For a popular WordPress site, managing comments can be a very tedious task – more tedious than even managing links. You can certainly disable comments completely, but you might not want to do it because comments are a great way to interact with your users.
However, when you spend endless days and nights reading and approving comments, you wonder what the point is. The good news is that there are plugins to manage comments. The comment management plugins fall into several groups – plugins that make it easier to leave a comment, plugins that enhance the built-in comments system, plugins to fight comment spam, etc. Here are a few plugins for each of these purposes.
Note: I haven’t included Akismet on the list because it comes preinstalled, and you are probably already using it anyway. It’s not omitted because it isn’t a great plugin – on the contrary, it’s a vital one.
1. Jetpack by WordPress.com
Jetpack by WordPress.com is a huge plugin, and chances are you are already using it. It’s not a plugin for comments only – it has many other features, and comments aren’t its major functionality. This plugin has more than 1 million installs, but I guess this isn’t because of its comment features only. If you install this plugin, you will override the default WordPress comments system – you will get a new comment form and will enable your users to comment on your site from their social media accounts (i.e. no need to register a separate account with your site).
2. WP Advanced Comment
This plugin with a surprisingly low number of installs (1K+ only) for such a good plugin is a real gem as far as comments are concerned. Even its free version is packed with tons of cute features, such as drag-and-drop creation of forms, comments pagination, on and off for guest comments, automatically unpublish comments if they get flagged numerous times for inappropriate content, validation, custom fields, etc. You should try WP Advanced Comment; it’s really outstanding.
Another plugin that enhances the native WordPress functionality is the wpDiscuz plugin. It’s fast and responsive, and it’s especially good for large sites with millions of comments because it loads pretty fast. You can integrate it with antispam and user management plugins. Among the numerous features of the plugin are nested comments, the ability of users to edit their comments, Read More button for long comments, comments sorting, post sharing, etc. Additionally, there are a few addons for it, such as Emoticons, Google ReCaptcha, Media Uploader, etc. In my opinion, this is the most versatile WordPress plugin for comments, though its modest 10K installs are a bit surprising.
4. Disqus Comment System
The most popular comment management system on the Web is available for WordPress, too. You just need to get Disqus Comment System and enable it. Among the perks you will be getting with this plugin is that comments are hosted and powered by Disqus, nested comments and replies, and better spam filtering.
5. Facebook Comments
If you’d rather your users be able to comment from their Facebook accounts, try the Facebook Comments plugin. With 100K+ active installs, it’s a popular plugin. It doesn’t have tons of functionality, though. With the help of shortcodes, you can add Facebook comments anywhere you like.
If you want to encourage your readers to leave comments and give them a backlink in return, then you will love the CommentLuv plugin. When a user leaves a comment on your site, at the bottom of the comment there is a link to the most recent post on their blog. This functionality is like a comment magnet, but be prepared for lots of spam too.
7. Disable Comments
Finally, if nothing else works and you hate comments so much you don’t want to see them at all, the Disable Comments plugin is your last resort. Rest assured, you are not the only one – with its whooping 900,000+ installs this plugin is a really popular one. (There must be a reason why!) With this plugin you can disable comments anywhere on your site, or you can select this per post type (e.g. posts, pages, media, or products).
I hope this selection of plugins I’ve picked will make it easier to handle comments. As usually there are many more plugins that didn’t make the list, if you are looking for more plugins, feel free to check them. They might not be as popular as the ones here, but this doesn’t mean you won’t like them more.
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