What happened to CommentLuv? Is it broken? Any risk ?


[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=”Quick Update – Response from reader”]

After I published the post below, my friend Deborah of SocialWebCafe responded. she has been in contact and for good reason, does not recommend attempting to contact Andy, not out of selfish endeavor on Deborah’s part, but out of respect for Andy and his wishes.  Suffice it to say that he has granted permission, in writing, for Deborah’s continued development on the plugin, along with those who may want to participate on a team of developers.[/thrive_text_block]

One of the WordPress blog commenting plugins that have been the talk of the day is CommentLuv. This plugin brought a new breath into blog commenting and engagement. The other day, a friend on Facebook wrote to me and asked to know what happened to CommentLuv.

Users of this excellent plugin saw a remarkable increase in the number of comments they got.

Some features of this plugin made it king:

  • The keyword anchored and post title backlinks
  • The Twitter handle exposure
  • The replyMe feature
  • The Antispam GASP integration.
  • Etc

If you’ve had this plugin on your blog (Free or premium), you are going to fully connect with what I’m saying.

I ran this plugin on my blog for a couple of years and yes, it was crazy. As a matter of fact, I still have the premium version right here. I’ll tell you what I still like about it in a moment.

But what happened to CommentLuv Plugin?

What happened to commentLuv

Plugin hasn’t been tested with 3 major releases.

These releases have had bug and security fixes. Apart from the compatibility issue, I fear the security factor. A plugin that’s not updated for over a year may create back doors and open your blog to infiltration.

I personally was in touch with Andy Bailey, the founder and coder of the plugin.

But his absence and silence now keeps me really worried.

Or are you in touch with him? What’s happening to him?

You are losing your backlinks

CommentLuv used to be a big backlink fetcher.  Every comment you dropped on a commentLuv enabled blog generated a backlink. These links have both direct traffic and SEO impact.

But as people get scared of the security and compatibility effects of the plugin being dormant, they are constantly removing it from their blogs.

Stats don’t lie:

Over 973,000 copies of the free version downloaded in total.

Now, only 10,000 active installations.

What has happened to (about) 960,000 copies? These stats mean over 900k copies have been uninstalled. In other words, 900k blogs formally running on CommentLuv have removed or disabled the plugins

That’s 973,716 – 10,000. Note that I cannot give the exact figures here.

The consequence is that all the links you had on these blogs have been dropped. This leads to a drop (maybe not significant) in direct traffic and SERP position. You can confirm that from your SEO tool

Do we still keep the plugin?

I know a couple of bloggers still running the plugin for its awesome list of advantages. I don’t have any opinion about it. But if you are one of them, it’s up to you.

But here is what I still like about Commentluv: 

CommentLuv ReplyMe

I know there are a couple of ReplyMe plugins out there but non of them is able to do what I get from CommentLuv. Maybe I’m yet to do more research.

Here is the point:

Most of those ReplyMe plugins allow comment authors to subscribe to comments and be alerted should anyone drop a reply or adds to the comment list. That’s ethical right?

But if someone doesn’t check the button to receive comment replies alert, it means that the comment author won’t get an alert even when an admin or post author replies to his comment.

That’s where I see a problem!

If you are commenting on my article, you are entering into a conversation with me. You expect my reply. I know some bloggers do not care about comment replies. That’s wrong if you ask me.

Blog commenting is a reciprocal action or influence mainly between the comment author and the post author. That means you speak, I speak.

How would you know I left a reply without a notification system? You dropped a comment and asked a question. I answered but you ain’t aware I did respond. Isn’t the flow of conversation broken?

That’s why I like CommentLuv Reply me. It maintains that flow of interaction between post author/admin and comment author. You as a comment author don’t need a checkbox to subscribe to my replies anymore. By entering that comment, we are automatically entered into a conversation.

The checkbox option only comes in to tell you “someone else (not post author) is talking directly with you” That’s why I think comment authors don’t need checkboxes to authorize reply alerts on post author’s replies.

I may be wrong!

But that’s how I see it.

So let’s discuss…

What do you think about the current state of things about CommentLuv? Is it really broken? Are you in contact with Andy? What do you think about the way I see the ReplyMe feature?

