Managing Comments With Ajax Edit Comments

Ronald HuerecaThis is a guest blog post written by Ronald Huereca, author of the blog, Ronalfy.com. He is the founder of the Ajax Edit Comments WordPress Plugin.

Ajax Edit Comments was first released for WordPress in April of 2007 in response to a reader’s frustration in leaving a typo in a comment. For the first time, anonymous users could edit their comments.

While sticking true to its humble roots to help out the anonymous user, Ajax Edit Comments has evolved into the most powerful comment manager for WordPress; for the first time, admin users could edit and moderate comments from a post.

Ajax Edit Comments 3.0 introduces lots of fixes and new features. This post will give a brief overview of what Ajax Edit Comments 3.0 has to offer from an admin user’s perspective. Alternatively, watch this YouTube video for a brief walkthrough.

Can Edit All Comments

Ajax Edit Comments 3.0 introduces a new pop-up box called Colorbox. The previous pop-up box we used was called Thickbox. Since Thickbox is no longer being maintained, I figured it was best to search for alternatives. The result? Colorbox is more elegant and loads way faster.

Edit Comments Screen
Edit Comments Screen

The screenshot above shows the common editing box for Ajax Edit Comments. You can edit the common comment fields, or you can switch to the “Advanced” tab to edit the comment time and the comment approval status.

The Ability to Move Comments

It happens once in a blue moon, but it’s a pain in the rear when it does: someone makes a comment on the wrong post. The old way of dealing with this is to delete the user’s comment, and then re-post it to the correct post. Rather time consuming.

The Move Comments Screen
The Move Comments Screen

With Ajax Edit Comments, select “Move” and you can move the comment by browsing posts, or by searching by post title or ID.

Blacklist Comments

Say you’ve received a spammy comment. This guy’s persistent and somehow he is escaping your spam filter. With Ajax Edit Comments, you can select the “Blacklist” option and add the commenter to your WordPress blacklist (found under Settings->Discussion).

Blacklist Comments Screen
Blacklist Comments Screen

The blacklist option can add the commenters name, e-mail address, URL, and IP address to the blacklist.

In addition, the Advanced tab allows you to mark as spam any comments that match your search criteria. For example, you can spam any comments that match a commenter’s e-mail and IP address. This is useful if your blog is under attack and you need to take some quick action.

One Click De-link

You’ve received a genuine comment. But the link the commenter provides is rather spammy, or isn’t work safe.

De-link Option
De-link Option

The de-link feature allows you to keep the comment, but remove the link the commenter used with just one click.

Hooray for Undo!

Previous versions of Ajax Edit Comments used confirmation boxes when you clicked on any of the approval options (e.g., approve, moderate, delete).

Ajax Edit Comments 3.0 gets rid of the annoying confirmation boxes and instead displays an undo option.

undo

More Icon Choices

Ajax Edit Comments 3.0 introduces icon themes. Ever since 2.0 came out, users have nagged me about the default icon set (which I personally liked of course). With 3.0, I found several icon sets that would fit, and decided to build in a “theme” feature.

Icon Choices
Icon Choices

Within the Ajax Edit Comments admin options, you can select from six different icon sets.

comment_icons

Dropdown Display

I will be the first to say that the Ajax Edit Comments interface is getting cluttered. Up to seven options could be displaying for the admin for each comment.

With Ajax Edit Comments 3.0, I decided a dropdown display would work best to conceal the remaining options. For those that don’t like the dropdown, it can be easily removed in the Ajax Edit Comments admin page.

Dropdown Menu
Dropdown Menu

Conclusion

Ajax Edit Comments 3.0 is a major upgrade over the 2.0 version. The interface has been tweaked, it now includes themes and a dropdown, and there are numerous power tools for admin users.

If you haven’t already, give Ajax Edit Comments 3.0 a try.

