WordPress For Newbies: Comment Thread AND Email Reply

I”m not sure when the best time is to post blog tips…there are a lot of people who could careless about this stuff you know. It’s true. I swear. To them I say I have a Bachelor post coming later and a doggie update right NOW:

Victor E. has been adopted. YAY! He lives with an older couple in there fifties with no kids. This relieves me to no end. I just KNOW they will adore Victor E…and he will be so happy to live in a home without any kids to pester him. I do miss him though…as ridiculous as that sounds.

Okay back to my blog tip…which is not so much a “tip” as it is simply a plugin recommendation for WordPress users:

I’ve always kind of wondered what is the best way to respond to comments. I love the look of the “forums” when my favorite blog authors thread their comments in with their readers comments…but so few of us actually go back to read them.

One of the things I was excited about when switching to WordPress was the possibility of having that forum look in the comment section AND responding via email at the same time.

Justine from Stupid Is As Sister Does and @_pixie_ from Artist Mother Teacher linked me to a plugin called WordPress Thread Comment and then tirelessly helped me figure out how to help me get it to work. Love them for it!

Here’s what you do:

  • Click “add new” plugin.
  • Search: “wordpress thread comment”
  • Click install.
  • Activate.

But the trick to making it work properly is going into WordPress Thread Comment settings in the sidebar of your dashboard. Scroll about 3/4ths down the page and click the “anyone replies” option beneath “Email notify the parent commenter when his comment was replied.”

You won’t know if it’s working by checking testing it yourself…I never got a reply email to my own comments on my own blog post. You have to have someone else check it for you.

Once I realized mine worked I got all kinds of excited. Before, I had a plugin that could thread the comments forum style…and a plugin that could respond via email…but not a plugin that could do both. This one is awesome.


  1. says

    Ooh ta for that – been sort of wishing I had this and haven’t had the gumption to go looking for it. Installed and awaiting testing :)

      • says

        I dunno! My mojo is still celebrating New Year – what date is this already? I haven’t blogged at all in 2010 so no comments to reply to yet – oh dear!

        • says

          I just love that you went the extra steps to add the plug in before you’ve even posted anything. Hahaha…I guess the plug in IS easier to do than an entire post!

    • Sara says

      OMG. Just got tech support(the husband) to install the comment thing.
      LOVE IT. You are a genius and that is why you reside in my feed reader. Keep on keepin’ on.

  2. says

    Yeah for Victor E.
    Please don’t give me a detention for not paying attention, but didn’t you do a post about the wonders of wordpress? My blog has a long way to go (is it pathetic that one of my resolutions for the year is to blog regularly and comment as much as I can), but it seems a lot of people are making the switch so I wanted to see why.
    Can you direct me to that post.

  3. says

    You know..cause it isn’t like you don’t have anything to do all day…what with running a daycare, three kids of your own, fostering pets and having a hubby to boot. If anyone has an idea of how to fix the problem please let me know.

    Thanks bunches

  4. says

    Glad to hear Victor has a new home. But I have a bone to pick with you – so now, The Mister and I can also be described as an “older couple”?

    You just wait, sister. You too will discover that the older YOU get, the older OLD gets.

    Soon, your definition of “older couple” will be someone in their 80s.

    Mark my words (oh, now THAT sounds old).

    • says

      Hahaha…for the RECORD….I was merely quoting what the rescue later said to me in a reply email. She said “older couple” and the age “50”. HER words. Not mine. 50 is the new 30….and since I’m 30 I think that makes me like actually 10.

  5. Christine says

    DUDETTE..YOUR A ROCKSTAR!!! I am totally going to try this. WordPress gives me various nervour breakdowns throughout my day..good times. Any thing to help me is super fabuous!!

    • says

      I put all my blog tips and favorite wordpress plugin links in the “blog tip” section up there in the toolbar. Any time I find something of value while I’m learning about all this I’ll link to my resources up there.

