In our Thrive Comments review, we explore if the product is worthwhile for content marketers, course creators, bloggers, and other online businesses.
From the surface, Thrive Comments is just another WordPress comments plugin – one to replace the default comments on WordPress. It’s much more than that, however, as it offers tools for engaging site visitors, adding visuals to comments, integrating with social media sites, and other gamification elements.
👉 As such, Thrive Comments is a premium plugin, made for businesses interested in increasing engagement and profits.
Based on the features we’ll outline below, Thrive Comments helps you add far more advanced functionality to your everyday comments section. It’s recommended for businesses, from bloggers to affiliate marketers, along with ecommerce brands, online course creators, consultants, and coaches.
Continue reading our in-depth Thrive Comments review for a complete look at the product.
📚 Table of contents:
Thrive Comments is part of an ecosystem of products from the company Thrive Themes. Those plugins and themes include a visual website builder, a visual page builder, a learning management plugin for online courses, a quiz builder, an A/B testing tool, and more.
These are separate products from Thrive Comments, but worth mentioning since they can all work together to boost the effectiveness of your comments section.
Having said that, here’s a look at the features ⚙️ specific to Thrive Comments:
One of the first questions a site moderator has before switching to a new comments plugin is, “how do I manage comments with the new system?”
There are other questions to consider, too, like “do my old comments remain?” and “can I search, sort, and filter comments?”
During our Thrive Comments review, we found that Thrive Comments includes all the basics you’d expect for comment moderation, along with some extras.
For instance, the plugin offers no-click comment sorting, where you use keyboard shortcuts to complete everything from replies to deletions. You can also narrow down comments with a wide range of filters based on Comment Status, Keywords Used, and Page or Post.
Here’s a look at the keyboard shortcuts:
Furthermore, Thrive Comments lets you auto-link to your commonly referenced online resources, just by typing in a keyword. Pair that with comment delegation to other admins for a rather speedy moderation process.
One downside of many comment plugins is the limited customization abilities. A comment box, however, should match your brand.
Thrive Comments performs well in the customization arena, with options to create a default comment avatar, translate comments as they come in, and change accent colors.
We particularly enjoy the ability to split long lists of comments into multiple pages. This way, you declutter pages that end up being predominantly comments.
One of the primary customization options from Thrive Comments is the option to insert a comment box anywhere on a site. And, if you end up removing Thrive Comments, the comments you collected during the process remain in your WordPress system for display.
The main selling point behind Thrive Comments is its ability to convert customers after they write a comment on your website. You may, for example, want to prompt users to subscribe to an email list, or follow your brand on social media, right after commenting.
Although there are reported user issues with the lazy load (and performance issues in general with Thrive Comments), the plugin provides an option to only load comments when a visitor scrolls down to read them. This should, theoretically, speed up your site, but our testing occasionally saw snags in the lazy loading.
Two other conversion-oriented features involve the messages displayed for visitors when they look at the comment section (or after they submit a comment). The first is for the site admin to select a conversion option after a comment is made.
👉 They let you choose one of these after a comment:
- Open a Lightbox that connects to Thrive Leads.
- Show different posts from your website.
- Redirect people to another URL.
- Show a custom message.
- Ask the commenter to share the post on social media.
The second conversion element involves calls to action, which you can show whenever a first-time commenter comes to your site. For instance, you might have a message welcoming them to your community, and show links to a forum or email sign up.
Beyond that, Thrive Comments also adds frontend features to encourage your site’s visitors to share other comments on the site.
We mentioned earlier how Thrive Comments uses gamification to improve engagement of site visitors. Essentially, these are ways to make commenting more fun and rewarding for customers.
The gamification features from Thrive Comments are impressive. Although we’re sure some features will work better for particular customers, it’s interesting to at least have the option to include up and down votes, the way you’d see on a forum like Reddit.
It’s possible to assign reward badges to users when they reach certain levels of engagement, and you can even display comments with high vote counts at the top of the comment feed.
Social integrations turn Thrive Comments into a multi-platform affair, seeing as how it enables visitors to write comments easily, even if they lack a user account on your website. Users can connect to social accounts to sign in to the comments section, and share either posts or individual comments on Facebook or Twitter.
For those willing to sign up for an account on your site, that information is auto-populated into any comment form, so there’s no reason for them to type it in for every comment they want to make.
Lastly, our Thrive Comments review discovered an area at the end of each comment feed for users to subscribe to the post’s comments. When a new comment appears, or someone replies to their comment, they receive a notification about it.
