. Brian’s Threaded Comments

This plugin allows you and your readers to reply to a comment and the reply is placed inline right under the comment. A reader does not have to scroll down anymore to see if he/her question has been answered because he can look under his/her own comment.

It gives your blog a forum like feature which should increase the readability and interaction level of your blog.

After installing this plugin, I noticed that the Name, Email and URI textbox in the comment section were still shown. Usually these textbox are replaced by the “Logged in as username” text if you’ve logged in.

If you are having the same problem like me, you might want to do the following changes. Look for the following code in your comment.php file.

<?php _e('Name'); ?> <?php if ($req) _e('(required)'); ?>
<input type="text" name="author" id="author" class="textarea" value="<?php echo $comment_author; ?>" size="28" tabindex="1" />
<?php _e('E-mail'); ?> <?php if ($req) _e('(required - never shown publicly)'); ?>
<input type="text" name="email" id="email" value="<?php echo $comment_author_email; ?>" size="28" tabindex="2" />
<?php _e('<acronym title="Uniform Resource Identifier">URI</acronym>'); ?>
<input type="text" name="url" id="url" value="<?php echo $comment_author_url; ?>" size="28" tabindex="3" />

Then add the following code before this block:

<?php if ( $user_ID ) : ?>
<p>Logged in as <a href="<?php echo get_option('siteurl'); ?>/wp-admin/profile.php"><?php echo $user_identity; ?></a>. <a href="<?php echo get_option('siteurl'); ?>/wp-login.php?action=logout" title="<?php _e('Log out of this account') ?>">Logout »</a></p>
<?php else : ?>

And this after the block

<?php endif; ?>


2. Subscribe to Comments 2.0

Subscribe to Comments 2.0 allows a commenter to keep track of the comment discussion in a post. When a new comment is made, the commenter will receive an email notifying them about the new comments.

In you can see this feature available above the comment text area where the checkbox and “Subscribe to comments via email” is at.


3. Top Commentators

Top Commentators as its title implies shows the name of the top commentators along with the number of comments made and a link back to their blog/site.

In addition to the exposure that a commentator will get, there’s no nofollow tag attached to the link so you’ll be able to enjoy a vote from to your blog/site which will help in your SEO effort.

You can see the Top Commentators in action here at the left sidebar. The Top Commentators resets every month to give everyone a fair chance to become a top commentator.


4. Recent Comments

The Recent Comments plugin has been installed here for a while. It lists the most recent comments on your blog. In addition to increasing your blog page views, it’ll also encourage you readers to post a comment.

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Comment by menj
2007-01-23 19:50:08

Nice list of plugins, I will try them out on my tech blog and see how it goes. If it works great I’ll eventually use it on the other blogs. Do they support the new WordPress 2.1 by the way?


Comment by Gaman
2007-01-23 19:55:49

You know I haven’t tested them with WordPress 2.1. I’ll do that soon and let you guys know. However I’m confident it’ll run properly.

Comment by Joneh
2007-01-23 19:58:39

im trying to comment done by menj. see whether works or not>???

Comment by Joneh
2007-01-23 19:59:45

wow.. gaman beat me just forgot to refresh the page.. hahahha. cool. ok gonna use this!

Comment by Gaman
2007-01-23 20:02:08

Hi Joneh, it’s cool isn’t it?

I noticed something though, MENJ should appears in the top 10 but he’s not. Let me check what’s going on here..

Comment by Joneh
2007-01-23 20:10:28 i hope it works..coz im downloaded it..and about to install it… geezzz

Comment by Joneh
2007-01-23 20:21:54

it works gaman..the top commentator… but how to exclude myself? and how not to put the website if they dont have any website or link?

Comment by Gaman
2007-01-23 20:38:42

In the plugin file, look for

filter_users (comma seperated list of usernames)

This will filter out any usernames you don’t want them shown. They can leave the website text box empty if they don’t have a site.

There’s other settings you can change. For explanation check out their blog at

Comment by Joneh
2007-01-23 21:01:19

got it..fixed..thanks.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Lorna
2007-02-07 11:23:18

Top Commentators is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks for the helpful post.

Isn’t WordPress fun? 🙂

Comment by delux
2008-12-24 00:01:29

Is this applicable to WP or blogger only? thanks

Comment by Bloggista
2008-12-31 07:57:53

Two other methods that can help to encourage comments are allowing DoFollow links (removing default nofollow attributes so that “link juice” is passed to the sites) and installing the KeywordLuv plugin, which significantly helps commenters with SEO because it allows them to choose the anchor text for links.

Overall, it is a good thing to encourage comments because the extra content provided by other people adds more keywords to your posts, which in turn brings in more traffic from the search engines without costing you any more time than it takes to write the original post.

Comment by wanluqman Subscribed to comments via email
2010-07-10 09:39:39

I am using eggblog script, surfer/visitors required to signup to leave a comment. Most do not bother. I’ve tried to switch off the signup , but end up with a messed up script.

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