Controlling who can comment

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Comments are enabled on posts and pages by default and you can approve, delete or edit any comments left on your blog.

You can change your default comment settings at any time and have full control over:

  1. Who can and can’t leave a comment.
  2. Whether comments are or aren’t allowed for the entire blog, or on a per post or page basis
  3. Whether comments are appear immediately or comments are moderated and need to be approved by an administrator before appearing on the blog.

You control most of your comment options on the Settings > Discussion page.

Changing your comment options in Discussion Settings is as simple as:

1.  Go to Settings > Discussion inside your dashboard.

2.   Select the comment settings you want to use.

3.  Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

The Most Comment Settings Used

There is a wide range of comment settings that you can use.

Options used depend on factors such as comfort level, type of blog and school, District or organization’s blogging guidelines.

For example, an educator might allow any one to comment on their personal blog and allow the comments to be published immediately.  Whereas on class and students blogs they might require all comments to be moderated and only published once approved by an administrator to prevent inappropriate comment(s) from being published.

Option 1:

Any visitors that have had a comment approved on the blog in the past will have their comment immediately posted and only comments from new visitors are placed in the moderation queue.

This is the default comment setting on all newly created blogs.

Option 2: 

Comments can be posted by anyone and appear immediately on the blog.

This option is commonly used on educators personal blogs.

Option 3

All comments are moderated and need to be approved by an administrator before appearing on the blog.

This option is commonly used on class and student blogs.

Other important comment settings

There are quite a few comment setting options so lets explain the most important setting one at a time.

Default article settings

The default article settings controls how to handle post notifications.

The first two options deal with link notification:

  1. Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article: Enabled by default, your blog sends a notification to any site, or blog post, you’ve linked to in your posts
  2. Allow link notifications from other blogs – Enabled by default, it means your blog will accept ping, pingbacks and trackbacks from other blogs whenever a blogger links to your blog or blog post

In most circumstances you wouldn’t change these two default settings because knowing when other people are talking about, or linking to, you from their posts are important.

Most bloggers follow these link and pingbacks to read what others are saying about them.

The third option, Allow people to post comments on new articles, controls whether readers can or can’t leave comments on post or pages on your blog. Normally bloggers keep this setting enabled.

Any changes to your default article settings only apply to any posts or pages you publish in the future.

To change the comment settings for a post or page you already published you need to open it for editing and uncheck Allow Comments and Allow Trackbacks and Pingbacks.

Here’s how you can bulk disable comments on posts and pages you already published.

Other comment settings

The three main other comment settings you need to understand are:

  1. Comment author must fill out name and e-mail: Enabled by default, this option requires the commenter to fill out their name and e-mail in order to leave a comment. Most situations you really don’t want this disabled because it’s not a good idea to allow anonymous comments.  Please note if you deselect this option the name and email field will still appear on the comment form but your visitor is able to submit a comment without filling in these details.
  2. Users must be registered and logged in to comment: When selected only logged in Edublogs users can leave a comment. Normally you wouldn’t select this option because it restricts who can comment your posts and doesn’t prevent those from outside your community posting comments.
  3. Enabled threaded comments:  This allows visitors to reply to other comments inline/nested which encourages better discussion and responses.

Email me whenever settings

The email me whenever option controls whether you receive emails any time anyone leaves a comment on your blog and any time a comment is held for moderation.

The email for:

  1. Anyone posts a comment: is sent to email address of the person who wrote the post (i.e.  the post author)
  2. A comment is held for moderation: is sent to blog’s admin email address (Setting > General)

Normally you would keep both these settings enabled so you’re notified of all comments.

Comment Moderation

The comment moderation options are used to control spam comments.

Normally spam comments include a large number of hyperlinks. The default setting is 2; you can adjust this to your needs.

For example, educators who require their students to include hyperlinks in comments may choose to make this higher.

Another option for controlling spam comments is to add specific words, name , URL, email address or IP into the comment moderation box. If it matches something anywhere in the comment’s content, name, URL, e-mail, or IP, the comment will be held in the moderation queue.

You use this comment moderation option where you have repeat spam comment offenders.

Alternatively, you can use the comment blacklist.  This works the same as comment moderation except the comment is marked as spam instead of held for moderation.

Avatars

The avatar settings control how avatars are displayed on your blog.

The avatar display option lets you control whether avatars are or aren’t displayed next to comments.

The default avatar controls the look of the avatar for users that don’t have their own custom avatar.

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

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