Is your Commenting System putting people off engaging with your blog?
Every blogger and business owner wants to open up their website in the morning to a load of fun and interesting comments on their content. Comments are a great way to see how engaging your writing is, and find out key information about your readers'/customers' needs.
However, there are several barriers your audience may come across when faced with leaving a comment. If they're struggling to find the comments section, or indeed if there is more than one comment section (some sites have native and Facebook commenting systems installed at the same time), this may put them off. If they're in any kind of rush, they aren't going to hang around to work things out.
WordPress, Jetpack and Squarespace Commenting Systems
With WordPress you have several options, as there are a number of plugins to choose from. If you decide on WordPress' or Squarespace's native system, Jetpack comments, or something else along those lines, there are some things you should note:
- Including a CAPTCHA form is a big barrier to commenting. Instead, use an anti-spam plugin like Askimet to keep bots off your blog.
- Requiring people to leave their email address could deter those who want privacy.
- When someone selects the 'Subscribe to further updates' button, they then receive a further 'Please confirm your subscription' email. Most people will forget to do this, and therefore will never know if you replied. This kills any kind of two-way conversation on your blog.
- Even if they do confirm, they will then receive an email every time someone comments on that blog post, which can get irritating and may make them want to unsubscribe anyway.
- Allowing 'Guest Commenting' is okay, but that person will never know if you have responded because they haven't left enough details, again, killing conversation.
These may seem harsh, but for a lot of people, it's true. And you don't want to miss out on 'a lot of people' commenting on those blog posts you've worked hard on, right?
This third party commenting system is available as a plugin on many different web-platforms, including WordPress and Squarespace. You sign up once, and you'll stay logged in forever (or until you clear your browser cache!), meaning that all your details are all ready to go when you go to comment on a blog with a Disqus system. No need to fill in boxes for your 'name' and 'email'; just write and post.
Here is why I would recommend blogger use Disqus, in bullet point format (just in case you're a scanner like me!):
- Log in once, and stay logged in
- Have a full profile with avatar, bio, and social/website links if people want to find out more
- Build 'reputation' for commenting and showing some love!
- Comment with one click on hundreds of thousands of blogs across the inter-web
- 'Up-vote' comments as a form of 'Like'
- Get notifications in Disqus every time someone replies or 'up-votes' you
- See notifications from the comment system on any blog
- Moderate easily & quickly
Of course, everything comes with some down-sides (as is life!). Be aware that:
- It requires an initial sign up, so people who have never used Disqus before may be put off commenting (this is turned positive though, because people who do you Disqus are SO much more likely to comment than if you were using something else)
- You can't customise the system (no brand colours, no nothing)
I'm sure this will be a cause for debate, and there could well be some greater commenting systems out there, but in terms of popularity, Disqus is one of the market leaders, meaning people are more likely to be using it & expecting to see it on your blog.
I follow many amazing blogs, but I am time-poor, so honestly if I go to comments section and I need to fill in my name, email address etc, or log in to something, I prefer not to comment at all. It's lazy I know, and of course I make the exception if the post is great and I've got something important to say!