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Recent Love - A List of Recent Comments

Displays a list of recent comments. Several configuration options exist.

Displays a list (typically, in your sidebar) of your visitors' recent comments. By default, shows the latest comment from each of the last five commented-on posts.

You control:

  • how many recent comments to display
  • how many characters of the post title to display
  • how to style each comment in the list (with open/close tags)
  • whether to include or omit trackbacks/pingbacks
  • whether to include or omit comments from the post's author
  • a list of users for whom never to display comments (e.g., yourself; or use this to create a blacklist).

See "Installation" for easy setup instructions.


A few months ago, I wanted to display a list of recent comments in my blog's sidebar. After searching through the countless plugins which return lists of comments, I finally decided on Scott Reilly's Top/Recent Commenters plug-in.

Unfortunately, I had to tweak Scott's code to get it to work the way I wanted. One tweak led to another (you know how it is) until I finally just scrapped the original code and rolled my own. (You can see it in action on my blog's front page.)

What It Does

Adds a single template function:

rr_recent_comments (
    $num_recent_posts = 5,
    $before = '<li>',
    $after = '</li>'

The function rr_recent_comments() returns a list of recent comments.

When invoked with no parameters, it returns a list containing the latest comment from each of the most recent 5 posts. Only one comment (the most recent one) per post is listed.

By default, any comments made by the author of the post are not included in the list. (This behaviour can be configurably modified.) Long post titles are truncated to a length which you can configure. Trackbacks and pingbacks are not included in the list by default.

You can exlcude certain posters, based on various criteria (author email, author name, etc.). This is helpful, for example, to exclude yourself from the list.

You can customize your list two ways: tag parameters and global config options.


The function rr_recent_comments() takes three parameters, all of which are optional.

  1. $num_recent_posts
    The [maximum] number of comments to display.
    Default: 5
  2. $before
    The text to display before each comment.
    Default: '<li>'
  3. $after
    The text to display after each comment.
    Default: '</li>'

Configuration Options

The behaviour of rr_recent_comments() can be customized on a global basis by editing some values in the plugin file, rr_recent_comments.php. With the possible exception of $max_title_length, most installations will probably not need to futz with these, but they're there if you want 'em.

  • $max_title_length (Default: 38) This value represents the longest length that a post title may be without it being truncated for display. Titles longer than this will be indiscriminately chopped, and an ellipses will be appended to them. Set to 0 to disable truncation altogether (not recommended).

  • $exclude_authors_comments (Default: true) Set to true to exclude an author's comments from his/her own posts. Set to false to include them.

  • $link_to_commenters_websites (Default: true) Set to true to hyperlink the comment author's name to the website they enter on your comment form. Set to false to suppress hyperlinking.

  • $suppress_trackbacks (Default: true) If true, trackbacks and pingbacks are excluded from the comment list. Set to false to include them.

  • $identify_authors_by and $excludes_sql_list (Default: no exclusions) These two fields work in conjunction to allow you to specify a list of comments whose comments should never be included in the list. (Note that most blog installation will not need to use this functionality.)
    First, choose the criterion by which you want to identify the excluded comments and set $identify_authors_by to one of:

    • 'comment_author',
    • 'comment_author_url' or
    • 'comment_author_email'.
      Then add the excluded commenters to the list $excludes_sql_list; be careful to follow the correct format, which is: ('COMMENTER_1', 'COMMENTER_2', ..., 'COMMENTER_N').
      You must specify the COMMENTERs in a way that matches the value of $identify_authors_by. I.e., if $identify_authors_by is 'comment_author_email', then the COMMENTERs in $excludes_sql_list must all be email addresses.

Revision History

0.1 (May 1, 2005): Initial revision.

0.2 (October 30, 2005): Rewrite and add new features.

0.3 (November 11, 2005): Clean up for publication.

0.4 (?)

0.5 (April 4, 2007): Add $link_to_commenters_websites option.

Requires: 1.5 or higher
Compatible up to: 2.9.2
Last Updated: 9 years ago
Active Installs: 100+


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