WordPress.com Comment Notifications via SMS

The fine folks at WordPress.com have announced that webhooks are now available on WordPress.com blogs. However, as evidenced in the comments below the announcement, this news is a little beyond the technical knowledge of the average WordPress.com user. That’s where web developers like me step in.

Webhooks Let “Us” Help You!

Webhooks allow third-party developers like me to build cool tools that work with WordPress.com. These “hooks” work by transmitting data from your WordPress.com blog whenever you or your visitors interact with your blog. As an example, the announcement mentioned that a webhook could be used to send an SMS notification anytime someone comments on your blog.

Taking them up on their example, I’ve coded one of the first public and freely available WordPress.com compatible webhooks. Now you can receive an SMS notification anytime some comments on your WordPress.com blog. To do so, simply visit my QwikTxt.com Webhook page and follow the instructions:

How does QwikTxt.com work?

Send texts to mobile phones from QwikTxt.com

In case you’re wondering how things work over at QwikTxt.com, let me explain further. QwikTxt.com is a pet-project of mine where I’ve customized a self-hosted version of WordPress to be a text messaging web app. The home page of the site prominently features a form where you can quickly and easily send text messages to mobile phones.

Given that I already had the text messaging system in place, it was easy for me to spend a couple of hours programming my new WordPress.com webhook. It works by pulling in your cell phone data from some custom fields I’ve added to the user profile on QwikTxt.com.

Now, once you activate your QwikTxt.com Comment Notification Webhook on your WordPress.com blog, anytime someone comments on your blog, the webhook will send the details of that comment to QwikTxt.com. Over at QwikTxt.com, my webhook processor takes that data and sends it along to you as an SMS.

This is Gonna’ Be Cool!

Obviously, this is a pretty elementary implementation of this new feature; however, it does show you the potential for all sorts of third-party developers to build cool tools that interact with your WordPress.com blog.

So, do you wanna receive comment notifications on your WordPress.com blog via SMS? I’d love it if you give my QwikTxt.com webhook a try, and let me know what you think.

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7 thoughts on “WordPress.com Comment Notifications via SMS

  1. Several months later… just curious to know how was the response from COM users? I was really interested, until I realized that my mobile service provider wasn’t listed on QwikTxt, but I still love the idea. (Is it possible to notify a twitter account instead?)

    1. The response wasn’t overwhelming; however, a nice smattering of folks appear to be using the service.

      What’s your mobile service provider? I can check and see if I can add them to QwikTxt.

    2. Oh yeah, re: Twitter notifications — I haven’t added that feature as I didn’t think it really fit in with QwikTxt; however, if enough people were interested, it might be cool to have it notify you by a DM.

  2. They’d probably charge you an arm and a half to add them, but thanks for asking; that’s why I’m definitely interested in the twitter thing. 🙂

    Another really good suggestion in the COM announcement thread comments was a webhook to notify Admins of posts waiting for review/publish for multi-author blogs. Have no idea if someone actually picked up on that idea, but I thought it was great.

    The COM announcement was sort of a “hit & run” thing; they told people there’s a new feature with seemingly lots of potential, but then don’t provide a place to coordinate anything that’s been done with it!

    1. Who is the “they” you’re talking about? It actually doesn’t cost anything to add a cell provider to QwikTxt regardless of the provider. All QwikTxt does is work off of the email to SMS protocol that all cell providers provide as a free service with their networks. Let me know your provider, and it will take me about 10 seconds to add it. 😉

      Regarding the announcement: You are correct, it was “hit & run” with regards to providing info to non-programmer types; however, it was more addressed to programmers as they are the ones who will be able to use that info.

      It’s programmers who create services using webhooks. Then it is their job to publicize and explain the services that they create. This post is an example of that.

  3. I realize that the announcement about webhooks was aimed at programmers/developers, but there was no vehicle provided so that users could, as it were, hook up with them once the thread in the News blog closed. I started a topic in the forums as well as tweeting about it, but really didn’t get any response.

    Thanks for putting this out there for the “rest” of us.

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