Wednesday, March 20, 2019

How To Make Your Blog "Comment Friendly"

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to find new blogs to read and to find new "blog buddies." One of the best ways to make new friends is by commenting on their blogs and replying to comments they leave on yours.

This sounds like a simple enough job to do, and for the most part, it is: Wordpress users have no problem commenting on Wordpress blogs, and Blogger users have no problem commenting on Blogger blogs. But, what if you're a Wordpress user who wants to comment on a Blogger blog, or a Blogger user who wants to comment on a Wordpress blog? The two commenting systems are like chalk and cheese, and both have their idiosyncracies. What I'd like to do now is to give a few pointers to users of both systems so that commenting will be a breeze (more or less) for the users of the other.


The controls for simplifying commenting for Blogger users are on the Settings > Discussion screen.

  • Checking the box beside "Comment author must fill out name and email" will give users who don't have a Wordpress account (or who aren't signed on to Wordpress) three lines under the comment box for the user's name, email, and optionally the URL to their blog. (Note To Blogger users: although it isn't required, it's a good idea to enter the URL to your blog in the space provided. That way, the author can find you.)
  • Unchecking the box next to "User must be registered and logged on to comment" allows non-Wordpress users to comment.


The controls for simplifying commenting for Wordpress users are on the Settings > Posts, comments and sharing screen.

  • It's a good idea to set the "Comment Location" to "Popup Window." Blogger can be fussy, and sometimes when you have this set to "Embedded," a person trying to leave a comment who's either doing so anonymously or with their name and blog URL can get stuck in CAPTCHA hell, having to play the Picture Game over and over until CAPTCHA is convinced you're not advertising porn, CBD oil or online casinos. I and several others found this didn't happen when the blog uses the popup window.
  • Google, in their infinite wisdom, decided to do away with using Open ID as a way to identify yourself when leaving a comment on Blogger. Now, you can either allow anyone (including anonymous users), only users with a Google ID, or the owners of the blog to comment. I know there are a thousand reasons why you don't want anonymous comments, but that's just the way Google set things up. So, set this to "Anyone (including anonymous users), knowing that users who don't have Google accounts will be required to check a box to prove they're not a robot, and you might want to set Comment Moderation to "Always" or "Sometimes." (Note to Wordpress users: if leaving an anonymous comment, you'll want to add a footer to your comments (a manual process) with your name and a link to your blog, so that others can find you.)
  • Please turn off word verification. This will also turn off the CAPTCHA Picture Game.


When commenting, you can leave a link to your own blog OR leave the title of your blog from the Master List. There are a lot of people who believe in reciprocal comments. They also believe if they can't find your blog in the first three tries, they'll (rightly) give up. Here's where they are most likely to look for you:

  • The link you left on the comment form on their blog.
  • Your Blogger or commenting profile, if their blog uses that and yours works.
  • The name of your blog on our Master List. (Which only works if you've given that information.)

So, you could sign your comments with your URL. Or as "John Doe of Blog Name."

I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions, leave me a comment.


Retired Knitter said...

Thank you so much for providing this information to participants. I am one of those commenters who gets caught in "CAPTCHA hell" - so well described - except that I found it would NEVER let me in and finally stopped offering me the option to comment at all!

One last point I discovered from my Blogger platform. If Pop Up Comment is used (very much preferred) - and the Prove You Are Not a Robot (the CAPTCHA box) is offered, you can IGNORE checking that box - and just POST the comment with no problem.

In fact, on my screen now for this comment - Pop Up Comment is offered, but also the CAPTCHA is showing. I will check "Email Follow-Up Comments" and ignore the CAPTCHA and it will let me leave a comment anyway.

Just a little feedback and a "work around" from someone who has been impacted. These Blogger problems have been reported to Blogger with no response or fix.

Thanks all

Janet said...

Thanks John! It is nice to have such easy to follow instructions.

Jackie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jemima Pett said...

I had a problem with all commenting after an upgrade to my browser, Safari.

Eventually I discovered that one of the settings made my identity disappear each time I loaded a page. If this sounds familiar to you, check out this post:
When privacy stops you blogging

It seems to have helped a lot of people!

Have fun with the AtoZ this year (and please turn off CAPTCHA, my record reruns on it is 14 so far)

Jemima Pett, Author

Retired Knitter said...

Thank you SO much Jemima Pett. The fix you offered for commenting problems worked perfectly. If you don't mind, I have a few readers to my own blog who expressed the same problems - and would benefit from reading your post!! I will blog about this fix and link readers back to your blog post.

The title you used - referencing the possibility of not blogging - was certainly my story. I almost quit. But then decided to limit the blogs I visit to just Pop Up comments (and beg others to use that same method).

This little gem of information is the icing on the cake of my participation in this event. Information sharing!!

Pradeep Nair said...

An extremely useful piece of information. Thank you.

Ornery Owl of Naughty Netherworld Press and Readers Roost said...

Unfortunately, because of past problems with really odious trolls, I don't feel good about leaving my blog open to allowing anonymous comments. I'm still kind of on the fence as to whether I'm going to participate officially this year, but I'm leaning towards doing so.
I don't know why Blogger got rid of Open I.D. I was not happy with their doing so.

lissa said...

the popup comment form is not great if a blogger wants to reply to a particular comment, definitely would be hard to have a conversation that way, it's why I prefer the embedded version.

have a lovely day.

Akasha said...

This challenge is going to be fun! I actually like it when I see there is blog moderation- that way, I know the person will see my comment.

Jade Li said...

Thanks for the tips, John. It is aggravating to navigate between the two with comments. Hoping this makes it easier.

Alana said...

I appreciate the information about the popup (I've had embedded for my 10 years of blogging and have just switched over) but the info about captcha has made my day/week/month. I am almost at the point of not commenting on Blogger blogs (says me, who uses Blogger as her platform). Chalk and cheese indeed!

Lisa said...

Looking forward to the A to Z...Tomorrow!!!

Sue Bursztynski said...

Where is the spreadsheet? And is there any other way to find the posts than the spreadsheet?