The new version of CommentLuv 2.9 was released yesterday, and it is has a lot of new features. This guide will cover what is new for both blog owners and blog commenters alike as well as how to install and configure this plugin on your WordPress blog.
CommentLuv is a plugin that allows commenters to leave a link to their latest post behind with their comment. For example, Extreme John left behind this comment and CommentLuv link on yesterday’s guest post.
If you are new to CommentLuv, here is a breakdown how it benefits everyone involved with your blog.
Benefits for Blog Owners
Installing CommentLuv on your blog will allow commenters to leave behind a link to their latest blog post with their comment. If you are the type that likes to get to know your readers, visit their site, and comment on their blogs, then CommentLuv will make it an easier process as you will have the link to their latest post right with their comment. I also find it’s a good way to spot good commenters stuck in your spam folder and spammers in your pending folder.
Benefits for Blog Commenters
If you enjoy blog commenting and are also a blogger, CommentLuv enabled blogs (such as this one) gives you a chance to showcase your latest blog post with your comment. This means that the blog owner as well as other commenters will be able to see the kind of content you write which means a lot more clicks to your site than just the simple website URL you leave on a standard comment form.
It will also help you discover more blogs to comment on that write on similar topics, as you will be able to easily see who has a blog and what their last post is about.
Benefits for Blog Readers
Even if you don’t have a blog or like to comment, visiting a CommentLuv enabled blog will give you more than just an awesome post on a topic. Generally, blog owners who comment do so on posts that are similar to their blog. Hence, regular blog visitors will be able to get awesome content from the post AND find new blogs on similar topics through the comments, getting more value for their visit.
What’s New in CommentLuv 2.9 for Commenters
If you’re used to commenting on CommentLuv enabled blogs, you might start seeing some changes when your favorite blog upgrades to the new version of CommentLuv. These include the following.
The Good – Less Errors
No more URL banning or too many accesses by IP restrictions. If you’re someone who goes through commenting sprees like I do, you know just how frustrating those errors were. The only issue you could run into now, error wise, is if your actual blog feed is having issues.
The Not So Good – Registration Maybe Required
Blog owners will have the ability to limit you to only your latest post with the option to register to their WordPress site in order to get your latest 10 posts. So if you are used to selecting out of your latest 10 posts to match the topic at hand with your CommentLuv link, you may be asked to register.
If you run into a site that has this enabled but you can’t find the registration link for their blog, it is typically theirblogdomain.com/wp-login.php?action=register.
Also, be sure to note the registration screen. Blog owners with the FeedBlitz Member Plugin may have a custom message below the login form which is an opt-in for their blog newsletter and updates. Be sure to uncheck this if you are just registering to comment and not interested in receiving anything by email.
When you register for their site and login for the first time, be sure to fill out your profile.
Particularly be sure that you enter the website address for the blog URL that you will want to get your latest 10 posts from, your display name, and a short bio. Once registered, you will need to be logged in each time you comment to get your latest 10 posts.
An added bonus for registered users (if a blog requires registration) is that you will also get your latest 10 posts displayed to others when they hover over the heart icon next to your CommentLuv link. This is the non-registered vs. registered panel.
Special thanks to Stephanie Suesan Smith for letting me test out the registration features on her blog and snag screen shots!
The Still To-Be-Determined – RIP Default Links
If you had default links like I did, those have gone missing from your selection choices and there is no definite answer yet as to if you will be able to get them back again. Also, if you had multiple blogs on one account, you will now only see the latest posts from the URL you enter, not all of the ones on your account.
What’s New in CommentLuv 2.9 for Blog Owners
In the new version of CommentLuv, blog owners who install the plugin will get to make some decisions about how CommentLuv works on their site. They can choose to:
- Make CommentLuv show the latest 10 posts from a commenter available to everyone, registered users only, or no one.
- Make CommentLuv links dofollow for everyone, registered users only, or no one.
What have I chosen to do on Kikolani and my other CommentLuv enabled sites? I have my settings to allow everyone 10 latest post and dofollow CommentLuv links. Why? For two simple reasons.
1. I despise registration systems for commenting. In fact, I despise registering to do most anything on the Internet. I comment on way to many sites to want to register for all of them, so chances are I won’t, hence I will not force my commenters to have to either.
2. I’d rather not open my WordPress to letting anyone register. Yes, I’m a control freak, and I also don’t want to clutter my user list with subscribers.
Of course, not everyone will feel this way. Hence, the following will tell you how to setup CommentLuv 2.9 to suit your needs.
Installing CommentLuv 2.9 on WordPress
This is the process I used when installing the new 2.9 version of CommentLuv on my blogs, most of which are running Thesis 1.8 and WordPress 3.1.3.
Download CommentLuv 2.9
If you haven’t already, download CommentLuv 2.9 here. After the 3 minute intro video, a box will popup asking for your email address. When you enter your email address, you will be emailed the link to download the plugin in a zip file.
