WordPress offers plenty of flexibility to designers and developers, and the comments section provides some opportunities for creativity. These 10 tutorials will show you some different things that you can do on your own WordPress blogs, or those of clients, to make more of an impact with comments. Some focus on functionality and others on appearance, but all serve a purpose.
This tutorial from NETTUTS has been used by a number of blogs, particularly in the design niche, for creating a community news section. I use a different approach for the news section at DesignM.ag, but Collis’ technique works and it’s not that difficult to set up. It’s a great way to add some user interaction to your blog.
WordPress comment forms can be improved by following this tutorial. As you can see from the image below, When required fields are not entered a message will be shown.
Pingbacks and trackbacks are great because they mean other bloggers are linking to you, but they can also hurt the conversation within the comments by interfering and cluttering things up. Michael Martin shows us how to separate them so the comment section can be a better place for discussion (This is something I have been meaning to do on my blogs for a long time).
When blog readers are browsing through comments or looking for a response to one of their own comments, it can be helpful if the author’s comments stand out somehow. With CSS you can style author comments just about any way you want so they’ll be seen and noticed. (Once again, something I’ve been meaning to do).
Gravatars are now being used by many bloggers in the comments section. Fortunately, WordPress has made it pretty simple to get Gravatars into your theme, and this article is a good resource if you’re looking for some help.
Numbering comments may make it easier for readers to follow the conversation and come back to a particular comment, possibly their own. Adding numbers is pretty simple, and of course they can be styled to your satisfaction.
Not many blogs use this technique, but some do (including Web Designer Wall). If you’re looking to mix things up a bit, this could be an approach worth trying.
Michael Martin again offers a helpful tutorial, this time covering the possibilities of improving the comment section by styling it. Michael reminds us that comment forms don’t have to be plain white.
Ever wanted to customize the actual display of comments on your blog? Check out this tutorial from WPBeginner which goes into detail about styling your own comment sections. It’s super easy to customize with only a bit of PHP code.
If you’re just looking to get more familiar and comfortable with how WordPress handles comments, this is a great resource. You’ll walk away from this tutorial with a beter understanding of WordPress comments, how they work, and how you can alter and customize them to meet your needs.
For more WordPress resources and tutorials see: