For most people, enabling comments on their blogs is a no-brainer. A benefit of having a blog is the opportunity to interact with an audience. Not everybody agrees though. Here’s why, and how to disable comments on blog.
There’s no blogging commandment that says you “have to” enable comments. It’s simply a matter of preference.
Reasons to Disable Comments on Blog
Two huge bloggers, Seth Godin and Leo Babauta, have given followers their reasons for turning off comments. See for yourself below the reasons why they did it:
Seth Godin’s Blog: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2006/06/why_i_dont_have.html
Leo’s ZenHabits.net Blog: http://zenhabits.net/faq/
Plenty other successful blogs do not enable them, often for personal reasons.
Some don’t like the burden of moderating comments or dealing with spam.
Others feel obligated to interact with commenters, which they may not always have time to do.
And a few others fail to see the value in responses that range anywhere from “I agree!” to “You suck!” and see very little value in the handful of responses they believe are interesting enough.
My take on it is that if something you’re doing causes you to be stressed, ditch it.
It’s no fun to do something you despise doing just because everyone else is doing it.
That’s just crazy and the fastest way to break down your emotional and mental well-being.
Why I Allow Comments
As for me? I love getting comments.
Remember when you were back at school and were itching to ask something, but didn’t because you thought it would make you look stupid? And sure enough, someone was brave enough to ask and it turned out that half the class had exactly the same question on their minds?
That’s one reason I think your comments are valuable. They’ll often help fellow readers who are hesitant to comment and want to ask the same questions.
When you put your ideas out to the public, you’re bound to hear from people who disagree with you. It happens.
If you’re sensitive to disagreements, by all means, close off your comment section. But I can tell you from experience that opposing ideas help sharpen your own arguments, or make you grow by forcing you to see your own ideas challenged from a different point of view.
I’ve often been inspired to write about some topics exactly because of comments other thoughtful readers have made. There’s no way I could be a better blogger unless I had the insights of my readers.
Commenters have also provided excellent information that I otherwise wouldn’t have been aware of, had they not commented on my post.
You can make your blog a soapbox, where only your voice is heard, or you can make it a roundtable discussion, where other people can have a say. How you decide to interact with your audience it’s totally up to you.
How to Disable Comments on Blog
If you still think that disabling comments on your blog is the way to go, here’s how to do it (they’re enabled by default):
Go to your WordPress Dashboard (main admin page in your site) and scroll down until you find the “Settings” section on the left. We’re looking for the “Discussion” option. It Looks like this:
When you click on Discussion, your option to enable or turn off comments will be the third one down the list. Uncheck to disable comments:
Once you’ve made your choice, don’t forget to scroll down to the end of the Discussion page and click on “Save Changes” to make your choices effective.
How to Disable Comments on Individual Posts
Another option is to strategically disable comments on selected posts, which is useful. Two immediate reasons come to mind: If discussing political or religious views. These two topics lend themselves to strong opinions and trolls that want to poke at other readers.
If you feel strongly you have to share something that may bring unwanted negativity to the discussion, just turn comments off for that individual post.
Once you’re ready to publish your post, check the box for “Do not Integrate Comments“, as shown below:
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What do you think about comments? Useful or largely a waste of time?
I’d love to read your take on it below.