If you have a website, chances are that you are trying to connect with people. You publish some kind of content in the hopes that visitors will comment, chat, or interact with you in some way. For many people, commenting on other sites is a way to expand their influence, attract new visitors to their own sites, and share their information. A great way to encourage that behavior on your site is to reward those who interact with you and what better way to reward people than through DoFollow links. If this sounds like a good idea, keep reading, the Top Commentators Widget is just what you need.
WordPress Top Commentators Widget
WordPress Top Commentators Widget is a free WordPress plugin, created by Lorna Timbah of WebGrrrl.net, that tracks the comments on your site, tabulates the results, and displays the names with the most comments, depending on your settings. The widget works well with both the Disqus and Livefyre comment management systems.
Here are the settings for the WordPress Top Commentators Widget:
Change widget title
I changed my title to “Top commenters”, the wording I found from a great site by Neil Patel, Quicksprout.com. Installing the plugin was an idea that I read about on the site. It is a great site and I highly recommend everyone to check it out. The information Neil has written is outstanding.
Add description below the title
Sort of like a tag line, this box allows you to enter text to be displayed under the title but just before the first person. My description is:
Anyone who shares will be rewarded here. Are you on the list?
Exclude these users
If you are interacting and connecting with your visitors, chances are that you will be the top commenter with the most comments. Use this field to remove your name from the list if you want. I did.
Reset period every
Set the time period for the results; Hour, Day, Week, Month, Year, List All. I have mine set to List All
Limit number of names to
Use to limit the length of the list displayed on your site. I set mine to 4.
Limit characters in names to
If you have commenters that have long names, you can limit the length here. Useful if the names are often too wide for the widget location. I left mine the default 20.
Remarks for blank list
What do you want to display if there are no comments for the time period you specified? I left it the default “Be the first to comment” but may decide to spice it up a little.
Filter the following full/partial URLs
If you don’t want to display certain URLs, you can enter them here, either full or partial.
Filter the following full/partial emails
Similar to the previous setting, if you don’t want to display certain email addresses, enter them here.
Display list as
Allows you to display your list as either bulleted or numbered. I prefer bulleted.
Hyperlink each name?
This setting allows you to reward your top commenters by linking their name to their URL. Simple Yes or No
Open each link in a new window?
Check if you want each link to open a new browser window when clicked.
NoFollow each name if hyperlinked?
The best way to reward your top commenters is by linking to their site using DoFollow links. This instructs Google and other search engines to follow that link to the other site. NoFollow links are good, but often do not help the SEO efforts of the commenters. Most of my links are NoFollow, but I decided to make these DoFollow and suggest you do the same.
Show number of comments for each commenter?
Do you want everyone to see how many comments each commenter has left? If so, leave this setting Yes.
(Hijack-proof?) Group commentors based on:
If you have some commenters trying to game the system, you can chose how to group the comments for consideration. I decided to leave it the default, E-mail.
Show in home page only?
This option controls where the widget will be displayed. I left it the default, Yes.
Display only commentors with URL?
Used to filter those commenters who do not have or did not leave a URL. Since everyone does not have a website to direct traffic to, I chose to display all commenters by selecting No.
A Gravatar is a little picture that is displayed in various places around the web. You have probably seen these and may even have a customized Gravatar of your own. Most people like pictures so I decided to display them by choosing Yes.
Use the following default Gravatar
For those who don’t have a Gravatar, you can choose a default image to display for them. The choices are; 404, Mystery Man, Identicon, MonsterID, Wavatar. I left it the default Mystery Man.
Show an Award if comments are equal or greater than
Want to really show your appreciation for those top commenters? Here is you chance to give them a little award if they have left a minimum number of comments. I decided at this time to disable it by leaving it 0.
Award icon/image location
The path for your award icon if you chose to display it (see the previous setting). I left mine the default.
Align the Award icon
Controls where the award icon will appear. I’m not using the award icon so I left it the default, Right.
Here is a screen capture of the result. My site doesn’t have a ton of comments, but I am very happy with the 27 (including mine) that I have. As the owner of a site, it is difficult not to associate the worth of your site to the number of comments. You spend hours, weeks, even months producing content and for what? No comments? Well, don’t despair. Comments are not the best indication of quality content.
If you don’t have very many (or any) comments yet, don’t worry. Many large sites with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month only have a very small fraction of that number in comments. Continue to produce great content and the comments will come.
Are you using a the Top Commentors Widget or another plugin to reward commenters? Leave me a comment and let me know which one