Please drop a comment

49 thoughts on “What happened to CommentLuv? Is it broken? Any risk ?”

  1. Hi Enstine,

    I am a chess youtuber. I was browsing through your blog posts. I want to create quality backlinks for my chess videos. Many chess-related websites have commenting options but none of them can help me generate do follow backlinks. My competitor is spamming the internet with do follow backlinks(probably some bot or some service) and getting hundreds of thousands of views for each video. I do not want to spam the internet or use any bot. How can I generate chess related quality do follow backlinks? Do you have a blog post related to this? (I had a quick look. I could not find any blog post specifically tailored to youtube videos)

  2. I think commentluv plugin is great in all senses when you are doing hard for your blog. I have read this post and understand your concerns about the latest updates of wordpress. However, I can say that commentluv commenting will always the priority of various bloggers even in 2019.

    Thanks for sharing the post.

  3. Hi Enstine,

    Really, it was the best time of blogging community when commentluv plugin was heavily used on many blogs. Time passes and for few reasons commentluv installation decreases.

    I hope Deborah and other developers help commentluv grow more in near future.

    Thanks Enstine for the insights about this plugin here.

  4. Hi! FYI seeing how the plugin has the GPL software license, which allows anyone to modify and distribute the code, and I spend all day writing WordPress plugins, I’d be up for forking commentLuv, or at least chipping in to help maintain it a bit.

  5. Hello, Enstine!

    That was the best blog commenting plugin I ever used!

    I had it for almost three years and I feel bad about it going out of the market.

    Really ReplyMe is looking like an awesome plugin as I just checked on your blog.

    Will sniff through it to see how I can go about it.

    Thanks for that, brother! 🙂

    ~ Adeel

    • Hey bro,
      Thanks for stopping by. There is a team being set in place to continue the plugin. Let’s see how it goes.

      BTW how are you doing? How is blogging?

  6. Hi Enstine,

    I used to have the pro version on my previous blog and it was really handy. I haven’t installed on my new blog as I have seen that the plugin is not being updated and I don’t want to run into any issues with theme compatibility or security concerns. Let us hope the plugin will be back.

  7. Hi Enstine,

    I used the premium CommentLuv for a long time and “Luvved” it. Sadly I had to install it when it clashed with my Thrive theme and no-one wanted to resolve the conflict. With CommentLuv being the un-updated plugin, and therefore a security risk, I regretfully removed it.

    I really hope the team gets it going again – AND resolves the conflict with Thrive, and honours the lifetime premium license.

    Look forward to more updates.

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

    • Hey Joy,
      Thanks for showing up.
      I strongly believe we are soon bouncing back to the “luvved” plugin. The theme compatibility issue and new features should be built in to make things easier. We look forward to it 😉

  8. Hi Enstine,

    I used the commentluv plugin on my other site, but haven’t tried using it in my current blog. I actually wanted to use the plugin because it is a great backlink generator as it automatically generates a link to your most recent article once you lost a comment.
    But when I found out it has not been updated for a very long time, I decided not to use anyways.
    And from the statistic your presented here, I see the majority of users have already uninstalled the plugin. I can’t actually say that commentluv is dead, as the developers are working to update it.

    Thanks for sharing this insight.

  9. Hi Enstine,

    Thanks a lot for touching bases about this old school plugin which many used to take advantage of in the past, including me.

    I had this plugin on my blog about 7 months ago, I actually uninstalled it because it was not being updated. But it seems like many other people still use it without having any issues.

    Anyways, I’ll stay tuned just to see what’s going to happen now that we Deborah and her time trying to do something about it.


    • Hey Ronald,
      It’s a good thing we have Deb around to build a team to continue the project. We hope it goes well moving forward.

      Thanks for your comment

  10. Hi Enstine,

    I still use CommentLuv and don’t plan on not using it. I don’t follow the numbers too closely so I’m not sure how much of an impact the closing of the their site has had on my site as far as those who’ve decided to not use the plugin anymore.

    Hopefully, they’ll update it when they get the team together and those who used to use it will do so, once again.

