Reader comments can sometimes be the best part of local news articles, particularly when it comes to hot button issues. With these WordPress comments plugins, you can add value to your news website and show readers that you value their opinions.
While the use of comments sections on national media websites is declining, the comments sections on local news websites have never been more active. People care what’s happening in their own communities, and within certain niche topics. Comments sections give readers a way to share their knowledge (and opinions) with a broader audience.
Local news websites with engaged readers almost universally offer some type of comments section. Unfortunately, WordPress’ default commenting system is often too bare bones to work for many news publishers, particularly those publishers who hope to capitalize on their loyal readers and monetize their comments sections at some point in the future.
Thankfully, the top WordPress comments plugins are all created in a way that makes them incredibly simple to set up, with enough features to support both small and mid-size digital news publishers. Most of the top WordPress comments plugins also offer moderation features and tools for improving engagement.
Let’s take a look at six of the top WordPress comments plugins for news publishers.
WordPress Comments Plugins for News Publishers
By far the most popular WordPress comments plugin among news publishers, Disqus aims to help publishers engage directly with their readers to generate loyalty and promote stronger online communities. The Disqus commenting system replaces WordPress’ default commenting system. It installs quickly and automatically imports all existing comments, so publishers aren’t starting from scratch when they make the switch to Disqus. The Disqus system engages users and brings back commenters by sending web and email notifications, along with personalized digests. Disqus also says it can help publishers improve their SEO by getting user generated content ranking on Google.
Like its competitor Disqus, wpDiscuz bills itself as a native WordPress commenting tool that’s ideal for publishers who want to keep comments in their own databases. An AJAX realtime comment system, wpDiscuz adds interactive comment boxes to articles and nested comment threads with a maximum levels depth setting option for publishers. Publishers can allow or disallow comments on specific articles, and they can set up a notifier button to find out immediately when new comments have been posted. wpDiscuz offers full integration with social network login plugins.
- Thrive Comments
Thrive Comments takes many of the most addictive parts of social media and adds them to publishers’ commenting sections. For example, readers can “like” each other’s comments, and publishers can “feature” particularly helpful or though-provoking comments. Rather than leaving first-time commenters hanging while they wait for their comments to be approved by a moderator, Thrive Comments offers post-comment actions that redirect commenters to a URL with a “welcome to the community” page or a related article. Frequent commenters can be directed to URLs with social sharing prompts, as a way to encourage them to cross-post their comments on Facebook. Thrive Comments also provides publishers with plenty of analytics that they can review to learn more about their commenters and the content that’s generating the most attention.
Commentluv says its plugin can bring more traffic to websites by giving publishers a way to fight spam and add keywords to the comments left by their readers. The Commentluv plugin includes plenty of “social enticements” designed to encourage readers to engage by leaving comments alongside hot button articles. The plugin gives commenters an easy way to include links to their own blog posts at the bottom of their comments, which in addition to promoting a community spirit, also helps fellow readers find new blogs they might enjoy. Publishers and moderators can use Commentluv to delete spam comments and prevent online abuse, as well.
An all-in-one plugin for design, marketing, and security, Jetpack makes improvements to WordPress’ default commenting system. The plugin improves WordPress’ commenting system by automatically integrating social media accounts, which expedites the user registration process. Jetpack gives commenters the option of being notified of follow up comments. Publishers themselves can receive notifications when readers comment on articles, even if those articles are months or weeks old, allowing them to respond to comments, or answer questions, in a timely fashion.
Replyable isn’t trying to completely replace WordPress’ default commenting system, like Disqus and wpDiscuz, it’s just making the system smarter. Built by Postmatic, the Replyable plugin is basically a reimagining of what comment subscriptions could be. Engaged users who want to be kept updated on what people are saying about certain articles can subscribe to receive notifications. Replyable uses machine learning technology to rate comments based on relevance, and it only notifies users when relevant comments have been added to the conversation. The plugin also combines the comments being posted in popular threads into a daily digest. For publishers who are finding comment moderation to be a chore, Replyable offers tools they can use to moderate comments with email commands.
Unsure about which of these WordPress comments plugins is right for your publication? Reach out to our team at Web Publisher PRO for personalized recommendations.