While there are plenty of WordPress comments plugins, they all are just a variation on the same core approach.
Visitors go to the bottom of your post. They enter some text and their name. They hit submit. If they have a Gravatar, you might see a profile picture. But other than that, it’s just text on a page with no personality.
Heyoya is a WordPress comments plugin that shakes up that formula by letting you add real voice comments to your content or voice reviews to your WooCommerce products. Yes, you and your visitors will literally be able to record and play a voice message in your comments or reviews sections, which creates a much more interactive experience.
In our hands-on Heyoya review, I’ll take a look at exactly how this plugin works and how it can help your WordPress website.
If you’re interested in the plugin, the developer also created a special deal for WPLift readers:
If you want to use the premium service (there’s a free version, too), you’ll get your first month free plus a 50% discount on months beyond that.
Heyoya Review: A Deeper Look at the Features
You know the core features – Heyoya lets you add real voice comments to your WordPress site. But that’s not all it does – it also can help improve your comments section in other ways.
First off, it’s important to note that Heyoya isn’t just voice comments – your visitors can still leave text comments if they prefer that approach. It just gives them the extra option of using their voice.
It’s also not just for comments – you can also use it for reviews at your eCommerce store.
In order to leave a comment/review, visitors will need to confirm their email or use social sign-on. They can either do this using their social network account (Facebook or Twitter). This cuts down on spam, though it also introduces a little more friction into the comment process. There’s also another benefit – you can use notification emails to bring visitors back to your site.
On the backend, you’ll be able to view all the users at your site, and you can also send them notifications via the comments boxes.
Visitors can also use the box to “like” individual comments or share them on social media.
Finally, you’ll be able to fully customize the looks of the comment box, and you can also tweak its functioning, like disallowing links in comments.
Hands-On With Heyoya: How to Use It
Heyoya has a dedicated integration plugin at WordPress.org and is just generally very easy to set up and use.
Here’s how it works…
Basic Setup Process
To get started, you can install and activate the free Heyoya plugin from WordPress.org. Then, you can go to Comments → Heyoya in your WordPress dashboard to find the plugin’s settings.
First, you’ll need to log in to your existing Heyoya account or create a new one (which you can do right from your WordPress dashboard):
Once you log in, you can configure the Heyoya settings.
Your first choice is whether you’re running a blog/content site or an eCommerce store. Remember, you can use Heyoya’s voice approach for both blog comments and product reviews:
I’ll choose the blog comments option for this tutorial.
Configure Comments Box Functionality
Next, you’ll get a visual interface to help you configure the Heyoya comment box’s functionality.
You get a lot of options here. You can:
- Change all the text that appears in the box.
- Choose what can be included, like whether to allow links, emails or repeated characters.
- Select how to approve comments depending on what content is included.
For example, you can automatically approve text comments but require manual approval for voice comments:
Configure Comments Box Styling
On the next page, you can configure the looks of your comment box, with the same helpful visual preview to help you see how your changes affect things.
In addition to changing the width and background, you can also configure the colors for all the elements in the box:
And that’s it! Heyoya is now active for your comments section, and you can also manually add the code snippet if you want to use Heyoya comments on other content, as well:
And here’s how it looks on my test website:
How Heyoya Works for Commenters
Now, let’s switch perspectives and look at Heyoya from your visitors’ perspectives.
When they go to leave a comment, they can either enter a text message or click that Start recording button to record a voice comment.
If they click that, Heyoya will ask for permission to access a visitor’s microphone. You can see how it looks in Chrome below.
Note – the recording interface appears in a popup on my test site because my test site is not using HTTPS. If your site uses HTTPS, this will all happen in the actual interface – no popup required.
They’ll then get a countdown timer for how long they have to leave a comment. By default, they get 30 seconds, but you can extend the recording time to a minute if you subscribe to the premium Heyoya service.
Commenters will also get an option to listen to preview the recording, as well as retake it if needed:
Then, they can submit their voice comment. To do that, visitors will need to:
- Add a title
- Verify their email, using either social login or by entering their email and clicking an activation link that Heyoya sends (they only need to do this for their first comment)
Then, once the admin approves the comment, it will be live.
Finally, in the comments section, people can “like” or share individual voice comments on social media:
Advanced Admin Settings
Ok, now let’s flip back to the perspective of a website owner and check out some of the advanced administration settings.
First, you’ll be able to moderate comments from the Comments tab, including previewing the voice message:
The Reports tab gives you basic analytics for:
- Voice comments
- Played voice comments
- Text comments
- Shares (generated by the share button in the comments section)
Finally, the Advanced tab lets you:
- Create notifications, which are sent via the Heyoya comment box
- View a list of users who have commented on your site
- Add custom branding for when visitors share comments on social media (the free version uses Heyoya branding)
- Import existing comments by uploading a file. You can use the WordPress import/export tools for this, though it would be simpler to have this feature be built-in.
The core Heyoya service is free.
With the free version, visitors will be able to leave voice comments up to 30 seconds, text comments, videos/rich media, etc. It’s fully functioning.
Then, you can also subscribe to the paid Amplify plan to:
- Extend the voice recording time up to one minute.
- Get more advanced moderation options.
- Provide more sharing options.
- Send custom notifications.
- Download your comments from Heyoya’s servers to use them elsewhere.
The Amplify plan normally costs $7 per month per site when paid annually or $8 per month when paid monthly. But remember – if you sign up using the WPLift promo, you’ll pay just $3 per month per site when paid annually or $4 per month when paid monthly.
Either way, you’ll get your first month free.
Final Thoughts on Heyoya
Heyoya is the first really unique take I’ve seen on WordPress comments (or eCommerce reviews).
I can’t make any comment on whether this voice approach will be superior to text comments for your specific sites, but I do think it’s interesting and I could see it working well for websites with engaged audiences (like a personal blog).
I also could see this being effective for reviews because it makes the review feel a lot more authentic, which can help build trust.
What I can directly comment on is that Heyoya implements its features well and gives you a good amount of control via the dashboard. It was also easy to set up and started working right away without any issues.
The free plan should also work fine for most sites, which is attractive by itself.
So if you want to experiment with voice comments or reviews on your WordPress site, definitely give Heyoya a look and take advantage of our special deal: