How to Control Visitors Comments In WordPress
How to Control Visitors Comments In WordPress
In this specific video I’m going to show you how to control how visitors comment on your WordPress site.
So let’s talk about comments. If I go to the Live site here, you’ll notice that there is a box right underneath this example post that allows somebody to make a comment. And it’s a great way to allow your visitors to interact with your site so that they’ll come back, they’ll read your content, they’ll watch your videos, and they’ll interact with your site. But you want to make sure that you take control of the way people comment on your site, simply because there are many, many different softwares out there that, nowadays actually target WordPress blogs. And there’s a thing called “blog commenting marketing.” It’s a specific marketing strategy which people use to basically comment on your WordPress site to simply get a link back to their site. Now there’s a lot of softwares out there that use this specific method, so you want to make sure that you protect your site as much as possible, but at the same time, keep it where visitors can easily comment on your site.
Now first thing’s first, you have to know – what is the goal of your site? Is the goal of your site to have them let’s say, register and become a member, and respond by logging into their account on your site, and commenting on your articles and your content, and so forth. Or do you want them to be able to just comment, and come to your site without having to be a subscriber or somebody who creates an account – simply enters a response and then you want to manually have somebody approve each and every comment, that way you can regulate your site.
And if you have an idea of what you want to do, I’m going to show you the options that are available to you, so that you can do that. So if we go back to the WordPress Dashboard here and we go under Settings and click on Discussion. As you can see here, there are a lot of different options on controlling the way visitors comment on your site.
So starting from the top here, I’m going to explain to you what each and every one of these options mean so you know exactly what is available to you. So starting at the top here, these top two options don’t necessarily deal with comments, but the one here, it says “Allow People to Post Comments on New Articles.” So if you think about it, every time you post a brand new article, do you want people to have the ability to post comments on those new articles? Normally I would have this checked by default, and as you can see, it is.
And this option here, it says “Comment Author Must Fill Out Name & Email” now this is a great way to interact with your visitors. And if they can fill out their name and their email address, and then make a comment, you can always contact that author; and it gives you that ability to open up some options and opportunities in the future. So I would have that checked.
It says “Users Must Be Registered & Logged In to Comment” so this kind of goes back to what I was saying earlier about how you want people to interact with your site. Do you want it to be more of a closed environment where the content’s there, but in order for people to actually interact, they have to take an initial step to actually register, and then make a comment on your site. So you can have a site, let’s say for consultations or a service type tips and advice place where you will require people to register, and then make their comments, and then you would actually interact with them. So having people register and actually login to your WordPress site does, in a way, force them to interact with your site. So what are your end goals? It can actually help you in the long run, but keep in mind that not everybody is going to register and login. You might have out of 100 people, you know 10 people or 20 people that actually register to login. Versus if your site was open to the public and you could just moderate the comments that come in, then you might have 50, 60, or more. So it’s just something to keep in mind that, do you want your site to be more closed to a certain group of people that are serious? Or do you want people to have a little more freedom to basically comment without being an actual registered member?
This option here basically automatically closes comments on articles that are older than a certain amount of time, and you specify that amount of time. So if I were to specify seven days, this basically means that if the article is more than seven days, then comments will automatically be closed. So you could do something like, you know classes, online classes or interaction and things like that, and give people a limited amount of time to respond to your articles before you actually move on to the next step.
Now there’s so many different ways, so many different creative options and opportunities that you can make for yourself by using these specific options. Enabling threaded, nested comments basically means if you make a comment, and then somebody can make a comment that replies to your specific comment. How many times do you want to go before they have to create a brand new comment? So if you want to show your visitors that, “hey, you actually respond to your comments?” and how many levels deep do you want it to go?
Now keep in mind, for example if you have somebody asking a question, you answer it; they ask another question, you answer it. If you have it “10 or more” it can go on, and on, and on, and on. So that’s just something to keep in mind. So by default it’s five, but you change it to whatever you want it to be. And comments can basically grow. So you want to make sure that you break your comments into pages if you have too many comments. So if somebody reads a specific article and they see 100 comments on that page, they may not necessarily want to scroll all the way down through the 100 comments to actually get to the next page. So you want to make sure that you break your comments into pages. So we can say something like “twenty five.”
And this option here gives you the ability to display comments with the older or the newer comments at the top of each page.
This section here allows WordPress to email you a notification any time somebody posts a comment, or a comment is held for moderation. So this gives you the ability to know what’s going on in your WordPress site. At this point it says, “Before a Comment Appears, an Administrator Must Always Approve the Comment.” I always choose this option simply because I want to be able to approve the comment before it appears. That way if it’s a piece of software that is spamming my WordPress site, then I can see it, I can just click on Spam and ignore the post. But for the legitimate comments, I can actually approve those comments. And you can also make it so if you have this checked, then as an administrator, you will always approve that specific comment. Every single comment that comes in, you approve it.
But if you have this checked here, it says “Comment Author Must Have a Previously Approved Comment.” So let’s say for example that you approve the author, then every comment after that – once you figure it out, okay they’re legitimate, they’re not a piece of spammy software, you’ve approved their comment, it’s good – so every other comment after that, they no longer have to go through your approval process. And like I said earlier, blog commenting in terms of the marketing strategy, a lot of times people will enter a bunch of text and then they’ll put a bunch of links. So you can also hold a comment in the queue if it contains two or more links, or any other number of links that you specify.
And moving down in this box here it says, “When a Comment Contains Any of These Words in Its Content, Name, URL, or IP, It Will Be Held for Moderation.” So if you want to filter certain comments and your site is like “G Rated” or you don’t want people to use certain words, then you can actually add the keywords here to make sure that you filter those comments with those words.
You can also blacklist comments as well. So the same thing above here, if any comments contain any words in content, name, URL, email – then it will actually blacklist it. So you could take, let’s say your site is “G Rated” and you don’t want people to cuss or do any bad words. So you could enter this here, and if the comment had that specific word in it that you don’t want, it will automatically blacklist the comment. That way you don’t really have to go through all the comments, and it’ll actually take care of the process there.
And Avatar’s are basically pictures or icons that will be displayed whenever somebody comments on your blog. And you have the option to show them, or not show them. So I’m done here, I’m going to click on Save Changes, and that’s it! So just make sure that you understand where your end goal is. If you understand that and you understand how people are going to interact with your site, you will understand how to protect yourself and control your blog comments.