WordPress Plugins from A to Z Episode #56 — Comments & Sliders


Flying the friendly SkysPlugins covered this episode:

Alternate Comment manager plugins, the debate about if you should you let your comments be handled by a third party.

Facebook Comments for WordPress 3.1.3 , IntenseDebate Comments 2.9.3 , Disqus Comment System 2.70 , CommentLuv, WordPress Sliding Drawer Plugin, WP Social Slider – Social Activity Viewer Plugin for WordPress, HTML5 Slideshow Presentations

John’s & Marcus Rant: What to rant about?

So did the SOPA blackout do any good? I sure hope so. Not one to rest on my laurels too long I am launching a new site to go with this great podcast, the site is ready for preview by those who listen to this podcast so please check it out.

WordCamp Victoria went well I will have the audio up from my talk there soon. Matt made a video appearance and well Matt you need a haircut…

Shout Outs:

Thanks Manny For your inspiration for this weeks plugins..

List of interesting sites that run on WordPress:

World of WordPress News and other interesting WordPress related posts:

Genesis 1.8 dropped today
SOPA seems to have stalled if it is not dead anyway.

Flying the friendly skyList of Plugins:

—–Johns Plugins——-

Comment Plugins:

While there are numerous plugins for enhancing comments I will be focusing here on plugins to manage comments.

Facebook Comments for WordPress 3.1.3

What they say:

This plugin integrates the Facebook commenting system (new, old or both) right into your website. If a reader is logged into Facebook while viewing any comment-enabled page or post, they'll be able to leave a comment using their Facebook profile.

What we say:

This one necessitate creating a FaceBook app, so if your not real comfortable with the idea of monkeying around best to give this a pass. They do however give some decent instructions on how to create the app so if you can read and follow instructions you might give this a try.

The problem I have with this plugin is the total loss of control of my data, make no mistake comments on your website are part of your data and part of what help search engines index you. If however you like minimal work to maintain your comments this is great for you.

Rating: 2 Dragons – due to work involved in setting it up.

Disqus Comment System 2.70

What they say:

Disqus, pronounced “discuss”, is a service and tool for web comments and discussions. Disqus makes commenting easier and more interactive, while connecting websites and commenters across a thriving discussion community.

The Disqus for WordPress plugin seamlessly integrates using the Disqus API and by syncing with WordPress comments.

What we say:

First you will need to go to http://disqus.com/admin/register/ to create an account for your website if you do not already have one. A bit of a pain but seems pretty easy. Again it take total control away from you on handling your comments, it does give you some ways to moderate the comments but they are pretty much the same as in WordPress.

They would however like you to upgrade your free manager to a paid one that would include things like analytics and theme editor.. My questions is why do this when you can have all the same control directly in WordPress.

Rating: 2 Dragons due to work involved in getting it up and running.

IntenseDebate Comments 2.9.3

What they say:

IntenseDebate Comments enhance and encourage conversation on your blog or website. Custom integration with your WordPress admin panel makes moderation a piece of cake. Comment threading, reply-by-email, user accounts and reputations, comment voting, along with Twitter and friendfeed integrations enrich your readers' experience and make more of the internet aware of your blog and comments which drives traffic to you!

What we say:

Again you need to sign up for a service.. Not a difficult process but again as far as I can tell you loose control of your data and it is maintained on their site. It does seem to work pretty nice and smooth for the most part.

Rating: 2 dragons due to work involved getting setup


What they say:

This plugin will visit the site of the comment author while they type their comment and retrieve their last blog posts which they can choose to include at the bottom of their comment when they click submit.

It has been found to increase comments and the community spirit for the thousands of blogs that have installed it. With a simple install you will immediately start to find new and interesting blog posts from your own blog and community. You will even be able to build your list/network/community even more by offering your readers the opportunity to register to your site to unlock advanced features of the plugin like being able to choose from any of their 10 last posts when they comment or other features like dofollow links and more.

What we say:

I have actually run this one on my site for a while and found it to be pretty decent. It does not take my comments off my site, what it does do is reward commentators by adding links to their most recent posts from their websites. This one is not too bad to have although I had it turned off for a while while trying to control resource usage of my site.

Rating: 3 Dragons not too difficult to use.

Final thoughts on Commentating Systems:

In my humble opinion here it is never a good idea to relinquish control of your data to a third party. One big reason is you never know what they are going to do with it. I know the argument is that well they have said what their going to do in the Terms of Service, but keep in mind how well companies like Google, FaceBook and other have simply changed the Terms of Service to suite their needs to handle the data. Remember when you agreed to that terms of service you agreed to play the game with their bat, their ball on their field and that they can change the rules anytime they want for what ever reason to help themselves out of a jam or simply to cheat you out of something.

Ok off the soapbox now.. In the end you should simply maintain the built in comment system and enhance it, there are dozens of plugins for that which I will cover in an upcoming episode. There are ways to push your comments to FaceBook and pull back from their without loosing control.

Under the square——Marcus Plugins (Things that “slide”)———-

Sliding Drawer Content Area

Description: The WordPress Sliding Drawer Plugin instantly adds a jQuery powered Sliding Drawer content area to your site.

The WordPress Sliding Drawer Content Area plugin greatly increases the screen real estate of your wordpress site. The sliding content area is jQuery powered and can be configured to slide from the top, bottom, left or right. Everything in the plugin from the position, color and handle text is customizable and easy to setup. Once you setup the plugin, you'll have up to four newly created widget areas that can take any content that a widget area can. A couple of great suggestions for the sliding drawer content area from 61 designs is to using it as a feedback/contact form or as a sliding media gallery for flickr/picasa. The sliding drawer plugin has been tested across all major browsers.

Marcus’ Take: Very cool way to add extra content in the header area. This has a lot of possibilities that I am still exploring but I love what I see so far.

Rating: 4 out of 5

WP-Social Slider
Description: WP Social Slider plugin will help you display social activities from facebook, twitter, google +1 in a slick sliding panel. Also you can show social share buttons.

Marcus’ Take: Pretty cool way to show what’s going on in your social streams without a lot of site clutter. This can be stylized in the CSS to merge with your own particular theme preferences. Good start to this plugin. Would love to see further integration with G+ and Facebook fan pages as well (Not just individual profiles).

Rating: 4 out of 5

HTML5 Slideshow Presentations

Description: With this plugin, You'll be able to create a presentation in no time using WordPress' familiar built-in toolset, and the best part is, You won't need to upload to slideshare when you're done. You're hosting your own presentations and can share/present them anytime. The presentation template is based on html5slides by Luke Mahé and Marcin Wichary. This plugin was built with CSS3 and HTML5 and is intended to be used on modern browsers.

DEMO: http://j.ustin.co/yZe7Il

Marcus’ Take: This is a pretty amazing new method of showing off a presentation using WordPress. The slideshow type style is something that will become more and more prominent in WordPress as time progresses.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Some Terms here for plugins: Nothing special this week..

In closing here is what is coming in future podcasts:

WordCamp Special next week

An interview with Scott Cariss the creator of the File Monitor plugin coming soon, just as soon as I can connect with him.

scroll plugins or banner tickers

404 redirect plugins

Ad banners plugins

More Lazy Plugins

Ney York is callingHow to Contact Us:

John can be contacted at:

on my website @ http://www.johnoverall.com/ or you can follow me on Twitter @Ahkonsu or even like me on Facebook at  http://www.facebook.com/JohnOverallcom

Marcus can be contacted at:

Marcus Couch can be contacted at his website at marcuscouch.com, on twitter   @marcuscouch and on facebook at facebook.com/marcuscouch

Some of the music provided tonight is from Mevio's Music Alley. Check it out at ‘music.mevio.com http://music.mevio.com