Google+ Comments for WordPress Plugin

google-plus-commentsFor many years now Facebook has had a very popular login feature and also offered the ability to easily integrate blog comments using your Facebook account. These options have proven to be very popular with all types of webmasters as they provide several convenient features and also help to discourage spammy or anonymous comments.

It always surprised me that Google wasn’t in this game, but the introduction of Google+ seems to offer Google the ability to offer these features to webmasters and be the ones collecting this information.  According to reports, apps that support Google’s login are now getting favorable search treatment and Google is starting to really push this feature.  Then last month, Google announced that Google+ comment integration is now available for Blogger users. So, what about WordPress users?

Not long after the Blogger integration was announced, the necessary code was discovered to do this manually using the following code:

HTML:

<script src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js">
</script>
<g:comments
    href="[URL]"
    width="642"
    first_party_property="BLOGGER"
    view_type="FILTERED_POSTMOD">
</g:comments>

Valid HTML5 version:

<script src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js">
</script>
<div
    data-href="[URL]"
    data-width="642"
    data-first_party_property="BLOGGER"
    data-view_type="FILTERED_POSTMOD">
</div>

Comments counter HTML (replaces < g:comments >):

<g:commentcount href="[URL]"></g:commentcount>

Valid HTML5 version (replaces < div >):

<div data-href="[URL]"></div>

Replace ’[URL]‘ with the URL of your web page and fit the ’width’.

Link your web page to your Google+ profile to verify authorship.

Dynamic Google+ Comments HTML:

<div id="comments"></div>
<script>
gapi.comments.render('comments', {
    href: window.location,
    width: '624',
    first_party_property: 'BLOGGER',
    view_type: 'FILTERED_POSTMOD'
});
</script>

Google+ Comments Counter:

<div id="commentscounter"></div>
<script>
gapi.commentcount.render('commentscounter', {
    href: window.location
});
</script>

Google+ Comments for WordPress Plugin

Fortunately, the WordPress community has already come through with an easier solution, the Google+ Comments for WordPress plugin. This plugin makes the comment section tabbed by seamlessly adding tabs for Google+ Comments, Facebook, Disqus, WordPress Comments, and Trackbacks. Early reviews are promising and I manage this plugin will continue to evolve over time.

If you decide to give this plugin on your website leave us a comment and let us know how the setup went.

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  • The Great WordPress Comment Debate

    Blogs are built around comments. It’s always fun and rewarding to see your blog have a lot of comments on it. Trouble is, comments attract spam and it’s not always easy to distinguish between legitimate comments and spam.

    Here’s a scenario: your post gets popular on Delicious. You get a ton of comments from “SEO BLOG TIPS”  saying “thanks for great post”. Comments like that add no value whatsoever to your blog post. Heck, they devalue it. So here’s the question: do you allow the comment or delete it?

    Personally, I consider comments like that spam, but on the other hand, it does get the comment count up. So there it is. A short post, but there’s a reason for it; it’s meant to spark debate, so go on. What would you do?

    (poll embedded)

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  • Get Started with IntenseDebate

    WordPress’s default comment system isn’t exactly the greatest, and whilst you can improve the comment system manually, not everyone has the time or skill to do so. Thankfully, one of Automattic’s recent acquisitions, IntenseDebate can help.

    Before we dive into installing IntenseDebate (which is really easy!), here is why you should use it, according to the IntenseDebate website:

    So IntenseDebate is pretty much everything you could want from a comment system, so next we’re going to walk through the installation.

    First thing is to go to www.intensedebate.com and signup. Next you’ll be asked to enter the URL of the site you want to install IntenseDebate on. Do so and click next. Assuming you’re running WordPress, you’ll be told you need to install the plugin:

    Before you intsall the plugin, make sure you backup your database.

    Once you’re backed up, follow the instructions above to step four. Once you’re at the tab, login with the account you just created, and then on the next screen click the big ‘Import Comments’ button. Sit back whilst your comments import themselves. When it is done, this screen will appear:

    You’ll find a whole load of options to fiddle around with, so fiddle away, and then you’re done. Told you it way easy!

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  • Collection of WordPress Comment Hacks

    There are all sorts of WordPress hacks people can easily do to customize and improve both the look and functionality of their WordPress blog, but I’ve always felt that the comments section is one of the best ways to truly customize your WordPress theme.   After all, blogging is all about author interaction, and the comments go a long way towards conversations happening.

    If you are looking to improve the comments field of your blog’s theme, Instant Shift recently took the time to feature a number of comment hacks, which can be viewed here.   Looks like they’ve already got 30 hacks included, including a few we’ve featured here in the past.

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  • Warning: WordPress 2.7 Comment Pagination Creates Duplicate Content

    One of the lesser talked about features introduced in WordPress 2.7 is the new feature that breaks comments into multiple pages to create faster load times.   By default, this feature is activated and set to allow 50 comments before the break.    The problem is, with this new feature activated, your WordPress blog is creating duplicate content.

    Here is what I found while checking my Google Webmaster Tools account for this website:

    Duplicate Title Tags

    wphacks-title-tags

    Duplicate Descriptions

    wphacks-descriptions

    Is this a huge deal?  Probably not, but you may want to consider unchecking this box in your Dashboard > Settings > Discussion tab.   Hopefully in a future version of WordPress this will NOT be checked by default and instead be an option.

    break-comments

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  • Mourning the Loss of Co.mments

    It is with great sadness that yesterday I discovered one of my favorite services, Co.mments, is shutting down.  It looks like today is the last day.

    Here is the message provided by the owners:

    comments

    For those unfamiliar with the service, it allows you to track follow up comments.  I used it whenever I left a comment on a blog post, so now I’m not sure what service I will be using.   I prefer a bookmarklet, so I’ll have to look around and see if there is anything that can accommodate me.

