How to Send Private Comment Replies with WordPress
How do you send a private reply to a comment with WordPress?
It is difficult!
You must copy / paste commenter’s email address into a separate mail program. Then you must copy / paste their comment as a reference, before you can reply.
It might be a waste of time, if commenter left an invalid email address.
I created the Quick Mail plugin to send email from the Dashboard. Quick Mail 3.1.7 can also reply to comments.
Send Private Reply to a Comment
From Quick Mail Support:
I’m looking for plugin that has opportunity to send some emails for users who left comments on the site (for example when commenter request any personal information). — @orlov0562
WordPress does not include an option to reply to comments privately. I created two methods to reply to comments with Quick Mail.
- Users can select a single comment, or browse all comments.
- Administrators can disable this feature.
Reply with Quick Mail
I added a “Reply with Quick Mail” link to comments. Use this link to send a private reply.
I used the comment_notification_text filter to add an extra reply link to the comment list and notification email. Selecting the link opens Quick Mail with the commenter’s and comment.
This link is added to the email sent to an author, after a comment was approved.
You must enable this feature to use it. Let’s review the comment settings.
Who Can Reply to Comments?
Authors should be able to reply to comments, but they do not have access to the User List.
Editors can reply to comments, even if they cannot access User List.
Administrators decide how to limit permissions.
Filtering Comment Email Addresses
WordPress includes the Akismet plugin, to identify spam messages. Unfortunately, Akismet does not identify invalid email addresses.
Quick Mail checks each email domain with checkdnsrr(). It will not select comments with invalid domains.
Note: DNS lookups can be slow.
“Recent Comments” only loads 5 comments. “Comments” loads 20 comments per page.
You should not notice a delay unless you specifically load all comments.
Please notify me if this causes a problem on your system.
I might add an option to load comments from the past week.
New Settings for Users
Quick Mail was designed to select recipients from a user list.
I created an alternate user list with commenters.
Selecting a comment loads the title of the post / page as the subject, and quotes the comment for an easy reply.
Users who are unable to access the User List, see a simplified message.
It is a huge improvement!
Reply to Commenters
Blogs have hundreds or thousands of comments. Too many comments to display.
I considered only listing new comments. I wanted to add a time limit, like a week. But, everyone’s site is different. I did not want to limit choices.
Discussion Settings includes an option to close comments on posts / pages after 14 days.
I hope people use it. It seems unlikely that authors want comments on old posts, that might have been replaced with newer information.
Therefore, I only display comments from posts / pages with “open comments.” If you disabled comments or closed comments on a post, old commenters will not be displayed.
After you select a comment, the email form is automatically filled. The page / post title is the subject. The comment is quoted to begin a message, and the cursor is located at the end of the comment, to make it easier to reply.
Features For Developers
Programmers can add a filter for two new settings.
- Change the default quoted comment style for Visual Editor.
- Change “Private Reply” text on comment actions and notification email.
Future of Quick Mail
Two ideas for the future:
- Combine options in database.
- Quick Mail’s options can be combined into a single value for efficiency. I noticed that several plugins do this while testing my Find WordPress Http Links plugin.
- Select recent comments.
- Loading all comments is the slowest part of Quick Mail. There should be an option to load comments from the past week.
Get Quick Mail 3.1.7 from WordPress or Github
Quick Mail 3.1.7 was tested with WordPress 4.9, including multisite.
I hope Quick Mail makes your life easier. Please leave a review to help others find it.