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With WordPress, visitors can leave comments on posts and pages.
One of the greatest things about blogs is the ability to let readers comment. One of the worst things about blogs is the ability to let readers comment. Running a website with public comments can be extremely rewarding and, at times, frustrating. Giving your readers a forum to voice their opinion can refine your work, help you discover new perspectives and even give you a much-needed pat on the back. Giving your readers that opportunity can also open you up to a world of headaches, spam and endless arguments.
But most bloggers will tell you that despite the drawbacks, comments are worth it in the end:
• By giving your readers a voice you’re showing them how valuable they are to you. That kind of loyalty means a lot.
• Let’s face it: You don’t know everything. Nobody does. Having comments is a subtle way to admit that you’re not perfect and allow your readers to help you out. And they will. It will make your writing stronger and your site better.
• Often the contributions of comments will outweigh the value of the original post. Sometimes great ideas will be shared, links offered or massive discussions that go far deeper than you could have dreamed. And it’s all on your site. That’s gold.
• It can build community. When people have a “voice” on your blog, they feel valued and that what they say makes a difference. In the end, whether or not to have comments is an important choice and one you shouldn’t take lightly. You need to weigh the pros and cons. You need to decide if open comments fit your company’s style. For some organizations it’s a perfect fit. For others—it’s awkward. If you’re undecided about comments, there is good news.
There are a lot of halfway solutions. You’re also welcome to change your mind and turn comments on or off at will (of course if you turn comments on after they’ve been off for a while you’ve already missed out on the best input from your readers). But whatever you decide, it’s best to pick a solution and stick to it. Your readers will get confused if commenting is inconsistent on your site.
Once you’ve decided to have comments, it’s important to have a commenting policy in place. It doesn’t necessarily have to be public, but you might consider it. What’s important is to know how you’re going to respond to a specific situation and enforce your rules consistently.
• Are commenter’s allowed to use profanity? Where do you draw the line?
• It’s easy for a comment thread to get off topic. Is that OK or do you want comments to only pertain to your post?
• Discussions often turn into debates, which turn into flat-out arguments. Do you step in to restore order? Or let people duke it out?
• What do you do when someone disagrees with you or your company? What if that means they recommend competitors?
• What happens when someone ignores your rules? You may not run into any of these comment issues. But it helps to be prepared. Often the style of your organization will help you determine your comment policy. A loose, care free organization might encourage people to disagree. A strict, top-down company might ban any discussion of competing products. It’s your website—you set the tone. Here’s another thing you’ll need to decide: how active are you going to be in your own comments? Some people like to be very active, encouraging responses and interacting with readers. That can also be time-demanding, but may also benefit your business. Other people may only step in when it’s absolutely necessary, letting their readers have their own discussion.
Managing Comments in WordPress:
The Comments Page Managing comments in WordPress is quite similar to the way posts and pages are managed. From the WordPress dashboard, visit the Comments page. A yellow row means the comment is waiting for you to moderate it. You can act on comments using the on- hover action links or the Bulk Actions. In the Author column, in addition to the author’s name, email address, and blog URL, the commenter’s IP address is shown. Clicking on this link will show you all the comments made from this IP address. In the Comment column, each comment includes Submitted on information, followed by the date and time the comment was left on your site. Clicking the date/time link will take you to that comment on your live site. Hovering over any comment gives you options to approve, reply (and approve), quick edit, edit, spam mark, or trash that comment. In the In Response To column, there are three elements. The text is the name of the post that comment is assigned to, and links to the post editor for that entry.
The View Post link leads back to that post on your live site. This small bubble with the number shows the number of approved comments that post has received. If the bubble is gray, you have moderated all comments for that post. If it is blue, there are pending comments. Clicking the bubble will filter the comments screen to show only comments on that post.
Managing Comments from the Dashboard Home Screen
Another way to manage comments is from the WordPress dashboard home screen. Here you’ll see recent comments and you can quickly and easily approve, reply, edit, mark as spam or trash by hovering over these links.
WordPress Comment Settings
Don’t forget you can change your Comment or Discussion settings from within the WordPress settings menu. This page allows you to make changes to the details of comments made on your site, plus the ability to blacklist comments to help manage spam comments.
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