During the Ultimate Blog Challenge, it was apparent that a couple of participants were not permitting others to comment on their website. This is something that you probably will want people to do as there are benefits to having people leave comments on your website.
One of the benefits of having blog posts on your website is that people can leave comments. This is called Interaction and is a great aspect of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You see, when Google, Bing, and Yahoo (and the other lesser known search engines) see comments on your website, they acknowledge a couple of things:
- You have Traffic to your website
- You have new Content on your website
These two aspects help you get better rankings in the search engines!
Because of this, you want to ensure that you are allowing people to leave comments! If your website is created in WordPress, you have it, so use it!
From within your Dashboard, on the left side of the screen, you can go to Settings and then Discussion. This section contains a list of options that change how WordPress processes comments. Experimenting with these settings can help you find a balance between restricting comments to reduce the amount of spam or less-relevant comments you receive and encouraging your users to actively participate on your site.
Specifically, you will want to review the section at the top:
Make sure the last option is selected, “Allow people to post comments on new articles.” This will allow, um, people to post comments on new articles! (pretty self-descriptive, huh?)
If this is NOT checked, people will NOT be able to leave a comment, you will not get the engagement, and for most people, it is not a good thing.
The other options
- Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article: This option will enable your site to automatically notify the sites you linked to that you have linked to them. They can then choose to tell their users that another site linked to them through a trackback or pingback.
- Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks.): This is similar to the previous option; only your position is reversed. Instead of allowing your site to notify other sites, you are allowing other sites to notify your site. If you enable this option, pingbacks and trackbacks are managed in a similar way to comments.
Next up is the Other comment settings:
- Comment author must fill out name and e-mail: This prevents people from leaving anonymous comments (however, people could still use a fake name and e-mail address).
- Users must be registered and logged in to comment: This option will only allow registered users of your site to post comments.
- Automatically close comments on articles older than _____ days: Closing comments on posts that are no longer active is a good way to limit spam comments. This option will allow your site to do this automatically. If your site is evergreen and you get a lot of traffic to older posts, I would not check this.
- Enable threaded (nested) comments _____ levels deep: Enabling threaded comments allows your users to reply to one another. A reply to a comment is shown “nested” underneath the original comments. You can limit how many levels (a reply to a reply) of replies your site will allow by changing the number of levels here as well.
- Break comments into Pages with _____top level comments per Page and the _____ Page displayed by default: This option changes how your comments are displayed. You can set how many comments you see per Page and if oldest or newest comments are displayed first.
- Comments should be displayed with the _____ comments at the top of each Page: Set if you want newer or older comments at the top of each Page.
While there are other options within the Discussion section, this should be enough to get started.
If you found this helpful, and/or, you would like to hear about the rest of the Discussion section, leave a comment below! Thanks,