Introducing Yoast Comment Hacks

Comments are awesome, but the WordPress comments system is sometimes slightly lacking. Several large sites have, in the first few months of this year, announced they were no longer allowing comments. We, at Yoast, don’t understand that. We’ve found that there’s huge value in discussing our posts with our community. Over the years, we’ve made several plugins that all make the comments system slightly better. Today we’re announcing a new plugin that bundles some of that functionality into one simple to install plugin: Yoast Comment Hacks.

Note: Development of this plugin has moved to Joost’s private GitHub.

Yoast Comment Hacks Icon

This plugin has 5 modules, all of which were previously separate plugins, some feature highlights:

Minimum comment length

By default, a comment of even 1 character is long enough to be saved. We think that’s weird. If someone wants to leave a comment, we’d prefer it if they have something real to say. This module allows you to set a minimum length and prevent people from leaving a comment if they’re under that.

Comment redirect

One of our “old time classics”, this module allows you to redirect first time commenters to a thank you page. You can use this page to inform them about other nice things on your site, stuff they should really read, etc. Want to see how that works? Well. Leave a comment on this post and you’ll see!

Clean notification emails

This was actually not a plugin of ours. The original plugin which inspired us for this was built and released by Mike Davidson in 2008. Mike is now the head of design at Twitter and obviously has better things to do, so we emailed him a while back asking if it was ok for us to update his old plugin. He gave his OK so we went to work on his old code and brought it into this decennium. The code does one “simple” thing: make comment emails look better! See this example:

Screenshot of a clean comment email

There’s more

Check out the Yoast comment hacks plugin page for the other 2 modules and more screenshot examples. You can also check the code on GitHub, or file an issue there if you find a bug or have a great new feature idea. The plugin is of course also available on

It doesn’t stop here!

We’ll probably add more small comment hacks to this plugin as we go along and find more small ways to make the WordPress comments system easier to use. Do tell us what you’d like to see in the comments below!

Read more: How to handle comments on your blog »

Coming up next!

92 Responses to Introducing Yoast Comment Hacks

  1. Lionel
    Lionel  • 9 years ago

    This is a test comment for 1st Comment Redirect… a feature I’m looking for for a while.

  2. Samantha
    Samantha  • 9 years ago

    Excited for the redirect feature. Checking out by commenting ;)

    Thanks for all the awesome work you do.

  3. Jesse Hackshaw
    Jesse Hackshaw  • 9 years ago

    This will come in handy for my tech blog. I’m tired of seeing comments like cool or good. A little more feedback would be appreciated. I also like the email module. Thanks for the great effort put into this plug-in.

  4. Wely Hariyanto
    Wely Hariyanto  • 9 years ago

    I get rid of replytocomm variable from indexing. Will it ruin the goal of this plugin? (new comment as fresh content update)
    BTW Thanks Joosk (y)

  5. Karol
    Karol  • 9 years ago

    ” Want to see how that works? Well. Leave a comment on this post and you’ll see!” 87 comments and counting ;)
    That’s a spirit and a great “call to action”!
    Well done – thx for another great product.

  6. Debra Dalgleish
    Debra Dalgleish  • 9 years ago

    Thanks for the new plugin, and I’m always confident that things will work correctly, when installing something that you built.

  7. Diane
    Diane  • 9 years ago

    I am embarrassed to admit that I was blogging a year and replying to every comment before I discovered that my replies did not go to the reader. :) Some quick scrambling ensued and I found a plugin. I’m interested in trying out your new plugin with the extra helpful features. Thanks sooo much!

  8. Julie Corbett
    Julie Corbett  • 9 years ago

    Learned about your new plugin via Amy Lynn Andrews’s weekly Useletter. Eager to see how it works. Thanks for all you do to help us make our sites better!

  9. Bill Treloar
    Bill Treloar  • 9 years ago

    I’m eager to try this out; I have high hopes for it.

    • Bill Treloar
      Bill Treloar  • 9 years ago

      BTW, does your plugin interact in any way with Akismet comment spam filter?

