Urgent update: Top Commentators Widget v.1.4.1 beta

IMPORTANT: If you have customized the styles in any way on this widget, be aware that this update may break them!

Fingers crossed, this version of TCW (downloadable in WP.org’s plugin repository) should address all of the problems encountered in v.1.4 as mentioned in the comments of my previous post (especially those disappearing settings / changes in form not committing). I honestly THANK YOU for your comments – you have no idea how I appreciate all those bug reports you all have given.

The widget has gone through a heck of a major rewrite between v.1.4 and this one, so what does this really mean for your blog?

  1. This version and any future updates of the Top Commentators Widget will no longer be compatible with WordPress installs prior to version 2.8. Sorry, folks, it’s just to inconvenient to make it backward compatible.
  2. TCW is finally using the widgets API available since WP 2.8, which means that 1.4.1 beta now supports multiple instances of the Top Commentators in your blog!
  3. Due to the support for multi-instances of this widget, the ID and CLASS styles may be called differently. You may not notice much difference especially if you’re only using a single instance of the Top Commentators widget in your blog, but you need to be aware of this in any case.

If you don’t feel at all comfortable with the changes in v.1.4 and this one, the older versions of this widget is still available at the WP.org repository; just find the link at the sidebar named “Older version” and grab the version that fits your blog.

Related post:  WordPress 2.5 and Top Commentators Widget matters

Version 1.4 is so unstable, that I’ve decided to label this update as a beta. However, please feel brave enough to at least install this version in your sandbox and let me know how it goes in your blog. Please please please let me know, working or not, I would really like to know.

The TCW may be deactivated from your Widgets list due to the new API calls it makes. Therefore, once upgraded, please make sure you revisit your Widgets page and re-do your settings, then Save them.

I’d better give my back a rest. This slipped disc injury is scarily painful; I hope I’ll gain full mobility soon. My home and my kids are a wreck without me.

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Posted on 16 February, 2011 under Discovering WordPress and tagged with , , ,


  1. Jennifer says:

    Hi, I was able to use ns_show_top_commentators to display this plugin on my site, and that broke with the upgrade. Do you know what this should be replaced with to display 1.4.1? Also, do you have a support page for people that would like to customize this widget in their theme using PHP vs. the widget admin? Thanks so much! 🙂

    1. Lorna says:

      @Jennifer: When you say it broke, did you mean on the styles only or the widget isn’t displaying at all? Did you try going to the Widgets settings page and re-adding TCW and saving the options? Is the Looks For Less blog the site that’s using this widget?

      1. Jennifer says:

        Hey Lorna, thank you so much for your response! Love your widget.

        Yes, by broke I meant, it is not displaying at all anymore and it is for my Looks for Less blog. If you look in the right sidebar, I have a section called “Most Comment Love” and it is empty after I did my upgrade today. I was using a snippet of php that checks to see if ns_show_top_commentators exists, and if so, then it called the function.

        I actually found that snippet of code from another website and it worked to display your widget until after the upgrade. I do customize the settings in the widgets admin, but my sidebar.php is totally custom and uses the code snippet above. I believe I just have to rename the function call?

        Thanks so much for your timely response. It is much appreciated!

  2. Jennifer says:

    sorry my php was removed from the post but it is essentially:

    if(function_exists(‘ns_show_top_commentators’)) { ns_show_top_commentators(); }

    1. Lorna says:

      Jennifer, sorry about that. I had totally removed that function (thus allowed me to code almost 60 lines less than I would). My suggestion is for you to keep on using v.1.3 since that version and prior are true port-overs from the original non-widgetized top commentators plugin. I’ll let you know if I can find you a solution, but I honestly can’t promise you anything. So sorry about that.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Hey Lorna,

    Don’t be sorry. I appreciate your help and your widget 🙂 If there is any way in the future that we can embed it and customize it using php, that would be great. I’ll revert to the older version. I’m not sure how to downgrade. if I uninstall and delete files, does that remove options from the database?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Lorna says:

      Jennifer: I should think not — versions 1.3 and older of this plugin will leave your settings intact. Especially if you were unable to use 1.4 aside from upgrading it, your commentators option should load right up with 1.3 and prior.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Hey Lorna,

    I got everything to show up again by reverting to 1.4 🙂 http://www.thelooksforless.com/#mostCommentLove thanks so much! I really appreciate your help!

    Thanks again,

    1. Lorna says:

      @Jennifer: I found a workaround to displaying widgets in a non-widgetized theme: http://digwp.com/2010/04/call-widget-with-shortcode/
      I haven’t tested it yet. Basically you’ll need to copy some codes into your functions.php file, then edit the sidebar.php file to detect TCW (widget name is Topcomm_Widget). You can get someone familiar with WP and PHP to do the coding for you.

  5. Chris says:

    Hi, first of all thanks for the great plugin! My regular commenter’s really love the new awards!

    Would it be possible to add an option to have more than one award in future? So, say you could have 1 award at 100 comments, another at 200 and so on? I thinking of a medal scheme with bronze to silver to gold.

    Anyway thanks again and keep up the good work.

    1. Lorna says:

      @Chris: That’s definitely in the planning. Thanks for the idea!

  6. Numaga says:

    Tried the beta, wasn’t very pleased.


    I select Numbered but still get bulleted.
    No local avatars? I strongly depend on those
    Needs more styling options; list,

    (10) (comment number) doesn’t cut it, ’10 comments’ would do. Avarage people have no idea what (12) or (10) stands for.

    I’ll give it another try when the final version is released.

    1. Lorna says:

      Thanks for the feedback. The reason why your list appeared as bulleted even after setting it as Numbered is because your theme (Arras) was set that way at least for the sidebar. Local avatars won’t be added in the next update; however, the comment display will be.

  7. I need to use this Commentators widget, it looks like it is a great tool and everyone is talking about it, so why not to give it a try.

  8. enon says:

    it’s so annoying when plugin developers don’t even use their own plugins on their site. makes the user think they don’t even have enough confidence in their product to use it themselves. wouldn’t that be a great way to test it out yourself too?

    1. Lorna says:

      If you’re noting this because you don’t see the plugin shown in this post, that is because the plugin is only set up to be shown in the home page and nowhere else.

      1. enon says:

        Ah! Well that makes sense. You handled that well. Thanks!

  9. Sourish says:

    oh , not upgrading it yet . thanks for the alert

  10. I will use this commentators widget. I hope its attract my visitors. Thank you.

  11. Susan says:

    It’s great to see that you are still using this widget!!

  12. Thanks for the heads up Lorna, though it’s been months since this article been published in your blog. I hope they developed a better widget that we can use.

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