    Thanks for the info as those who have commented before me were wondering what was going on with it.

    Have a good one……Chris

    • Hey Chris,
      Thanks for your engagement here bro. Yes the team will be working to maintain the plugin. I appreciate you being faithful to it 😉

  11. We are new in blogging field. We always tried to write quality content in gadget niche like best in ear headhones.Then we came to know that for turning more impressions into visits, we would have to get backlinks so that Google would start to show our pages on SERP. While getting backlinks, we experienced commentluv plugin. It was great as it gave link to a page showing its whole meta tag. This is the very first post came before me dicussing that commentluv is now down and no more secure. Further I will discuss with my partners about it. Thank you very much for such an informative post.

  12. Hello Enstine,

    Commentluv is a great commenting plugin as it increases backlink score. However, I haven’t used them for my blog. Outdated plugins can be a serious threat to your blog as it might be vulnerable to hacking. If its create issues for you then you may uninstall it. If everything works fine then there is no problem with that. Thanks for sharing the update.

    Have a Great Day 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment bro. Now that a team is being set up, we should be comfortable. I hope you will use the new version 😉

  13. Great info here, Enstine.

    This offers some clear thought on Comment Luv, and why or why not to continue using it.

    I’ve used it randomly for years, and currently have it only on one account.

    • Hey Jan,
      A team is being set up to keep us (lovers of the plugin) comfortable. I do not know how long it takes but we will get to it.

      Thanks for your contribution

  14. Hi Enstine,

    Sorry, I totally disagree with you regarding that setting that allows you to send unsolicited emails to commenters. Unsolicited is unsolicited, no matter what you assume about a commenter.

    I won’t develop the topic because I already did it in one of my articles titled “3 Little Known Blogging Issues Affecting Email Deliverability” (if you think that you and/or your readers may be interested, it may be a good idea to replace this parenthesis with the actual link)

    Yes, sending spam via CommentLuv may affect your deliverability, irrespective whether you consider it spam or not, and irrespective your assumption regarding the way other bloggers have to think in respect of this topic. Whether you like it or not, spam filters don’t care about your assumptions.

    Finally, VERY IMPORTANT: once GDPR enters into effect, sending this type of spam where you don’t have the explicit consent of the commenter will be illegal.


    P.S. I always wanted to get email notifications regarding replies to my comments. At the same time, I never assumed that all the others think like me or should think like me – that would be a stupid assumption from my part. No such thing.

    Btw, I see that you don’t do what you preach: I was able to show my explicit agreement to get email reply notifications, you lost the chance to spam me 🙂

    Just kidding here, buddy, but if the commenting system forced you to get my consent, I congratulate the developers! Otherwise, if this setting is what you wanted and agreed with, I don’t understand why you wrote an article that preaches the other way around.

    • Hey Adrian,
      You rock bro and I like your comment on this. Now let me also say this:

      Spam is defined as “irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the Internet, typically to a large number of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc” In other words ” spam is unsolicited junk email sent indiscriminately in bulk, often for commercial purposes”

      These are two points that may make up spam:
      1) You harvest people’s emails without their consent
      2) Your send them mails without giving them options to sign out

      When someone enters a comment on your blog, he enters into conversation with you (the post author). That’s where the point is and I doubt if you noticed I was stressing on this.

      Sending alerts on comments replies made by other readers (or even on new post publication) without the consent of the comment author expressly is spam because by dropping a comment, the comment author (in that action) doesn’t enter into conversation with everyone else on your blog.

      Now, if commenting on my blog means entering into conversation with me, receiving alerts directly related to that comment from me (post author) should not be considered spam. These are my reasons:

      1) We are in a conversation initiated by you.
      2) The content of the mail is not promotional. You are simply getting an alert telling you your comment has a reply from post author
      3) It is not a mass mail. It’s a specific mail sent to you based on your action.
      4) And most importantly, the alert comes with an Unsubscribe option.

      Based on this, I think it’s completely irrational to think that receiving a comment reply alert from the author of the blog post you commented is spam. Why then did you talk to him/her in that comment if his reply to you is spam? And if that is, you have the right to end the conversation by clicking the Unsubscribe button.

