Are you using comment notification by email?

For as long as I remember, WordPress has had the option to send an automatic email to the admin whenever someone posts a comment. I used to have that option enabled. I love responding to comments right away. It helps keep discussions alive and it helps to keep you blog clean of any spam that might slip through Akismet. With the succes of WP-Cumulus however, the volume of comments has been increasing steadily, and I’ve had to disable comment notification.

For every new email I get, my Nabaztag rabbit’s lights flash, my Google Talk icon changes, and I get a notification box in the lower corner of my screen. When I’m working, that can be quite distracting. In fact, these signals are meant to distract me. Sometimes there’s important business to take care of, and as a freelancer I need to reply to some emails asap. Most comments however do not fall into that category.

So, are you using email notification for your blog’s comments? What made you decide to turn it off (or on)? Any tips for keeping tabs on your comments in a less intrusive way?

24 Comments

  1. I use email notification because I can’t fully trust my comment spam blocker. I get few enough legit comments that I like to be aware of them so that I can reply and thank them for stopping by.

    Comment by Brian — September 6, 2008 @ 6:08 pm

  2. I also have it switched on for my blog… same reason as Brian… more spam than bonafide comments. But I can imagine it drives you nuts if you have lots of kosher comments. Perhaps there’s a way to make the mail into a digest? Like twice a day or something? Good idea for a plug-in if it doesn’t already exist?

    Comment by suzero — September 7, 2008 @ 2:52 pm

  3. I have too say that the spam/ham ratio (after Akismet) is more like one to ten for my blog. It really is a great service. The only real spam problems occur when Akismet is down, but that doesn’t happen very frequently, and usually when I’m asleep.

    I think there’s a plugin that does digests, but that would still mean that spam is on your blog for up to 24 hours before it gets deleted (assuming daily digests).

    Comment by Roy — September 7, 2008 @ 5:10 pm

  4. Actually, now we’re talking about it, I just noticed that I am not receiving the e-mails – hmmm… so there are comments awaiting approval but I don’t know about it. Grrr..

    Comment by suzero — September 8, 2008 @ 8:28 am

  5. By the way, I use Spam Karma 2 for antispam which does a pretty awesome job (click my name to view my blog and see the spam quantity at the bottom of the page). Unfortunately the developer just abandoned the project so I don’t know whether that means it will be less effective over time. I found SK2 to be FAR superior to Akismet in spam harvest and in the very detailed interface.

    Comment by Brian — September 12, 2008 @ 5:04 pm

  6. I’ve actually switched from SK2 to Akismet. SK2 is great, and there’s even an Akismet plugin for it, but it’s also a large plugin that’s updated quite frequently (or at least it used to be). I found Akismet to be almost as effective, and far simpler to maintain.

    Comment by Roy — September 12, 2008 @ 7:32 pm

  7. How DO YOU turn off comment notification? I’m trying to do that myself. The e mails are also driving me to distraction & I’d rather just visit the WP comment interface & deal w. comments in that way.

    Comment by Richard Silverstein — October 1, 2008 @ 9:48 am

  8. @Richard: If you go to ‘settings -> discussion’ there should be a section called ‘e-mail me whenever’. Simply uncheck the appropriate boxes there.

    Comment by Roy — October 1, 2008 @ 1:48 pm

  9. Apart from spam blocker one should use comment notifications.

    Comment by Sean "costa caleta" Redfearn — November 2, 2008 @ 2:10 pm

  10. Yes I use email notifications because like you, I enjoy replying comments. What I so is I have a separate email for my wp alone. And I use messenger that supports multiple accounts so I can always ignore the pop ups for a while.

    Comment by Best Web Hosting Company — May 14, 2009 @ 3:21 am

  11. Forget about e-mail notifications and check it all by hand.
    There are smoother ways of blocking most of the spam:
    http://mashable.com/2008/02/10/fighting-spam-wordpress/

    Regards,
    Alfred

    Comment by Alfred — June 5, 2009 @ 7:01 pm

  12. Actually, now we’re talking about it, I just noticed that I am not receiving the e-mails – hmmm… so there are comments awaiting approval but I don’t know about it. Grrr..

