Blogs are different from other type of websites due to their ability to allow visitors to leave comments on your content. It is one of the best options that lets you improve the interactivity of your site. Your visitors can add their inputs through the comments, views, questions and feedback.
However, along with the good comments, you may also come across the kind of comments that may not be in tune with the right standards. That is precisely why you need to have the right kind of comment management. How to operate comments on WordPress? Let us explore how to manage WordPress comments in the following paragraphs.
How to Manage WordPress Comments?
WordPress is an easy to use content management system. The functionality and flexibility extend up to the comment management as well.
Yes, WordPress offers a robust comment management option. Almost all elements of WordPress content receive comments. It includes posts, pages, and other post types. No matter which theme you use, it comes with the comment templates. It depends on you how you will manage and encourage the comments.
Managing the comments is rather easy and straightforward. You should be able to control it in the same way you will be handling the posts or pages.
The Comments page
You can find the Comments section from your WordPress dashb
By default, it shows you all the comments received in your blog irrespective of the post that they have been directed to. The actions can be performed on the comments either through hovering over the comments or performing the bulk actions.
The Author column will let you know the name of the author, email ID and blog URL if any. You can also find the IP address from which the comment was sent. Clicking on it should show you all the comments that have originated from this IP address.
The Comment column will show the date and time of submission of the comment. Hovering on any of the comments will provide you additional options that you can perform with the comment. Some of the actions include options to reply, approve, quick edit, spam mark, or trashing the comment.
The next column Response to offers you an option to understand which post the comment is directed to and thus links the editor of the post to the comment for approving it or taking any other action.
Dashboard Home screen
This is another way you can access comments. The dashboard home screen will let you know the latest comments received on your blog.
You can hover over the comments and choose the quick actions to moderate the comments as you would like to. You can take measures like approve, reply, and edit, mark as spam or trash depending upon the usefulness of the comment to your post.
The Discussion Settings
The Discussion Settings is also referred to the Comments Settings page. The page lets you make any changes to the comments done on the site. The settings also help you to blacklist some of the comments you may not be comfortable with.
You can reach the Discussion Settings through your WordPress Admin dashboard at Settings -> Discussion. You can find the default article settings for controlling the comments to all your posts, pages, attachments, and custom post types.
The option Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article sends the trackback to the articles that you have linked to. This helps the owner of the blog from where you have linked by sending a notification to let them know their article has been connected. In the same way, you can enable your comments or discussion settings to receive pingback from other sites when they link to your site. You can do that by enabling the option Allow link notifications from other blogs.
You can even disable the comments altogether. This is achieved by unchecking the box for Allow people to post comments on new articles.
9 Tips on Managing WordPress Comments
Writing a blog post is an excellent option to share your opinions, views and other options through your posts. However, the best option that WordPress offers you is the interaction with your readers. You can engage with your visitors through the comments.
However, the comments can prove to be a little difficult to handle if you are getting too much of spam or trolls. So, it is essential to indulge in the right kind of comment management. The perfect management of comments is to encourage the audience to comment on your posts while keeping the bad comments or spams away.
We will group a few tips that would be helpful in indulging into a perfect level of comment management.
1) End your posts with open-ended questions
Pose a question to your audience while ending your post. You can use a few simple queries like what do you think about this post, or the information provided here. If you want to be specific, you can pose some final questions like what are your favourite options, or how would you rate this post.
2) Opt for a nested level of comments
Nested levels in the commenting will allow the users to communicate between themselves. This will bring up a forum style to your comments section. You can make use of these comments format for increasing interaction level on your posts. This can help you to gather more information on what kind of topics that your target audience is interested in. This can be helpful in planning any future content on your blog.
3) Make commenting easier
Some blogs make it compulsory to register before one can comment. This can reduce the level of engagement. Opt for a system that makes it rather easy for the visitors to comment. The default system from WordPress can be quite helpful as it does not require registration.
4) Make controversial statements
Post something controversial to ensure that people tend to comment on your posts. Of course, you should be ready to expect some disagreement and rather hard comments. You can engage with both types of comments – whether in your favour or against you.
5) Let users subscribe to comments
WordPress has an interesting feature where users can subscribe to the comments and get alerts when someone posts a comment after them. This can bring them back to the blog to comment again.
6) Engage in Comment Moderation
This is the best option that WordPress offers you. You can choose to delete or approve the comments posted by the visitors. You can change the comment moderation from the Discussion Settings from your WordPress dashboard settings. You can configure the changes from the Admin Dashboard from checking the box for an administrator must always approve the comment.
Comment Moderation lets you prevent harmful or spam comment from getting published on your site. One of the best plugins that can be helpful in indulging in an excellent comment moderation is Akismet. Active comment moderation would help reduce the amount of spam on your blog.
7) Allow only the registered users to comment
One of the other options would be to open the comments section just for the registered users. This is done by checking the option for Users must be registered and logged in to comment from the Settings -> Discussions -> Other comment settings. But before that, you would need to open your WordPress site for registration. This is done by checking the box for anyone can register under the Settings -> General options in your WordPress Admin dashboard.
8) Add a reCAPTCHA Verification Option
The CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA verification can help you combat the bots from commenting on your blog without any apparent valuable information. Simple Google reCaptcha is a great way to achieve this. That way, you would possibly handle the spam comments more efficiently. However, the method would not be effective in controlling the spam created by actual humans, while it is an excellent tool against the bot comments.
This is an excellent plugin that can be helpful in addressing both the bot spam and human spam. Akismet is capable of reducing the spam by around 95 percent effectively. The plugin is developed by Automatic, a well-known developer of the WordPress community.
Anything Else that can be helpful?
Several sharp signals give away whether a comment is a spam or genuine. There are a few tell-tale signs that indicate that a comment is true spam and paying close attention to them can help you address the concern in a better manner.
The spammers usually use some software or hire low-quality writers to post comments on blogs. So the poor level of grammar can help you to identify them. The sentence construction and other grammatical errors indeed gives away a lot about the nature of the comment.
Another indication would be a link to some unrelated site. If your blog or the post belongs to the tech niche and the comment links to a betting site, you can be assured that the comment is pure spam.
However, if the comment is unrelated and does not add much of the value, but is not detrimental to the overall health of your blog or its SEO performance and does not link to a suspicious site – we do not see any reason not to allow the comment.
Design a policy that would be helpful for all your needs in controlling the spam. Make sure you stick to the policy to best possible measures. The policy can have guidelines that prohibit the use of abusive language to the best possible extent. This will not prevent them from posting the foul-mouthed comments, but it would be easier for you to delete the comment citing the guidelines and thus avoid disputes over a deleted comment.
The Concluding Thoughts
WordPress is an excellent option for managing the comments on your blog posts. It offers you several options to manage and control the spam right away without any need for employing a third party software or plugin. One of the powerful options you can use is to turn off the comments altogether. However, we would not recommend you to take such a drastic step.
Encourage your readers to comment so that communication level can go high between readers and author. Comments go a long way in providing the two-way conversation between the blog authors and visitors. Opt for the techniques we have outlined in the above tutorial and manage the comments effectively.
So, which of these methods have you been using? Which options tend to be more effective in enhancing the level of comments and reducing the spam considerably? Share your experiences with us for a better understanding.