Top 5 Must Have Comment Plugins

By far the most useful and powerful feature of a blog is the ability to leave comments. Comments have changed the way people communicate on blogs and websites. It gives users a direct stake in the success and direction of a blog. Good commenters can sink or swim a blog, so it’s a good idea to give them as many useful features as possible so they have a great experience and keep coming back.

Here is our selection of the best WordPress Plugins for commenters to help them make the most of their comments.

Ajax Comment Preview

This is a great little AJAX driven plugin that will allow your readers to preview their comments before they hit publish. It’s great to give them the option to do this as they will find mistakes in their posts and may want to change things around. This powerful little plugin uses the AJAX framework to create a very user friendly way to give commenters a preview.

Download AJAX Comment Preview

Subscribe to Comments

I’m surprised that this isn’t built into WordPress itself. This plugin allows users to subscribe by e-mail to that latest comments on a blog post. This is great because it keeps them coming back and updated on the latest comments on a post. This powerful little plugin also features a subscription management feature so users can control how many notifications they get.

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WP-Gravatar

You’ve seen them everywhere, little pictures next to blog comments. Have you wondered how the heck do you get one of those? It’s pretty simple, actually. Sign up for a Gravatar account and any user can have a picture displayed next to their comment if you have this plugin installed. You can also control many other Gravatar controls with this plugin and it’s especially useful if you have several contributors on your blog and want to have author bios at the bottom of each post.

Download WP-Gravatar

Do-follow

This gives commenters extra incentive to comment. This plugin removes the no-follow attribute on comments so that when someone leaves a comment with their web address it will count as a backlink for their own site. This is a fantastic incentive to comment, especially if you have a popular blog with a high pagerank. Be careful though, this feature can be abused by spammers, but you can always filter them out with Akismet.

Download Do-Follow

Edit-Comments


Many people say things they don’t mean or end up with a typo they didn’t mean to be there. This handy little plugin allows a user to edit their own comments, within a certain window of time. There are protections in place to prevent abuse of this feature. This handy feature will help keep your comments clean of grammar and spelling errors. We all know how it is, we always spot errors after we’ve hit publish. I would definitely install this little beauty.

Download Edit-Comments

CommentLuv


Last but not lease, is the CommentLuv plugin. This handy little plugin will pull the latest post from the commenters RSS feed and display it as a link below their comment. That way, other readers can see posts they have written. It’s a great way to build a community within your blog and encourages others to leave feedback on your posts.

For more information about the CommentLuv plugin, you can check out our post Encourage Comments With The CommentLuv Plugin . There you will find a full review of the plugin and what it does.

Download CommentLuv

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Do you use a comment plugin that isn’t listed here? If so, please feel free to share it by leaving a comment below. We really appreciate your feedback!

How To Ban Spammers in WordPress

As blogs become more popular, spammers are become more and more of a problem. Spambots are becoming more and more bold in the ways they crawl websites and the content that they generate in comments.

It will happen to every blogger. One day, you’ll look at your stats and see that one page is getting literally thousands of pageviews a day. However, when you compare those thousands of pageviews with your actual unique visitor numbers, things don’t match up. This is a pretty good sign your site is being assaulted by a Spambot repeatedly. Who knows why they do it, or what they intend to do with it, you need it to STOP. It will clog up your bandwidth and make the rest of the site move slow.

So, how do you fight them off?

Well, there are a couple easy ways to deal with spammers in WordPress. The first is to manage your comments to block unwanted users. The second is to ban certain bots from crawling your site at all.

WordPress Comment Spam

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Most WordPress users keep their comments moderated to deal with spam. If you do get spam comments, all you have to do is mark them as spam and WordPress deals with them. I also highly recommend installed Akismet spam protection – it’s free and will save you a lot of headaches.

However, before you mark something as spam, it’s not a bad idea to block their IP completely. To do this, pull up their comment and copy the IP address from the spammer. Take that IP address and go to the Settings –> Discussion Menu and add them to the comment blocklist. If you do that, they won’t be able to comment on your WordPress blog anymore.

Helpful Tip:

Ban a range of IP’s. Many spammers have different IP’s but you can block them as well. For example if a spammer is commenting with:

192.168.1.175

192.168.1.176

You can block them by using a wildcard:

192.168.1.* – This will block the whole range of IP’s addresses from 192.168.1.001-192.168.1.255.

You can take it even further and block:

192.168.*

But be careful doing this, you can inadvertently block legitimate visitors from your site. IP’s can change frequently.

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This is different from comment spam. This is when one bot continually hits a page over and over. First you need to peer into the IP records in StatPress, the WordPress Web Statistic Plugin I frequently use and look for the IP address that keeps hitting the site. The easiest way to ban someone from even having access to your site it to get the WP-Ban plugin The Last Sin Eater rip . This is an invaluable tool. Once you enter the individual IP’s addresses, the bots will not be able to access your site at all.

Once you block the little bot spammers, your pageviews should go back to normal levels. You can use the same wildcards to block IP’s in WP-Ban that you can in the standard WP comment banning.

Click here to download the WP-Ban WordPress Plugin

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Good luck battling WordPress Spammers!

What’s your favorite way to block Spammers?

Encourage Comments With The CommentLuv Plugin

When it comes to judging the popularity of a blog, many people look at the amount of comments each post gets. Many popular blogs such as Problogger.net easily receive over 50 comments a day. As soon a post goes live they start receiving feedback. That’s a lot of comments…

However, my guess is that your blog isn’t receiving that many. Am I right? You are not alone. Many bloggers, especially beginners, struggle to get comments on their posts. I still remember when I first started blogging and didn’t receive a comment for 3 months! Since then I have written a few posts that have received more than 65 comments.

So how does an average Joe blogger get more comments?

By Encouraging Them

It’s true, the best way to get your readers to leave comments is to give them something in return. And the easiest way to do that is to give them a link to their latest post right below their comment. This not only gives you more comments, but it also gives your readers an incentive to start leaving some feedback. They might even get a few extra visitors from the link you gave them.

The CommentLuv Plugin

The best part of all is there is a WordPress plugin available that does this automatically. The name of the plugin is CommentLuv American Pie dvd . It will grab the commentators latest post from their RSS feed and automatically insert it below their comment. It’s a great way of saying “thank you” to your readers for taking the time to comment.

What It Looks Like

You’re probably wondering if all these links in your comments will look like spam. Luckily, it styles them in a great way and keeps them simple and easy to rear. To demonstrate the plugin, I recently left a comment on one of my friends blogs. Here is what the plugin looks like in action:

commentluv1

Notice how it added the box below my comment and hyperlinked my lastest post title? You can also choose some of your older posts if you signup over at CommentLuv and claim your feed.

Installation

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Installing the plugin is as easy as any other plugin. Simply download the plugin (available here

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Give It A Try

So I encourage you to give this plugin a try and see what happens to the amount of comments you receive. Don’t be afraid to write a post promoting your new plugin so your readers know it’s their. They will more than likely thank you for it.

Here is link to the download page: Download CommentLuv