      I do not thing the GDPR will have a different approach to blog commenting. If they do, then will adjust accordingly.

      IF you didn’t get a reply on my reply (if that’s what you meant by the end of your comment), it should be a bug, which is why an update is required.

      What else do you have to say?

      • Enstine, your definition of spam is irrelevant. It’s not you the one who decides whether your emails are spam or not.

        If the recipient considers your email as spam and she or he reports it, no one will let you defend yourself and prove that the recipient is wrong because the definition of spam is this one and not the other one. Both spam filters and blocklists never give you the opportunity to defend your point and express it like you did it here, on your blog.

        In order to diminish this risk that may affect your deliverability, it’s better to let the commenter decide whether she or he wants to subscribe to your replies.

        Don’t pretend that you’re God and you know better what’s right and what’s wrong, or what’s better for the reader. Let the reader decide.

        Letting the reader decide what is best for that reader cannot be bad. Assuming that you know what is best for that reader is plain wrong.

        Assuming that “You expect my reply” is bad and not true. And you know that it’s not true because you also said: “I know some bloggers do not care about comment replies.”

        These are the bloggers that may report you.

        You know very well that CommentLuv blogs attract many commenters who don’t give a red cent on you or your content. They just want the backlink and if you send an email notification they didn’t ask for, then they may report you.

        Maybe you’ll say that you also don’t care about them and you’re even. No, you’re not even. If they report you, only you will suffer even if they are wrong and you’re right.

        Anyone who follows your piece of advice takes a risk for no reason.

        Regarding my last paragraph from the previous comment: I got your email notification. Where did you get the idea that I didn’t get it? While writing that comment it was impossible for me to know the future – the notification was supposed to be sent after I submit that comment and you reply to it 🙂

        That last paragraph refers to this: in your article and in your comments you claim that there’s no need to let the commenter opt-in to receiving email reply notifications. In practice, on THIS blog, you don’t do that. You do the other way around. You do exactly what I recommend: you let the commenter decide whether she or he subscribes or not to reply notifications (“Notify me when someone replies to my comment”)

        Note that the word “someone” includes you. If I don’t tick the box, I shouldn’t get any email notification.

        Conclusion: Whether you agree or not with me, it’s your choice. I won’t develop this topic even more because I spent a lot of time and I made my point. I didn’t plan to move my article or a new one on your blog 🙂

        I only invite Enstine Muki – the author of the article who disagrees with me – to continue this debate with Enstine Muki (!) – the owner of this blog who uses exactly what I recommend: an unticked box with the text “Notify me when someone replies to my comment” 😛


        P.S. I’ve seen your comment on my article mentioned in my first comment. You didn’t subscribe to get email reply notifications. You won’t get such an email. I do what I preach 😉

        • Hey Adrian

          You said “your definition of spam is irrelevant. It’s not you the one who decides whether your emails are spam or not…” This completely closes the debate because folks still signup to your list and tomorrow report a relevant email content as spam and you won’t be there to tell the system what really happened.

          Definitions are meant to guide people on how things function and not force them. So it’s out of place to think a meaning given to an activity is irrelevant because some few users choose to misuse it. There is no way you can guarantee 100% satisfaction for everyone on the list.

          We have the right to think differently based on our understanding of concepts. If you comment on my blog, you enter into a conversation with me and I owe you a reply.

          If your understanding is based on the labeling of the checkbox, then you are wrong because that’s just the developer’s view which may not be correct. I’m writing from my point of view not that of the developers of systems I use. Of course, the reasons for system updates are different views and opinions like this.

          I will create a poll anytime soon to allow readers vote on this subject.

          • Hi Enstine,

            I’ll not keep my promise and post one more comment. Because I see that you need help when it comes the reality from the email marketing world.

            “This completely closes the debate”

            Of course. That is obvious from my first comment, especially if you read (not just scan) my article 😉 What you or me (to be even more clear) thinks about this issue it’s irrelevant. The reality is different, not everyone thinks and acts like you or I think or assume.

