The personal website of Chris Coyier

Improving WordPress Comments

WordPress has commenting functionality built-in. I feel like they haven’t seen a lot of love in a while. Here’s some random things I think would improve the situation.

  • Email notifications need design love. How about some HTML email formatting with nice buttons for the actions (approve, delete, spam, etc).
  • When you click those buttons, it would be nice if it just did those actions (if you’re logged in), rather than take you to a page where you then have to click a button again to perform the action.
  • If the comment is a reply to another comment, it would be good to see the lineage of comments in the email notification, but also in the admin UI.
  • If the comment is already approved, there should be a #hash link to the comment itself in the email.
  • Comments from logged in users should attach somehow programmatically to their user accounts. Sort of like how a bbPress user’s forum activity is their own.
  • Users should be able to edit their comments if they are logged in and the comment is theirs (or they have permissions that allow it). At least for a certain amount of time.
  • There should be some method for Ajax submission of comments, so it doesn’t have to be a full page reload to submit or edit a comment.
  • You should be able to preview a comment, so you can see the processed HTML of it (or Markdown preview if Jetpack Markdown is activated).
  • As an admin, you should be able to delete/edit/spam a comment from the front end of the site.
  • There could be user controls for comments, like being able to mark a comment as particularly good or report it for spam or abusive content.
  • Comments should be sortable. Oldest, newest, most upvotes, etc.
  • Admins should be able to comment on threads even if they are otherwise closed.

Just ideas! I have no intimate knowledge of how this all works and what of all this would be easy/hard or is a good idea/bad idea. Just the perspective of someone who has WordPress sites with a few hundred thousand comments.