How To Enable
What Are Threaded Comments?
Threaded comments on a blog are comments where a reply to a particular comment tucks nicely under the comment it is a reply to. This is more easily visualized than verbalized so see the picture!
WordPress did not originally have threading, so many old themes and old blogs do not have it enabled. (Some old themes do not directly support it, but I have a workaround for that.) You’re probably looking for a solution if your comments and replies look currently look more like this:
Okay! So How Do I Enable Threaded Comments?!
The first section of this reply will likely work for you. WordPress built this feature in a few revisions back, and most high quality themes now simply need the check-box enabled. This will tell you if your theme supports threading without a plugin. If the first part doesn’t solve it for you, just keep reading!
Please do not enable the plugin in step 5 if the dashboard settings in step 2 fix it, or you risk having a major issue!
1. Go into your Dashboard. On the left hand Sidebar, scroll down until you find “Settings“. Expand “Settings” if it is not already and select “Discussion“.
2. In Discussion, under “Other Comment Settings”, the FOURTH check-box says “Enable Threaded Comments“. Check it and then save your changes.
3. Now go to one of your blog posts that has a number of comments. Select one of the early comments and look for the word “[REPLY]” under it. Click it to see if the reply field will open immediately under it. Leave a brief test reply and click send/submit to leave the reply. Once the page refreshes, see if you have the effect you are looking for.
If you do, GREAT, your done. If you don’t, lets move on…
4. Go back to Dashboard -> Sidebar -> Settings -> Discussion and un-check (disable) the box next to “Enable Threaded Comments”. You are going to use a plugin to create this effect and do not want it to have a conflict.
5. Still in your Dashboard -> Sidebar -> Plugins -> Add New … search for: WordPress Thread Comment
6. Install and Activate WordPress Thread Comment and then go to its Settings, which will be under Settings -> WP Thread Comment.
7. This plugin actually runs just fine with the default settings, however I want to mention just a few you may want to alter.
- “Edit Maximum Nest Level“: 3 is fairly low, I suggest 5 if your blog is active
- “Email notify the parent commenter when his post was replied to“: Do NOT enable this if your already running the “subscribe to comments” plugin. Think carefully about your choice on this one, because it may improve commenter follow-up or it may annoy commenters that feel they did not give you permission to email them if they did not specify you could.
- “Front-end Comment Management“: Enable
- Yes there are a lot more options, many of them you probably don’t want/need to alter.
8. Repeat Step #3 from above and you should now have SUCCESS!
One Note About Threaded Replying From The Dashboard
This isn’t really a “step” but I wanted to note that once threading is working, you can also do replies in the Dashboard -> Comments section, to individual comments, and they will generally appear threaded correctly on the blog. This is handy for bloggers like myself that prefer to do majority of their replies from the dashboard. No special steps needed to make this work!
Summary & Thoughts
Comment threading is pretty much essential today since it encourages reader interaction. It helps make your content “sticky” in the sense that you can start dialogs that readers may come back to repeatedly. The ability to have these inline comments is also a lot easier on the eyes and visually shows your NEW visitors that you as an author are interacting with your existing visitors. All of these things add up to the relationship building that is so critical for success today!
Hopefully you found this post helpful in enabling threaded comments in wordpress! It really is rather simple for most of the new themes! Questions, comments or feedback? Leave them below! I look forward to hearing your thoughts and I’m happy to answer any questions. If you know of anyone that may find this information useful, I would be grateful if you would syndicate, share or otherwise pass it along! Make it a great day!