I want to configure my Drupal site in order to make commenting easy to motivate visitors (anonymous users).

Which modules can I use to create a better commenting experience for visitors?

For example, if a visitor comments on the website and then another time if he wants to comment, the name/e-mail/website fields are automatically filled is a good thing. Or comment with Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn account is another ease.

Note: I don't want to use third party commenting solutions such as Disqus. I want to use Drupal core comment system.

closed as off-topic by kiamlaluno Mar 3 '17 at 8:29

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  • 3
    I recommend Disqus. IT is a great third party tool and is used on a ton of sites, so people have accounts and know how to use it. – fullerja May 19 '15 at 16:17
  • Sorry, forgot to say "I don't want to use any third party tool for comments itself". Thanks. – herci May 19 '15 at 16:18
  • Hey @Herci ... I just remembered your (interesting) question here when I was writing my answer to this question ... But then I realized your question here is about "visitors", which I believe are not logged in (so anonymous users), right? – Pierre.Vriens Apr 8 '16 at 17:55
  • Yes, you're right. This question is only about anonymous users. I didn't know the Goals module before, thanks for sharing it. Most probably I will use it (love gamification) :) – herci Apr 8 '16 at 17:59

The most frictionless setup for Drupal core commenting would probably be:

  • Employ Anonymous comments (no need for account setup)
  • Use the AJAX Comments module.
  • Configure your content type comment settings such that that titles are disabled (uncheck the Allow comment title option)

That configuration would give you a simple 3-step process for entering a comment (name, comment text, and submission click).

Spam

This configuration also means you're going to likely see a torrent of spam, so you should employ a CAPTCHA module like CAPTCHA, Mollom, or reCAPTCHA. BOTCHA is pretty good too; it can be used in conjunction with one of the 3 previous modules since it employs a different technique. If you're looking for the least frictionless setup, the reCAPTCHA module probably wins it with its recent simple "I'm not a robot checkbox" CAPTCHA.

Social Network

Putting aside the tradeoffs of anon/verified user comments, you'll probably want to employ a social network login; it helps against spam and adds other benefits that come from identifying your user base. Here, you likely want a 3rd-party social login service module; this can be easier to setup than a piecemeal setup for each social network. Some examples modules are Social Login and Social Share, OneAll, & Janrain (with more probably out there).

Gamification / Incentivization

If you're looking to incentivize comment actions there are a couple of large ones out there, Fivestar & User Points. Fivestar is the easier setup if you're looking for a simple voting system. User Points is the more robust option. It has a variety of contrib modules that allows you to associate a user score with many different actions like node/comment creation, having a comment marked as a best reply, and logging into the site (among others).

  • 2
    Thanks a lot, these are good advices but I need some other things. Also using CAPTCHA modules for spam prevention is not good for visitors. I prefer to use Honeypot module (drupal.org/project/honeypot) to keep spammers away from my site. – herci May 23 '15 at 13:02
  • 2
    This is pretty broad question without any "right" answer. Hence, I approached the answer as if you wanted easiest comment setup, akin to a social network (e.g. Twitter/Facebook replies). There are a ton of different spam/social media modules out there. You might be fine with just relying on social login for auth (though that raises the nature of people needing to trust you with what you ask for). – Shawn Conn May 23 '15 at 16:28
  • For spam prevention without CAPTCHA when allowing anonymous comments, check out Anonymous publishing. Its Anonymous publishing CL submodule is designed specifically for this purpose. – Free Radical May 29 '15 at 4:42

Approach

Another approach to somehow complement some of the other answers, is to use an approach like so:

  • Just make it extremely easy for posting comments. So don't make it too difficult to leave comments (eg no complicated captcha-style of solutions). And combine it with a module which does not punish/hurt regular visitors who have no spam intentions, such as (quotes are from their project pages):

    Honeypot uses both the honeypot and timestamp methods of deterring spam bots from completing forms on a Drupal site. These methods are effective against many spam bots, and are not as intrusive as CAPTCHAs or other methods which punish the user.

    Invisible antispam without CAPTCHA, questions, puzzles, counting animals, math and etc. Just install and forget.

    CleanTalk is a SaaS spam protection service for Web-sites.

    CleanTalk uses protection methods which are invisible for site visitors. Using CleanTalk eliminates needs in CAPTCHA, questions and answers, and other methods of protection, complicating the exchange of information on the site.

  • Leave it to your "trusted" website users to be involved in "flagging" any flavors of comments that you don't want to keep (eg spam).

  • Get flagged comments removed automatically (and as soon as there are enough flags, which are like votes for doing so), or periodically via a bulk operation.

  • Optionally you may also want to add the Comment Trust module to this mix. Here are some details about it (from its project page):

    ... auto-approves comments by users with previously-approved comments. It rewards trusted commenters with immediate approvals, while requiring you to approve the comments by new visitors. Works for both anonymous and authenticated users.

    You can configure the threshold of approved comments an email address has to first achieve before gaining auto-approval. You can also provide a list of email addresses (or patterns of email addresses) to always exclude from auto-approval.

