Better Recent Comments


The default Recent Comments widget is somewhat limited. Better Recent Comments improves on this by providing a more flexible widget with options to show the user’s actual comment, as well as show avatars and the ability to show or hide the comment date.

As well as the widget, there’s a handy shortcode you can use to display your recent comments. This is useful if you need to display comments somewhere other than your sidebar or footer, such as on your homepage. Simply add the shortcode [better_recent_comments].

That’s not all! The plugin is also WPML compatible, which means that the comments will be restricted to those in the current language. The default WordPress widget will list all recent comments, regardless of language, so you might end up with comments for German-language posts in the sidebar of your English site. Better Recent Comments solves this and makes sure the comments are for the current language only.

Translations currently provided in Spanish, French and Italian.

View the full plugin documentation in our Knowledge Base.

Options available with the shortcode:

  • format – the format of each recent comment. This option uses ‘placeholders’ which are substituted with the actual data when the comments are displayed. See the FAQs for details.
  • number – the number of comments to display. Default: 5 comments
  • date_format – the date and time format to use. Like WordPress, this uses a PHP date format. It defaults to ‘M j, H:i’. See this cheat sheet for a full list of date and time options.
  • avatar_size – the size of the avatar in pixels. Only used if you have included {avatar} in your comment format (see ‘format’ option). Default: 50
  • post_status – the status of posts to retrieve comments for. Defaults to ‘publish’. Can be a single status or a comma-separated list, or ‘any’ to show comments for all post statuses.
  • post_type – the post type to retrieve comments for. Accepts a single or multiple post types (e.g. ‘post’ or ‘post, dlp_document’) or ‘any’ to show comments for all post types. Default: ‘any’
  • excerpts – set to ‘true’ to show an excerpt of the comment (limited to 20 words), or ‘false’ to show the full comment. Default: true
  • replies – set to ‘true’ to also show responses to comments, or ‘false’ to only see the top level comments. Default: true


  • This page shows comments added to a page using the shortcode.
  • Adding the Better Recent Comments widget to the sidebar.


  1. Upload the plugin files to the /wp-content/plugins/better-recent-comments directory, or install the plugin through the WordPress plugins screen directly.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ screen in WordPress
  3. To add the widget, go to Appearance -> Widgets, and find the ‘Better Recent Comments’ widget in the list, then add to any widget area.
  4. To add the shortcode, open up any page or post and add [better_recent_comments] where you want the comments to be displayed.

Часті питання

How do I add the widget?

To add the widget, go to Appearance -> Widgets, and find the ‘Better Recent Comments’ widget in the list, then drag to any widget area. You can then set the title for the widget, the number of comments to show, and choose to show or hide the comment avatars, dates, comment text and post link.

If you would prefer to use the shortcode to set more specific options, add a Text widget to yout sidebar instead, and then add the [better_recent_comments] shortcode to your widget.

How do I use the shortcode?

Add [better_recent_comments] to any post or page.

What are the shortcode options?

See the main plugin description for the list of shortcode options.

How do I control the format of the comments using the `format` shortcode option?

The format option allows you to choose the exact format you want for your recent comments. This option uses placeholders which are substituted with the actual data when the comments are displayed.

The available placeholders are: {avatar}, {author}, {post}, {comment} and {date}.

  • {avatar} is the comment author’s Gravatar image.
  • {author} is the comment author’s name.
  • {post} is the title of the post, and contains a link to the author’s comment below the post.
  • {comment} is the actual comment text.
  • {date} is the comment date (see the date_format option in the main description to set the date format)

Defaults to: {author} on {post}: "{comment}" {date}

How do I set the length of the comments?

There is no built-in option for this, but you can set the length of the comments by adding the following code to your site.

In the code below change ’10’ to the number of words you would like. If you are using the [better_recent_comments] shortcode, make sure to add the excerpts="true" option.

add_filter( 'comment_excerpt_length', function( $number_of_words ) {
    return 10;
} );

Can I see a demo of the plugin?

Yes, please visit to see Better Recent Comments in action.

Will it work with my theme?

