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WordPress comments can be a headache for some blogs and websites. If you are on self-hosted WordPress, then you are likely well familiar with comment spam. While this might seem like a huge headache to compared to other platforms, it is relatively easy to setup and manage.
Setting Up Your Settings to Optimize Comments
Under SETTINGS < DISCUSSION in your WordPress Dashboard, you want to make sure that you have a few things checked off.
Default Article Settings: When you link to another website or when another website links to you, you have the ability to send a notification – pingbacks. Pingbacks are created when you link to another blog post. You might receive pingback notifications on your own posts; for example, if you link to your older posts within a new post. To turn this off, you need to shorten the url.
To prevent self-pings, shorten the URL from this:
I keep all three of these default settings checked so that I receive notifications and others receive notifications. More on pingbacks below.
Other Comment Settings: These settings deal more with the visuals of the comments rather than the functionality. Since I don’t have a membership site, I’ve disabled “users must be registered and logged in to comment”.
Before a Comment Appears: If someone already left a comment on my blog, I’ve checked that their comment will be automatically approved. If they didn’t, I need to approve it.
Akismet – An Absolute Must Have – Non-Negotiable
Every WordPress website must have AKISMET. It significantly reduced comment spam, making it easier for you to manage your comments. Akismet marks comment spam, so it doesn’t go to your comments as pending. Please note, if you use JETPACK’s contact form for your contact page, some contact form entries might get marked as SPAM – see below.
DISQUS: Why I Left It
A few weeks ago, as I was auditing my site, I tried to leave a comment through my phone. What a challenge! I had to sign in to DISQUS to comment, and subsequently left my site. Right there and then, I realized I was making a huge User Experience error using DISQUS to manage my comments. I decided that I would go back using WordPress Comments.
Important Observations About This Switch
- I thought DISQUS was helping with Comment Spam: I’ve seen no change in comment spam since I removed DISQUS.
- Comments occur more frequently compared to in the past.
- DISQUS includes recent posts below the comments on my blog as well as weekly emails that showcase who comments and what not. I viewed this as a good opportunity for my content to get promoted elsewhere, but I didn’t see click thrus from this incentive.
The Biggest Mistake Bloggers Make With Managing Comments!!!!!
In the past month, I’ve had this happen to me three different times when I tried to leave a comment on blogs that I follow. In previous posts I’ve written, I’ve linked to these sites, creating a pingback. They’ve marked these pingbacks as SPAM. As a result, anytime I try to leave a comment (or even send them an email through their contact form), it always goes to their spam folder.
With pingbacks/trackbacks, you should either mark them as APPROVED or TRASH if they are from legitimate sources. If they are from spammy websites, mark them as SPAM.
If you’ve been in the habit of marking them as spam, set some time aside to go through your spam comments. Make sure you are approving everything that is legit, and marking spam comments correctly.
I view my site’s dashboard at least once a day – check the stats, respond to comments, and now I also check my comment spam to make sure that there is not anything in there that shouldn’t be. I realize that I’m an online business and do a lot of business through my site, so if you aren’t on your site every day, you should definitely check it out once a week!