A Thrive Comments Review: The Best Comment System to Spur Engagement?

Looking for more than what WordPress’ default comments system can offer? The Thrive Comments plugin may be the solution that you need.

Anybody who’s used WordPress for a while knows that the platform has a comment management system.

Unfortunately, that default system isn’t as comprehensive as you may like it to be. Beyond basic comment moderation, it offers little that can help you to determine how engaged your visitors are.

Perhaps it’s time for an upgrade.

The good news is that there are several comment management plugins that offer more in-depth features. In this review, we’re going to take a look at one of the most popular – Thrive Comments.

What Is Thrive Comments?

Part of the Thrive Themes package of plugins, Thrive Comments takes the default WordPress comment manager to the next level.

With this plugin, you’ll do much more than moderate comments. You’ll learn more about the people who made them, which is information that you can use to improve your website.

Thrive also says that their plugin aims to make commenting a desirable action. With the standard WordPress system, there’s no real encouragement to engage with posts via comments. Thrive offers a host of features that encourage your website’s visitors to talk about your content.

This heightened engagement deepens your visitors’ connections to your website. Ultimately, that results in more leads and conversions.

At least…those are the ideas behind Thrive Comments. We want to find out if the plugin really lives up to the developer’s hype.

Let’s look at some of its key features.

Feature #1 – Easy Integration

The idea of installing a new comment management system may entice you.

But the idea of losing past comments won’t.

Unfortunately, many commenting systems will wipe older comments from your site upon installing. That means your users lose the conversation they had with you and each other. You also lose the chance to glean insights from those past comments.

Happily, Thrive Comments does not go down this road. It integrates seamlessly with WordPress’ default system. As a result, all old comments stay in place. Your users can pick up right where they left off with their conversations.

Feature #2 – Up and Downvoting

It always helps to find out what your website visitors think about the comments that other visitors make. However, not every visitor will leave comments of their own in response.

Thrive Comments accounts for this with their up and downvoting system. With the click of a mouse, a visitor can express approval or disagreement with any comment. It’s fast and convenient, which encourages more interactions. The comments that receive the most votes also get featured on the relevant page.

This is extremely useful for you as the site owner. At a glance, you can see which comments drive the highest levels of user engagement. Thus, Thrive Comments points you in the direction of user feedback that you may use to improve your services or content.

Feature #3 – Gamification

We spoke earlier about how WordPress’ default system does little to encourage commenting beyond offering the option to do so.

Thrive Comments takes the opposite approach. It uses gamification to prompt regular site visitors to keep engaging with your posts and each other.

The key to this is the system’s achievements and badges. Both act as rewards for commenters who reach certain milestones, such as making a certain number of comments. Thrive Comments allows you to create these rewards based on your own sets of criteria. You can have as many or as few as you want. Plus, the platform offers a range of icons that you can use for each badge you create.

We see this concept in modern gaming with PlayStation’s Trophies and Xbox’s Achievements. In those cases, game developers use these rewards to encourage continuous play. In Thrive Comments’ case, it’s about prompting deeper levels of engagement from your audience.

Feature #4 – Simple Social Integration

Thrive Comments wants to make it as easy as possible for you to extend your social reach via your commenting system.

Your website’s visitors can use their social media accounts to sign up for the system. This is much more convenient than filling out a form. That means more people sign up, which gives you access to more customer data.

Beyond that, you can also use the system to encourage users to share their comments via social media. For example, let’s say somebody creates a comment that acts as a glowing review of what you do. Sharing that comment on social media offers proof that you deliver on your promises.

Having the user themselves share the comment for you only makes it more valuable. The words come straight from the horse’s mouth, which means other people trust them more.

Feature #5 – Post-Comment Actions

Beyond prompts for social sharing, Thrive Comments offers you a host of other post-comment actions.

The most basic of these allow you to display custom messages to anybody who places a comment. However, the platform is also able to direct commenters’ attention to related posts on your website.

This can help you deepen engagement and helps you to work commenters through your sales funnel.

The platform even allows you to add opt-in forms to your post-comment messages. This means you can use comments to collect information, such as email addresses or interests. This presents you with more options when it comes to marketing directly towards your commenters.

Feature #6 – Extensive Reporting

As well as allowing you to market directly to commenters, Thrive Comments also helps you to understand more about them.

It has an extensive reporting suite that lets you see how engaged individual commenters are. This means you can see who’s most active within your community. These are often people who are ready to buy, if they haven’t already. Often, they’re people who could become advocates for your business, with the right nurturing.

Thrive Comments’ reports let you keep track of who’s commenting and how much they’re doing it. You can also see which of your posts generate the most activity. This helps you to choose which posts to promote. Plus, it helps you to determine your content marketing strategy’s future direction.

The reporting suite offers a range of graphs so you can see this information at a glance. You can also apply filters, such as date ranges and comment approval statuses, to the data that Thrive presents.

The reports also feature word clouds so you can see what your commenters talk about most. Plus, you can see the voting stats that each post generates. Again, this helps you to figure out which pieces engage your visitors.

Feature #7 – A Range of Comment Moderation Features

WordPress’ default comment moderation system allows you to do little more than approve or delete comments. It’s also easy to lose important comments in the deluge of comments and spam that your site may receive.

Thrive Comments makes it much easier to sort the wheat from the chaff when you’re moderating.

One of its simplest, but most useful features is the ability to mark comments that need replies. This is great for highlighting customer feedback and identifying potential issues.

Thrive takes things a step further by allowing you to mark comments for specific members of your team. If a commenter expresses an issue, you can mark the comment for the customer care team. If somebody’s talking about how much they want your product, that comment can get marked for your sales crew.

It’s such a simple addition but it’s great for keeping track of the most important comments you receive.

Finally, Thrive Comments allows you to choose comments to feature on a post. This allows you to shine a spotlight on your greatest advocates or on the comments that inspire conversations.

Is Thrive Comments a Good Choice for Your WordPress Website?

If you’re looking for more than the bog-standard commenting system, we have to say yes!

WordPress’ default system works well enough for moderating comments. However, it’s not going to help you to drive engagement and build a community within your website.

Thrive Comments can thanks to all of the features we’ve discussed in this review. If you take the time to learn about everything it offers, the platform can become one of the most powerful plugins at your disposal.

And Automation Agency can help you to get it up and running. If you’re interested in installing the plugin, just send a ticket to our Concierge Service.

Not a member yet?

That’s okay! Have a chat with our Right Fit Chatbot to discover if we’re a good fit for your business.

About The Author

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.