  10. Ian
    Ian  • 9 years ago

    Thanks for putting this plug-I’m together. I’m simplifying my website and blogging is a central part of this strategy, so this enhancement to WordPress has arrived at the perfect time for me.

    With love,

  11. Sara Williams
    Sara Williams  • 9 years ago

    What I would like to see added is the ability to move a comment from one post to another. I often have a reader ask a question / make a point which would be interesting & helpful on one post but which is largely irrelevant to the one they are on. Tako movable comments plugin seems to have stopped working.

    PS you may have thought I found this article from the email I received about it. Actually I ignored that. But I commented on a different Yoast blog this morning for the first time and loved the Thank You screen so promptly googled for how to add one of those to my site :)

  12. Kaitlyn
    Kaitlyn  • 9 years ago

    Once you’ve uploaded the plugin to your site, how can you edit the page that first-time commenters will see?

    Thanks so much!

  13. Kaitlyn
    Kaitlyn  • 9 years ago

    Checking out the new comments feature!

  14. Kelly
    Kelly  • 9 years ago

    Sounds like a great plugin. I’ll be checking it out too.

  15. Amit Ramani
    Amit Ramani  • 9 years ago

    I have not tried the plugin yet. My question is:
    Does this still let you add comments/reviews on WooCommerce product pages? If the reviews are added by an Administrator, does the original submitter still have to verify them?

  16. Jamie
    Jamie  • 9 years ago

    Trying the comment hack out.

  17. Mystie
    Mystie  • 9 years ago

    Checking out the great new comments feature – then I’ll go install it on my 3 sites. :) Thanks!

  18. Gordon Dewar
    Gordon Dewar  • 9 years ago

    Wow yet another great piece of work and if I ever make any money whatsoever with this internet malarkey I will definitely donate what I can,thx again,bedankt.
    Yours Sincerely
    Gordon Dewar

  19. Ellen M. Gregg
    Ellen M. Gregg  • 9 years ago

    Hat tip to Amy Lynn Andrews of and her weekly Useletter for turning me on to this. I like what I’ve read here (a lot, a lot), and look forward to seeing it in action. (Which is, in part, why I’m leaving a comment.)

    Thanks, Joost and Team Yoast! :-) Peace.

  20. Pam
    Pam  • 9 years ago

    Can’t wait to try this out and want to see the ‘thank you’ page!

  21. Rachael
    Rachael  • 9 years ago

    Thank you and can not wait to test it.

  22. Jean Murray
    Jean Murray  • 9 years ago

    Thanks for the great plug-in. I use your Google Analytics plug-in too.

  23. Jenn Alex
    Jenn Alex  • 9 years ago

    I mostly want to see the redirect page, but am always looking for useful bundled plugins for myself and clients.

  24. Herschel Lawhorn
    Herschel Lawhorn  • 9 years ago

    Have been using your plugins for years and they only keep getting better and I am sure this one will be no different. Thank you for all you have done for me and all the people that use you plugins.

  25. Jamie Walton
    Jamie Walton  • 9 years ago

    I’ve loved the Yoast SEO tool so far–excited to check this out. Thanks!

  26. Norman Medina DDS
    Norman Medina DDS  • 9 years ago

    We have a paid version of Akismet plugin, but I finally gave up on WordPress comments. A few blogs that I follow use FB Comments Plugin. I have mixed feelings about giving all our comments over to FB, but I must admit it is a nice to have a blogpost ripple through facebook.

  27. Deborah
    Deborah  • 9 years ago

    Excited to see how this redirect works. Thanks for a much-needed comment option!

  28. Dennis
    Dennis  • 9 years ago

    very, very interested to see how the redirect works!

  29. Peter
    Peter  • 9 years ago

    very, very interested to see how the redirect works!

  30. Vinay
    Vinay  • 9 years ago

    Hi Joost, You asked what I’d like to see more in your new comment plugin. When you talk of comments management, I guess you can add more hacks, but then of course, that would make it bulky. If you want your plugin to become the total comment management option, then here are some hack ideas.

