If you don’t want to switch off comments completely, but want to reduce how much time you spend dealing with them, you might want to think about.
Installing a Robust Anti-Spam Plugin
Removing spam comments can take up a lot of time. (And if you don’t weed them out promptly, they make your site look bad). To save yourself a lot of effort, install a good anti-spam plugin such as Akismet. It will remove almost all spam comments before you even see them.
Closing Comments on Older Posts
There’s no rule that says you need to leave comments open forever. Many large blogs close comments on older posts after a set period of time (e.g. two weeks, one month, etc.) Readers can all join in the discussion when the post first goes live, but readers who stumble across it a year later won’t be able to comment. This can cut down on spam, and means you have a smaller number of conversations to keep track of at any given time.
You can change this under Settings –> Discussion in your WordPress dashboard. Look for the line that says “Automatically close comments on articles older than (X) days” and set (X) to whatever you want.
Using Disqus or Facebook Comments (or Another Plugin)
While many bloggers are happy with WordPress’ built-in commenting functionality, others prefer to use a different system. Disqus and Facebook Comments are both popular, though there are other options as well.
Ultimately, what you do about comments is entirely up to you.
Some bloggers have strong opinions, and feel that comments are a defining feature of a blog. But most people are fairly pragmatic about it, and agree that comments are valuable. They add to the discussion, can bring in interesting ideas / alternative perspectives, and create a greater sense of “buy in” for readers. They can even potentially help with search engine traffic by providing extra content.
But comments also come at a cost – your time and attention – and it’s up to you to decide whether they’re worth it.
Do you currently have comments enabled on your blog or not? Are you thinking about changing this? Let us know your thoughts below.