If you have a blog running on WordPress or you are planning to start a WordPress blog, you probably realize that managing comments is an important part of running a successful blog. Managing comments involves spam filtering, setting up a mechanism for replying to comments, allowing people to subscribe to comments on your website, and so on.
While most of these features are not built into WordPress just yet, WordPress has a fantastic plugin architecture that offers thousands of plugins to help you do things that WordPress cannot do natively. WordPress now has a great collection of plugins that will help you deal with comments. In this article, I highlight six that I have found particularly useful and think that you might too.
1. Better Comments Manager
If your website generates a lot of comments, you should reply to as many as possible. This can be quite a cumbersome process by default in WordPress. You need to go to each post and reply to the comments. Enter Better Comments Manager, a WordPress plugin that allows you to view and reply to all the comments from within the comments management pane. This plugin also has some other useful features to help you manage your comments. For example, it allows you to view all the comments associated to a particular post, as opposed to all the comments together.
WP-SpamFree is advertized as "Powerful Anti-Spam Protection" and quite rightly so. This is very good spam protection software for comments on your blog. A downside, though, is that it is a bit resource intensive. However, if you have a popular blog that gets a lot of comments I think this plugin is well worth installing.
If you do not get a lot of comments, you can manage with Akismet, the spam filtering plugin that comes with every WordPress installation. It is also a pretty good solution, but it is perhaps not in the same league as WP-SpamFree.
3. Subscribe To Comments
Subscribe To Comments is a plugin that allows your readers to subscribe to comments for individual posts. Readers are notified by email when a comment is posted on a post to which they have subscribed. A great thing about this plugin is that it provides subscribers access to a control panel where they can manage their own subscriptions to comments. They can set whether they want to unsubscribe to comments on certain posts, block some or all notifications, and so on.