    Bloggers get so with blogging that they miss or avoid replying to the comments on the posts (that’s me!). A notification on the dashboard about commments pending to be replied would act as a reminder or trigger for the blogger to take up the task and settle the pending scores.

    Display the following on the Admin dashboard:
    – number of comments pending to be replied on a post
    – number of comments pending to be replied by commenters marked as best/most frequent commenters (they should be given priority)
    – number of posts with comments pending to be replied

    Besides these, a limited duration comment edit ability is also a desired feature for the commenter. You can also give the post author or administrator the ability to feature the best comment and make it appear on the top of the comments, as available on Disqus, or in the sidebar widget, which can showcase one best comment each from the selected number of posts of the blog.

    Also a feature where the administrator has the ability to mark the good comments of a post such that the ‘not so good’ comments are hidden under the button “see more comments”, which may motivate the commenters to submit quality comments and be visible, and not get hidden (disqus does it in a way through the public voting system).

    As for the other features in your plugin, I like the ‘comment parent edit’ and ’email commenters’ options. The rest options are also available in the CommentLuv plugin.

    I’m sure these features would make the WordPress comments system easier to use for the administrator and the commenter as well. Thanks

  31. David Huynh
    David Huynh  • 9 years ago

    i find this plugin is very useful. So I want to test the content direct feature.

  32. Ngan Son
    Ngan Son  • 9 years ago

    Awesome plugin. It work very well. Thank Yoast !

  33. phil salt
    phil salt  • 9 years ago

    Thank you Yoast for bringing this into the free category of WordPress plugins. Shall be giving it a whirl on my developing site

  34. Steve
    Steve  • 9 years ago

    Thanks, and a very clever use of converting what may have been a potential exit from your web site to re target another CTA

    • Joost de Valk

      You get us Steve. It’s about conversion. Everywhere.

  35. Steve
    Steve  • 9 years ago

    Very interested to see how the redirect works

  36. Terri
    Terri  • 9 years ago

    I am very excited to try this plugin. I really love your SEO plugin and I am loving the idea of getting the comments section to be more useful and efficient. You guys do awesome work. Thank you!

  37. Anthony
    Anthony  • 9 years ago

    Whoa! Great addition! I’m interested in seeing the thank you page!

  38. Gail Sibley
    Gail Sibley  • 9 years ago

    Sounds good and look forward to exploring it. And of course I’m curious about the thank you page :-)

    You sure knew how to get a whole heap of comments!

  39. Rehan
    Rehan  • 9 years ago

    I have already been using Akismet plugin to prevent comment spam on my blog. Can I use both the plugins (Akismet + Yoast Comment Hacks) at the same time? Another question is, do I really need Akismet anymore if I install Yoast’s new plugin alone?

    • Joost de Valk

      Yeah we use Akismet too, this plugin doesn’t prevent spam :)

      • Diane
        Diane  • 9 years ago

        Have you tried WP-SpamShield to prevent comment spam? I’ve used Akismet, but WP-SS has reduced my spam to zero.

  40. Teresa
    Teresa  • 9 years ago

    I really love this plugin, just downloaded yesterday. Keep up the great work and I am looking forward to any updates on this plugin!

  41. Shawn Griffith
    Shawn Griffith  • 9 years ago

    I have WordPress SEO plug-in and it’s AWESOME. checking out the comment hacks plug-in.

  42. Bill Lawrence
    Bill Lawrence  • 9 years ago

    I just want to see the thank you page.

  43. Fabs
    Fabs  • 9 years ago

    Great plugin!!!

  44. Luis Luna
    Luis Luna  • 9 years ago

    Thank you very much, it really is a great plugin, just wanted to ask if the plugin is ready to translate, I want to translate it to Spanish

    • Joost de Valk

      Of course! You could sign up here, and then head here to start translating :)

      We’re actually already more than halfway there with es_ES :)

  45. Laurentiu
    Laurentiu  • 9 years ago

    I’m curious about that redirect page :)

  46. Rob
    Rob  • 9 years ago

    Looks great. Thanks as usual

  47. Lysa Wilds
    Lysa Wilds  • 9 years ago

    The redirect page is great! I love it and can’t wait to start using it in my site! Thank you again!


