Threading The Comments

While visiting the Shoe, I came across a really neat WordPress Plugin call Brian’s Threaded Comments. This is a really cool Plugin that I had to install.

Brain’s Threaded Comments add a “Reply to this comment” link to every blog comments. When you click the reply link, your comment is placed direct under the comment you replied to. This is great if a reader asks a question. Instead of scrolling down the blog post to see if anyone answered, he can do so by looking at his own comment.

You can see an example of what a threaded reply looks like here.


Having the ability to reply inline in the comments gives the blog a forum like feature and should help to increase comments and interaction level among the blog readership. Give it a try and tell me what you think.

56 thoughts on “Threading The Comments”

  1. Jane says:

    Ooops, I posted a comment on the previous post noticing the the change. I didn’t realize you would post about it or I would have waited. Should have guessed huh. I was scrolling down some of the comments and there are some formatting problems, just an FYI. I’m sure you know there are some minor gliches here and there.

    Great look and organization!

  2. great find john, this will make it aloooooooot easier for you im sure. It seems someone will ask you a question and before you get a chance to reply you have 10 people posting comments ahead of you.

  3. Ryan says:

    Good idea. With so many comments it can be tough sometimes to follow the discussions going on by various posters.

    My only complain is that the CSS is a little weird, as I liked the old button and such. I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

    Oh, and when I hit tab I don’t go to the ‘Add comment’ button–that’s a pain in the ass. Maybe you can change the focus order to fix it?

  4. David Mackey says:

    Now that is an awesome feature.

    1. baron says:

      I agree.

      Just testing the threading thing.

      Would be nice if you could alternate colors or shades with the responses.

      1. baron says:

        oops, now I see that it is. Just that it’s a very light shade.

        1. Michael Kwan says:

          I’m touched that you’re using my comment as an example *blush*. Haha.

          But anyways, the only reason why I’m replying to this comment is just to see how several layers deep would look.

          1. Michael Kwan says:

            I just saw this under my comment above:
            “(Comments wont nest below this level)”

            I wonder what that means.

            Oh, and something that I forgot to mention is that while I like the idea of threaded comments, I like the old look better. I think it’s the font or layout or something that’s bugging me.

      2. HMTKSteve says:

        Let’s see what happens when I reply to a nested comment.

        1. Michael Kwan says:

          I can see how threads within threads, nested within other threads could get a little complicated.

  5. Stew says:

    If you click “Reply to this comment” and then “Unreply” it distorts the page (FF user) .. Just thought you should know

    1. John Chow says:

      Wow! LOL That is messed up. The solution would be to not unreply. 🙂

  6. John Chow says:

    OK, I see the first problem. The reply box pushed my right side bar under my blog when viewed in IE! On Firefox it’s fine. Anyone know how to fix this?

    1. Ryan says:

      Maybe I should have used the damn feature!

      Anyway, check the width of the input box and/or the outer wrapper of the comments.

      1. Ryan says:

        OK, I just checked it out in IE and it looks to be the box that holds the input box. This might be forced by the input box itself, so update both. 🙂

        Did I mention the tab thing is killing me?!

        1. Gary says:

          Very interesting plugin

        2. John Chow says:

          I don’t know what you mean about the tab thing. What does it do?

    2. Ryan says:

      Here’s the fix, John.

      In the plugin change the following:

      .comment .body .content
      padding: 0px 3px 0px 3px;
      width: 100%;
      overflow: auto;


      .comment .body .content
      padding: 0px 3px 0px 3px;
      width: 95%;
      overflow: auto;

      Also change:

      #commentform textarea {
      width: 97%;


      #commentform textarea {
      width: 90%;

      With those changes it works great for me in IE.

      1. John Chow says:

        Ya! It worked! You’re awesome!

        1. Gdog says:

          This is pretty cool…

        2. Ryan says:

          I do what I can. 😀

    3. Stop using IE. Lol. 🙂

      1. John Chow says:

        Can’t do that. 42% of readers still use IE to view this blog. Have to make sure it looks correct for them.

        1. Jane says:

          I’m one of those people in the 42%. Sorry guys 🙂 But I did just download firefox yesterday and love the features. Especially in WordPress, a word that needs to be edited is underlined…i love it!

  7. Ryan says:

    John, you should set the stylesheet to force a smaller width. I’ve had this issue before with blogs and it’s typically a width issue.

