Would a Featured Comments plugin be useful to you?

featured comments plugin

This is an idea I picked up from a conversation I had somewhere: wouldn't it be nice to be able to feature your best comments on your sidebar?

We are already able to link to certain posts on our sidebars. For example, the most popular ones or those that relate to the current post (as well as the usually installed recent posts widget):

showing featured post widgets

But what about comments? Is there any way we could promote the best examples we have received on the blog's sidebar?

An incentive for excellent commenting

My brain went into overdrive. Since this blog is all about resurrecting the art of blogging, why not find an incentive to encourage readers to comment?

You could promote a chosen comment as "the comment of the day", for example. This could entice readers to make more of an effort on writing an excellent comment for consideration.

If the idea takes off, readers will soon be vying for their comment to be displayed in that prominent position. Being chosen as 'top commenter' would cultivate a sense of kudos and esteem.

Does a Featured Comments plugin exist?

So I started to search for a Featured Comments plugin:

Featured Comments

And I installed it to see what it could do.

Featured Comments plugin installed

Now before I could go about adding any featured comments of the day or whatever onto my sidebar, I needed to be able to find a suitable comment.

Select your chosen comment

Go to your comments page (via the Dashboard left-hand sidebar):

Comments tab

Here you are able to approve comments for publication and answer them (very important!).

Selected comment

Once the Featured Comments plugin is installed, there will be an additional option when you mouse over the comment called 'Feature'.

When you click on it, the comment suddenly has a green background:

comment selected as feature

And now it is ready to be highlighted in the sidebar.

Promote it in the sidebar

Go to the widgets page via the Dashboard left-hand sidebar:

Widgets tab

And look for the Featured Comments widget option:

featured comments widget

Place it in a prominent position in your sidebar, and give it a catchy title:

Placed featured comments widget

Remember to save, and then you can view it on your sidebar.

Or can I?

I tested this plugin on one of my other blogs, which uses the same theme and plugins as this one, and everything worked perfectly:

Featured comments widget showing

But for this blog it had a disastrous effect – basically all I could see was a white screen!

Which is very embarrassing.

Especially since I really wanted to use this feature on this blog.

Until I am able to solve this conundrum, all I can do is hope someone like Thrive will create a more secure Featured Comments plugin that will work on this blog:

Thrive request

With better features that displays a few of the words as an incentive to click or to participate.

I can but hope.

What do you think about a Featured Comments plugin?

Let me know in the comments box below your thoughts on highlighting the best comments and promoting them on the sidebar.

And if you happen to know of a better Featured Comments plugin, or a solution why this one won't work on this blog, please let me know as soon as possible!

Alice Elliott
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And let me know your thoughts about this post below...
  • Hi Alice,
    It is indeed a great joy to be here again as I could very well relate to you with my activities, especially in relation to commenting.
    Even after featuring me in your recent article I could often visit these pages via your tweets.

    I could very well relate to you with this post too, as I am one among the many bloggers who give much importance to my blog comment authors.

    I do reciprocate my comment authors by publishing a post every first week of the month by providing their name the total comments they made along with their website/blog URLs.

    This really encourages my comment authors to reach my blog page every month. This I do with the help of a plugin (MyCommentAuthors) developed by one of the fellow bloggers named Enstine Muki.

    This plugin also helps me to automatically mail the post intimation from my dashboard with their details and post URL.

    But the plugin you shared in this post (Featured Comments by Pippin Williamson) too is an amazing one as it features the best comments at the sidebar automatically.

    I am sure this will be a great encouragement to our readers.
    I will surely try this on my page, and I am bookmarking this post for my further use in this regard.

    Thanks, Alice for this wonderful shout out about this amazing plugin.
    Keep sharing.
    May you have a great time of sharing ahead.
    ~ Phil

    • Thank you Phil for you extensive comment. I’m glad you approve of my idea of featuring the best commenter on the sidebar. We need to reward our commenters as much as we can, to encourage them to keep commenting on our blogs.

      I am also grateful for you to try out the commenting author plugins you mentioned above. Please let me you what you think after you’ve reviewed them together.

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