How important are comments on my site?
Comments have traditionally been seen as an important part of any site that publishes blog posts — they allow readers to interact with the author and with each other, and the links they leave create an SEO-friendly network. Plus, comments can be full of keywords, adding another SEO benefit.
However, pages with lots of comments often load more slowly than other pages, and pageload speed is an important factor in SEO too.
I want to turn off comments!
There are lots of reasons you may want to turn off comments, but the most common one is that managing the comments is not worth your time. If you’re seeing a lot of low-quality comments that don’t add anything to the article, and not a lot of genuine engagement, it might be worth doing this.
If your articles tend to be informational rather than personality-based, turning off comments may make sense for you. If you want to build community, though, comments can be a useful tool. It’s important to consider the best choice for your site, which may be quite different to other sites.
How do I disable comments for just one post?
Perhaps you're happy with comments on most of your posts, but you have one or two articles that attract unwanted discussion -- or perhaps an argument has got out of hand in the comments section of a post. You can easily turn off comments on one post by following these instructions:
- Find the post in the Posts menu.
- Click Quick Edit.
- Uncheck the Allow Comments box
- Click the Update button.
This will prevent users from submitting new comments, but it won't remove existing ones. If you'd like to remove existing comments, open the post in the WordPress editor and scroll down to the comments section You can choose to unapprove, mark as spam, or trash any comments you don't want to appear.
To disable comments for all future posts, check out this WordPress support article.
What commenting system should I use?
We recommend the default WordPress comments system.
How can I improve site speed on pages with lots of comments?
If you’re concerned about the speed of pages with lots of comments, lazy loading is worth considering. This means that comments only display as a visitor scrolls down the page.
What about Disqus?
Disqus is a popular commenting platform that may be a good choice for your site, especially if you’re seeing high volumes of comments. However, be aware that their free version permits the display of ads. In the past, it was possible to switch off these ads, and for many smaller sites, it is still possible. But larger blogs and sites that run other ads may be surprised to find ads displaying in their comments.
This has happened recently for several Performance Foundry hosting clients, and unfortunately, the ads displayed were not a good fit for the site at all. In this case, there are three options:
1. Play around with the ad settings in Disqus until the ads are more suitable.
2. Upgrade to the Plus package for $10 per month to allow you to remove ads.
3. Remove Disqus altogether and go back to the default WordPress commenting system. Be aware that moving your comments from one system to another can be difficult.
What about Facebook comments?
We strongly discourage adopting Facebook comments for a couple of very important reasons:
- With Facebook comments, they are tied to your URL. So, just like share counts, if you ever change your URL you will lose all of your comments permanently.
- Users must have a Facebook account to comment, which means people without a Facebook account can't comment -- and not everyone uses Facebook!
- All of your comment data will reside with Facebook, and therefore you are relinquishing a lot of control of this aspect of your site to them. If Facebook decides to make changes, becomes less popular, or the site shuts down, you could lose all of your comments and related data. This also applies if you change your mind and switch to another commenting system later.
I want to change my commenting system!
If you need help with changing your comments system, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be able to let you know if we can do that as part of your hosting package or if additional time is required.