Make it easy to comment

By Daniel Scocco

Humans are lazy and there is nothing you can do about it. If you keep that fact in mind when designing your website or blog you will have higher chances of success. One point where people often forget about the widespread laziness is on the comment system.

Every single time that I was asked to do something other than leaving my name and email in order to post a comment I just skipped the idea of commenting altogether. I admit that sometimes I try to read those fuzzy letters of CAPTCHA filters, but only when I am REALLY eager to leave the comment.

Comment moderation is another interesting thing. Many people use comment moderation to be secure about the comments that will appear on the site. In my opinion comment moderation do more harm than good, though. Firstly because when I post a comment I want to see it on the site straight away. Second because if I read that my comment was held to be approved I will get the idea that you are suspecting of my good faith when commenting. Once you have a spam filter plugin on your blog there is no reason to moderate comments, the worst that can happen is that you will need to delete a couple of stupid comments once in a while.

Summary of what should be avoided on the comment system:

  • CAPTCHA filters
  • if you like CAPTCHA filters make sure those letters are READABLE
  • comment moderation
  • wordpress login (i.e. “You need to be logged to leave a comment”
  • email confirmation
  • anything else that add more steps to the commenting process


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26 Responses to “Make it easy to comment”

  • Ashish Mohta

    I agreed, thats why i never used a capctha.It really takes to write something, they just want a click.

  • Gina

    I was forced to go to the captcha system when the amount of blog spam became absolutely atrocious.

  • Daniel

    Gina, were you using akismet?

  • Shawn Blanc

    Sorry for the short comment, but all I have to say is that I totally agree.

  • Madhur Kapoor

    I agree with you man , CAPTCHA can really make life hell for a commentor . If someone really wants to use a plugin , i would suggest Math Plugin .

  • Steve

    With Akismet and Spam Karma 2 – I really think that no one needs these CAPTCHA’s or such systems. I don’t use any and there is not even 1 spam message on my blog. And I have more than 50 spams/day.

  • Ashish Mohta

    Agreed.Just make the spam karma a little harder on rules, rest akimet will take care of.Just one rule of comment ONE CLICK

  • blabrabura

    Hi all, i found a lot of new information here!

    Best wishes

  • Mark Alves

    Great summary of the obstacles that inhibit comments. One feature that helps promote comments is the option to “preview” comments before posting a response. I’m encouraged to comment when I see this feature, especially on blogs I’ve just discovered. The preview makes it easy to see if HTML is supported, whether URLs are automatically turned into links and other formatting quirks that differ from site to site.

  • Todd

    I think I went about 4 months of blogging before trying the askmet and have been so happy ever since. Do to some sort of horrible error during the update to WP2.1 I didn’t have the comments php file uploaded and it stopped comments for about a week.

    It was kind of frustrating, because I thought a bit of regulars had hit the road!

  • Kirstin

    As a complete newcomer to blogging I have one question regarding this post. If you are only requiring a name and email address for someone to place a comment doesn’t this make it easy for people to leave phantom posts? In other words do people get tempted to get someone into trouble with a smart arse comment etc? Or wanting to be anonymous they could place an inflammatory comment about another poster that they would otherwise never do?

  • Daniel

    Kristin, yes that could happen. But usually that is not the case for 2 reasons: you can just delete those types of comments, and even if you just require name and email the IP of the person will remain registered on your server, so you could eventually track it down.

  • Anatoli

    Good blog! I will bookmark it

  • pill

    nice site indeed

  • qwett

    Very nice

  • Scott

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  • Peter Bragansa

    This is Peter Bragansa. As a complete newcomer to blogging I have one question regarding this post. If you are only requiring a name and email address for someone to place a comment doesn’t this make it easy for people to leave phantom posts? In other words do people get tempted to get someone into trouble with a smart arse comment etc? Or wanting to be anonymous they could place an inflammatory comment about another poster that they would otherwise never do?

  • Webmasters Korner

    I have started to read your blog from the begining and this post I liked. I also think that comments which are promptly on the page are the better.
    I also like to see my comment on the page.

  • Adi F. Paputungan

    Ouch..! Nice pinch. Me, who hate captcha the most, but applied it at my blog. Oh my Gosh, what a hypocrite I am. Kick it out from my blog already. Thks for the tips.

  • Naphthenate

    not only a blog,also any website,the comment is the most important,sometimes we can’t pay attention in it.

  • Exhaust

    I agree. When I wanna comment, I wanna comment, not go thru 8 different things of typing 6 letters. I usually give up on those blogs anyway. Don’t people who write wanna hear what people thing right away without moderating the posts?

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