  6. 3 Men & a Lady says

    I still don’t have the cojones to switch to WP. I am too comfortable here at Blogger. But I do like how you can respond to the comments. I think there is a Disqus thing that can be used with Blogger to do the same, but I have commented on blogs that use this and it’s a PITA to sign in and all that and I don’t want to make my 5 readers fo through that much trouble.

    And good for everyone that the dog found a new home.

    • says

      Yeah I remember some people using Disqus at Blogger….good point. It was a pain to leave comments that way the first couple times, but then it remembered my information and wasn’t too bad. I hate it when people have to fill out giant registration forms just to leave a comment….but I see how it helps you respond. I love blogger too! It took a LOT of peer pressure, guidance, and reassurance to convince me to switch.

    • says

      Hahaha….I’m sure a lot of people feel the same as you. I promise I’ll make it up with another post later. Unless you don’t care about The Bachelor, in which case I’ll be oh for two today. ;)

  7. says

    You so totally rock. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me with your busy schedule. About the dog…..try a Basset Hound. They are so lovable and sweet and they will keep you totally entertained for hours. Mine gets in trouble all the time but I can’t be mad at him because he is so cute about it.

  8. erica says

    I installed this too… thank you so much for posting the plug in info.

    But, alas, I have no idea if it is working the say it is supposed to…

    • says

      I know that’s the hard part…I called my bff and forced her to comment so that I could reply back and find out if she got the reply.

  9. says

    I use the free version of WordPress and only for my cookbook so I can’t add plug-ins :( but I use it because I like being able to have multiple pages. Meanwhile my other blogs are happy as can be over on Blogger :) I’m glad Victor E. got a new, kidless home.

  10. says

    Thanks for the info! I was wondering how to enable that on my site. Now I can actually encourage discussions. And keep hounding those who comment long after they have forgotten what they said in the first place. Muahaha!

  11. says

    I’m so glad you found one:) I think I will switch to yours. It looks better:) Pretty soon we will be the Masters of WP!

    • says

      No I love Blogger. WordPress is ONLY better if you do the self hosted version and pay like 8 bucks a month. Otherwise definitely stick with Blogger in my opinion.

        • says

          Blogger is great…I just feel like with me I was ready for more “stuff” to do with the ol’blog. I’m glad I changed, but it’s not necessary.

  12. says

    I am so happy that Victor E was adopted so fast!

    As far as the comment system goes, I was so stinking sick of comment luv that yesterday I finally changed back to Disqus. I love the features of Disqus…basically what you just described. Comment Luv never worked right for me. I couldn’t get the reply function to work at all. I just miss the twitter name underneath the comments….

  13. says

    Heehee! I just went back to read some other comments and noticed the comments about Disqus above. You can use Disqus with WP as well. It was super easy to install. I had people complain about Disqus when I had it over at blogger, but I think the point is that most blogs will remember your info after you’ve filled it out once. Some don’t. Like SITS. It drives me crazy to have to fill out the name, email, and URL every time I leave a comment there….but it has nothing to do with comment luv or WP, since other comment luv blogs do remember my info.

    So should I consider switching to this system you’re using before I’ve gotten in too deep with Disqus again??

    • says

      Weird…the SITS site remembers my info. I think Disqus is fine, but I definitely like this plug in I’m using. I think comment luv is something completely different though, right? That’s just the plugin that tracks the title of each commenters last post title.

      • says

        Yes, Comment Luv remembers your last post, and seems to be used by a lot of the WP blogs I visit. I think I was thinking that it was a whole comment system in itself, but I guess it’s just an add-on to the regular WP comments.

        One thing I really like about Disqus is the ability to reply to the email notification of a comment or a reply. It emails the person I’m responding to and posts it to my blog in one step.

        So strange that SITS remembers your info but not mine. Almost every other blog I visit remembers me, so it’s frustrating that SITS doesn’t.

