Why did I receive a comment reply notification email, but there’s no comment reply on the site?

As of March 2019 this is no longer an issue as I hired a developer to fix it!

This is a result of the best workaround I have for a bothersome little problem.

In order to insure I’ve replied to every single comment left on my blog, I’ve installed a WordPress plug-in that puts all comments that have not received a reply from me in a queue. No matter how old a post is or how old a comment is, if I have not replied to it, it sits in this queue until I reply.

Normally, this is a pretty awesome thing as it means everybody who asks me question or leaves a comment gets a reply from me—nothing can fall through the cracks (to date I’ve replied to over 12,000 comments—I take comment replies seriously!). There is, however, one case where this plug in is less than awesome.

That is the case in which a comment does not require a reply from me. This usually happens if a reader directs a comment at another reader—in situations like this, if I cannot answer the question, I will reply with a single period/full stop or a smiley face, and then promptly delete the comment. This fools the plug in into thinking I’ve replied (and removes the not-directed-at-me comment from my reply queue) without bogging down the comment thread with some useless interjection from me. This can also happen if I’ve already been going back and forth with a reader and they’ve replied with a “Thanks!” or something similarly brief that doesn’t require a follow-up remark from me.

In situations like this, if you’ve checked the “notify me of a reply” box, you will get an email, but when you check the website, there will be nothing there. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about this. There is no way to mark a comment with “reply not needed” to remove it from the queue. If you find this to be a massive bother and would like to hire a developer to remedy this flaw in the plug-in, please get in touch! Otherwise, I hope you can appreciate that this plug-in is the thing that ensures you will always get an answer from me when you comment on my blog, and can accept these silly little emails as the small inconvenience they are rather than potentially never getting a reply to your queries.

Posted in: Personal & Website

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