How to Improve Comments in WordPress


Comments in WordPress are where your visitors have an opportunity to talk with you. Comments are one of the most important aspects of blogs. Some website owners don’t allow comments at all; some invite all comments and are very active.

Why should I allow people to comment on my website?

Comments are the place you build relationships. People go out of their way to post a comment on your website. As you respond to their questions and suggestions you build relationships. This is what your main objective is with a small business website, build relationships.

Comments also show involvement. It is an indication that people visiting your website want to be involved in what you are doing.

How do I get people to comment?

The easiest way to get people to do anything is by asking them. In your posts ask people to make comments. When people do make comments thank them and respond to their questions. Everyone wants to be valued. When you respond you are showing that they are of value to you.

Your writing style can also encourage or discourage comments. If you write in a way that engages your readers to respond they will. What do you think?

How do I keep people involved?

One way is to encourage people to subscribe to your blog feed. There is a widget that comes with the Jetpack plugin that allows visitors to subscribe via email. This is very useful for keeping people engaged. Subscribe to my blog here!

How do I show my comments in a nested threaded format?

Nesting and threading are features that were introduced in WordPress version 2.7. You most likely have at least this version. Your theme will need to be thread enabled in order to show your comments in threaded and nested format.

Threading and nesting allows you to show comments and replies to those comments. The replies are added immediately below the comment and are indented.

If you are experienced in modifying your theme files you can add threading to your comments by modifying your comments.php file. You will need to modify above the line that reads

<?php else : // this is displayed if there are no comments so far ?>

Here is a section of code that will create nesting of comments and also alternating shading

<?php if ( have_comments()) : ?>

<h3 id=”comments”><?php comments_number(‘No Responses’, ‘One Response’, ‘% Responses’ );?> to &#8220;<?php the_title(); ?>&#8221;</h3>

<div class=”navigation”>

<div class=”alignleft”><?php previous_comments_link() ?></div>

<div class=”alignright”><?php next_comments_link() ?></div>

</div>

<ol class=”commentlist”>

<?php wp_list_comments(); ?>

<div class=”navigation”>

<div class=”alignleft”><?php previous_comments_link() ?></div>

<div class=”alignright”><?php next_comments_link() ?></div>

</div>

<?php

/* Changes every other comment to a different class */

$oddcomment = ( empty( $oddcomment ) ) ? ‘class=”alt” ‘ : ”;

?>

</ol>

 

Your code may look different than this. Remember to make a backup of your comment.php file before making any changes. Do not modify this file if you are unsure of how to do a backup. Have someone help you.

 

Conclusion

Small business website owners need to engage their visitors by encouraging comments on their blog. The more involved your visitors are the more likely they will be to return to your website. The more they return to your website the more opportunities you have to develop a relationship with them. This is why you have a website, to build relationships.

One Response to “How to Improve Comments in WordPress”

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