I follow quite a few blogs, and I like to comment on posts I find interesting. What irritates me, though, is that some blog owners don’t utilize any sort of “threading” within comments. No “@” replies utilized, either. This can be very annoying.

Not sure what I mean? Here’s an example:

Notice my reply is indented in and is contained within the original comment. This is considered a threaded comment, and any new replies act the same way, getting indented even further in. In this way, the replies are obvious and aren’t mistaken with new comments that aren’t a reply to a particular comment.

Also notice that my reply begins with “@author” and then my reply follows. This lets the commenter know that there is a new comment specifically in response to them. They also receive an email letting them know (more on this later).

What I see a lot on other blogs are new comments that are meant as replies to other people, but the reply is separate from the original comment, and no “@” is utilized. This can make it really, really difficult to determine if the comment is in reply to you, another commenter, or if it’s even a reply at all or a brand new comment from another reader.

Since I make sure I receive emails with any new comments on the posts I comment on, bloggers who don’t take advantage of any type of threaded system make it frustrating for me, and most likely others, as we don’t know if our comment is getting any replies. What this leads to is me having to go to the actual post and check my comment and any new comments to be sure I’m not missing any replies. It wastes time.

There is a much better way to manage comments and replies, both as a blog owner and as a blog commenter.

WP Thread Comment Plug-In

What I recommend doing is installing a very handy plug-in called WP Thread Comment. This WordPress plug-in will save you and your readers a ton of time by eliminating any confusion when it comes to replies and new comments left on your blog posts.

No coding required. No changes need made to your current theme. Just download, install, activate and adjust the settings as you see fit. That’s it. Your blog is then equipped with threaded comments.

Here’s what this powerful little plug-in can do:

  • Edit Reply Text & Cancel Reply Text – This is for both you and your readers (Shouldn’t need to be changed)
  • Edit Comment HTML – Only change if looks funny.
  • Edit Comment CSS – Same as above.
  • Edit maximum nest level – This is the amount of replies aloud for one comment thread. I have mine set to 15, although I doubt I’ll ever see it go that high for one comment thread.
  • Email notify the parent commenter when there is a reply – This feature is HUGE. I would highly recommend choosing the “default checked” option, so this way, commenters will receive an email when there comment has a new reply, even if they would forget to check the box, as it’s checked by default.
  • Edit the subject of notification email – I wouldn’t change this unless you want to.
  • Edit Notification Message – Only change if you want to.
  • Reply in WordPress Admin Panel – This feature saves me a ton of time. You can reply to comments directly from your Admin panel and automatically have them “nested.”
  • Add author in reply comment – I highly recommend enabling this option, so that your replies begin with “@author”.

By now you should see just how vital this plug-in can be for your WordPress blog. If you’re not yet utilizing threaded comments, you should really start. A better way to manage comments will only benefit your blog and your readers.

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