For months I've had a draft on the back burner that I'll publish, or not, someday and it's titled something like "Things WordPress should have natively". So that's it, a list of what I think are basic, necessary or very useful things that would be nice to be included in WP core.
One of those things is a revamp and improvement of the comments. Yes, I know that no one comments on blogs anymore, but for those who still do it once in a hundred years it would be nice if they could find a better design and some other basic functions.
There are several plugins to add more options and external services such as Disqus, which I don't like because of the risks involved in using external tools, but none of them manage to offer something comprehensive in terms of design and expanded functionality
While some templates also incorporate a redesign and some improvements in the comments, the truth is that most of them rely on their standard configuration.
Fluent Comments is a new plugin, launched just over a month ago, to improve the look and feel of comments that I've been testing since it appeared.
It uses short-lived cryptographic tokens to prevent spam. They claim it is impossible to spam using bots. It uses AJAX to improve the user experience rollo real time and is supposed to be fast and lightweight and not affect loading.
It works with all WordPress builders and with any template, except FSE, although compatibility has been announced for future versions.
For the moment, the plugin has no administration area. There is nothing to configure, just install it and you are ready to go. It wouldn't hurt to have at least some basic settings like being able to hide/show certain fields or some other design-related settings like being able to set the width of the comment area, etc.
If you are looking for something fast, simple and light against spam, this plugin is the way to go.
When I activated it, the first thing I noticed is that it doesn't show the URL field. I understand that they have decided to dispense with this field and hide it to reinforce their promised anti-spam protection.
I found a couple of bugs. Something is wrong with AJAX because it doesn't show these green icons that should appear.
I've tried with the default template and with all plugins and optimisations disabled and I can't figure out why they still don't show up.
There is also an irregular functioning in the nesting of the answers. When three replies are chained together the form ends up overflowing and invading the sidebar. However, when the comment is submitted it is published correctly.
For the look and feel it uses a simple layout and styles from your template, but they announce more design options in future updates.
I hope they don't abandon its development. I will follow their evolution in case new features appear and this add-on finally manages to give a more decent and necessary look and feel to the native comments.