Remove the Previous Version of CommentLuv
If you already have a previous version of CommentLuv installed on your blog, go to your WordPress Dashboard > Plugins and deactivate your version of CommentLuv. Then delete it. It will confirm that you are deleting the files for the older version of the plugin. Don’t worry, you won’t lose any previous CommentLuv links in the comments on your site – those are still stored in your database.
Install CommentLuv 2.9
After you have deleted the previous version, or if you are installing CommentLuv for the first time, go to your WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Add New. From here, select the Upload option and select the CommentLuv 2.9 zip file from your hard drive. Once installed, activate it.
Configure CommentLuv 2.9 – Primary Settings
Go to your CommentLuv settings which can be accessed from WordPress Dashboard > Plugins or under WordPress Dashboard > Settings > CommentLuv.
The primary settings simply allow you to enable the plugin and choose whether to have it show up on posts, pages, or both and to show it by default and to your blog’s admin.
Configure CommentLuv 2.9 – Appearance Settings
Next, you can change the appearance settings to show a specific image or text next to the CommentLuv checkbox.
Also, you can set the colors for the dropdown panel that will come up when someone hovers over the heart icon next to a commenter’s CommentLuv link.
Configure CommentLuv 2.9 – Message Settings
Here, you will change the various messages related to CommentLuv. If you do not have registrations enabled, this section will look as follows.
If you do want to have users register before giving them their latest 10 post links and/or dofollow CommentLuv links, you will need to enable registrations by going to your WordPress Dashboard > Settings > General and check the Anyone can register box and make sure the New User Default Roles is set to Subscriber so new users can only access their profile. Then the Messages settings will look like this.
One thing I have noticed on sites with the registration required is that the dropdown that says you must register doesn’t actually take you to the registration page when you click on it. If you would like it to do so, you will need to wrap the text in the Message for unregistered user in the dropdown box with the link to your registration page as follows.
<a rel="nofollow" href="http://yourblogdomain.com/wp-login.php?action=register">If you register as a user on my site, you can get your 10 most recent blog posts to choose from in this box. </a>
This will make the registration required text clickable to your registration page.
Alternatively, you can just edit your comment form to have the link to your registration page. Otherwise, people won’t be able to get to the registration page without typing out yourblogdomain.com/wp-login.php?action=register as I suggested earlier.
Get Subscribers When People Register for CommentLuv Links
Want to get blog subscribers while commenters are registering for their CommentLuv links as I noted in the what’s new for commenter’s section earlier?
One of the popular setups is by using the FeedBlitz Member Mail plugin for WordPress. This plugin adds the opt-in checkbox to your registration form as well as to your comments form. Please note that you will have to sign up for a FeedBlitz account and pay anywhere from $1.49 to and up per month based on the number of subscribers you have. Visit FeedBlitz to learn more about their newsletter options and pricing.
There may be other alternatives out there, but I haven’t run into those yet. Be sure to share in the comments if you know of any that work with the WordPress registration system.
Configure CommentLuv 2.9 – Operational Settings
The operational settings of the CommentLuv 2.9 plugin is where you will choose to give the latest 10 post and dofollow links to everyone, registered users, or no one.
Underneath the operational settings are technical settings for the plugin, but for regular WordPress configurations, you will not need to mess with these. If you have changed anything about the way the standard comment form works or have issues with caching or minifying plugins. As in the other settings sections, there is a help video available to you to learn more about these or any other settings for the plugin.
A Bonus Plugin for Your Dashboard
Want to see the latest CommentLuv links left by commenters on your site in your WordPress dashboard?
Then be sure to subscribe to the CommentLuv site and mailing list, confirm your subscription via email, and check out the Awesome Sauce video. At the end of it, a download button for Dashboard Luvvers Widget plugin will appear below the video. Simply go to your WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Add New, upload the zip file, and activate it to get the last 10 CommentLuv links left by commenters right on your main WordPress dashboard.
I find this might be especially useful in catching spammers that you might have overlooked while approving comments or commenters that are being auto approved. I noticed a few that I’ll have to run down just while taking this screenshot!
As with any new release, you may run into some bugs between the plugin and your version or WordPress and/or theme. I haven’t so far, minus the fact that registered users’ latest 10 posts don’t show up yet in the CommentLuv dropdown panel when someone hovers over the heart icon, but I’m sure that will get resolved soon. If you run into any other issues, you can submit a support ticket on the CommentLuv site.
Be sure to be as detailed as possible, including what site you were on (whether yours or another blog) and what specific issues you ran into. The more details you give, the better your support response will be.
What Are Your Thoughts on the New CommentLuv 2.9 Plugin?
Now it’s your turn. Feel free to try out the new CommentLuv plugin within in my comments (no registration required) and let me know your thoughts on the new system, whether you have it installed it on your site or are just using it on other blogs.