        • says

          You used to have comment luv, M.K. I remember, because it was reminding me I kept having the same post up. I’m over that now, though–I’ve posted since then. :-)

          Maybe SITS remembers Mama Kat for reasons you don’t want to be remembered for, Lolli. ;-) It can’t always be good to be memorable.

  14. says

    I will definitely have to remember this one. I have a wordpress blog that I probably will wait until I can self-host it, but having this ability sounds cool.

    Cannot wait for your Bachelor post. I so like them (almost wrote one myself, but may just add my two cents worth as a comment).

    • says

      Hahaha…I LOVE that you keep up on The Bachelor…working on the post now, but need to crank out a writing prompts post first….any prompt suggestions?

      • says

        Got your reply, now I have to figure out how to change my e-mail filter so that it goes to the right place.

        Since we’re in a new decade, perhaps a good prompt would be:
        What do you predict will happen this decade? (You can be funny or serious if you like).

  15. says

    Glad to hear your dog got a new happy home. I just had to give away my cat here due to allergies. It was hard, but certain people in my household are much happier that they can breathe now.

    Thanks for the plugin tip. I just moved over to WordPress and am still figuring it all out. By the way, thanks for helping out by answering all my questions before the move when I was 2 Toddlers and Me. In return I mentioned your WordPress vs. Blogger post yesterday on my blog. I’ll be looking forward to anymore tips you post as I’m always looking to better my blog.

  16. says

    Does this work for WP.com blogs or just WP.org? Do you know? It sees so many of the good plug-ins (or maybe all of them?) are just for WP.org. I have GOT to convince the hubby I need my own domain name…!

  17. says

    Wow, I’m pretty nerdy, and I think I could do that if I had to. But all I really want to know is, does this mean I’ll get an email if you reply to my comment? That would be peachy. ;-) And yay for Victor E.!

  18. Serenity says

    This is another reason to love WordPress…the possibilities are endless :) I love all the cool little plugins :)

  19. SweetPeaSurry says

    I’m going to make a huge assumption here, and say that the ‘click to add’ new plug-is only available if you own a domain? Because I searched EVERYWHERES for it and never did find it. I think I made my little free site work right though. *grins*

  20. says

    Oh my gosh. I could kiss you right now. Like seriously kiss you.

    I have been searching for this very thing. I googled. I searched. I researched. And I couldn’t find it.

    You just made my day. I’ve already installed it and I’m trying to figure out it if works.


      • says

        Yay! Isn’t that the best feeling when you figure something out and do it RIGHT!?! I love this plugin…feel like I’m killing two birds with one stone AND promoting discussions in the comment section. LOVE IT!

  21. melissa stover says

    i’ll remember this if i decide to move to wordpress. i installed disqus on blogger recently and love it!

  22. says

    Thanks Mama Kat for this info! I have tried installing the plugins but it’s not working and I am so clueless to where I did wrong or was it just not compatible with my WP version or what and to add to the panic my blog designer is out of reach in China :( Might try again someday or can you tell me the plugin you used before to reply by email? Thank you!

  23. Amber says

    I’m so very sad that WP Threaded Comments no longer works on my blog. Once I upgraded to the new version of Thesis it died. Hid all of my threaded comments and stopped replying to unsubscribed comments by email :-( Hoping a fix for this comes along some day. I went back and just checked it again hoping that since it’s been about a month something would be updated. No dice. **sobs**

  24. coffee gifts says

    Terrific, that’ s exactly what I was seeking for! You just spared me alot of work

  25. says

    Thanks for this!

    I am trying to get my act together and actually understand my blog. I like to be oblivious, cross my fingers, say a prayer and hope it works. But I think it’s time to put on the big girl pants and learn some of the ins-and-outs of WordPress.

  26. says

    Thank you so much! I was SO frustrated reading through all of the “computer speak” of the programmers, and this worked so well!

    Thank you!!