  8. Stephen says:

    Installed! Works good on my template.

  9. Alex Becker says:

    looks good. Maybe the colors could be a bit more noticeable.

    1. John Chow says:

      I’ve changed the shade to match the side bar. It’s a bit darker than the default shade.

  10. Just saw the same post over at Shoe and then came here to see you have already made the update. It is an interesting plugin though.

  11. Michael Kwan says:

    Something strange is happening with some of the comments: they have lines going through the text.

    1. John Chow says:

      That is a glitch in Firefox. It doesn’t happen in IE.

      1. Leftblank says:

        Then I think you should get it fixed, you don’t want to advertise IE usage, do you? 😉

        1. Michael Kwan says:

          I agree. Firefox > IE

  12. Raghu says:

    Hey this is a great new feature. Guess some of the other blogs where # of comments are high also start using this. It makes life much much easier for your readers

    Is this something new because I have not seen it on other blogs though ?

    1. John Chow says:

      I think it’s been around for a while. Just not used by many blog because the author didn’t do a good job promoting it.

  13. Andrew Chen says:

    Great tool definitely need to try.

  14. Nomar says:

    this is a really cool option 🙂

  15. Nate W. says:

    Excellent tool. Once I start receiving more comments on my blog, I will be sure to install this. Thanks for the heads up, John!

  16. HMTKSteve says:

    So this is why the comments looks so funny all of a sudden.

  17. Leftblank says:

    Looks very nice like already said a lot, hopefully you’ll fix those odd CSS things in Firefox.

    In addition to that I’d recommend a ‘Remember Subscription toggled’ button or so, I’ve got to keep ticking it now if I find something nice. In addition to that the box shows up twice and I don’t know how your plugin will handle that 😉

  18. Tyler says:

    42% use IE? That’s less than half your readers. I do all my work in Firefox and then I look at fixing it in IE.

    IE7 is a bit better at following the W3C Standards but I still make everything look the way I want it to in Firefox and then look at fixing it for other browsers.

    As for the comments, if you get enough replies on a comment won’t it becomes soo squished it would be 1 character per line? Or does the overflow fix that?

    I just noticed it up a few replies how it started to get squished.

    1. Raghu says:

      Albeit I get a smallish number of users on my blog – Firefox IT split is 65%:35% !

      Personally I prefer Firefox over IE 🙂

  19. Raghu says:


    Absolutely great idea of your introducing this threaded comments. One clear benefit I see for me is that I can have a focused discussion with the other readers on your blog.

    From you its makes your life easier to follow up comment threads and keep yourself updated. With the increased number of comments I am sure you must have felt overloaded in managing comments – Was this by any chance the reason why you started searching for a threaded comments possibility in the first place ?

    Another benefit is that given that threads have more ‘intelligence’ as compared a simple list of comments it makes your life easier to come up with topics that your reader base want and find useful.

    1. John Chow says:

      It was by sheer chance. I didn’t go looking for it. But I’m glad I stumbled onto it. 🙂

      1. Raghu says:

        But yes good for you and me that you found it – I am having a much better experience on you blog ever since you installed this.

  20. Jane says:

    The organization of the comments seems to make it easier for people to respond to other people’s posts rather than comment on your site directly. This should turnout with more activity in your comments arena. I think people like to see visitors being involved in a blog. It gives them sotries within the blog i guess…

  21. Cool plugin – but I think it’s more appropriate for “bigger” blogs like yours. And not new blogs that only get 2-3 comments per post 😉 I’ll probably install this plug-in when I’m getting more comments…

    But now you have two ways for people to subscribe to comments. You have a “Subscribe to comments via email” checkbox below the URI and “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” below “Add comment”.

    This might confuse people… perhaps you want to disable one of them?

  22. Okay, after a little more time with the threaded comments I have to say that I don’t like them for one reason.

    When coming back to a post, it is more difficult to find the newer comments as they can be anywhere in the list, as a reply to an older comment or a new comment at the bottom.

    I know it seems most people like the new threaded comments but I just wanted to put this vote against them out there.

  23. teste says:

    please delete this, it’s just a test to the plugin. Thank you

  24. Marc says:

    This is a great plugin for someone who gets a lot of responses. My blog’s still not generating so many responses that I’d need anything like this.

    It is nice to know that it’s out there, so that once my blog does start generating a lot of comments, I’ll know where to look for a helpful plugin.

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