My intention is to improve and enhance the suite of comment moderation tools in WordPress.

Thread Support in edit-comments.php

My general idea is to largely keep the default chronological view of recent comments, but to change the post title link in the “In Response To” column to link to something like edit-comments.php?post=###. This would display just the comments for the one particular post, threaded as they would appear in the frontend. Ideally a link to the comments would also be included on the Edit Posts screen.

I would also like to build in a conditional loop so that, when on the main Edit Comments screen, parent comments will list a few recent replies. This would be similar to the way Facebook lists replies to status updates in your “minifeed,” showing just 2-3 comments under the parent with a link to see more. The child comments would feature smaller Gravatars, and excessively long ones might be truncated to save space.

Here is a quick mockup:

Comment Re-Threading

Commenters, for whatever reason, have a habit of ignoring the “Reply” button and posting their reply as a root-level comment, instead of as a reply to the part of the discussion they where responding to. A moderation tool that I, and many other bloggers would find invaluable is an option to re-thread a comment. A user with the requisite privileges could click on a “Re-thread” link and reassign a comment to be a reply to another. I’m not too sure how to work this out from a UI standpoint, but the general mechanics code-wise shouldn’t be too difficult.

Comment De-Linking

Sometimes a user posts a comment that adds to the discussion, but contains an objectionable or spammy link. It might be helpful to have a one-click method to remove a comment’s URL field. I don’t know if this is as necessary now that comments have Quick Edit functionality, though.

Dashboard Widget Improvements

I would like to enhance the “Recent Comments” Dashboard widget, hopefully making it a little bit more useful. It currently provides a decent “heads-up” view, but it could offer a little more.

  • User settings – Users should be able to modify some basic aspects of the widget, such as the number of comments displayed. The “Incoming Links” widgets already offers something along these lines, so the guidelines for the UI are already layed-out.
  • Threads – The same mini preview of the recent comments’ replies could be extended to the Dashboard widget.
  • Quick Edit – Why not bring Quick Edit to the Dashboard? I haven’t looked too much into the feasibility of this, but I like the idea.