    • Joost de Valk

      Glad you like it!

  48. Lysa Wilds
    Lysa Wilds  • 9 years ago

    I love everything you have offered so far so I will check out this plugin. I do have a question though. Is the comment email sent to the website administrator or to the person leaving the comment? I use a plugin to send those who take the time to comment an email whenever anyone replies to their comment. I cannot stand the whole WordPress “notify me of new comments” because I don’t particularly care to read what others say in their comments I’m more interested in what replies are received in regards to the comment I left. I would love it if you could add an email option to that would and an email to the person who left a comment so they do not have to keep coming back to see if anyone has replied to their chimney.

    Sorry I am technology challenged and do not know the proper terms. I must admit that I really have no idea what your plugin options are for. If you could break it down for me that would be awesome as I could use all the help I can get trying to understand all of this website stuff. Thank you for this new plugin Off to go check it out and see exactly how it would benefit me and my blog.

    Wishing you a beautiful day!

    Much love,
    Lysa xx

    • Joost de Valk

      “Is the comment email sent to the website administrator or to the person leaving the comment?”

      Neither. To the author of the post, although that could be the administrator of course. And if you’re the author of the post and the commenter, WordPress is smart enough to not send you an email :)

  49. Dave Thomas
    Dave Thomas  • 9 years ago

    I also would like to see the redirect in action.

    I’d also like to say that I like the thinking behind these features that should make comments much more useful to other visitors as well as to us, although I probably don’t post enough to our blog to generate enough comments to make these an essential part of our site.

    • Dave Thomas
      Dave Thomas  • 9 years ago

      I’ve seen the redirect page. I think that it is a great idea and I can see how this would enhance our own site.
      Thanks for this.

  50. Harry Heijligers
    Harry Heijligers  • 9 years ago

    I’m a fan of Yoast so I’m definitely going to try this new plugin! It would be nice if in the near future it would also get a feature like Commentluv has!

  51. Lee
    Lee  • 9 years ago

    Another great plugin issue solved! I will be adding this and using immediately. Talk about coming in handy…doing a redesign and was stuck on the commenting piece.

  52. Wakil Nikzad
    Wakil Nikzad  • 9 years ago

    And I forgot to tell you “thank you!”
    I wish I could edit my previous comment :)

  53. Wakil Nikzad
    Wakil Nikzad  • 9 years ago

    We expect adding “Edit” feature, where commentors can edit their text after posting (for a specific time or before moderation)

  54. Wim
    Wim  • 9 years ago

    Thanks! I will install it this evening and check out the possibilities.

    • Joost de Valk

      Curious what you think of it :)

  55. manolo
    manolo  • 9 years ago

    And then people wonder why Yoast is so successfull… there is a huge need (improved native comments) and in the 2+ yrs have been looking for something only “disqus” come out as an alternative… so no one is really caring, until now… I hope this plugin comes with more improvement… well done!

    • Danny Brown (@DannyBrown)
      Danny Brown (@DannyBrown)  • 9 years ago

      I’d suggest looking at Postmatic – probably the best native comment solution I’ve found (especially if you tie it in with their Epoch Comments solution, currently in beta).

    • Joost de Valk

      Yeah I personally think native comments haven’t had enough love in core either, but we might inspire some change yet.

  56. Jeremy Myers
    Jeremy Myers  • 9 years ago

    Every plugin you put out solves a problem and ends up being one of the most helpful plugins I use. This one will no doubt be the same. Thanks!

    • Joost de Valk

      We try to scratch our own itches and when we guess enough other people will have that same itch, we release it :)

  57. Danny Brown (@DannyBrown)
    Danny Brown (@DannyBrown)  • 9 years ago

    One thing you may want to consider regarding the Email Commenter feature is double opt-in to allow that service.

