If you're a blogger, you know how important it is to respond to comments.  If someone is going to take the time to leave their thoughts on your post, you better be responding back to them!  Unless, of course, you get like 10,000 comments every day.... then I guess we can let it slide ;)  


If you're a blog reader, you know how nice it is for you to know when a blogger responds to your comments.  You visited their page, read their post, left your thoughts... wouldn't you like to know when/if they respond to your comment?


Sadly, not all blogs are set up to give you notification when your comment receives a reply.  So, all you bloggers... we should take some time today to change that, ok? :)


Comment Reply Notification

Let me introduce you to my favorite plugin ever.  It's the "Comment Reply Notification" plugin and I.love.it.


If you've commented on my blog, you've seen this little blurb beneath the comment box.  It says "Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail" and automatically starts checked.  If you leave it checked, whatever email address you use in the comment form will receive an email when I respond to your comment.  Awesome, right?!



But don't I already have this?

If you're using WordPress, you might have some boxes beneath your comment box that look kinda-almost-exactly like this one.  The Jetpack plugin (which you probably have) automatically places two little blurbs down there: "Notify me of follow-up comments by email" and "Notify me of new posts by email".


It's really annoying that both of those follow-up comments blurbs are SO SIMILAR.  You might have seen that and assumed that your readers could click that and they'd get your reply.


As a blog reader, I thought the same thing.  I checked that (Jetpack) option on someone's blog and discovered that one is definitely not the option I wanted.  Putting a check mark in that unfortunate box will send you an email every flippin' time someone comments on the post... not just responding to your comment, but every.single.comment. that's left on the post.  Not exactly what I wanted.


So since I hate falling for that option on other people's blogs, I took it off my page.  Also, I don't think anyone subscribes to my blog by selecting the "notify me of new posts" check box, so I took off that option too.


To remove those boxes: click the Jetpack link on the left side of your WordPress dashboard.  Find the "Subscriptions" box and click Configure.  At the bottom of that page, there is a section called "Jetpack Subscriptions Settings".  Uncheck both boxes there.  Done!



Install It!

I'm sure I don't even need to tell you how to install a plugin so I'll briefly gloss over it: hover over "Plugins" on the left side menu bar on your Wordpress dashboard.  Select "Add New".  Type "Comment Reply Notification" in the search box and hit enter.  It will probably be the first one in the list.  To be sure, select "Details" and make sure the author is "denishua". Hit "Install Now" and go through the installation process.


Once installed, find the plugin's settings.  You might be taken to the settings once you install it, or you can navigate there through Dashboard --> Settings --> Comment Reply Notification.


For my site, in the first section of options, I chose to email the commenter when "Commenter chose to do so (default checked)".  This means the commenter will see the check box, but it will start checked.  If they leave it checked, they'll get an email when I reply to them.



Test It!

I've had this plugin installed for maybe 4 or 5 months and just tested it the other night while writing this post.  Oops. To test, log out of WordPress, leave a comment from another of your email addresses, log into WP and reply to the comment, then check your other email address to see if you received a reply notification email.


When I did this, I discovered that the email address that sends the "notification" is something absolutely silly- savingn3 [at] box753.bluehost [dot] com.  What da heck?  The notification email actually went straight to my spam folder!  Uhh... great, if it goes to MY spam folder, it's probably going to EVERYONE'S!  Yikes.


So do as I say and not as I do, and check the functionality as soon as you install it!  This way you can see what email address is sending the comment reply notification.  I have Bluehost as my hosting provider so perhaps it's just a problem for me?  But check to make sure where it's coming from for you!


I was not a fan of the weird email address so I decided that I wanted to change it.  Unfortunately, this was harder than it should have been.  But lucky for you, I figured it out so you can do it superquick!



Reply From

My saving grace was the "Reply From" plugin.  This is the simplest plugin I've ever encountered but it COMPLETELY solved all my problems.  Install the plugin then go to the plugin's settings.  Change the User Name / Domain Name fields to reflect whatever email address & name you want your emails to be coming from.


I used "wordpress [at] savingmoneyinyourtwenties [dot] com" from "Saving Money in your Twenties".  I would use an email from your domain (if you haven't set one up, you can do this through your hosting provider).  If you don't have your own hosting, I'm sure you could put a gmail account in there.  I like using email addresses from my domain because I think it looks really legit ;)



Test it again!

Now that you've updated the email address, test the whole shebang out one more time.  Log out of WordPress, comment on your blog from another email address, and then log back in to your WordPress account and reply to your own test comment.  Check your email to make sure that you got a comment reply email, and make sure that it was sent from the address that you specified with the Reply From plugin.


Voila!  Now your readers will know that you're replying to their comments and will love you even more than they already do :)



Do you use this plugin?  Or do you have another preferred method?  Or do you just hope that people will come back to your site and see that you've commented?