Web & Software Developer

Lightweight Subscribe To Comments

Lightweight Subscribe To Comments WordPress plugin

“Lightweight Subscribe To Comments” adds a subscription checkbox to your WordPress comment form.

“Lightweight Subscribe To Comments” is the easiest and most lightweight WordPress plugin to let visitors subscribe to comments and get email notifications.

Jump down to: Installation   |   Settings   |   Troubleshooting   |   Support   |   Ask a Question

Very simply, this plugin adds a subscription checkbox to your WordPress comments form, to let your visitors subscribe to comments. They will then be notified by email when others comment on the same post. Works automatically upon activation, no settings required.

This plugin focuses on a lightweight footprint. It simply just works upon activation. All settings are optional. For fastest pagespeed, no stylesheets or scripts are added.

You can unsubscribe people from the settings page, if you wish.

Optional Settings include:

  • You can customize the notification emails.
  • Set a custom “Unsubscribe Page” URL or unsubscribe message.
  • Send a “Thank You” message for first time commentators.
  • Send a copy of EACH notification to emails of your choice.

Easily Switch From Other Comments Subscription Plugins

Your subscribers will be imported for an easy switch from the following listed plugins. This is done automatically upon activation. Your comment subscribers will be migrated from these plugins:

  • “Subscribe To Comments” plugin by Mark Jaquith
  • “Subscribe To Comments Reloaded” plugin
  • “Comment Notifier” plugin

Special Condition For “Comment Notifier” Plugin Users:

“Lightweight Subscribe to Comments” fixes a major problem with the “Comment Notifier” plugin:

In particular, “Lightweight Subscribe to Comments” fixes this problem.

Lightweight Subscribe to Comments will not subscribe spammers while their comment is pending moderation. Only approved comments will be subscribed. Comments authors in moderation will only be subscribed if, and when, you approve their comment.

The problem is that “Comment Notifier” plugin subscribes the email address as soon as the submitted comment goes into moderation. This means that spammers get added to the list of subscribers, immediately. Later, when you delete the spam comments, the spammer’s email remains in the list of subscribers.

You could have hundreds, even thousands, of spammer email addresses in that list. Then, when you approve a legit comment, your server sends out emails to all of the post subscribers (including spammers), which can cause server overload, among other problems.

This plugin, “Lightweight Subscribe To Comments,” fixes that by ignoring comments in moderation until they are approved by you. This means less load on your server.

Bonus Clean Up For “Comment Notifier” Plugin Users:

This plugin removes spammers from your “Comment Notifier” list.

Upon activation, this plugin will clean up your “comment_notifier” list (database table) by removing all spammer emails (emails of people that do NOT have an approved comment). (This only applies to you if you were using the “Comment Notifier” plugin.) It will also empty your Comments “Trash” and “Spam”. This clean up is only done once, upon plugin activation.


This plugin is translation-ready and includes a .pot file to make it easy to translate.


To install the “Lightweight Subscribe To Comments” plugin, follow these steps.

  1. Step 1: Install The Plugin

    In your WordPress dashboard -> Plugins -> Add New, search for “Lightweight Subscribe To Comments”. Click “Install Now”, then click “Activate Plugin”.

    Upon activation, the plugin automatically works. There will be a checkbox underneath your comment form so that visitors can subscribe to comments as they make a comment.

  2. (Optional) Step 2: Maybe Add CSS Styles

    Since this plugin focuses on a lightweight footprint, no CSS stylesheet is added. Depending on how your theme styles checkboxes, you may want to add the following CSS to align the subscription checkbox:

    (It is very easy to add CSS.)

    #lstc-comment-subscription label.lstc-label {
    	display: inline-block;
    	vertical-align: middle;
    #lstc-comment-subscription {
    	margin-top: 1em;
    #lstc-comment-subscription input#lstc_subscribe {
    	margin-right: 0.5em;
  3. (Optional) Step 3: Customize The Settings

    If you want to customize any settings, then go to “Settings –> Lightweight Subscribe To Comments”.

  4. (Optional) Step 4 – Only For Those That Were Using “Comment Notifier” Plugin

    If you were using “Comment Notifier” plugin, then deactivate it right away to avoid having it add new spammers to your comment_notifier list. Only once, upon activation, this plugin will clean up your “comment_notifier” list (database table) by removing all spammer emails that were subscribed by the “Comment Notifier” plugin. It will also empty your Comments “Trash” and “Spam”. This is done automatically upon activation. Your existing approved comments, and legit subscribers, will not be lost.


Most of the settings are self-explanatory.

Regarding the “tags” that you can use for the Notification Message Body:

The placeholder tags look like this:

{name} - the subscriber name
{author} - the commenter name
{title} - the post title
{content} - the comment text (eventually truncated)
{comment_link} - link to the comment
{link} - link to the post/page
{unsubscribe} - the unsubscribe link


Most of these placeholder tags easy to use. You place one of the tags in the body of the message, and then it will be replaced with the actual content, specific to each comment.

The {name}, {author}, {title}, and {content} tags can be used as is.

But, the three link tags ({comment_link}, {link}, {unsubscribe}) will be converted to an “http” web address, not an actual HTML link. This means that if you want to make an HTML link, you have to write the HTML code inside your message body. This is not too difficult, and here are some examples for you to copy.

  1. A link to the actual comment:

    <a href="{comment_link}">Click here to see the comment</a>

    In this example, the link label is “Click here to see the comment.” You can change that text to whatever you like. (The technical name for a link label is “anchor text”.)

  2. A link to the page which has the comment:

    <a href="{link}">{title}</a>

    Notice that instead of writing custom anchor text, I have used the {title} tag in order to use the page title for the anchor text. Of course, you could replace the title tag with your own custom text.

  3. A an “unsubscribe” link:

    <a href="{unsubscribe}">Click here to unsubscribe</a>

    You can change “Click here to unsubscribe” to your own desired text.


Why are emails not sending?

First, check what email you’ve set for the “Notification Sender Email” setting. If you left that setting blank, then it sends from the default WordPress “from email” which is wordpress@yoursite.com.

Some web hosts require that this be an email at your actual website. For example, if your website is www.mysite.com, then your sender email must be something@mysite.com, in which the first part, “something”, can be anything as long as it ends with @mysite.com.

Some hosts do not require this. Some web hosts will allow you to use any email address as the sender email (for example, a Gmail or Yahoo email). If you are unsure whether your web host allows this, then stick with an email at your own site to ensure that your notification emails will be sent.

In addition to the requirement described above, some web hosts require that the email address be an actual existing address. For example, if your site is www.mysite.com, and you want to use wordpress@mysite.com as your “Notification Sender Email”, but that email does not actually exist, then your notification emails will not send. In this case, the solution is to create the email address wordpress@mysite.com.

Why are Test Emails not sending?

For test emails to work, you must enter an email address in the “Email address where to send test emails:” option, under “Advanced Settings”.
Tip: Do not use the sender address for this; some mail servers do not accept “from” and “to” set to the same value.


Support is also available in plugin’s support forum, or feel free to ask a question below.

Fork it on GitHub.


Questions and Comments are Welcome

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