WordPress often gets written off as nothing more than a blogging platform. However, it offers so many options beyond a simple blog, if you know how to finesse it. However, one of the greatest tools that WordPress offers is its amazing ability to instantly get visitor feedback via comments. That being said, often the base commenting system is lacking. It can involve allowing open sign-ups to your site, or unruly management of comments. That has been solved though with a great library of plugins that elevate WordPress comments to an unprecedented tool for building engagement on your site. Or if you are looking to lock down comments, there are options for that too. Here are a few of our favorite plugins.
Commentator is a steadily curated plugin that works toward the goal of extending WordPress comments to its full potential. It offers an ajax comment form as well as login and register, to lessen page load times. However, most impress is its integration with major social media outlets for login with established accounts. This removes a huge barrier for many visitors looking to interact with websites. It also supports major plugins like BuddyPress, meaning even greater user experience.
This plugin doesn’t re-invent the wheel, it just makes it better. WordPress Comment Rating looks to improve the native comment system by making it user-friendly, but more importantly, it makes it a more easily managed comment solution. It integrates retina-friendly FontAwesome icons so that you can keep your site updated to modern concerns. However, it also makes it more user-friendly with comment re-sorting, IP detection, and cookie detection. These tools also make it invaluable to site owners looking to more closely monitor their site.
Comments by Vicomi
Vicomi has really elevated comments to a higher form with this plugin. It is a visually appealing solution that still pays respect to site performance. It offers a graphic interface that allows commenters to share their reaction to posts as well as putting commenters in the front seat with reactions and sorting. It’s truly an innovation that builds upon the promise of Disqus.
If you like the ability to comment on posts, but with you had more control over the process- then WP Advanced Comment is your solution. It allows you, as the site owner, the ability to create custom comment forms that you can use on any comment and request any information you want to gather. And it allows unlimited forms as well as unlimited form fields.
Ajaxify may not seem fancy on the surface, but it offers a huge step-up in user experience. Most of the time, WordPress reloads pages on comments. However, with the Ajaxify Comments plugin, you can allow users to comment on posts without reloading the page. It might seem minor, but if you’ve ever seen duplicate comments- you know how powerful a solution like this is. It will allow users to see their comments immediately and get involved in the discussion in real time.
Sometimes you simply don’t want comments. If you are trying to keep things clean or using a third party plugin, then you don’t want the native system to interfere. This plugin allows a pain-free solution to eliminating plugins. This is especially powerful with a plugin like Disqus.
Another solution for disallowing the pre-baked WordPress commenting solution is No Page Comment. It allows incredible control over commenting on articles and pages while still giving the flexibility to allow comments on specific posts and pages. Its real strength comes in its ability to focus on posts on a custom-post basis for greater control.
To close out our recommendations, we offer the wpDiscuz plugin. It is a plugin that is built to use the strength of the baked-in comment system while extending it to its greatest potential. It allows management of comments on the backend as well as a superior front-end interface with ajax powered commenting that elevates the base system. A great solution for those looking to improve the core installation without re-inventing the wheel.
Don’t neglect your commenting system for your site. People enjoy getting to give their feedback, and they will judge your site by their ability to contribute. Make sure you are prepared to accommodate these visitors with a solution that is thought out and well-designed.