How to Build Relationships with a WordPress Comment Plugin

If you have a blog that allows comments from readers, you need to have a WordPress comment plugin that sends notifications to your readers to let them know when you have responded to their comments.

In my opinion this is an absolute must! Otherwise a reader may forget all about the comment he left on your blog post and may never return to your blog to see if you responded.

If this person is already a follower of your blog, this may not be detrimental. But what if this person just stumbled upon an article you wrote?

What if that person liked what they read, commented on your post and then left to work on something else?

How are you going to turn that one time reader into a follower?

WordPress Comment PluginImage courtesy of Stuart Miles at

This actually happened to me recently.

How I went from being a one-time reader to being a follower

I discovered a post from Kevin from Be A Better Blogger called “Is your shirtless man in a cape costing you blog readers.”

The title caught my attention.

I read and enjoyed the post and even felt compelled to comment. However, he did not have a comment notification plugin.

The next day I remembered the post and I wondered if Kevin had responded to my comment, but I did not remember the name of his blog. I knew it was something about blogging, but that wasn’t much help.

Luckily I knew whose Facebook page I saw the link on and could return to his blog that way. In fact, in was Catherine from right here at Blogging Tips 101 who had shared the link that I saw on Facebook. (Thanks again, Catherine!)

So I returned to his post, which was about things bloggers do to scare away readers, and saw that he had replied to my comment. That’s when I realized he took a lot of time to thoroughly respond to my comment, and I almost missed it because he didn’t have a comment plugin to remind me to come back.

I commented back to him on that same post to highly recommend he add a WordPress comment plugin to notify readers about responses to their comments (and only their own comments).

He agreed with my suggestion and went so far as to write about it in his email newsletter. (That’s right, I joined his email list after seeing how much thought he put into responding to my comments)

Here is what Kevin had to say:

“Reader Dawn mentioned I needed to let readers be notified when someone has responded to one of their comments. Dawn was absolutely right — that is something I should have made available to my readers. It’s been added. Now, if you leave a comment on a post at Be A Better Blogger, you will automatically receive email notifications when someone replies to your comment. If you don’t want to be notified, you can opt out.”

Jet Pack is Not Good Enough for Comment Notifications

Simply having a WordPress comment plugin may not be enough. If you use the comment option that comes with the popular WordPress Jet Pack plugin, I would venture to say you need a better comment plugin.

The Jet Pack plugin gives readers the option to select to receive notifications before they publish a comment on your blog post. With this plugin, readers can either subscribe to follow comments on that particular blog post or to follow the blog and receive updates when a new blog post has been published.

The problem with this is if the reader chooses to follow the comments of that blog post, he will get a notification every single time anyone publishes a comment on that post. In some cases this may be useful. However, most times the reader will just want to know if anyone responds to his own comment and nothing more.

For a popular blog that gets lots of comments on each post, it can be very annoying to get email notifications about every comment all other readers publish on that blog post when the reader only wants to know if/when the blogger responds to his own comment.

There are a lot of WordPress comment plugins, but not all of them will give the reader the option to only get a response to his own comment.

WordPress Comment Plugins that Bring Readers Back

I use a free WordPress comment plugin simply called Comment Reply Notification by denishua. I like this plugin because it really only sends a notification to the reader when someone responds to that reader’s comment only.

This plugin also has some flexibility to decide if a notification will be sent automatically or if the reader gets to choose whether or not to receive a notification. I always like to make sure the reader has the choice about receiving a notification. This will also keep you from getting in trouble with laws related to spam.

You can also decide to have the comment plugin default to being checked or unchecked. I set the default to be checked, but the reader can always uncheck the box if he really doesn’t want to receive a notification of a comment response.

Kevin told me “I do use a different plugin than the one you use, though. I use the Send email only on Reply to My Comment plugin by Yasir. The reason is it’s been updated more recently, and because it’s been recommended by sites such as WP-Beginner.”

I personally have tried this plugin and it does work at allowing the reader to only get a notification for a response to his comment. It uses a drop down box rather than a check box for the reader to select what type of notifications he wants to receive. (At the time I just preferred the look of the check box.)

It doesn’t matter what WordPress comment plugin you choose as long as you give your readers a way to know that you are responding to their comments so you can build that relationship and possibly gain those readers as followers.

