Comments have long been an integral part of the WordPress platform, dating back almost to its inception.
However, as WordPress has rapidly expanded its capabilities to extend beyond mere blogging, the idea of online conversation has sometimes taken a back seat.
For many business owners, comments are nothing more than irritating source of spam.
Fortunately, if comments aren't an important part of your digital marketing strategy, then it's easy to deactivate them. Before you do that, however, it's worth asking: can they play an important role?
To comment or not to comment?
Done well, comments can:
- Drive engagement. Conversation gives your customers yet another reason to revisit your site and build trust in your brand.
- Serve as social proof. Human beings look to one another for cues. There is even some evidence that Google views [legitimate] comments as evidence of higher quality material and thus as a ranking factor.
Of course, comments can also:
- Act as a magnet for spam. Virtually all comment spam is left by automated bots; whether attempting to game a search engine into ranking its linked content or enticing a human user to click on it. Less commonly, they're real but misguided people with the same goals.
- Serve as negative social proof. Once again, human beings look to one another for cues. If no one has commented upon post after post, it might send the opposite message: your website is a ghost town.
Would you like to encourage discussion?
No matter what your goal for a given post is -- whether a comment, an opt-in, a purchase, whatever -- be sure to end your posts with a relevant CTA (call-to-action).
Invite your readers to share your thoughts or comment on their own, similar experiences.
Disable comments in WordPress
Commenting can be dependent upon your selection in plugins and even theme, but the simplest way to disable it across the board is to install and activate this plugin.
If you'd prefer not to use this plugin, then once logged into your administrator's panel, you can:
- Click Settings > Discussion
- Uncheck the Allow people to post comments on new articles box, and then click Save Changes.
- While the above will disable commenting going forward, it will not disable commenting on past pages or posts. To do that, you must ...
- Click Posts or Pages; click the checkbox to select all; click Edit.
- Then, select Comments from the dropdown and change to Do not allow.
- Click Update.
Enable comments in WordPress
Comments are enabled by default in WordPress; you do not have to take any action.
There are numerous configuration options around commenting; once logged into your administrator panel, you can click Settings > Discussion to edit.
Use of Akismet
Akismet is the single best anti-spam plugin of its kind. While no anti-spam plugin is flawless, it does a remarkable job of filtering out the nonsense.
Akismet's fee is $5 per month, per website. However, if we host your website, we're happy to activate with our Enterpsie API key at no additional charge; please just let us know!
- First, consider whether or not you'd like to encourage discussion. Comments can act as social proof both to your human viewers and even to Google; however, an absence of comments can serve as negative social proof.
- If disabling comments, this plugin is the simplest approach. If enabling them, be sure to activate Akismet to mitigate comment spam.