WordPress.com’s Comments System is a Nightmare
It’s Why I’ve Struggled With Publishing Comments to vsatips
I’d like to thank my readers and followers for all of the thoughtful and great comments you’ve sent to me since I began this site. It’s obvious to me that many of those were written with the intent that they’d be added at the end of each piece that they followed. The reason that hasn’t happened is because the Comments engines for WordPress.com are anything but intuitive. In trying to figure out how and where to even find them, I uncovered one of the more problematic aspects of using WordPress.com as the base structure for my website.
So, please accept my genuine and somewhat embarrassed apology for taking so long to reply to so many of your comments. Hopefully this is a case of better late than never?
Explanation for my Apology to Readers for Not Publishing Your Comments Sooner
I was pretty horrified when I realized just how many really great comments were written to me…and I’m really sorry I didn’t see them or reply to them sooner. This whole exercise came about because occasionally I’d receive and email telling me I had a comment…but then no link or other clue as to where I might find it. These were just occasional up until the last few months in which I’ve received several comments a week. I’ve been completely frustrated trying to figure out where these are and then how to allow them to both publish and enable replies.
I’ve actually spent several weeks if not months trying (granted somewhat sporadically) to understand how to manage and even just navigate within my comments. Once I finally understood that part of it…which was no easy feat…I needed to figure out how to handle the largest volume of real comments which were erroneously left as feedback.
Finally today I arrived at a plan to remedy the fact that I have roughly 50 authentic and great comments that no one has been able to see. Worse yet is that I have no way of replying to them!
Here’s a brief explanation of the problem. I always include a Comment Box that I place at the end of each post or page. But comments rarely arrive to me via that route. I guess that’s because WordPress has another feature that they call Feedback…which appears even lower on each page that I publish. While this Feedback option is physically lower on the page, and its smaller and less obvious than my Comments section is, it seems that a vast majority of comments end up being posted there rather than in their intended target…my Comment’s Boxes.
This is a huge problem because Feedback is very difficult to work with!
I can’t reply to Feedback and any comments made in Feedback don’t show up as additions at the end of my posts.
So I’ve been struggling with how to publish all of the comments that I’ve received in the Feedback section (which has been the vast majority of my authentic comments) as well as with how to manage all of the SPAM comments that seem to flood my real Comments section. I finally learned how to really identify SPAM too…which isn’t as easy as it sounds! And I finally came up with a method to republish all of those previously unpublishable real and oftentimes very helpful comments! So that’s what I’ve been doing all day today…republishing comments that are worthwhile to the conversation and trying to deal with or delete the spammy ones (which I stupidly allowed sometimes before I understood what they were!)
Unfortunately, there were just too many to complete in one day and tomorrow we’re leaving for a short vacation. So rest assured I’ll finish up publishing all the real comments within the next week or two (and after our little mini vacation!)
I’ve also came up with several ideas to prevent this problem from occurring in the future.
I’d Intended the Following to Be My New Plan Going Forward (please read the Update below to see why I abandoned this plan only one month in.)
It had 3 main components:
- Disable pingbacks and trackbacks completely. These are ‘comments’ that are automatically generated every time I include a link to somewhere else on my site. These have inflated the total number of comments a lot thereby obscuring real comments and making navigating the entire system difficult at best.
I designed a new Comments section that’s wrapped in a colorful background so that (hopefully) it will really stand out and there will never be a question regarding where to leave a comment.
I changed the message in the Feedback section from:
‘Leave a Reply’
‘Leaving a reply here is private. Your comment won’t be published and I won’t be able to reply to it. If you use the Comments section above, once your comment is approved, it will be published and I’ll be able to reply to it too.’
Update August 21, 2017
I can’t believe how I could have been so completely wrong in everything that I thought that I finally understood when I wrote this post…yet I was wrong! I thought I finally understood what was happening, but Comments I received continued to confuse me and not ‘act’ the way I believed that should. It took the better part of one weekend day, in which both my husband and I wrote test comments to see where they would show up before I finally realized that everything I wrote above was backwards!
It’s the little feedback section that WordPress automatically generates…the one that appears way, way down below my posts…that is the only comments box that really works! This saddens me for a couple of reasons. The first is that this little feedback section is simply so hard for reader’s to find. I myself wasn’t even aware of its existence. The second is that, aside from the fact that I don’t think many people can actually even find it, this little box is so simplistic that there’s virtually no way to customize it.
What I’d really like is the ability to have my Comments appear right at the end of my posts, like almost every other nonWordpress.com blog in the world provides. What I’d love even more would be to have the ability to use a service like Disqus, which provides a very professional looking Comments utility.
Thank you to all my readers for your patience understanding and especially for all the great comments you’ve shared with me and our larger audience! As always your privacy will be my utmost concern. You’ll never be required to leave your real name or an email address when you leave a comment.
If you’d like to read other’s comments, or leave a comment yourself, please do so by scrolling way down this page…past my bio, past the WordPress ads, and past the Related Posts section…to the little Comment box.
Look for something that resembles this: