Are you looking for a way to celebrate your top commenters in WordPress? If so, displaying your top commenters in your WordPress sidebar is a great way for everyone to see them. The best part about the sidebar is that it appears on every page of your website, assuming you don’t have it hidden.
This makes it the perfect place to display something you want your entire audience to see. Unfortunately, there is not a way to do this in WordPress by default. Instead, you will need to install a plugin to add the necessary functionality. Today, I will demonstrate how to show top commenters in WordPress sidebars using the Top Commentators Widget plugin.
Why Display Your Top Commenters
Comments and those who leave them are extremely important to your website. The comments section is one of the best ways to build a community, but not everyone likes to leave comments. Thus, by celebrating the ones that do, you are incentivizing others to also participate in the comments section.
A more practical reason is to build credibility for your website. For example, let’s say you run a blog about law. If your top commenter is a professional lawyer, it looks good to new visitors. This is similar to sharing positive reviews for your restaurant on your website, it makes you look better.
Installing The Top Commentators Widget Plugin
The Top Commentators Widget plugin adds a new widget that you can add anywhere that widgets are allowed. This includes your sidebar and footer areas. The settings of the plugin are all added to the widget itself, making it very easy to use.
Let’s start by clicking on Plugins and selecting the Add New option on the left-hand admin panel.
Search for Top Commentators Widget in the available search box. This will pull up additional plugins that you may find helpful.
Scroll down until you find the Top Commentators Widget plugin and click on the “Install Now” button and activate the plugin for use.
Using The Top Commentators Widget Plugin
On the left-hand admin panel, click on Appearance and select the Widgets option.
Scroll down the list of available widgets and locate the Top Commentators Widget. Click on the “Add” button. This will open the widget’s settings.
Here you can edit the settings of the widget and determine what it will display and where it will display it. The first option is the name that will be displayed. By default it is “Top Commentators”, but you can change it to anything you want. This is followed by a description box that you can fill in.
Afterward, you will find the minimum amount of comments needed for the widget to display them. This is highly dependent on the average number of comments each person leaves. You need to pick a number that will display the right people. Underneath this option, you will find a box that allows you to exclude certain groups. By default, the admin is excluded, but you should expand this to include authors and editors. You do not want staff members to be displayed, you want visitors.
Next, you need to decide how often the widget will refresh who the top commentator is. By default, it is every month, but I recommend to change it to daily. This will ensure more of your visitors have the opportunity to be displayed. Some of the other settings include how many commenters will be displayed, nofollow attributes, what image to display next to the top commentator, Gravatar options, and much more.
Once you are done changing the settings, select the sidebar and position it will appear on. Click on the “Save Widget” button.
Congratulations, you have successfully displayed your top commenters in your WordPress sidebar with the Top Commentators Widget plugin.
Honor Your Commenters
The comments section is crucial to making your website look like an active website. Websites that do not have a lively comments section risk looking less popular. For example, if you visit two movie review sites and one has a very active comments section of commenters who agree or disagree with the review, versus another that does not have any comments, the first one will clearly look better to you.
By showing off your most active commenters, you are promoting that your website has regular visitors and that they matter to you.
How many commenters have you chosen to show? Do you find the Top Commentators Widget easy to use?