    Various European countries require this, and Canada introduced the CASL legislation last July. If you don’t get specific permission to email someone (let’s say you wanted to send them an incentive, an offer, a marketing message) then you’re breaking the law, with fines of up to $10 million.

    Given CASL has already seen its first $1 million plus fine, this is an important aspect to consider.

    • Joost de Valk

      We actually require people to verify their email address before even posting their comment. We might add both features in one… Seems a logical solution.

      • Danny Brown (@DannyBrown)
        Danny Brown (@DannyBrown)  • 9 years ago

        It would definitely help those that don’t follow a best practices like you guys seem to. :)

    SMMTIPS  • 9 years ago

    I just spot the translation community here! , would definitely join and will try to help translating Thai!

    • Taco Verdonschot
      Taco Verdonschot  • 9 years ago

      Please feel most welcome!
      Have you signed up at already?

      • SMMTIPS
        SMMTIPS  • 9 years ago

        I’m doing it right now :)

    • Joost de Valk

      We’re looking forward to that :) Yes we have a thriving translation community :)

      • SMMTIPS
        SMMTIPS  • 9 years ago

        I’m joining it, i really like all of you guys product and i would be really happy to make some contribution!

  59. Mark
    Mark  • 9 years ago

    Great addition! Going to give this a try, the comment redirect looks good!

    • Joost de Valk

      You’ve seen it in action now, curious how much you like it :)

  60. Kelsey Vere
    Kelsey Vere  • 9 years ago

    This sounds like a great addition to your amazing plugins. I will have to look further into it (the first step is to see how the comment emails work…)

    • Joost de Valk

      Curious how much you like it :)

  61. Nathan Payne
    Nathan Payne  • 9 years ago

    To be honest, I just want to see your thank you page :)

    Although, I do completely agree comments being disabled is counter productive. I run a fairly busy news website which get a hand full of comments per day (mixed with a few hundred spam comments!) which are from people who have an interest in what I have written, want to learn more.

    Why a business would choose to not strike up a conversation with these people is beyond me!

    • Kelsey Vere
      Kelsey Vere  • 9 years ago

      I have also noticed more and more businesses turning off their comments. I can’t help but wonder if it’s just that they don’t have to have to moderate the spam and sift through for the good comments and then to engage with them. If they don’t have the time to follow-up, is it really worth having the comments on?

      What’s worse: not having a commenting system or having a commenting system but not taking the time to moderate and respond to post engagement?

      • Joost de Valk

        If that means spam is left in there, it’s most definitely worse to have comments. But I think you should just be willing to fix it :)

  62. Nils van der Knaap
    Nils van der Knaap  • 9 years ago

    How about a New Comment Notification, on which a user can (un)subscribe?

    There are a few already, but it would be nice if this is combined into one powerfull commentplugin.

    • Joost de Valk

      Yeah I’ve thought about it, but that requires interface etc. Which would basically double the size of the plugin.

      • John-Pierre Cornelissen
        John-Pierre Cornelissen  • 9 years ago

        +1 for the ‘New Comment Notification option’. And while at that, a second option to subscribe to a mailing list like mailchimp.

        • Joost de Valk

          That second option is actually something the awesome Mailchimp for WordPress plugin provides.

  63. Robert Giacomell
    Robert Giacomell  • 9 years ago

    Thanks Joost for understanding us and providing another useful plugin for the WordPress users. I have been using WordPress from long time and wanted something like this in the comments format. Comments are an important part of any article, so it’s very important to safeguard it.

    Would definitely love to get such more plugins from you and your team. Cheers!

  64. Jelv
    Jelv  • 9 years ago

    Nice bundeling of useful comment hacks. Small tip: the text is nicely translated into Dutch, but the default text in the fields is not.

  65. Dave Loodts
    Dave Loodts  • 9 years ago

    Cool and handy plugin ! Thank you.
    Does it comes in the repo too ? (updates)