One of the beautiful things about the Internet is how it enables users from all across the world to engage and enter a dialogue on your site. To get people talking, though, you need a space where users can interact. By default, WordPress offers this space in the comments section. It’s barebones, but it works. But barebones is no fun, so let’s take a look at 17 WordPress Comments plugins you can install to evolve your comment section from barebones to awesome.
Sprucing up your comment section will take away the fear of 0-comment posts. You put time and effort into your content, so why not make sure you get that much-sought-after engagement from your audience? These plugins will encourage your users to comment while also making it easier for you or other administrators to manage your comments section.
If you’ve previously decided to disable your comments section, maybe some of these plugins can convince you to bring it back! They’ll create a space for users to engage while also limiting the administrative work necessary to oversee your comment section
WordPress Comments Plugins: Core WordPress vs. Needed Functions
No matter what you are trying to achieve, the core WordPress commenting system isn’t ready so far to take up most of these tasks.
So let’s learn more about WordPress plugins that can take your comments further.
The comments plugins we are going to look at can be roughly categorized as:
- Third-party commenting tools, which are completely replacing the native WordPress comment system. Why would you want to substitute the default system with any of them, by the way? Here are a few reasons:
- Off-site comments plugins can get you a more significant performance bump since your WordPress hosting doesn’t need to take care of the comments.
- On average, they come with a more polished and feature-rich UI.
- Some of the popular systems, including those providing social login integration, may speed up the process for users since people won’t need to go through the entire registration or login procedure on your website.
- They typically provide more tools to enhance comments on different aspects.
- Usually, they include some built-in antispam mechanisms that are ready to combat spam, offering more security.
2. Specialist plugins that optimize and extend the functionality of the native WordPress comments, e.g., allow you to enable image attachments for comments. Why would you want to stick to the native system and freshen it up through the medium of other plugins?
- The native system is by default much more flexible and sustainable concerning any WordPress minor updates or significant changes. Plugins come and go; the core always remains intact.
- You can have multiple specialist plugins integrated for different purposes and still benefit from the out-of-the-box native tools.
- Unlike third-party plugins, the native system means you always “own” your comments.
In this hand-picked collection, you’ll find solutions for any of the mentioned scenarios.
WordPress Comments Plugins Which Upgrade Your Comments Section
All these plugins instantly provide multi-faceted upgrades to your comments section.
Disqus Comment System
Use: host comments off-site with a completely new powerful all-in-one commenting system.
Disqus is a blog comment hosting service used around the globe by many popular publishers, businesses, and blogs. Even being a third-party API-based platform (thus, possessing flaws of the non-native WordPress integration), it still makes the top in the list of the most chosen WordPress comments plugins.
The plugin hosts all comments on the Disqus server, which means your hosting has less work to do, which, in theory, can make your pages load faster. It’s hard to bet this plugin by the feature set since it offers numerous community-related options, advanced moderation and notification features, login with social media profiles, spam filtering, configurable ads, support for video and images in comments and many more on-demand tools.
It’s worth mentioning that there were security breach concerns raised around the company; people also started ditching Disqus when the company had introduced compulsory ads within the basic plan for commercial websites back in 2017. Many WordPress websites, however, including those that write about WordPress, stay with Disqus because of the things mentioned above.
Jetpack by Automattic
Use: the multipurpose website improvement solution with support for improved comments system.
You should have happy times working with this plugin since it offers the complete native integration with WordPress. Jetpack requires no special maintenance, combats spam like no other plugin (paired with Akismet) and offers a huge list of other features to improve your website’s SEO, performance and overall usability.
And yes, comments. It’s just one of the “modules” you can optionally turn on to add more features to the default commenting system on WordPress. Those include social media login options, comment subscriptions, and more in-depth data and user activity tracking for website owners.
Overall, Jetpack lets you have more organized discussions without tremendous efforts. What matters, this plugin is a quality piece of code that will never bloat your website.
Use: the super-fast React-based commenting system that embraces the default WordPress comments system.
