How to Let Visitors Subscribe to Comments

Do you respond to comments on your blog?

Many bloggers do, and they put great care into each comment they write. The problem is the original commenter has no way of knowing if you ever respond.

The solution is pretty simple. All you need is a way to email commenters when there are new comments.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to add a checkbox to your comment form that visitors can check off to subscribe to comments on a post.

How to Add Comment Subscriptions to Posts

The first step is to install and activate the Subscribe To Comments Reloaded plugin.

the Subscribe to Comments Reloaded on wordpress.org

Once activated, you’ll find a new Subscribe to Comments menu item under Settings.

screenshot of the Subscribe to Comments Menu Item

You’ll see the following settings on that page:

Subscribe to Comments Reloaded settings page

If you’re like me, you find this page overwhelming. Each of the tabs up top contain more settings for configuring the plugin which could take a long time to learn and customize.

What I love about this plugin is that the default configuration is effective and well thought out. Instead of pouring over the settings and testing them, you can simply activate this plugin and leave it.

Over time, you may want to make changes here and there, but to start with, simply activate the plugin and let it run.

How Does it Work?

You’ll notice one change on your site after activating Subscribe to Comments Reloaded.

After your comment form, you’ll see a new checkbox visitors can use to subscribe to comments.

screenshot of the comment subscription checkbox

There is also a link to a page where they can subscribe to the comments without adding their own comment. Here’s what that page looks like:

page where user can subscribe to comments

This gives visitors two easy ways to get notified when new responses are left.

Subscriber Management

Subscribe to Comments Reloaded also allows you to manage your subscribers.

The main settings page featured above will populate with your visitors subscriptions over time. You can then add, remove, and edit anyone’s subscription there.

User Subscription Management

Every email notification includes a link to the visitor’s subscription management page. This way, subscribers can easily manage their own comment subscriptions.

Conclusion

Between the emails and the various subscription pages, this plugin is pretty complex. However, since the default configuration is so good, you can simply activate it on your site.

With the new email notifications, you’ll get more returning visitors, and a lot more comment replies on your site.

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6 Comments

  1. Danny Brown Danny Brown

    Another option is Postmatic (which you can import your STCR subscriptions into). This lets you post a new comment from your email inbox, as well as reply to comments from email too. Excellent solution:

    https://en-ca.wordpress.org/plugins/postmatic/

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      Hey Danny,

      Thanks for sharing, looks like a great alternative!

      • Danny Brown Danny Brown

        For sure, mate – I’ve been using it since February 2015, and the results have been awesome as far as comment growth and engagement. Excellent support too, which is always nice.

        PS – I did smile a little at the irony of a post about commenting notifications not sending me any, I had to come back to the post to see if any new comments were on here. 😉

        • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

          Yup still working on the blog here, maybe I’ll setup Postmatic instead 😉

  2. Jean Browman Jean Browman

    Subscribe to Comments Reloaded doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t send out any emails. Any suggestons would be greatly appreciated. I read an article that said using MailGun instead of what my server was using would help. It didn’t and MailGun says it is configured correctly. Also my contact form sends out emails. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      I would recommend checking out a transactional email service like Send Grid or Mandrill by MailChimp. They both have plugins, and will take over all email delivery from the site. Rather than using your website’s hosting to send email (which it’s never particularly good at), you can use a system dedicated to effectively delivering emails.

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