            “because folks still signup to your list and tomorrow report a relevant email content as spam and you won’t be there to tell the system what really happened.”

            That is wrong and here’s where I felt that you need help.

            It’s true that some people opt-in to a list and then may report a certain email as spam. I had once a loyal reader who had read and clicked the links from my newsletters each and every week, and then after several months clicked the button “This is spam.”

            Some people confuse spam with something they don’t like or don’t agree.

            But here’s the huge difference between the case when the email is sent by your blog (or host) and the case when the email is sent by your email marketing provider: all major email marketing services (EMS) have strong connections with the major email service providers (ESP) via the Feedback Loop.

            When emails are reported as spam, the email marketing services find out about these reports (that’s the first huge difference). That’s why I said in my article that in case of the emails sent by your blog there’s “No third party service to help your email deliverability. You’re on your own.”

            The second difference is that except for the case when you imported the subscribers, the email marketing services have the proof that the recipients have subscribed to your list and can prove it to the ESP who got the spam report.

            As you can see, huge difference. And you should note something important: even in this case, it’s not about assumptions and interpretations. It’s about proving that the people who complained actually given her or his explicit consent to receive the emails. Once again: EXPLICIT CONSENT. That’s the keyword.

            I hope this helps you.


            P.S. Creating that poll won’t help you in any way. The people who will respond to it are most probably the same people who won’t report you even if you don’t have a tickbox. For example, even if you remove your tickbox and I think that you’re wrong, I won’t report you to anyone, I won’t harm you.

            The people who may report you are the other visitors (and any ill-intentioned competitor, if you have one). The ones who don’t care about you, your content or your polls.

            You keep thinking inside a tiny box as if the world is perfect and everyone will act as you (and your friends or readers) plan. Wrong. You have to protect yourself as much as you can. Especially when you don’t lose anything like in the case of letting the reader decide whether she or he wants to subscribe or not to your emails 😉

          • Hey Adrian,
            Don’t you think you are the one inside a tiny box and sitting on your brain?

            You are completely off track and I feel heavily disappointed.

            The issue is not about Spam validation. It’s whether or not comment authors should be signed up for alerts from author’s reply to their comments or not. And FYI, Thrive comments does this through EMS and I think this is a step to handle the Spam reports and validation issues from blog emails.

            In any case,if you are posting another comment on this very issue, try not to go off topic

          • Hi Enstine,

            I owe you some answers but I considered that it’s better to let you cool down for several days. I have no idea whether my decision to delay my answer is good or not.

            1) You asked “Don’t you think you are the one inside a tiny box”

            For sure. You’re inside a tiny box and I’m inside a different tiny box. These boxes have common parts and different parts. However, for the moment, both are tiny boxes. That’s my opinion, it’s not an offence or anything related.

            If you disagree with this opinion, that’s ok.

            2) I have some comments related to the tech part of your last reply, but I consider that it’s not appropriate to continue. My previous comment was supposed to help you, but the effect of it sucks: you took it very personally as if I attacked you. Big mistake when I tried to help someone who didn’t ask for that help.

            3) I don’t consider off topic any of my comments above (including this one that is off topic when it comes to the article itself, but it’s on topic when it comes to your last reply. If you’re saying in your comments that the sky is red and I think that the sky isn’t red, I think that I should be allowed to tell you my opinion about that color even if the article itself isn’t about the sky).

            But what I consider on topic or off topic is irrelevant because this isn’t my blog. It’s yours.

            Please don’t hesitate to delete any of my comments – including this one – if you consider it off topic. Absolutely no problem and no point in discussing such an issue.

            Have an awesome Sunday!

  15. I was never able to use CommentLuv (although I wanted to) because I couldn’t get it to work with my SSL certificate. I was hoping the issue would be resolved, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Bummer.

    • Hey Tiffany,
      Now a team is being setup to continue the project. Hope that addresses your issue 😉

      Thanks for your participation in this conversation 😉

  16. Thanks Enstine!

    I had definitely been wondering for a while, what
    the heck was going on with the plugin.

    It never occurred to me, the author was no longer
    updating it, and that’s the primary reason why
    it wasn’t working the way it once did.

