There are very few instances when I’m browsing WPTavern.com without being logged in as an administrator. Turns out, I should do that more often as I discovered that my Comment Quicktags Reloaded plugin was broken. I’ve used Comment Quicktags Reloaded since launching WPTavern.com because I believe that comment forms are a lot like forum threads. Users should have the ability to bold words and use other tags while composing their comment, similar to how you would write a reply in a forum thread. CQR was developed by Owen Winkler who was an early WordPress enthusiast but has since gone on to be a part of The Habari Project. While the supported version of WordPress only went up to 2.2, the plugin continued to work way past that into the 3.0 branch. Thus began my search for an alternative.
This brings me to the Basic Comment Quicktags plugin authored by Mika Epstein (Ipstenu) and Marcdk This plugin is very straight forward. Simply install it, turn it on via a checkbox in the Discussions page of WordPress and watch as the Bold, Italic, Link and Quote buttons appear above the comment form. If you’re wondering why more tags were not added, Mika explains:
After careful consideration, and a long review of my users, those are the only ones they ever use! If you have a reasonable argument why I should add in others, I’ll listen.
While I don’t use bbPress just yet, I’m happy to report that Basic Comment Quicktags does have bbPress support built-in but not BuddyPress. While writing this article, I began to wonder why WordPress doesn’t ship with these tags above the comment form out of the box? I don’t have the answer but I did discover that the next best thing is knowing that a Quicktags API was created and then added to WordPress 3.3. I think that this type of functionality should be part of every theme by default. I mean, why not? Shouldn’t users be able to easily compose comments with some of the bells and whistles that post authors have in the back-end of WordPress?
But then, we run into the issue of whether it should be a theme option, or a stand alone plugin? Using a plugin, themes can be replaced without any loss of quicktag functionality. If it’s built into the theme, then when the theme goes, so do the quicktags. That’s a topic for debate but it’s nice to know that this type of simple functionality is built right into core so nobody has to worry about depending on one particular Quicktag plugin anymore.