Welcome to the Thrive Comments review, one of the 9 plugins included in the Thrive Suite membership, that will allow you to better manage your WordPress comments, get more social shares, and even convert your readers into subscribers and clients.
Thrive Comments, pricing
I don’t usually start the reviews talking about pricing, but as Thrive Plugins have a kind of difficult license management, I want you to understand your options from the beginning.
- The standalone Thrive Comments plugin costs $47 per year. And will allow you to install the plugin on 1 site. If you don’t renew your license, you’ll still be able to use the plugin, but you won’t receive more updates after the license expires.
- On the other hand, joining the Thrive Suite Membership will cost you $299 per year, but you’ll be able to use Thrive Comments on up to 5 sites, plus other additional 8 plugins and the theme builder we mentioned on the Thrive Suite Review.
The bottom line is that usually it’s worth it to join the membership, as you’ll get much more value (9 plugins instead of 1, plus the theme builder and some other perks)
You will be able to install Thrive Comments on any WordPress.org site (self-managed), remember that this is totally different from WordPress.com, where the plugin is not available.
As this plugin replaces the original WordPress comments, you won’t find any problem using it with any WordPress template.
Features, how does Thrive Comments work?
Once you’ve installed Thrive Comments on your WordPress, something that you can do by uploading the Thrive Product Manager to your website, automatically, WordPress comments will be replaced by the ones generated by this plugin.
Not only the comments themselves but also the box where your readers can write.
Just by doing this, you’ll get a better and different look in comparison with other blogs, which is a good start, but the plugin is able of much more.
You’ll be able to see and manage all of these features from the Thrive Comments section on your admin panel.
Thrive Comments General Settings
Within this section, besides enabling/disabling Thrive Comments (you could do this for instance for testing purposes without the need of deactivating the whole plugin), here you’ll be able to tweak some parameters, for instance:
- Disabling comments on old blog posts for preventing spam
- Break the comments into pages of X comments in case you have tons of them
- Pick a default sorting order for comments, like top-rated instead of the newest or oldest on top.
- Allow sharing individual comments on Facebook or Twitter
These aren’t top-notch features but they start to offer you more than the default WordPress comment system.
Comment conversion features
If you continue analyzing the settings, you’ll find one of the most powerful features, the ones that aim at conversions.
You have 5 actions to pick from:
- Show a personalized message: useful for thanking the user or giving him more info,
- Social share: to invite the reader to share the article on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Xing (you can also include a custom message on this action)
- Show him related content: so that he can continue reading on your site (the custom message is also available here)
- Redirect the user to a specific URL: in case you want for instance promote one product to your readers.
- Or show him a pop-up box to subscribe to your newsletter. This is the most interesting action, but you’ll need the Thrive Leads plugin in order for this to work (this is why is better to get the full membership instead of the standalone plugin)
Within the Social Sign-in section, you can let your users sign in with their Facebook or Google Accounts to leave a comment on your site.
It looks easy, but you’ll need to Get a Google Client ID and a Facebook ID.
There are not difficult to get (and they are free), but it will take you about 10/15min each.
Customization of Thrive Comments
This plugin doesn’t allow several customizations (at least, without using css) but the few it has, you’ll find them in this section, where you’ll be able to change the color of the action buttons, the date style, or the image placeholder for users without a Gravatar image.
Voting and badges
This is the section that will encourage your users to participate more in your comment section, as you can enable:
- Comment voting, so users can vote up and down other replies
- Badge awarding: a gamification feature that will give your readers different badges depending on the rules you set (approved comments, upvotes received, featured comments…)
If you want, with Thrive Comments you can also enable notifications so your readers get new emails when:
- There are new comments on a post they are following
- Get replies to their own comments
The first option is especially cool, as not everyone likes to comment, but maybe they want to be aware of new comments and Thrive Comments allow them to do that just with a click.
The bad news?
Although the notification emails admit quite a bit of customization (which is good), you’ll need a 3rd party service for delivering those emails, like Amazon SES, MailGun, Postmark, or SparkPost.
Amazon SES is almost 100% (as we explained in the EmailOctopus Review), but it will take you another 15/20min to set.
This section will save you time managing your site comments.
Here, as you can see, you can:
- Decide which roles can moderate comments (and exclude their comments from the moderation dashboard)
- Decide if you want to manually approve your comments (you can let previously approved readers skip this filter)
- Hold comments if they contain more than X links (something that usually means Spam)
- As a plus, Thrive Comments also allows you to put on hold (or even automatically trash) any comment with the name, URL, IP, or word that you decide.
Remember that besides these moderation settings the plugin also offers you a full dashboard to manage all the comments of your blog from one site, in a very efficient way.
The advanced settings section will allow you to polish some details of the plugin, like:
- Translate its labels if you don’t want to use English ones.
- Activate some page speed optimization features.
However, there is a super-powerful feature that I recommend you to use a lot: the Auto-link.
This is really useful because by just replying to your readers, you’ll be able to quickly link to your favourite apps and services (bonus track if you use affiliate links here), or to other guides and articles on your blog, thus improving interlinking, SEO, and user experience.
It’s a pity that this feature only works for comments used by moderators, and not for all the comments on the blog.
Thrive Comment honest opinion, is it worth it?
Thrive Comments is a nice to have plugin.
Its comment conversion feature is one of the most powerful, and it can definitely give you more actions from your readers (share, subscribe, or even buy)
All the features are really cool in general, but you’ll need many comments to get the most out of the plugin, if you have a low amount of comments, the plugin loses a little value.
Because of that, I think Thrive Comments is only worth it if you get it through the Thrive Suite membership, as you can consider it a good add-on for your WordPress site together with the other (in my opinion) much more powerful plugins.
Remember that if you want to use all the Thrive Comments features, you’ll probably need to set aside 45m/1h to configure your Google Client ID, Facebook App ID, and Amazon SES, but this is a just one investment, and once you have your credentials (which are useful for many things more, and you’ll probably need them for something in the future) use them in other sites will take you just a couple of clicks.
Thrive Comments alternatives
If you don’t want to use Thrive Comments, here are some alternatives you could use instead:
- Heator Social Comments
- WordPress Native Comments
- Facebook Comments
What’s your favorite WordPress comment management plugin?
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