Basic of Blogger Commenting System  

Posted by FRIS in

Although there may be a pretty defined set of winners in the fight to be crowned the best blogging system or platform, millions of people are still using the Blogger system, due to the fact that it is easy to use, has few limitations, and is completely free. Alternative services, such as hosted or self-hosted WordPress either come with limitations, have a high cost (learning curve and monetary), leaving many people sticking to what they started with, Blogger.

The Blogger commenting system is one section with severe limitations, as many of the popular plugins that can easily be installed within WordPress are not available for use with Blogger. However, there are a few proven methods, plugins, and workarounds that can address this problem, and in doing so, will lead to an increase in comments on your blog.

One of the first steps that you’ll want to do is make sure that everything in the backend of Blogger is setup. This step won’t take an enormous amount of time, but is something that should be done before you create each new blog or shortly there afterwards.

Make sure that you are logged into Blogger, then find the Settings » Comments page. You’ll notice quite a few options here for customizing the Blogger commenting system, many of which have just recently been added. While I cannot provide a solid method for enabling each option, due to your personal preferences, I will guide you through the process involved to receive the most comments on your blog.

The first option, found under Comments, is the ability to enable (Show) or disable (Hide) comments from appearing on your blog. This option should be set to Show, as other visitors to your blog will generally want to see reactions from other blog commentators.

Next, under Who Can Comment?, Anyone would be the best solution for bloggers who want to receive more comments, although spam comments would begin appearing, as anyone, even those not a member of your blog or with an OpenID/Google Account would be able to leave a comment.

A feature that many bloggers rejoiced over when introduced is the ability to change the Comment Form Placement. Ideally, much like in WordPress blogs, it should be placed beneath each post, with a link to leave a comment when on the main page, through the use of a permalink feature. The three options to choose from include: Full page (clicking on “leave a comment” will present you a new window to leave a comment in), Pop-up window, and Embedded below post (displaying comments beneath each post). Although there are some problems enabling the beneath-post feature [help link], as you may need to enter some code into the template file, it will surely attract new visitors to comment.

Further below, there is the option of displaying Comments (by default) For Posts. Simply put, this field just lets the Blogger system know to display the comments area when there aren’t any, until someone leaves a comment, at which point this area will be displayed anyway.

Backlinks, or links back to posts that you have written from other blogs, allow you to keep track of and “reward” people who have found your content interesting. Within this area, you can either show or hide backlinks depending on your personal preference, and the amount of “spam” sites linking to your content. A second option is whether new posts do/do not have backlinks. Similar to comments, this will place an empty filed on your blog if you enable new posts have backlinks.

Continuing on, the Comment Form Message may be the most beneficial addition to the Blogger system for quite some time. You can place nearly any type of HTML code here, either reminding visitors to subscribe or thanking them for the comment. It is a great addition to your blog, as you can provide a little incentive to readers for sharing their thoughts.

Comment Moderation is another huge issue within this particular system. When set to “Always,” people sometimes become frustrated that their comment did not appear, forcing them to leave a duplicate in some cases. In this case, you’ll want to either select Never or Only on posts older than __ days; unless of course, you receive hundreds of spam comments per day/week.

Word Verification, sometimes referred to as CAPTCHA, requires commentators to input a selection of scrambled letters or numbers in order to leave a comment. It does add an additional step to the comment process, forcing some people to leave your blog, as they completely despise them. However, it can be left as enabled (yes) without any major problems.

Finally, Profile Images help enhance the comment area, displaying what WordPress users call Gravatars. I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t enable this feature – it adds a personal touch to each comment.

Comment Notification does not pertain to this article, it simply emails you a notification when new comments are written on your blog.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 8:35 AM and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .