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WordPress Tip: Easy Management of Reader Comments

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Reader comment boards are often a double-edged sword. On one hand, they can facilitate lively reader engagement with your site, improve SEO, and provide useful information. On the other hand, they can be difficult to moderate, riddled with spam or simply crude comments, and challenging to implement if you require personalized reader accounts.

While some have need of more complicated and sophisticated solutions, we present two ways to push the “Easy” button on comment boards: Use a trusted system or simply leave well enough alone.

WordPress’s built-in comment functionality allows users to sign in quickly and easily, providing an email address and name, as well as a captcha verification option that you can turn on or off easily. All WordPress blogs have Akismet, a powerful spam-catcher, pre-installed and ready for use.

For most people, these protections are enough. In fact, we’d go so far as to encourage you to not to use comment plugins if you don’t consider your comment board to be one of the more important features of your website. Just like an electrical outlet at home stuffed with too many splitters and extensions, a load of WP plugins—especially unnecessary ones—can make a website top-heavy and increase the likelihood that something will break when WP rolls out an update.

However, if comments are important to you and you want a solid, ready-made system, we recommend Disqus or Facebook plugins.
Why we like Disqus:
  • It’s easy to use. A single dashboard allows you to moderate and filter comments, and readers can easily log in and subscribe to specific threads.

  • Social networks are seamlessly integrated. Users can easily use their Facebook or Twitter accounts to log in or create a unique Disqus ID. Sharing content via social media is a breeze with Disqus, and readers can even view aggregated lists of comments through their own social media profiles.

  • Spam is easy to control and even easier to remove.

You can find a plugin to add the Disqus commenting system here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/disqus-comment-system/. Why we like Facebook:
  • My personal favorite argument for Facebook commenting: the removal of anonymity. Those would-be rabble rousers who might otherwise make obscene or inflammatory comments are less likely to do so if their words can be traced back to their all-important Facebook profiles. Of course, some may see this as a negative and refuse to post their comments without the protection of anonymity, so each blog host should consider the preferences of his own audience.

  • Almost everyone already has an account, so you are less likely to miss out on comments from those who don’t want the hassle of setting up a new one.

  • Readers can comment from different accounts. You are able to leave a comment not only from your personal Facebook profile, but from a fan page you administer.

Here is a plugin for Facebook comments: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/facebook-comments-for-wordpress/

One Response to “WordPress Tip: Easy Management of Reader Comments”

  1. WP Themes says:

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