The main medium for allowing readers to interact with authors and other visitors is a blogs comment section. While typically just a simple form with a couple of fields for including your name, website and a piece of your mind, there are a few ways in which you can give it a quick face-lift.
Thanks to some free WordPress plugins, enhancing this section of your site couldn’t be easier. Whether you’re looking for a little more spam protection or needing a way to encourage more of your visitors to interact, there’s surely a plugin that can help you out.
01. CommentLuv | @commentluv
This plugin will visit the site of the comment author while they type their comment and retrieve a selection of their last blog posts, tweets or digg submissions which they can choose one from to include at the bottom of their comment when they click submit.
02. Comment Rating | Bob King
03. SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam | Mike Challis
Adds CAPTCHA anti-spam methods to WordPress on the comment form, registration form, login, or all. In order to post comments or register, users will have to type in the phrase shown on the image. This prevents spam from automated bots.
04. Subscribe to Comments | Mark Jaquith
Subscribe to Comments 2.1 is a plugin that allows commenters on your blog to check a box before commenting and get e-mail notification of further comments.
05. @Reply | Yus
This plugin allows you to add Twitter-like @reply links to comments. When clicked, those links insert the author name and a link to the comment you are replying to in the text area.
06. CommentTwitter | Jon Bishop
Commentwitter is a WordPress plugin that gives commenters the option of Tweeting their comment with a link to your post.
07. Greg’s Comment Length Limiter | Greg Mulhouser
This plugin provides a configurable limit on the length of comments left in the comment form, with a character countdown displayed for the user and dynamically updated with each key press.
08. Highlight Author Comments | Rob Marsh
Highlight Author Comments automatically displays comments made by a post’s author in a distinctive style with no need to edit your template files, etc. All you do is provide a snippet of CSS styling to be applied to author posts.
09. WP Ajax Edit Comments | Ajay, ronalfy
Users can edit their own comments for a limited time, while admins can edit all comments.
10. TwitterLink Comments | @commentluv
This plugin will add an extra field to your comment form so a user can add their Twitter username. A user configured ‘follow me’ link is then displayed along with their details on all their comments.
11. Comment Form Quicktags | Regen
This plugin inserts quicktags of the admin page to the upper part of text area of the comment form.
12. jQuery Comment Preview | Dimox
Live comment preview without page reboot. Works on jQuery.
13. Comment Validation | Jörn Zaefferer
This plugin aims to help by adding validation to the comment form. When a user submits the form and something is missing, an appropriate message is displayed and individual fields are highlighted. When the email or URL is in an incorrect format, a message is displayed accordingly.
14. Gravatar Signup Encouragement | Milan Dinić
This plugin shows a message with a link to the signup page of Gravatar (pre-filled with e-mail address) to commenters and/or users who don’t have gravatar.
15. Comment Autogrow | Scribu
A WordPress plugin that makes the comment text area expand in height automatically.
Their must be a dozen more that I missed. If you know of some good ones, let others know by commenting below.