For those of you who have left comments on articles published here at Performancing.com, you’ll already know that our commenting system is not the best. Although it has yet to be confirmed, there is a chance that Performancing will be moved over to WordPress. If this were to happen, here is the group of plugins I would use to provide Performancing.com with the ultimate WordPress commenting system.
WP-Ajax Edit Comments
WP Ajax Edit Comments was developed by Ronald Huereca of RAProject.com. The plugin gives commenter’s the ability to edit their own comments in an ajax like interface. Although the plugin used to allow you to edit comments inline, the latest version creates a popup where the editing takes place. This plugin packs quite a feature set such as the ability to edit, moderate, delete or submit the comment to Akismet all from within the public comment area.
CommuntLuv, developed by FiddyP is a plugin that displays the most recent blog post published from the URL which is defined by the commenter. Think of this as an ‘incentive to comment’ type of plugin. After installing the plugin, user’s will be presented with a checkbox near your comment form. If this is checked, when a user submits their comment, the plugin will try to parse their most recent blog post. So not only are they getting a link from their URL being displayed, but they also get a direct link to their most recent blog post.
This is one of the more simpler plugins. Once activated, it removes the nofollow attribute from the links displayed within comments. Thats all there is to it. This is yet another incentive to get people to comment on your blog.
If I had a favorite plugin, this one would be very near the top of the list. WP Comment Remix is a plugin developed by Jason of Pressography which is also an entrant to the WeblogToolsCollection plugin competition for 2008. This plugin is simply put, awesome. Once activated, it places a Reply and a Quote text link within each comment. When a user clicks on the Reply link, a text link will be created and their username will automatically be entered into the text field. The link is created as a means of discovering which comment a person is replying to. No threading functionality here, but this is the next best thing. The quote link takes the comment and automatically places block quote tags around the text. Does this remind you of a forum yet? The plugin also allows administrators to reply to comments from the administration panel. When you combine this plugin with WP Ajax Edit Comments, you end up with a really powerful commenting system. However, we’re not done yet.
Subscribe to comments developed by core WordPress developer Mark Jaquith takes care of the need to be notified of when a new comment is published. Once activated, a check box will appear near the comment form. If checked, the user will be notified via email whenever a new comment is published for that particular post. This works similar to the way you would be notified of a new post within a forum. The latest version, 2.1, offers a boatload of features such as the ability to skin the subscription management area of WordPress, security features, recognition of subscription status and much more. This is another one of those plugins that I install on every WordPress blog I create.
This plugin is from 2006 so it may no longer work. But according to the comments on the release post, this plugin is still functional, even after all of the major WordPress versions which have been released since then. Comment Karma developed by Alex Bailey allows commenter’s to press a thumbs up or thumbs down icon which will either boost a comments karma or decline a comments karma level. This gives commenter’s the chance to moderate each others comments.
If you find this plugin to malfunction on your blog, give SezWho a try which is a third party comment moderating service that carries a user’s reputation along with the comment.
tinyMCE comments developed by Thomas Au provides a What you See Is What You Get editor for your comments. The editor provides standard functionality that makes it very easy to bold text, change fonts, create lists, etc. Another way of making things easier on the commentator!
As you can see, there are some really powerful plugins available for WordPress which can take commenting to the next level. With these plugins installed as a group along with built in Gravatar support, you’ll have yourself a hand dandy commenting system which will be a blast for your visitors to use. Not only will you have made commenting much easier for the end user, but you will have also provided non monetary incentives for being part of the community. If you ask me, this is a win win situation.
I’m curious to know which commenting plugins you are using for your own WordPress powered blog. If you had to create your own powerhouse commenting system without using a third party service such as Disqus or CoComment, how would you go about it?
On a final note, if Performancing were to have a commenting system which contained the features these plugins provide, would that be enough to get you out of your RSS reader and into the conversation?