Equipped with a decent reporting suite, Thrive Comments ensures site owners have access to hard data about their commenters. View which posts are most popular, figure which of your users comment the most, and see how comments increase or decrease over time.
Potential customers have the option to purchase Thrive Comments individually or within a bundle known as Thrive Suite.
- Thrive Comments: $49 for the first year for the standalone Thrive Comments plugin, and the Thrive Automator plugin. You can use it on a single site and the plan renews at $99 per year.
- Thrive Suite: $299 for the first year for Thrive Comments and nine other plugins like Thrive Automator, Apprentice, Architect, Ultimatum, and Optimize. You also get several WordPress themes, course templates, A/B testing, and support for five websites. The plan renews at $599 per year.
During our Thrive Comments review, we found that if you maintain a subscription with Thrive Themes (with Thrive Suite, or the standalone Thrive Comments plugin) you always receive unlimited 24/7 customer support through an email ticketing system. There is no phone line to call.
As for online resources, paying users can take advantage of a knowledge base, product tutorials, a blog, a training section called Thrive University, exclusive webinars (only for Thrive Suite customers), and access to a private Facebook group.
The user interface is simple enough for the average site owner to learn its quirks and feel comfortable.
Admins can quickly add comment blocks anywhere on a website by using the Discussion section in Gutenberg, or by activating comments globally.
The Thrive Comments tab is located conveniently under the Thrive Dashboard menu in your WordPress dashboard.
Going to Thrive Comments provides immediate access to features like Voting and Badges, Notifications, Comment Moderation, and Customization.
There’s also an option that lets you expand a live preview of what your comments section will look like so you can see your changes in real time as you adjust settings.
We found those tools straightforward, especially considering it only takes a few seconds to add something like a new badge or a complete voting system.
We’d argue that the frontend isn’t anything special, but that’s probably a good thing for most users. The idea is to provide a slight customization for color accents. Thereafter, features like voting, avatars, and badges appear when active.
Thrive Comments is optimized to work on WordPress.org websites, meaning it’s most suitable for self-hosted websites. Having said that, it is possible to install Thrive Comments on a WordPress.com website, but only with the eCommerce and Business plans.
We have noticed that it’s not a guarantee that Thrive Comments imports all comments you may have accumulated from previously used comment plugins. There’s no promised compatibility between competitors. Yet, we are certain that all native WordPress comments transfer over to Thrive Comments after disabling the default module.
When it comes to WordPress themes, you can rest easy knowing that Thrive Comments is designed to work with any WordPress theme.
There aren’t any integrations with third-party plugins, but the Thrive Automator plugin (included even when you only pay for the standalone Thrive Comments plugin) generates automations between popular email newsletter platforms and WordPress plugins. And you have the option to pay for the Thrive Suite, which integrates the Comments Tool with every plugin from Thrive Themes.
👉 Thrive Themes plugins:
- Thrive Optimize: A/B testing for landing pages
- Thrive Ovation: Testimonials with conversion elements
- Thrive Ultimatum: Scarcity countdown marketing campaigns
- Thrive Quiz Builder: A quiz maker with list building elements
- Thrive Leads: Simple lead generation forms
- Thrive Architect: Drag-and-drop landing page builder
- Thrive Apprentice: Membership websites and online courses
- Thrive Automator: Smart automations between email providers and other plugins
Now that we’ve almost reached the end of our review, let’s run over a few common questions you might have…
If your site already has comments via the native WordPress comments system, Thrive Comments will automatically detect those comments and continue displaying them on your site via the Thrive Comments interface.
All of your site’s comments are still stored in the WordPress database. If you deactivate Thrive Comments, those comments will still exist as regular WordPress comments (though you’ll lose other functionality such as upvotes associated with a comment).
No – Thrive Comments only comes in a premium version.
Conclusion to our Thrive Comments review 🧐
After testing out the features, learning about the Thrive Themes customer support, and figuring out what we like and don’t like about the Thrive Comments interface, here are the final ratings from our Thrive Comments review:
High level of customization and comment moderation
Gamification like up/down votes, calls to action, and user badges
Integrations with powerful Thrive Themes plugins
Users have reported performance issues (may depend on theme and hosting)
No guarantee that comments from other third-party plugins transfer over
Lacking support for media elements in comments
Who should use Thrive Comments?
👉 We like Thrive Comments for these businesses and situations:
If you need any clarification about our Thrive Comments review, please share your thoughts in the comments section below!