    Comment by oyUn — June 22, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

  13. i go with Alfred there are better ways to this problem manual way of removing it is the option but its too tiresome.

    Comment by Meg Stefani — June 24, 2009 @ 9:08 am

  14. Actually, I am (of course) using Akismet. I sued to have email notification enabled just to catch the spam that came through. The sheer number of spam comments is getting ridiculous on this blog, and even a 99.9% accurate filter will let one slip by every couple of days.

    Comment notification emails aren’t an alternative to proper spam filtering, but it will help you keep your blog clean. Other options are to periodically check the comments manually, or using the comments RSS.

    Comment by Roy — June 24, 2009 @ 10:10 am

  15. I am using comment notification because I activated the moderation function and I want to accept a comment asap. But I get a lot of spam. So like you said before it would be nice to have a plugin that limits the mails sent to your admin mail account but keep you informed about new comments.

    I found you post on the search for such a plugin, but I couldn’t find a single one. So I think I will code a new plugin myself. Any wishes of included features?

    Comment by Kau-Boy — September 24, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

  16. Hi Kau-Boy. You mean like a daily digest of comments? That would be cool, although there are several other ways of keeping track of comments now. Like the RSS feed, the iphone app and even a desktop app if I remember correctly. I think I’d prefer all of those over an email-based solution.

    Twitter might also be nice. Especially if there was a way to have ‘accept’ and ‘spam’ links in each tweet.

    Comment by Roy — September 25, 2009 @ 10:19 am

  17. Hi Roy. I agree that an email-based solution it’s a very good one. I also like RSS feeds much better for such things. But if a comment waits for moderation it wouldn’t show up in the feed, or is there a admin feed with all comments? And what does the iPhone app do with the notification?

    I tought about implementing a feature to send a maximum number of mails per day and/or to send a mail after a custom number of comments have been selected. Additionally I would implement a admin comment feed with all the neccessary liks to approve, edit, delete or mark as spam.

    I don’t really know how I could send the mails through a twitter message without creating a special account for that. And 120 characters seems to be a litte to short to have at least a bit of the message plus 3 or 4 links for the actions. But your right, it would be very nice. Maybe in a later version of the plugin I could add this feature.

    Comment by Kau-Boy — September 25, 2009 @ 11:07 am

  18. Hey everbody,

    the first version is online: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/kau-boys-comment-notification/

    You can already subscribe to a special RSS feed that has all the comments included (even those that have to be moderated). You can use the extra links to delete, approve or mark comments like spam.

    If your interrested, download it. If you like it, rate/twitter/share it. If you have any suggestions for additional features leave a comment.

    Comment by Kau-Boy — September 26, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

  19. I use Gmail to back up my business emails. I have an forwarder on my hosting that forwards all incoming emails to a Gmail account and in Thunderbird I have it set to send a copy of all outgoing emails to the same account.

    I can’t believe how often I use the Gmail search facility to find stuff I’ve lost, usually receipts and passwords.

    Comment by Rob Johnson — April 4, 2010 @ 7:11 am

  20. You can already subscribe to a special RSS feed that has all the comments included (even those that have to be moderated). You can use the extra links to delete, approve or mark comments like spam.

    If your interrested, download it. If you like it, rate/twitter/share it. If you have any suggestions for additional features leave a comment.

    Comment by sankom — December 7, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

  21. I use Spam Karma 2 for antispam which does a pretty awesome job. Unfortunately the developer just abandoned the project so I don’t know whether that means

    Comment by Stepan — December 15, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

  22. I still use the good old e-mails notification. I tend to check it religiously and can do so while on the go as well with my Blackberry. Oh yeah and I thought I would set off your Nabaztag rabbit’s lights flash, Google Talk icon and the notification box.

    If I was permanently stationed in an office, I would strongly consider removing the email notifications as at times they really clog my inbox.

    Comment by Daniel — January 7, 2011 @ 3:42 am

  23. How DO YOU turn off comment notification? I’m trying to do that myself. The e mails are also driving me to distraction & I’d rather just visit the WP comment interface & deal w. comments in that way.

    Comment by formula 21 — January 31, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    • There’s an option under Settings->Discussion.

      Comment by Roy — February 2, 2011 @ 3:09 pm