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For a scenario of a reader who is solely interested in your article and the discussion stemming from it, an extension can help to keep that reader involved. An appropriate plug-in is one named Subscribe to Comments, created by Mark Jaquith, originally by Jennifer at ScriptyGoddess ( You can download this plug-in from

The Subscribe to Comments plug-in allows your readers to subscribe to the comments of a post. This will appeal to those readers who enjoy the conversation aspect of your blog and want to know whenever someone else has posted a comment.

To install this plug-in, download the zip file, expand the archive, and upload it to your server following the instructions in the readme.txt file found in the plug-in package. Put the plug-in file subscribe-to-comments.php in wp-content/plugins and the user administration file wp-subscription-manager.php in your main WordPress directory. Go to the plug-ins administration page and activate the plug-in. That's all you need to do.

WordPress automatically calls the plug-in when the comments are displayed. The plug-in adds a check box to the standard comment form, giving your reader the ability to sign up to be notified when follow-up comments are posted. Figure 17-7 shows this in action.

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Danny Name [required) Mail [will not be published) [required)


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I Notify me of followup comments via e-mail proud to be a wordpress 1.5.2 site c3rohorses theme by Mike Little based on c3romask by c3ro

Figure 17-7. The Subscribe to Comments plug-in in action

By default, this plug-in allows your visitors to subscribe only when they leave their own comments. If you prefer, you can allow them to subscribe without leaving a comment. Simply add a call to the plug-in's template tag show_manual_subscription_form in the comments.php theme file (full instructions are in the readme.html file; see step 5 of the installation section). The resultant comment form will have a section named Subscribe Without Commenting, as shown in Figure 17-8.

Once your readers have subscribed to the comments on a story, the plug-in recognizes them (via a cookie) when they subsequently revisit the same post. This time, a Manage your subscriptions link is presented, as shown in Figure 17-9.

Figure 17-8. Subscribe without commenting
Figure 17-9. New link to manage subscriptions

If your visitors click this link, they will be presented with an administration page (styled like the WordPress administration pages) listing all the posts to which they are subscribed and allowing them to remove subscriptions, block all notifications, and change their e-mail address, as shown in Figure 17-10.

When someone else comments on the story to which a reader is subscribed, the reader will receive an e-mail notification, as shown in Figure 17-11. The e-mail message details who commented and what the comment was, and includes a link taking the recipient directly to the post. Another link in the e-mail message takes the recipient to the subscription management page (see Figure 17-10).

Building Online Communities Comment Subscription Manager_

Return to the page you were viewing: Themes in Word Press Subscriptions [email protected] is subscribed to the poslslisted below.To unsubscribe to one ormore posts, click the checkbox next to the title, then click "Remove Selected Subsciiption(s)" at the bottomoFthe list.

1. I Themes in WordPress

2. I New Links In The Sidebar

Invert Checkbox Selection

Remove Selected Subscription(s)

Advanced Options_

Block AH Notifications

If you would like [email protected] to be blocked from receiving any notifications from this site, click the button below. This should be reserved forcases where someone is signing you up fornotifications without yourconsent.

Block Notifications »

Change E-mail Address

If you would like to change the e-mail address Foryour subscriptions, enter the new address below. You will be required to veriFy thisrequest by clicking a special link sent toyourcurrent address (dan @'e\a in

New E-mail Address: |

Change E-mail Address » j

Figure 17-10. The subscription administration page

[Building Online Communities] New Comment On: Themes in WordPress - Debían Thunderbird

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Get Mail Write Address Book Decrypt Reply Reply All Forward E Subject: [Building Online Communities] New Comment On: Themes in WordPress From: Building Online Communities <[email protected]> Date: 10:43 To: [email protected]

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There is a new comment on the post "Themes in WordPress".

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Author: George Comment:

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See all comments on this post here:

http : //

To manage your subscriptions or to block all notifications from this site, click the link below:,php?email=dantaexample,com&key=f94al05dc093c7b

Figure 17-11. E-mail notification of a new comment

You can customize the styling of the subscription management page, the wording of the form controls, and the messages that different visitors see from the plug-in administration page, shown in Figure 17-12. As you can see, this plug-in is quite powerful and could provide a great addition to your blog and your visitors' experience.

Figure 17-12. The Subscribe to Comments plug-in administration page

A version of the theme with the changes I have described in this section can be downloaded from the Source Code area of the Apress web site ( as This is a good starting point to developing a site with a "conversation" layout. A next step might be to customize the subscriber management page to match the rest of the site. If you read through the rest of this chapter, you may find more features you would like to incorporate on your site.

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