Lee Odden

Enable Subscribe to Comments to Keep Visitors.

Lee Odden     Blogging Strategy

Feed EmailI just got done posting a comment on David Naylor’s blog and I’d like to stay involved with the conversation, however there is no ability to say connected via email or feed. This then disconnects the commenter’s from the discussion unless they remember to come back.

A quick fix would be to enable comment notifications. WordPress has a great plugin called Subscribe to Comments which will allow all readers to subscribe to any post. If you subscribe to a post’s comments, you’ll get notified via email when a new response has been added. This is great if you asked a question or made a comment that someone else responds to. It also brings the visitor back to your blog to where they might participate in more discussions.

Lets not forget that post comments can help a posts rankings/visibility. All comment text is indexable and will work for the post. A good comment discussion can possibly help increase the rankings and visibility.

Did you also know that in WordPress, each post has it’s own feed for comments? Bringing this out into the open gives users the ability to subscribe in their favorite feed reader and not their email box. Simply add /feed/ after most WordPress URLs and you should end up with the posts comment feed. This is how I’m staying connected to the post on David’s site.

Getting visitors to your site and getting comments is hard enough. Keeping them coming back can be even harder. However, with a little tweaking, you can keep visitors coming back by keeping them in the comment discussion.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Hello,

    I installed this plugin a while back. I thought everything was great until a couple of days ago I tested it myself, posting a fictitious comment and then replying, expecting to receive an email notifying me.

    Have you tested this yourself? I’ve no idea why it won’t work through my blog 🙁

    Great idea though.

  2. David

    When you say fictitious comment, you did put in valid information right? I’ll post a comment at your blog and then you reply to it. We’ll test it out. 🙂

  3. Thanks for getting back to me Thomas.

    I did enter valid information, but regardless, the original ‘fictitious’ comment was deleted after testing.

    I’ve added a new comment on the article you replied to, so fingers crossed you’ve already received an email update about that.

    No idea where it hasn’t been working properly. I installed the plugin properly, with one PHP file in the plugin directory and the subscription manager PHP file in the root folder.

    If you could let me know you were notified that’d be great.

  4. Sorry David, it looks as if you do have an issue. I’d check with your server to make sure that there is no restrictions on the PHP mail function that the plugin uses.

  5. Thanks for checking Thomas.

    I’ve contacted my host providers and hopefully their support can help the problem.

    I hope you’re enjoying the festive period and that xmas shopping isn’t a pain in the ass.

  6. Also check out the plugin’s homepage to see if others are having similar issues. Ohh and my Christmas shopping is one. One trip to the Mall of America and Target and I’m all good. 😀

  7. Avatar Stephen Hopson says

    Hello there:

    I found you via a Google search for a problem I am trying to resolve. I don’t know if you can help me but it’s in relation to being “notified” of comments that people leave on my blog in response to articles, etc.

    Before I go any further, I love the colors you have here! It’s gorgeous! Lime green bordering…hmmm..interesting!

    Anyway, I’ve downloaded the plug in for adding a box for readers to subscribe to comments for a post so that they get notified. No sweat. It seems to be working.

    However, the problem is on my end. I wnat to get notified everytime someone leaves a comment in response to my post. At first I was getting them to my yahoo email address. One day i decided to change all my emails inside the Admin panel to another email address. Now suddenly I’m not getting any more notifications! Nothing is coming to me now.

    Why? Any idea?

    And here’s another thing. It/s very frustating to not be able to get a notification upon which I can reply directly to the commentator. It seems I have to go to the blog and leave a comment there.

    Is there a better way of:

    1. getting notified of each comment people leave
    2. replying directly on that notification in response to their comments (instead of going inside admin panel and/or going to the blog itself ?


    Stephen Hopson

  8. Stephen, the issue isn’t with the plugin, but the WordPress setup. It looks like you are using Akismet and you either need to update the email on WordPress’ options page, your profile or possibly your WordPress.com account that goes along with the API.

    As for replying, the best thing to do is just reply to the post as they did. That away other visitors can see your comments too. If you did just reply to the commenter, it may look as if you have un-answered questions on your blog.

  9. Does anyone know if the “subscribe to comments” plugin works with WordPress 2.5? I don’t think it does. Help!


  10. Hi Bryan, it seems to work for me. Make sure you have the latest version of the plugin and you may need to re-create the permalinks.

  11. You are using WP 2.5?

    What do you mean recreate the permalinks?



  12. Yes and yes. Re-creating the permalinks is necessary. You may also need to go to the plugin authors homepage and get the latest beta version.

  13. I am a fairly new and inexperienced blogger, so I’m going to need a bit of clarification on what “recreating the permalinks” means. Can you explain how, why, where, and when this needs to be done as if you were talking to a complete “newbie”?

    Thanks 🙂

  14. No problem. Just logging your blog and go to settings, permalinks and hit save. You don’t change anything, but you do need to walk though the steps. Doing so should help. Let us know.


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