11 Comments


  1. Ajax Edit Comments is great. Thanks for all your hard work, both Ajay and Ronald. :)

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  2. I just *LOVE* this plugin and so do our users. I love the new ColorBox addition (much faster!) and generally come to appreciate all the new features which have been put in older and recent versions.

    I do have some wishes, focussed on performance enhancements (I’m trying to cut down on as much overhead http requests as possible, but AEC has proven rather difficult to trim.

    1. I believe function add_script_vars (line 46) can be easily changed to wp_footer instead of wp_head (I need to do this after every upgrade). Also, most Javascript files (function add_scripts, lines 1452-14890) could also benefit from switching to loading in the footer (I believe this is only for newer WP versions through wp_enqueue_script, but would love to see a conditional for this) (again, works fine in my installation, but need to do this after every new version of AEC)

    (my code change for line 46)

    add_action('wp_footer', array(&$this, 'add_script_vars'), 1001);

    (my code changes for lines 1460-1461)

    wp_enqueue_script('colorbox', $this->pluginDir . '/js/jquery.colorbox-min.js', array("jquery"), '', true);
    wp_enqueue_script('wp_ajax_edit_comments_script', $this->pluginDir . '/js/wp-ajax-edit-comments.js', array("jquery", "wp-ajax-response", "colorbox") , 2.3, true);

    2. An even better option would be to let advanced users disable loading of all the JS files and variables, so we could offload these to a CDN (like you let us define our own CSS files, albeit this won’t let us offload to another server, since it has to be a relative path). This also goes for additional css files like the new colorbox.css.

    3. If option ‘No icons’ is chosen (Styles > Determine Icon Display/Sets), AEC still loads the selected icons css file (e.g. wp-ajax-edit-comments/css/themes/circular/edit-comments.css) and thus all the (redudant) icon images in that css file. Maybe a separate ‘no-icons’ theme would be a solution?

    Other than this, one of the best WordPress plugins out there, both for admins *and* users. Thanks for all your hard work (and thanks to Ajay too!)

    P.S. Most of my wishes only affect the user side of AEC. I don’t really mind about what extra stuff is loaded for admins (either front or dashboard)

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  3. Thank you for this great review. Until now I hadn’t really looked into it but after seeing it’s great features I think I’ll definitely add it to my blog. Thanks again!

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  4. Ah good, the new version is now working fine (it wasn’t the case with thickbox, probably due to a plugin conflict).

    I would very much like to see Jean-Paul’s ideas implemented !

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  5. Thanks for this review. I enjoy reading indepth reviews of plugins (and other wp related info).

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  6. @Ronald – Good to hear, thanks!
    I do have another question. Am I correct AEC adds two queries per comment? Weird thing is, on one of our really popular posts (contest post) we have over 800 queries. With AEC enabled this translates into
    1704 queries. 6.600 seconds.
    If I deactivate AEC, I only have 46 queries on the same post … Ofcourse, this really hurts performance, especially on posts where we have over 50 comments (happens more often than not).

    Problem is – like I said before – we can’t uninstall this plugin as our users would come lynching me ;) Is there a way to completely prevent AEC from executing at all when comments are closed? (we automatically close all posts after three months). This would already help tremendously.

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  7. @Ronald – Thanks again, Ronald. Appreciate the quick replies! If possible, I’d still like to have an option to either completely disable AEC on posts with closed comments or at least prevent AEC from loading the JS and CSS on posts with closed comments (sort of like the check for is_page() ).

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  8. @Ronald – Heads up for Ronald. The high query count wasn’t due to AEC, but to another plugin I recently installed (Comment Contest). My apologies for the error, although I still wonder why the query count went down after deactivating AEC. And I’d still like to reiterate my request for completely disabling AEC on closed comments ;)

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  9. @Jean-Paul Horn – Hate to correct myself, but although I deinstalled Comment Contest the double queries still show with AEC enabeld. Would appreciate a thorough look if this has been fixed or has crept up again in recent versions.

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