    But you are so right, at it’s peak, it offered so many
    practical advantages.

    Thanks for keeping us in the loop.I sincerely
    hope Andy gets things back together, because
    he definitely developed a terrific piece of software.

    • Hey Mark,
      The good news is that a team is being put up to continue the project. What do you think about it? Will you be using it again?

      • That’s really great news Enstine!

        And I’m so glad, those qualified to do so, have
        decided to take it upon themselves to save the

        Because by far, it was definitely one of the most
        innovative and cutting edge pieces of software
        around for professional and aspiring bloggers

        If they can somehow manage to restore it to
        at least 90% of it’s former functionality.

        It will be more than worth the effort!

  17. CommentLuv was one of the best plugins to engage people to comment.
    I have used it in past but ever since the comment luv site got shut down and no updates on the plugin it felt like a security risk.
    People have also recommended to remove it.
    Anyways really nice article Enstine.
    Keep up the good work

    • Hi Ashish,
      This are going back to normal. A team is being setup to continue the work. What do you think about that? Will you go back to it?

  18. Hi Enstine,

    Unfortunately and sadly, I did remove CommentLuv from my blog. I started having problems with it and my research showed that it wasn’t going to be updated like it had been in the past.

    I’m happy that someone is going to take it over, while very sad for the reason Andy had to step down from his “plugin.”

    I’ll keep an eye out for it and when it has been updated more to this version of WordPress, I’ll definitely put it back on my site.

    • Hey Monna,
      CommentLuv was the only plugin I bought for my first blog and moved over here. I still have one of its feature active as I explained in this post. While waiting for actions from the new team, I’m just going to let things be that way.

      Thanks for being part of this party Monna. Hope you have a beautiful week ahead.

  19. Great article, Enstine! I had premium CommentLuv and when I went back over a year or so ago to reinstall, the website was extinct, so I couldn’t even verify my premium CL. Really bummed me out. But when I heard about Andy, and say the continuous no updates to the plugin, I scrapped it for good. I don’t run outdated plugins on my site, for all the obvious reasons.

    I’d like to see if Deborah and friends will update the program and still honor those who have premium licenses. It really was a great plugin to have!


    • Hey Bren,
      The point you raised about existing premium licenses is valid. But I think there shouldn’t be any change as those licenses and for life. I can confirm that from Deborah 😉

  20. Hi Enstine,

    Yes I still use CommentLuv and nothing has been broken…yet. It works so fine and I would hate to get rid of it. I know that there are people like Deborah taking care of things behind the scene. I feel like “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” but then there is all this talk about security that I haven’t looked into.
    I have had my blinders on during the past few months with production and marketing which has taken priority. I am glad you have raised this issue because it is on my “bucket list” to look into.


    • Hey Donna,
      Thanks for being part of this conversation.
      My real issue has been the security. Then looking at the huge backlink drop should this plugin not rise again, it becomes more of an issue from SEO stand point.

      As different bloggers remove it from their blogs, you loose those backlinks. How is Google going to interpret that?

      Now I have Thrive Comments. But both plugin won’t tolerate each other. Looks like I’ll have to make a choice once CL comes back to the latest update. Well, just hoping updating to the latest version of WP gets rid of those compatibility issues with Thrive Comments.

      Let’s see how it goes Donna.

  21. Hi Enstine, as you know I got rid of mine a few months back after it wasn’t working well.

    I also had a concern for safety of the plugin being that it had not been updated in years. I didn’t want my site to get hacked over an old plugin either. I switched over to Thrive comments and haven’t looked back.

    I loved the CommentLuv plugin for years, I used it over 6 years! I wish it had been updated but sometimes you have to change to grow.

    It will be interesting to see how Deborah and others develop the plugin going forward.

    Thanks for sharing about this Enstine and have a great new week!

    • Hi Lisa,
      We both are on Thrive Comments now and it’s working great. But it’s not compatible with some functions of commentLuv and that’s sad.

      Now, if Deb and her team get it up, we will have to battle to have it function with plugins.

      Thanks for your input Lisa

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