Do you have a WordPress comment plugin for your blog?


Written by

Dawn is a work-at-home wife and mom with a passion for health and nutrition. She blogs about healthy eating, family, skin care and natural health solutions at her blog, You can also find Dawn on Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin’.

21 Responses to “How to Build Relationships with a WordPress Comment Plugin”

written by Kevin Duncan On 15 August 2014 Reply


What a wonderful surprise!

First off, this is an excellent guest post. Very happy Catherine has shared your wisdom with everyone here on Blogging Tips 101.

Secondly, thank you for the awesome mention, Dawn. This, right here, is an example of why blog commenting and engagement is so important. A comment you left me way back on July 9 has led to:

- My now having the comment plugin (and the untold number of repeat blog visitors it has brought me).

- You being mentioned in my newsletter (not like winning the lottery or anything, but it’s not bad!).

- This wonderful mention in your guest post.

And this post, hopefully, will lead to others installing one of the comment plugins mentioned.

I’ll be Tweeting this shortly. Thanks again, Dawn. And thanks, Catherine, for letting Dawn be your guest.

Hope you both have wonderful weekends!

written by Catherine Holt On 16 August 2014 Reply

I’m such a huge advocate for blog commenting and Dawn has undertaken a great example of one of those reasons why. Connecting with other bloggers is an awesome way to build you blog, learn more, and also make new friends. It’s pretty awesome right?!

It just goes to show that even experienced bloggers like yourself Kevin, can learn new things. I keep saying that blogging is a journey, and this is a classic example. If we ever think that we ‘know it all’, then that’s the day our blogs will start dying.

The comment plugin that Dawn suggested is an awesome idea, and just helps us to strengthen the relationships with readers. Thanks Dawn for this wonderful post :-)

written by Dawn @ Reveal Natural Health On 16 August 2014 Reply

Thanks Kevin! I thought this story was too fun not to share :) Thanks for the inspiration. I hope you are right that more bloggers will realize the benefit of having a simple plugin to notify readers of responses to their own comments.

written by Brittany On 16 August 2014 Reply

I completely agree. A plug-in letting them know about the reply to THEIR comment ONLY is a MUST! I don’t know why more blogs don’t have this. You better believe I don’t go back and check every blog I comment on (like this one :) ) so if the blogger replies, I’ll never know!

written by Catherine Holt On 16 August 2014 Reply

Absolutely Brittany, it would be very time consuming going back to check blogs just to see whether your comment has been answered or not. Quite often bloggers drop a comment on a post that has really inspired them, but then simply forget about it (totally not uncommon).

By having a plugin that re-draws your attention back to the post it can encourage you to leave another comment. This in turn leads to increased traffic and engagement. It also shows that the author has appreciated your comment with taking the time to reply. This is definitely going to help readership.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts with us :-)

written by Dawn @ Reveal Natural Health On 16 August 2014 Reply

Of course the plugin only works when I actually reply to your comment rather than creating my own new comment lol. See my new comment below because I meant to write it to you :)

written by Dawn @ Reveal Natural Health On 16 August 2014 Reply

Hi Brittany! Yes, I agree this type of plugin is a must. With as many blog posts as I read in a given week, I know I need a reminder of what I enjoyed about a particular blogger that made me feel compelled to leave a comment in the first place. There are too many other distractions going on that make it hard to keep track of everything a reader may want to remember for later.

written by Ryan Biddulph On 16 August 2014 Reply

Hi Dawn,

Hmmm….this is something I don’t have – I think at least – and I need to think about going forward.

We’re busy bees, and unless your blog URL is super memorable most will forget it, and you may lose a shot to make a good friend and gain a loyal follower. So much potential for us when we build bonds through comments.

Kevin is a master blogger and commentor; I’m not surprised you noted his blog.

Here’s the deal; that same exact post was the first time I commented on his blog. It’s when I discovered him, and we’ve built such a great relationship in 1 short month.

Using any neat little plug in to receive notification is smart, as we generally do it with our own blogs but sometimes bloggers forget to do this for visitors.

Thanks for the reminder Dawn.