Compare it to the "review" process on sites like Drupal.SE: questions can be asked by mostly anybody, but if they don't fit the rules, then the reviewers will take care of getting them removed, closed, etc. So your comments could be like the "questions", and your trusted users could be like the reviewers.

Implementation

To actually implement this concept/approach in any Drupal, you basically only need 2 or 3 modules (which should be used on mostly any site anyway, similar to the Views module that most sites use already):

  • Use the Flag module to create one or more non-GLOBAL flags to be used by authenticated users.
  • For any comment for which such flag is turned on by "X" users (x=1, or 2, or ...? Pick what fits best), you even have (at least) 2 approaches to select from for processing them:

    • let the Rules module "process" such comments. Typically just delete the comments that were flagged as inappropriate by X users.
    • use Views and Views Bulk Operations to periodically perform a cleanup.

To continue the review process analogy on Drupal.SE, there are 4 types of reviews (= queues), i.e.:

  • First Posts.
  • Late Answers.
  • Low Quality Posts.
  • Suggested Edits.

So for these 4 review queues you would need 4 of such flags.

To process (approve or reject) these queues (= items that are "flagged" with one of those 4 flags), 2 of them can be processed by users with a rep of 2K, while the 2 other ones require a rep of 3K.

Your imagination is the limit

What I like most of all in using this Flag/Rules combination, is that your own imagination is the limit of all sorts of business logic you want to implement in your site (you don't really depend on whatever business logic that some other modules might have hardcoded included in them).

To continue the review process analogy on Drupal.SE, with those 4 reviews queues (2 of them require 2K, but 2 others require 3K): you could add some rule so that those who do not have 3K yet, can VIEW those queues already, though they do not have some option to approve or reject anything in such queue. One could argue if that is what you'd really want (some say yes, others say no), but the beauty of it (I think) is that you can leave that decission to whoever wants to be able to decide on that. And even if later on you change your mind, it's a 1 min rule modification ... done!

Advantages

Referring to your "I want to configure my Drupal site ...": it's all a matter of just some site building techniques (and integrations between popular modules). Moreover upgrading to new releases of Drupal (like D8) should be straight forward ...

Bonus options

Message: Pretty sure that the Message module should come in handy also to further enhance this Views/Rules/Flag based approach (that there will be numerous situations where you'll want to take advantage of various features that this module offers on top of the other 3 modules). Even if it was only for notifications about new comments.

User Points: the Rules module integrates very well with the User Points module also! That might be worth considering for scenarios such as using Rules so that when a comment is flagged then the flagging user earns X points for doing so.

User preferences: you could add a flag that each user could use to yes/no be notified about comments to nodes that their userid is the author of. And combine that flag with a rule that will only notify a user after a comment is made on condition that the flag (= user preference) is set to indicate the author is interested in receiving such notifies.

Learn more about Rules/Flag

If you're not familiar with Rules, checkout the video tutorials Learn the Rules framework. And/or the similar set of 8 video tutorials about the Flag module. Especially these video tutorials:

The Session API module is required (a prereq) to make the Flag module functionality available for anonymous users (even with page caching enabled), Refer to the great article about Enhancing the Anonymous User Experience: Adventures with Flags to get this to work.

You can have a look in really interesting service that also provides improved comments is Gigya. The module integrates with their service, which has a lot more to it than just comments.

You could also roll your own solution. You'll likely need a collection of modules like Social Login, Mollom and Easy Social to get the job done, it's definitely an option for those who don't want to use a 3rd party service for their comments.

You could try that module heartbeat it gives comments the facebook commenting style.

Besides that I suggest use notifications about new comments replies and new content

Apart from modules like Fivestar and User Points (as already mentioned in Shawn's answer), you might also want to consider these modules (quotes are from their project pages):

  • Radioactivity:

    ... provides a field type which can be used as a hotness metric or a regular view counter for entities and for much much more. In essense, entities receiving attention (views or actions defined by Rules) are heated while inactive ones slowly cool down.

    Radioactivity - Popularity by Decay is an interesting introduction about it, which also includes a link to a great video about the Radioactivity module.

    The Community Documentation about this module also briefly explains how it can be used for comments, i.e.:

    ... we can define commenting or voting activity as a source of heating for nodes. This gives us most commented or most voted metrics for nodes. We can also define other targets for heating than just nodes, namely comments. We can also define actions to give negative energy. This can be used in up/down voting to provide a metric for most loved/hated nodes or comments.

    Using the Rules module you can also create systems other than generic popularity meters (which is what Radioactivity out-of-the-box does). just create simple rules that raise or lower the energy level of a field on any event provided by Rules. E.g: to create a simple user activity meteris just a matter of a few clicks.

  • Rate:

    ... provides flexible voting widgets for nodes and comments. Administrators can add multiple widgets. By default, there are 8 widget types to choose from: Thumbs up, Thumbs up / down, Number up / down, Fivestar, Emotion (this makes me mad, angry...), Yes / no, Slider, Custom.

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