    What do you guys use to track follow up comments?

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  • Give Commentators Points with CubePoints WordPress Plugin

    Are you in need of some more commentators or want to allow commentators to receive points for commenting to get something?

    With the CubePoints WordPress plugin you can, CubePoints allows you to choose a certain amount of points for each comment posted by a certain commentator. You can offer premium content, allow readers to purchase merchandise or maybe even an advertisement for your blog with a certain amount of points.

    When they post a comment the points set in the administration panel is added to that person’s comment account and if their comment is deleted, it automatically removes the points. You, as the administrator can even alter the points quickly and easily from administration!

    If you want to display how many points a commentator has accumulated in the sidebar, you can use this code:

    <?php cp_displayPoints(); ?>

    You can download and install this plugin from the WordPress Directory.  It was just added on December 26th.

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  • Announce Your Comment Policy with Comment License WordPress Plugin

    Its been a controversy in the blogosphere for awhile now about who owns comments, although I am not getting into this in big detail, but I wanted to point out that there is a plugin that lets you let people know that your comment maybe used by the owner of the blog with attribution to you (your name and link). A blog post, posted by Jeff Chandler on Weblog Tools Collection really got a conversation going about this.

    I currently am using a plugin on my blog called Comment License which will let you tell your commentators that you have a policy for posting comments. Some have made it say that no spamming is allowed, no foul language and/or that the comment maybe used in attribution by the owner. You just have to download it, upload it to the plugin directory inside WordPress, activate it and find the Comment License page; you’ll have it up and running on your blog in no time!

    I’ve been using this plugin for awhile now and it still displays my comment policy right above the Submit button. If you think this plugin would be useful for your blog, go out and get it either from the WordPress Plugin Repository or Alex King’s site.

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  • Which Plugins Do You Want to See Built into WordPress?

    It seems like every time WordPress gets close to a new release, I praise the WordPress team for integrating popular WordPress plugins into the WordPress software and I get several of the same responses…”If it already exists a WordPress plugin, why waste time installing it into the software?”

    Unfortunately, just because a WordPress plugin exists, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t better off having it built into WordPress.  Here are a few reasons:

    • Security Vulnerabilities – Improperly coded WordPress plugins can cause security vulnerabilities.   Now, this can obviously happen with the WordPress software, but it is more likely to be coded correctly or caught and fixed quickly when it is integrated into the WordPress software.
    • Wasting Database Resources – Poorly coded WordPress plugins can waste a lot of database resources.   Unneeded database queries can cause slow loading times, etc.
    • Everyone Has Access – Although we all know about WordPress plugins, I’m sure there are a number of users who don’t understand what they are, how they work, how to install them, etc.  Having it built into WordPress ensures that everyone has access to these features.

    It is with this thought process that I always try to use as few WordPress plugins as possible on my websites, and I rejoice every time popular WordPress plugins are built directly into WordPress.

    With WordPress 2.7 coming out soon, we’ll be getting a bunch of new plugins built into WordPress.  What plugins would you like to see built into WordPress next?  Keep in mind that the plugin would need to be something that would benefit most (if not all) WordPress users in order to be considered (not situational plugins).

    The five I would like to see built into WordPress next:

    1. All-in-One SEO Pack (or at least some parts of it) – This is very basic stuff and everyone who uses WordPress would benefit.
    2. Google XML Sitemaps – This is one of the most popular WordPress plugins and for good reason.  A sitemap.xml file should come standard with any blogging software.
    3. No Self Pings – Why does WordPress send pingbacks internally?  I think this one would be easy to integrate and people would love it.
    4. Popularity Contest – We have recent posts, recent comments, etc.  Who wouldn’t want this as an option on their WordPress theme?
    5. Database Manager – It would be nice if there was a way that you could easily backup and restore your database without the use of a WordPress plugin.

    Share your five most wanted in the comments!

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  • Automattic Acquires Intense Debate – Comment Improvements Coming?

    If you talk to most bloggers, they will tell you that comments are possibly the most important and most rewarding part of maintaining a blog, because they allow for both feedback and direct interaction with the author of blog.    It looks like Automattic (the team behind WordPress) feels the same way, as they have taken a major step towards improving how comments work within WordPress with their recent acquisition of Intense Debate.

    According to Matt:

    For those of you who aren’t familiar with the product, Intense Debate supercharges the comment section of WordPress blogs and other sites with cool features like threading, reply by email, voting, reputation, and global profiles. There are a few companies tackling this space right now, but I was impressed with how much ID (Intense Debate) has been able to do with a small team, and happy to find that their common platform (PHP and MySQL) would make integration a lot easier.

    Going forward, the plan is to keep Intense Debate available as a platform-agnostic independent service, much like Akismet. We’ll start to integrate its features into WordPress core, WordPress.com, and Gravatar as appropriate. For example, comment threading is going to be in WordPress 2.7, but reply by email is a lot easier to implement on a hosted service like WordPress.com. We’re also going to be able to lend our expertise in scaling to the ID team to make sure their users enjoy the same hassle-free speed and bulletproof availability as users of other Automattic services.

    Long-term, I think that comments are the most crucial interaction point for blogs, and an area that deserves a lot of investment and innovation. Comments really haven’t changed in a decade, and it’s time to spice things up a little.

    So, what does this mean for comments in WordPress?   It appears that Automattic is serious about improving WordPress comments and adding additional features, so I think the WordPress community has a lot to look forward to (think of the Gravatar or BuddyPress improvements).   It looks like we can also expect some of Intense Debates functionality to be built into the WordPress install at some point, hopefully as soon as WordPress 2.8 or 2.9!

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