Managing Comments in WordPress

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.


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