I tweeted through Triberr.


written by Catherine Holt On 16 August 2014 Reply

You know what Ryan…I remember Dawn talking to me about the scenario with Kevin and I was thinking to myself “I don’t have that plugin either!”. Well I do now! Definitely taught me a lesson!

At the end of the day we spend a lot of time working on the finer details and as a result we quite often forget the basics. Having a plugin that lets people know you have responded to their comment is an awesome idea. So simple, yet many of us forget it. Why on earth would we want to let the opportunity of future engagement slip through our fingers?

Like you said, it is hard to remember a URL, so a sneaky little email saying “hey, your comment has been answered” just gives that little nudge to let people know your still there :-)

Thanks for your athoughtful comment Ryan…have an awesome weekend :-)

written by Dawn @ Reveal Natural Health On 17 August 2014 Reply

Hi Ryan! That is so funny that we both discovered Kevin’s blog through that post. It certainly had an eye catching title that made me want to know what the article would say. Thank you so much for reading and commenting on this post :)

written by Okto On 16 August 2014 Reply

Hi Dawn,

Welcome to Catherine’s blog.

I just read and leave comment on adrienne’s blog about blog commenting. My opinion is always the same about it. The sole reason of blog commenting is to build strong relationship among bloggers (this is when success is your blogging goal). Don’t aim for backlink or other but relationship. Many business reach success because of their healthy relationship. Blogging is just another form of business that live in online world.

Thanks for the post.

written by Catherine Holt On 16 August 2014 Reply

I love your take on this Okto. Blog comment is indeed about relationship. Anything to aid that relationship has to be a good thing. Relationships grow when people engage, and this plugin encourages continuation of a conversation. The more conversation that occurs, the Stronger the relationship that develops.

Appreciate you stopping by and leaving us a comment :-)

written by Dawn @ Reveal Natural Health On 17 August 2014 Reply

I agree, Okto. Building relationships in blogging is so important. Thank you for your comment.

written by Kerry Russell On 16 August 2014 Reply

Hi Dawn.

SO glad I found your guest post today.

For a while I’ve been on the fence about purchasing CommentLuv pro, because it includes the ReplyMe plugin. But, at $97 for the sake of that one plugin, I decided to search for a free alternative instead – unsuccessfully, until now. :)

I looked at the plugin you’re using, but it says it’s not been updated in 2 years, so I decided to go with the one Kevin uses instead, just to be on the safe side.

What you say it right! It’s important to keep our blog commenters engaged, or they’ll never come back and visit us again.

Have a lovely weekend!

written by Catherine Holt On 16 August 2014 Reply

That’s great news Kerry. It’s awesome when you find a post that answers your questions, and I’m glad that Dawn was able to help you today. I love the comment luv plugin too, but I’m not using Pro either. The free version works just fine for me, and like your say, this comment email plugin is free too!

Enjoy your new plugin :-)

written by Dawn @ Reveal Natural Health On 17 August 2014 Reply

Hi Kerry! I am so glad I was able to help you save some money :) I also use just the basic version of CommentLuv on my own blog. Thank you for sharing your story.

written by Bill van de Graaff On 16 August 2014 Reply

Thank you for the advice, I have installed it. It makes good sense.

written by Catherine Holt On 17 August 2014 Reply

That’s great Bill. I hope that you find it helpful in your blogging adventure :-)

written by Dawn @ Reveal Natural Health On 19 August 2014 Reply

I am excited to hear that! Thanks for letting us know, Bill.

written by Sylviane Nuccio On 26 August 2014 Reply

Hi Dawn,

Well, I started visiting Catherine’s blog recently so today it gives me the opportunity to meet you.

It is indeed very important to have a plugin that notify commenters that you’ve replied to them. We’re all busy and we don’t always have the time to get back to check on our comments, I know I don’t, so when people don’t have that reply system I never know what happened with my comment.

Another thing that it does is that it’s also a reminder of you and your blog to new visitors. So it’s all good.

written by Catherine Holt On 26 August 2014 Reply

Hi Sylviane, great that you have been able to meet Dawn!!

The plugin works really well for continuing a conversation and like you say, how many of us actually go back to posts to check if our comment has been answered. I know that I certainly don’t and I’m not alone here. Anything to make our life easier has to be a bonus :-)

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by :-)

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