This plugin should be top on your list if you’d instead go with a sweet spot. That is a better comments system that at the same time, doesn’t force you to ditch the core WordPress comments system for good. It offers a comprehensive method when it comes to dealing with comments: the plugin stores your comments within WordPress and brings the default core functionality out of the box.
Additionally, it features excellent support for social login, follow-up notifications, image and video URL as attachments, the rating system, plenty of useful integrations, and a lot more things.
Moreover, since Russian developers craft it, the plugin comes with comprehensive Russian guides and support for Russian social networking sites, such as VK. AnyComment also offers smooth migration from other alternative plugins like Disqus.
So if you are looking to make your comments more lean and fast, AnyComment fits just right.
WpDevArt Facebook Comments
Use: implement Facebook comments instead of the core WordPress commenting system.
If you don’t want the kitchen sink with a commenting plugin but rather a totally Facebook login-focused solution, this plugin is a way to go.
People will post comments using their real accounts, optionally share their comments from your website in their Facebook accounts, and consider the comments more trustworthy. All this doesn’t just help you reduce spam and improve the quality of commenter discussion, but also enhance your odds to drive more traffic to your website.
The plugin also allows you to tailor the look and UI so that it can suit your website well – you can customize the color scheme, text color, font size, enable the plugin page-wise, etc. All the standard tools like moderation are also there. A few decent alternatives that do the same job are the WP Social Comments plugin and the dedicated Facebook Comments widget in the Elementor page builder.
Replyable by Postmatic
Use: more advanced commenting functionality with a polished UI.
Replyable is a simplified version of the Postmatic commenting system from the same developer. This is a spot-on solution based on machine learning that improves the commenting system in multiple aspects, in the first place providing a smarter “subscribe to comments” functionality.
For example, commenters can reply to comments via email. You can moderate comments via email and, moreover, you can let the system handle spam by recognizing the quality and relevance of comments.
Use: give your comments area a sense of community yet keep all of them in your WP database.
This plugin follows a pretty much Disqus approach with a strong emphasis on community and interaction-related features. It supports social network login, follow-up notifications, comment rating, following a specific user or comment, etc.
But unlike Disqus, the plugin offers a more comprehensive way to store comments within your WordPress website. That means you get the most out of both systems! The clean, responsive, and feature-rich user interface will help serve modern people better.
It easily integrates with the popular anti-spam plugins, such as Akismet and WordPress Zero Spam; it offers seamless support for WooCommerce through a different dedicated plugin. Another reason to choose this plugin is that it’s genuinely robust and fast thanks to multiple optimization techniques.
Use: replace the default system and focus on comment conversion and commenter interaction.
Thrive Comments is the premium-only plugin that ships with a whole bunch of options to take the commenter interaction and lead generation on your website to the next level. It allows you to configure after-post actions (ask for social share, offer exclusive deals, offer to read related posts, etc.) encourage more comments (offer badges, enables likes, shares, votes and pinned comments), and even monetize your website better.
The admin tools are also aimed at streamlining the moderation process. For example, you can automatically link keywords in admin replies, allow comments based on the user role, etc. So if you expect to receive a lot of comments and want to build a sort of community around them, this plugin has it all to make it possible.
Multi Comments for WordPress
Use: gives users a choice to leave a comment via a preferable commenting system.
If you don’t know which WordPress commenting system to choose, don’t choose! This awesome plugin allows you to implement all systems at once: Facebook comments, Disqus, WordPress, etc. This way, you give commenters a choice to log in and comment with their favorite system.
The plugin completely replaces the native WordPress comments system and adds the system switchers that commenters will need to enable.
Use: benefit from the IntenseDebate commenting system and still store comments locally.
The plugin works through the two-way synchronization of the IntenseDebate platform and WordPress. It brings such essential IntenseDebate tools such as reply-by-email, managing user accounts and reputation points, enabling comment voting, Twitter integration, etc. to your WordPress native comments.
