WordPress Training Part four

Discussion

Discussion is the tool used when you want (or don’t want) comments on your posts. Comments allow your readers to have a discussion with you.

Do you want comments?

Some people do, some people don’t.
There are four good reasons why you would want comments

  • Social Proof aspect. Posts with a relatively large number of comments will spark curiosity and grab attention from readers.
  • Reading through your comments is an easy way to understand what else people want to know. This gives you ideas about other posts to publish and possibly what products to offer your readers.
  • Publicly responding to questions makes you accessible and more of a real human being to your readers, which never hurts. I know this isn’t always possible, but a small response can go a very long way.
  • When a reader fills in the required fields to leave a comment, they become familiar with your site. This makes any other calls to action presented slightly more probable, including subscribing to an RSS feed, a newsletter, or even making a purchase further down the track.
Downside of Comments
  • Spam. You will naturally have your comments moderated but you still have to tackle the spam. Akismet will recognise 90% of spam and consign them to the Spam Folder. You have to check comments and make sure there are no spam posts which slipped though and, if you find some, mark them as spam then continue to the Spam Folder to delete them.
  • Taking the time to moderate comments and respond to them. This may not seem too hard but the time quickly adds up.
Go to Comments Settings

Navigate to Discussion

Navigate to Discussion

Navigate : Dashboard >> Settings >> Discussion
Let’s assume that you’re going to allow comments on posts.

N.B. You don’t need comments enabled for your Pages, that’s a little pointless.

When you arrive at the Discussion page you will see a whole lot of options there you can choose from. You want people to comment but you want to read their comments before they appear on your site.

Let’s take these options one at a time.

Discussion Settings

Discussion Settings

Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article
Ticking that box will send a ping to the site you’ve mentioned in your post. Nothing wrong with that except that many sites have the Ping facility disabled. It places a load on the Server. I leave mine off

Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)
This time someone else is pinging you. Once again, a load on the server for not much value at all.

Allow people to post comments on new articles
Check this if you want comments and yes, they can be overriden on individual posts.

Options checked

Options checked

Moving on to the next settings.

Other Comment Settings

Other Comment Settings

The first two options are the important ones – the rest are straightforward.

Comment author must fill out name and e-mail
Yes, yes and yes! Tick this box, no anonymous commentors please!
Users must be registered and logged in to comment
Disregard this. Once upon a time, people would register to a WordPress site that they liked but, with the massive increase in hacking attempts, you would be crazy to allow strangers to register on your WordPress. There’s no benefit whatsoever for an innocent reader to be registered, so just pass it over.
Automatically close comments on articles older than X amount of days
If your posts are a few years old you may not want any comments on earlier ones. But maybe you do. Up to you

Other Options Checked

Other Options Checked

You have a choice here of displaying older, or newer, comments first. Your choice.

Comment Notification and Moderation

Very important options.
Email me whenever

Notification of Comment

Notification of Comment

and Before a comment appears

discussion-options-4-before-appears

Check the options like this ..

Options checked

Options checked

Moving down further

Hold a comment in the queue if it contains or more links. (A common characteristic of comment spam is a large number of hyperlinks.)
I choose one link only. One is more than enough.

When a comment contains any of these words in its content, name, URL, e-mail, or IP, it will be marked as spam
If spam comments keep appearing you can paste in a word or two here. One more weapon in the war against spammers

Avatars

Avatar settings

Avatar settings

Some people have avatars. Some don’t. But don’t make the people who have no avatars be displayed with a silly image, I think that’s plain rude. With the settings below you please the people who have avatars and please the people who don’t.

Blank Avatar Setting

Blank Avatar Setting

Don’t forget to Save.