Get a free year on Tuts+ this month when you purchase a Siteground hosting plan from $3.95/mo
What is the best way to get feedback from your readers? Social networks? Contact forms? Nope: Comments are the easiest and the most efficient way to get feedback about the content.
In this final piece of our series, we're going to see the most important part after the content: comments.
"Comments" to Let People React to the Content
"Interactivity" is one of the essential features of "Web 2.0" and while people tend to forget this, blogs are in the roots of Web 2.0.
Blogs differ from classic "homepages" from 1997 with features like subscriptions or comments - in other words, interactivity with visitors. That's why comments are essential for blogs.
Disable Comments? Really?
It's always an option to turn off comments in WordPress (based on each post or for the entire blog), but is it really logical to turn off comments for every post?
By all means, it's fine if you want a static homepage, nobody's going to judge you. You don't want the feedback? You don't need the voice of your readers? You hate to see your content improved by the people who appreciate you? Seriously, nobody's here to judge.
All kidding aside, comments should be enabled on blog posts, with some exceptions of course: The post might have lost its value completely, such as the giveaway you started has just ended... You should be thinking like this: Would the reader like to have something to say? The answer is mostly "yes" and that's why you should leave comments open.
Also, if you can, you should offer more than a simple form.
How to Offer More on the "Comments" Section
WordPress' native comment system is actually adequate for you and your visitors. But there's always room for improvement:
- Combating spam comments - It's the biggest downside of WordPress comments - it's easy to post spam. But there are hundreds of plugins to solve this problem. Akismet is the most popular plugin for dealing with spam comments but I'll recommend my personal favorite, Cookies for Comments.
- Using a different comment system - Comment systems supercharge your blog and serve pretty good features like commenting with social network accounts, voting for comments and so on. My favorites are Disqus, Jetpack, and Facebook Comments. All of them are great for your blog and mostly optimized so you don't have to think about optimization.
- Offering extra functionality - There are plugins like Subscribe to Comments and CommentLuv to offer extra functionality for your visitors. You can search for the most popular plugins for comments to see what would fit your blog.
Yes, content may be "king" but a lonely king is a weak king, and people might not respect that "king". Content without relevant links, info boxes or comments would be boring, don't you think?
We just saw how important comments are, for both the content itself and the people reading it. Do you have more to say about comments? Then post your comment below!