Thanks to feature-rich integration tools, the plugin allows you to build a sort of a forum with numerous interactive tools within each commenting area. Please note that the plugin is supported but not actively developed.
WordPress Comments Plugins Which Give Users Specific Commenting Abilities
These plugins add specific, limited features to your comment section. When possible, they’re great to use in combination with some of the more multi-featured plugins listed above.
Yoast Comment Hacks
Use: helpful hacks to improve the way you manage native WordPress comments.
The plugin offers several modules that allow you to address common limitations of the native WordPress system. For example, increase the minimum comment length to improve the quality of comments, set up comment redirection for the first time commenters, clean up comment notification emails and a few more things to make the default system function better.
Use: increase traffic and encourage comments.
This is an exciting plugin that adds titled backlinks to the last blog post of the commenter at the bottom of their comment. This is a feature to benefit from primarily for users who run their own websites, but it is going to increase an overall engagement and interaction on your website.
Additionally, you can employ some extra functionality offered by this plugin, such as a top commentators widget. To reduce spam, you’ll need to keep an eye on comments and moderate them thoroughly.
WordPress Comment Rating
Use: enable upvotes and downvotes for your comments.
Don’t need the crazy bells and whistles of the popular blog commenting systems? Just aim to implement straightforward comment ratings on your WordPress website? This is where this purpose-built plugin comes into play.
The plugin integrates with the default WordPress comments and discussion system and adds basic upvote and downvote functionality for comments. Peacemakers can optionally deactivate the downrating option. The look and behavior of the plugin are customizable.
LazyLoads for Comments
Use: improve the performance of the pages containing comments by adding the LazyLoads effects.
This is a straightforward plugin you can set up in several clicks. It prevents the comments from loading automatically on a page, thus, improves the overall performance and speed of your website.
It supports the “on click” loading option, which adds a button at the end of your posts and requires users to click on it to load comments. The “on scroll” option automatically loads comments when a user reaches the end of a page.
If you want to modify the look of a button or the loader image, you’ll need to work with filters so it may be a bit intimidating for non-techs.
WP Ajax Edit Comments
We’ve all clicked “send” on an email only to instantly spot a massive typo the next second. WordPress commenters are not immune to this situation. Create a more forgiving comment section by installing WP Ajax Edit Comments. This plugin gives commenters a limited time window in which they can edit their comments after submission.
Subscribe to Comments Reloaded
Use: increase the audience of subscribers and improve user retention.
This plugin allows commenters to subscribe to certain posts the more natural way and follow them up via email.
Thanks to the built-in subscription manager, you can disable subscription options for selected posts, offer a one-click Unsubscribe option, and easily manage subscriptions via your WordPress dashboard. The plugin is localized into 18 languages.
Everest Comment Rating
Use: like, dislike and emoji reactions for your comments to improve micro-engagement.
If are looking to improve the native WordPress commenting system with more human reactions, this plugin is one of the rare things that can do this job. You can either benefit from the built-in collection of icons and templates or upload a set of custom ones.
In addition to that key functionalities, the plugin can display like / dislike counters and apply the comment filtering depending on rating. You can also give it a tailored look thanks to decent customization options.
WordPress Comments Plugins Which Let You Easily Moderate, Manage, and Promote Comments
Akismet is the gold standard of spam prevention and a necessity for any WordPress site. It works behind the scenes to check all incoming comments for spam. Install it and enjoy knowing you’ll be protected from the worst spammers without lifting a finger.
WordPress Comments Plugins: Final Thoughts
Comments sections are a great way to drive engagement with your website visitors. They give users a place to interact with your content, share ideas, and feel more connected. However, given the barebones nature of WordPress’ basic commenting system, you should take some time to look over these plugins and install the ones you think your readers will most love.
Take some time now to awesomize your comments section, and your website will reap the rewards in increased user engagement for the rest of its life.
Did I miss a plugin? Do you have a comment about WPLift’s comments section? Let us know in the comments below!