“Get Recent Comments” makes your comments look so much better

Get Recent Comments is probably the WordPress plugin that I’ve used for the longest time. If I remember correctly, it’s been displaying recent comments over on Choking on Popcorn since 2004. Back then it took template editing to put those on your sidebar, and even then they didn’t look very nice. But even the current ‘recent comments’ widget falls far short of what ‘get Recent Comments’ can do.

For one thing, it actually displays the comment! In fact you can specify just how much of it you want to show. It also protects you from long words that would otherwise break your blog’s design by forcing the sidebar too wide. And it does gravatars. But the best feature is the way it handles HTML markup.

The options page for the plugin is actually a sort of HTML editor that lets you specify the exact output by mixing HTML tags and special codes the represent a comment’s values. This may sound complicated, and admittedly it does require knowledge of HTML, but it is really ultimately flexible. And if it’s all too complicated for you, leave the markup as it is. The default still bests WordPress’ widget.

I’ve set it up on the sidebar of this blog, and I feel the little gravatars look great and the short comment snippets are far more likely to spark discussion than simply naming the commenter’s (nick)name. I’ve also opted to filter out trackbacks, another great feature. Highly recommended.

14 Comments

  1. It CAN be good, yes, but I accidentally checked the box at problogger.com and now I get an e-mail for each and every time someone posts just any comment on the site. Not always brilliant.

    Comment by Daniel Massicotte — December 21, 2008 @ 5:45 pm

  2. Theres nothing worse than trackbacks popping up in the middle of a discussion, I wish all developers would separate comments from trackbacks.

    Comment by Alice — December 21, 2008 @ 6:04 pm

  3. @Daniel: Are you sure you’re talking about the same plugin? This one shows the recent comments of your blog as a widget, but has no notification features that I’m aware of…

    Comment by Roy — December 21, 2008 @ 7:13 pm

  4. It seems to take up too much room, no? I think recent post or even top commenters are cool plug ins, but the recent comments in my opinion get to cluttered.

    Comment by AJ Kumar — January 5, 2009 @ 4:46 am

  5. @AJ: I think showing recent comments is a great way to spark more conversation on your blog. Especially if you sjow part of the comment text. In my opinion it’s well worth the space.

    Comment by Roy — January 5, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

  6. I noticed you said you filtered out the trackbacks from the recent comments section with this plugin. Do you know if there is a way to do that with the WordPress Recent Comments Widget?

    Comment by Ray Fowler — January 5, 2009 @ 8:14 pm

  7. Liking the plugin and have installed it on my blog (http://www.scribbleboy.co.uk/). Probably a stupid question but just wondering how you’ve managed to wrap the text around the avatars? (Doesn’t seem to want to do that for me).

    Comment by Scribbleboy — February 22, 2009 @ 9:02 pm

  8. Strike that, figured it out. Adding “float: left;” in the CSS seems to help :P

    Comment by Scribbleboy — February 22, 2009 @ 9:40 pm

  9. I should name my site “Choking On Kettle Corn” and use the plugin for recent comments there. ;-)

    Comment by kettlecornguy — July 5, 2009 @ 3:26 pm

  10. hink is not the same plugin?

    Comment by addmall — February 20, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  11. how you’ve managed to wrap the text around the avatars?

    Comment by Gurbet Sohbet — September 19, 2010 @ 3:29 am

    • Hi Gurbet. I addded “float:left;” in the img-tag’s style attribute. The ability to fully control the html this plugin outputs is one of its best feature imho.

      Comment by Roy — September 21, 2010 @ 8:09 am

  12. Why am I so slow in discovering these things… :-(

    Comment by The Kettle Corn Guy — January 12, 2011 @ 10:11 am

  13. Greetings
    I am from Indonesia

    I’ll try it on my blog

    Instead awaited visit

    thank you

    Comment by Yasin — June 8, 2011 @ 5:26 am