If you are a WordPress user, you are probably aware that their are hundreds (if not thousands) of great WordPress plugins scattered all over the internet.  These plugins are created by your fellow WordPress users that want to make the software better and more functional, and most are available to you at no charge.  Of these plugins, many I would consider to be situational plugins, but there are a few that all WordPress blogs should use in my opinion.

Subscribe to Comments is one of the important plugins that every blog should offer to their readers. This plugin will automatically place a subscription box in your comments form and allow your readers to receive e-mail notifications each time a follow up comment is left on your site.  If you’d prefer to tell the plugin where to display the box, you can do so by placing the following code into your comments.php file where you want the subscription box to appear:

<?php if (function_exists('show_subscription_checkbox')) { show_subscription_checkbox(); } ?>

I recommend placing this just above the Submit button (or whatever your button says to submit the comment). This will allow readers to see the “subscribe box” before reading the comment and check it if they want to be notified of any responses to their comment.

It is important to note that you should NOT have this box checked by default (you can control this in your plugin’s Option panel).  This will significantly annoy potential commentators as well as turn away some readers.  I’ve noticed a few websites that have it checked by default and there is nothing more frustrating than leaving a comment and finding out you were subscribed to a post you commented on against your will.  Make the box visable and people will use it if they want notification.   I will sometimes check this box when I want to see any follow up comments, but I generally will not comment on sites that have this checked by default.

Kyle Eslick is WordPress enthusiast who took his passion for WordPress to the next level in 2007 by launching WPHacks.com as a place to share hacks, tutorials, etc. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleEslick!

  1. Jenny says:

    I’ve actually never gotten more comments due to that plugin and I’ve been using it for a while.

  2. Hack WordPress says:

    Hi Jenny,

    Determining if you got more comments or not is a hard thing to determine, but the idea is that people are more likely to comment if they can get a response.

    This is particularly useful for certain blogs where people want to ask the author a question. This way they don’t have to check back to the site to get their response.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  3. Andrew says:

    I completely agree with you. I can’t stand when I comment, hit submit and then notice the box was already checked off. That definitely turns me off from commenting on someone’s blog. I’ve even seen some blogs not only default to having it checked, but they don’t even have descriptive text next to it explaining what it is!

    Thanks muchly for this one. I just added it to my blog.

  4. Hack WordPress says:

    Andrew – Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    It used to just bother me when people check it by default, but now it seems to have gotten more common. You are right, the box sometimes it isn’t even visible!

    I think a campaign of some sort should be started!

  5. Andrew says:

    Great idea, Kyle! Let’s get a “No Default!” campaign going! Though it should go beyond comment boxes… I’m thinking all those websites that auto-sign you up for newsletters, auto-ship programs, etc!

  6. 89 says:

    Thanks for the suggestion. 😉

  7. i have been using such plugins for long and the proved to be useful for me.
    recommend them.

  8. topseo says:

    Dear sir,

    Nice article and suggetion we found here in blog posting, i have using for our seo blog http://www.topseo.org/index.php and also recommend for our members blog.


  9. asssene says:

    Great idea, Kyle! Let’s get a “No Default!” campaign going! Though it should go beyond comment boxes… I’m thinking all those websites that auto-sign you up for newsletters, auto-ship programs, etc!

  10. christchurch campervan hire says:

    The word press plugin has increased my return visitors and improved on going communication with my viewers.

  11. vFRESHERS says:

    I have also been using this plugin with great results !!!

  12. Pools NZ says:

    The word press plugin has bumped up return visitors to my website. On-going communication with my viewers has also improved.

  13. Shindev says:

    this is a great plugin.. New maxxblogpress WP plugin is also doing nice work to get subscribers. But this is paid WP plugin.

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