Ajax Edit Comments, WordPress Plugin Review

I recently installed the WordPress Ajax Edit Comments plugin and I have to tell you that I’m quite impressed with Ronald Huereca’s work. The Ajax Edit Comments (AEC) plugin makes editing comments super simple for site visitors and administrators.

Setting up the AEC plugin is a breeze thanks to a clean administration interface featuring a wide variety of well explained options. Once installed, WordPress administrators who log into the Comments Administration section will see a new “Edit” link next to every comment (red highlight added for emphasis):

Ajax Edit Comments Admin Interface

Pressing the “Edit” link brings up an Ajax window like the one below:

WordPress Administrator Ajax Edit Comments Window

I find editing comments in this fashion to be quicker and more intuitive than the standard method of clicking the commenter’s name, loading another page, editing the comment, and then reloading the page again to continue editing other comments.

Site administrators can also edit comments while browsing their site as long as they’re logged in. It’s a simple matter of clicking the new Edit, Moderate, Spam or Delete links located below every comment:

Ajax Edit Comments While Browsing

Of course the links shown above are only visible to site administrators but admins aren’t the only ones allowed to edit posts.

Anyone who comments on an AEC enabled site (like PixelWit.com) is allowed a certain amount of time to modify their own comment via a “Click to Edit” link which only they can see:

Ajax Edit Comments for Visitors

The amount of time a visitor has to edit a comment is set by the site administrator. For PixelWit.com the time limit is currently set to 30 minutes which should give visitors a reasonable length of time to fix any mistakes or formatting errors they happen to notice after posting.

If you’d like to try the AEC plugin for yourself be sure to watch these 2 videos showing Ajax Edit Comments in action. The first video demonstrates the plugin from an administrator’s perspective while the other video shows how Ajax Edit Comments can help your regular site visitors. Quality stuff.

Overall, AEC seems like a highly polished plugin with some great features that should be added to your standard WordPress toolset.

7 Responses to “Ajax Edit Comments, WordPress Plugin Review”

  1. Rosario says:

    is it a little tedious needing to click it to show only 2 input fields?

  2. […] few days ago I reviewed Ajax Edit Comments for WordPress and I really liked what I saw. Since that time the plugin developer Ronald Huereca has released his next version for evaluation […]

  3. Pixelwit says:

    @Ronald, Hello, Thanks for stopping by and your insight.

    1) Self promotion is understandable and not a bad idea, but you may want to let admins specify their own Title text. Besides, I doubt many people commenting on blogs are in a position to install your plugin.

    2) Gravatars, I’m all for them but an option to disable them might not be a bad idea since some sites don’t implement them and their sudden appearance may surprise visitors like Rolf. 😉

    3) Styles, I like being able to tweak the CSS but a simple option to disable the icons might be sufficient and make your plugin more accessible to less advanced users. Right now, simply turning off Button Styles jams the links together without spaces.

    4) Errors, If everything works, you don’t need to “display this to the end user”, they’ll just know, but I like that you’re providing info when something goes wrong. Perhaps you could conserve space by placing the error codes in the comment area. As it stands, the TextArea for editing your comment occupies a fairly small space compared to the rest of the window.

    5) Options, I don’t mind the way it currently works, anything to increase the area for editing text is appreciated.

    I tend to seem “harsh” when criticizing so I hope the small donation I made (the price of the Improved PageFlip) will help soften any perceived cruelty. 😉

    You’re welcome and thanks for a great plugin.

  4. Ronald says:

    Perhaps I can explain some of the design decisions for the plugin.

    1. I will admit the ‘Ajax Edit Comments’ at the top is an attempt at self-promotion. Perhaps an option to remove it will be in future versions, but then it comes down to what will take its place.

    2. Gravatars – I use the get_avatar function of WordPress, so if there is a gravatar available, it will show it. I just committed to trunk a small fix where some gravatars weren’t showing. I’ll release it shortly.

    3. Styles – It matches WordPress 2.5, fonts and all, pretty closely. There is an option in the admin options to disable styles so you can define your own, although this option is ignored in the admin panels.

    4. Error messages – The comment loaded successfully is needed. The pop-up box itself doesn’t mean the comment has loaded. Once the pop-up box shows, the comment is loaded. If the comment fails to load, various error messages are shown based on the cause. If no error messages are present, then the comment has successfully loaded, and I try to display this to the end user.

    5. Options – The options are closed at default because most users aren’t interested in editing their name/emails/urls. For those that are, it’s an easy button click. Again, these are styled to look and behave like WordPress 2.5.

    Thanks for the feedback all and thank you pixelwit for the great review.

  5. Rolf says:

    Yeah, it’s a silhouette. Ok now that you mentioned gravatars I know what it’s all about. I simply felt a little irritated for the comment + edit not forcing me to sign up but featuring some user image I only knew of sites I _have_ to sign up for. Thanks for clarifying that one 😉

    Style? Sure. Font + colors + line-height + whitespace = style.

    Speaking of “More” I meant it’s a little tedious needing to click it to show only 2 input fields. It’s not like a 10-items list that needs to be hidden for clarity. Showing the “name” and “url” fields by default and getting rid of the “more” button would be my choice. De-clutter so to say.

    As you’re at it you might want to discard those “save” and “cancel” icons. You’re not using icons anywhere else (except the rss one) so these feel a little out of place.

    So long…

  6. Pixelwit says:

    @Rolf, Thanks for a top-notch comment. I’ll have to look for some CSS to see if I can style AEC to be a little more congruent with PixelWit.com’s style (I have style?). I think the “More” state is recorded in a cookie, so if you come back later, it should be where you last left it. Yes, the “Comment Loaded” message is a bit superfluous, probably a holdover from early testing. Was the image in the top left corner blank, or did it look like a silhouette of a person? The image should be a “Gravatar“.

    Thanks for taking the time to give your opinion, I really appreciate it.

  7. Rolf says:

    I was quite impressed to see a countdown that allowed me to edit my post. Editing the post itself worked like a charm but I felt a little disturbed because the style didn’t match the website design.

    Nice functionality – but not (yet?) as seamless as it could be.

    – huge font
    – “more options” can be open by default
    – “Ajax Edit Comments” might be simply “Edit Comment” (maybe have some “powered by AEC” somewhere at the bottom
    – “Comment Loaded Successfully” seems useless. I know the comment is loaded successfully as soon as the window pops up 😉
    – there is some sort of blank user image in the top left corner?

    But that’s just fine tuning. Editing itself works great. No glitches.


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