WordPress Contest Plug-in Comparison: Comment Contest/And The Winner Is..

Date Thu, May 24 2012

Although some people have moved on to the various third-party giveaway tools such as Giveaway Tools, PunchTab (my personal favorite) or Rafflecopter, I still use WordPress plug-ins to manage giveaways on my multiple blogs. Entrants leave their entries in the form of comments and these plug-ins exist to determine the winner from those comments. It’s not quite as advanced as Rafflecopter, but there are several major benefits: speed and compatibility. My methods use no JavaScript and they do absolutely nothing to increase the page load time on Reviews by Cole. Lately, I’ve found that Rafflecopter won’t even let me log in to participate in giveaways. With every advancement, it seems to become less useable. Perhaps that is why so many solutions have turned up recently.

Nevertheless, none have convinced me to move away from my methods, and for anyone who is interested in two of the popular options, I’m drawing this comparison.

I used both “Comment Contest” “And The Winner Is“. Both are available for free and you can install them directly from the dashboard of your self-hosted WordPress blog. Originally, I preferred ATWI; however, there was some conflict with Reviews by Cole, so I instead used ATWI.

ATWI works by placing a small box on post pages, so that you can confirm the post as a giveaway and enter the number of winners. When your contest finishes, you can access the plug-in control panel from the link clearly added to WP’s navigation. A list of posts checked as contests appear, and you can click a button to close comments and determine a winner. The winner’s email will appear and clicking it opening up a new message on your mail client, with the subject line filled out with the post name, followed by the text “And the Winner Is You!” It makes notifying the winner that much easier. I especially enjoy that I can close comments from the dashboard.

And The Winner Is..

And The Winner Is..

After your winner responds, you can confirm the winner, or head back to the control panel to choose a new one. If, for some reason, you accidentally close comments, you can re-open them from the post page.

On the other hand, Comment Contest does not require you to select a post as a giveaway. When you enter the control panel, which is slightly harder to find under the “Plugins” menu, you are automatically given choices, such as how many winners there are, the number of maximum entries and an editor to craft a notification email directly from the plug-in. However, you can skip the email step.

Comment Contest

Comment Contest

On the next page, all recent posts display and you can choose the giveaway from the list. Doing so shows all of the comments, allowing you to manually uncheck them as entries. One of the major differences between these two comments is that you must first review comments on your post for ATWI. On the other hand, you can go right to the Comment Contest control panel and review comments before selecting a winner. However, Comment Doesn’t doesn’t show a date for the comments, for instance, if you haven’t closed the comments on time. Of course, if you want to prevent future comments or spam, you have to manually close the comments with Comment Contest.

Comment Contest allows you to enter the name of the giveaway prize, which is inserts to your email form. After generating the winner, it will show their comment and email address, as well as a list of all participants and their emails. The winner’s email is not linked here, so you must manually copy and paste it into your email tab or program.

Perhaps the weakest part of Comment Contest is the inability to save winners. It’s up to you to remember who won. ATWI keeps a list of all previous giveaways and the winners, even if you haven’t yet confirmed them. You can return to the control panel to determine a new winner. Comment Contest requires you to go through the entire process, disregarding your previous winner.

Comment Contest also has some incorrect English because the creator isn’t American or British. It’s not a huge deal, but something that sometimes bugs me. Because ATWI will now work on all my blogs, I will soon be switching over to it. Ultimately, it requires less effort on my part and fewer clicks. However, if you like the integrated emailing feature or want more control over who can enter your giveaway (for instance, if you reply to comments you can ignore entries from WP’s admin account), Comment Contest allows you to have a bit more control but lacks the finesse of And The Winner Is..

5 Responses

  1. Minta May 26 2012 @ 4:53 pm

    I have never heard of comment contest but I do like Rafflecopter and I didn’t like to try to figure out random.org. like that Rafflecopter does that for you.
    Great post.
    Minta

  2. daisy May 26 2012 @ 7:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Pam May 28 2012 @ 6:34 pm

    I want to switch to wordpress.

  4. Beeb Ashcroft May 30 2012 @ 9:45 pm

    Interesting, I’ll have to look into the Comment Contest. I tried using “And The Winner Is…” a while ago but encountered errors with it.

  5. Cole May 31 2012 @ 11:36 pm

    I had errors with it originally, too. I don’t anymore, though.

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