The plugin has been designed to work with different themes and will take the styling from your theme for the fonts etc. where possible.

How do I display comments for media files/attachments?

Use the shortcode as follows:
[better_recent_comments post_type=”attachment” post_status=”any”]

How do I use the plugin with WPML?

If you have a multilingual site using WPML then the plugin will display comments for the correct language automatically.

Can you customize the plugin for me?

Unfortunately not. We’ve developed this free plugin to be flexible and easy to configure so that it will be suitable for as many different websites as possible.

Where can I find the documentation?

Please visit our Knowledge Base.


11.01.2022 3 replies
The author gave a solution ( unrelated to the plugin ) to modify the comment excerpt length (*) ALL ACROSS YOUR SITE 😂 , which is not really a solution, is extremely invasive and certainly not wanted by anyone looking to build a coherent user experience on their site. Users should be able to set different excerpt lengths for each shortcode, that’s the bare minimum for any comment plugin. ( e.g. 10 words on “homepage” excerpts, 20 words on “profile page”, no limit on “all recent comments” page ). Something like that. A similar plugin : WordPress comment plus does that, but your plugin is better in terms of styling, so I’ll just have to deal with that shitty excerpt handicap for the time being. ///////////////////////////// the invasive “solution” /// add_filter( ‘comment_excerpt_length’, function( $number_of_words ) { return 50; } );
23.11.2021 1 reply
Looks perfect! Much better than the in-built WordPress widget. Well done!
22.10.2021 1 reply
Although there are many ways to put a ‘recent column’ widget in your sidebar, this is the best. Easy to customize (read the docs for shortcode parameters), and insert a block that contains the shortcode with all of your desired options. Add a ‘<h3 class=widget-title>Recent Comments</h3>’ just above the shortcode to put a heading. Great stuff !
17.07.2021 1 reply
I used the default Recent Comments plugin and was dismayed by how ugly and uninformative it was. It doesn’t show the comments! Better Recent Comments shows a nice avatar AND the actual comment. Perfect.
14.02.2021 1 reply
I have been using the plugin for more than two years, installed it on two sites – it works perfectly! A huge number of output options, in addition, there is a widget and a shortcode. Thank you very much to the developer for his great work!
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Release date 27 March 2024
* Fix notices in PHP 8.2
* Misc: Update author to Kestrel


Release date 14 November 2023

  • Dev: Added the barn2 libraries
  • Dev: Tested up to WordPress 6.4


Release date 17 Aug 2023

  • Fixed warnings in PHP 8.1
  • Support multi post types


Release date 30 March 2023

  • Added support for the replies parameter in the shortcode


Release date 02 Jan 2023

  • Tested up to WordPress 6.1.1


Release date 17 June 2021

  • Fix the WPML integration to support the ‘post_type’ option.
  • Tested up to WordPress 5.7.2.


Release date 11 November 2020

  • Added ‘post_type’ shortcode option to allow comments to be shown for specific post types.


Release date 12 August 2020

  • Tested up to WordPress 5.5.
  • Added Composer support
  • Minor code improvements.


Release date 26 May 2020

  • Tested up to WordPress 5.4.1.
  • Added filter to disable inline CSS for avatars.


Release date 18 November 2019

  • Add backwards compatibility for 1.0.6 functions removed in 1.1.


Release date 18 November 2019

  • Update plugin architecture and Barn2 library code.
  • Tested up to WordPress 5.3.


Release date 20 November 2018

  • Added extra hooks for easier customization.
  • Tested with latest version of WordPress.


Release date 22 February 2018

  • Tested up to WP 4.9.2
  • Added various filters for easier developer customisation.
  • Added French translation (credit: Whiler).


Release date 14 March 2017

  • Added Italian translation (credit: Libri Ehret).
  • Tested with WordPress 4.7.
  • Other minor code improvements.


Added ‘excerpts’ shortcode option to allow user to choose whether the full comment or an excerpt is displayed. Defaults to true (i.e. show excerpt)


Added ‘post_status’ shortcode option.


Improve handling for themes which use custom bullets in sidebar widgets.


Initial release.