An Easy Way To Notify Users When Their Comment Is Approved

By default, WordPress doesn’t notify users when their comments are approved from the moderation queue. If you’d like to change that, consider using the Comment Approved plugin by Niels van Renselaar. The plugin is simple to use and configure. After it’s installed and activated, you’ll find the settings in Settings > Comment Approved. It’s important to note that even when the plugin is activated, it won’t send out notifications unless you check mark the box to enable the comment approved message.

Click The Checkbox To Enable The Comment Approved Message
Click The Checkbox To Enable The Comment Approved Message

The text area is populated with a default message using the only two shortcodes available. You can customize this message using standard HTML. Here is what the default message looks like in an email.

Default Approved Message Email Content
Default Approved Message Email Content

While I like the default behavior to notify users when their comment is approved, you can use this plugin to award first time commenters. For example, you can send them a link to a free eBook or a different promotional item. Once the user’s comment is approved, they won’t see the approval message again.

It’s strange that comment approval notifications are not part of the default behaviour of WordPress. I think it makes sense, especially if the front-end notifies them that their comment may be held in moderation. While I doubt this plugin will prevent commenters from getting in touch with site administrators to figure out why their comment is not displaying on the site, at least they’ll know when it’s approved.

17 Comments


  1. Comment approvals could rapidly become annoying if they were there enabled by default. I comment on a lot of blogs and would have to start blocking those notifications if they arrived every time. It’s already a hassle having to respond to comment subscription emails all the time.

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    1. I understand Ryan. But WordPress is mostly configured so that you have to approve only once. Next comments by the same author are approved automatically, the notification will not be send out then :). I’m looking in to extend the plugin with same options to make sure you don’t overflow the user with notifications.

      Appreciate any input there.

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    2. I don’t think that it would be too much trouble to add some sort of opt-in if a comment is indeed sent to the mod queue.

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  2. Interesting plugin, I will give it a go. But Is this a one only comment approved reply. Can there be a comment not approved for people who are not actual spammers but their post is not relevant or is far too long.

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    1. If you have set your settings that an user must have a previous approved reply you won’t bug them again since the next comment is automatic approved. The plugin started as something simple yesterday (built in like 30 minutes), but I already got some great feedback today that makes me suspect that it really feeds a need. That being said I’m extending it with some options to not bug users multiple times from one post and some other extended features like HTML e-mails.

      If you have anything you’d like shot me a message trough Twitter or e-mail at niels /at/ media-enzo.nl

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  3. With the whole “approve 1st comment and forget about the rest” mentality.

    What if I make this comment from Toronto (Canada) (which I am). I then go fly to let’s say Vancouver (Canada) or even Cairo (Egypt). Will Jeff have to approve me again?

    I travel a lot, thus my IP changes often.

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    1. I haven’t looked at the code, but if it were me, I’d use comment meta. Since comments can be made by both registered users and anonymous users, I would set a comment meta flag that a user has already been sent an email.

      It would be independent IP. It would literally be based per comment.

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      1. A hash of name, email address and website address would make sense to me, or in the case of a registered user, you could just use their user ID.

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      2. I think I will do that, adding a feature that will enable a grace period which will not bug users within an X hour interval or within the same post. Enough ideas so far ;)

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    2. Performing such function based on IP would make no sense. Frontier, Time Warner often change IP addresses based on lease time, outages, then there are places that proxy for a more anonymous web surfing experience of privacy for surfers.

      There are a variety of ways to overcome such matters. One that pops to mind would be browser extensions using key/value pair hash which would be pretty easy to code up.

      In as far as commenters go, I am often simply amazed how many webmasters love the freedom the web provides them yet are clearly not in favor of freedom of speech in their blog/interactive venues. They are against government/legislative boundaries yet choose to enforce boundaries.

      Slammin’ people with email saying their post is approved is a sure way for them to find other places to communicate. Automation of “intelligent” comment passage really isnt very sophisticated algorithmically but in order to implement it properly would be a core type function as there are several core areas of data that need be addressed in making the code substantive enough to be difficult to defeat since the source is open and available.

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  4. Go tip though. How many plugins do i dump in my wordpress installation? But is it possible to send message without plugin something like add custom code via functions.php?

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  5. Hi, Niels.

    I like this plugin, but is there a way to remove the checkbox in the comment form? Personally I think it’s unnecessary (why would you *not* want to know that your comment is approved). Perhaps it could be an option in Admin?

    Also, in my theme at least, it appears between the email field and the comment field, instead of at the bottom of the form, like most checkboxes.

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    1. That sounds horrendous. Aren’t you suggesting spamming users with emails saying that their comment was approved? That seems like a fast way to get yourself black listed. I’d certainly click the spam button on something like that lickity split. Or perhaps I misunderstood what you mean?

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      1. I wouldn’t have thought that would be considered spamming. If someone’s comment goes into moderation, isn’t it a courtesy to let them know it’s been approved?

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      2. I’ve received your request and noted it! It’s checked by default, so you could hide it trough CSS.

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