Recent Comments: WordPress Plugin


13th January, 2007

Recent Comments Version 2.0.0 beta is now available. Largely rewritten, it includes better retrieval of comments, some new options and many more possible styles of display. Version 2 now has its own page where future developments will be documented.

Comments are now closed for this post but can be added to the new page.

Version 1.04 just fixes two bugs. The Posts plugin were not working if more than one was installed! Also some users were getting odd characters appearing where they shouldn’t.
Version 1.03 allows some parameters (like ‘before_title’) to be blank, or to be more complex, e.g., 'before_title=

. Also allows trimming an excerpt so it ends with a word or a sentence and not in mid-word. NB excerpt_length is now counted in characters and not words as previously.
Version 1.02 fixes bugs with the option to show static pages.
Version 1.01 fixes bugs with default settings when Similar Posts is not also installed.
Adds the skip parameter to ignore a number of posts at the head of the list.



Simply displays a list of your blog’s most recently commented posts. Good for getting visitors to explore your site and interact.

This plugin was designed as a cousin to Similar Posts. It will work fine on its own but if Similar Posts is installed Recent Comments will take its settings from the Similar Posts options page.


  1. Download the latest version of Recent Comments.
  2. Upload the whole plugin folder (Recent_Comments) to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  3. Go to your Admin|Plugins page and activate Recent Comments.
  4. Putat the place in your WP loop where you want the list of recently commented posts to appear. By default the plugin wraps each post with
  5. and
  6. but that can be changed.
  7. The behaviour of the plugin can be adjusted in two ways. If Similar Posts is installed you can use its options page. Otherwise, a query-style parameter does the trick (see below).


Recent Comments was inspired by Scott Reilly’s excellent Customizable Post Listings plugin.

Under the Hood

The way the list of recent posts is displayed can be set from the Options|Similar Posts page (if it is installed). You can exclude certain categories of post, for example, or change the code that comes before and after the link.

These general options can be overridden in specific cases by passing a query-style parameter, e.g.:

<!--?php recent_comments('limit=10'); ?-->
lists the 10 most recently commented posts
<!--?php recent_comments('none_text=sorry&#038;show_static=false'); ?-->
lists the default number of posts, excluding static pages, and specifies what to display if there are none

If you do not specify an option its value is taken from the options page.
This means you can use the template tag in different ways in different places.

The full list of parameters is as follows (with the default value in parentheses):

maximum number of posts to show (5)
how many posts to skip before listing (0)
include static pages (false)
include password-protected posts (false)
comma separated list of categories to exclude (by ID) (9999, the default means none)
comma separated list of authors to exclude (by ID) (9999, the default means none)
what to show if no posts match–can be plain text or a permalink
what to show before a link ()
what to show after a link()
remove the first instance of ‘before_title’ (false)
include a snippet of the post after the link (false)
how long an excerpt should be (50 characters)
‘char’, the default, does nothing, ‘word’ trims the excerpt to the last full word, and ‘sent’ to the full sentence. If the excerpt would be trimmed to nothing no trimming is applied.
add ‘ …’ after the excerpt
what to show before an excerpt ()
what to show after an excerpt ()


If you try this plugin leave a comment here to let me know how you get on.

8 replies on “Recent Comments: WordPress Plugin”

  1. Thanks for this plugin.
    I installed but I don’t see Options|Similar Posts page
    Options page is not create.
    Is it normal?

  2. Foxy: The Recent Comments plugin uses the options page of the Similar Posts plugin if it is installed. The idea is to save repetition of a lot of code. Let me know if you have any more questions or comments about this.

  3. This plugin is exactly what I’m looking for…except for the fact that all I can get out of it is “No Recent Posts”. What I’m trying to do is display recent posts from a specific category only.

    I uploaded the entire folder (recentcomments) and activated the plugin. Also, I do not have the similar pages plug in but it sounds like that should be an issue.

    Any guidance would be appreciated.

  4. Tim: I can’t tell from your comment whetehr the plugin doesn’t work at all for you or if it messes up when you try and get just one category of recently commented posts. Can you let me know and also tell me the version of WP, PHP, and Recent Comments that you are using? Thanks.

  5. Sorry – about that…I should know better.

    WordPress: 2.0.5
    PHP: 4.4.4
    Recent comments: 1.0.4

    I have not yet attempted to exclude any cats. After installing the plugin, I inserted:

    Just to make sure that it was working and ended up with:

    “No Recent Posts”

    In terms of showing only one category, I plan on just excluding all of the categories except the target category. If there is an “easy” way to include one category as opposed to excluding many, I am all ears

    Thanks for the fast reply!!

Comments are closed.