Now, please allow me to clarify before we go into this topic. Much has been discussed / argued in cyberspace about the effectiveness of closing blog comments in order to speed up your blog. Personally, I would prefer to leave the comments on regardless of how old the post is.
After all, enabling comments on older posts shows that I still care about what my readers think and that I value feedback from them. It’s also about online community. Imagine having a post that is generating hundreds of comments and that all these queries and answers were from your readers alone.
You just sit back and watch the interaction between them. Wouldn’t that be great? And more comments mean more traffic. A dream comes true for many bloggers.
Oh and the fact that search engines regards posts with closed comments as stale helps too. We would still want search engines to index these posts for traffic generating, wouldn’t we?
So why Closing Comments then?
If you notice that your blog is loading slower than usual or that you now have time to make yourself a cup of coffee before it finishes downloading a page, then you may want to do something about it. And one of your actions should be to close comments on your older posts. Why? Because these older posts (in fact, all your posts) might be generating tons of spam comments.
I know I know. You don’t see them in your blog right? Well, you’ll be surprised that your blog does get that popular with comments. But before you start telling your significant other that you have finally made it as a top blogger, the comments I am referring to are spam comments. And the reason why you don’t see them is because the anti-spam plugin that you have is doing a good job blocking them.
Another good reason to close comments is because the posts are outdated. Take for example a closed contest post or an article about an application that is no longer available or has been upgraded.
Yes, getting spam comments on these old posts do take up precious space, bandwidth and the server’s resources. But of course, it is suffice to mention that if you do not experience any slow response on your blog, then by all means, keep the commenting option on.
How do I close comments?
By default, new posts are comments enabled. But you can easily change this for published posts as well as future posts. There are a couple of simple ways to close posts comments:
- Individual posts manually.
Open up the relevant post for editing. For WordPress blogs (for those that has already been published), uncheck the “Allow Comments” and “Allow trackbacks and pingbacks on this page”. For Blogger blogs, check on “Don’t allow (readers’ comments), show existing”.
For WordPress blogs, you have the option to specify the number of days your blogs are open for comments. Just go to Settings -> Discussion -> Other comment settings. You would see “Automatically close comments on articles older than xx days.” Just fill in and save changes.For Blogger blogs, you have the option to moderate comments either “Always”, “Never” or “only on posts older than xx days”. Remember to save the changes made.
As I have mentioned in the beginning, comments are essential in cultivating a healthy blog. And by closing on comments even for older posts, not only does it give the impression that feedbacks are not valued but also many ideas and suggestions are lost.
So how do we make the best of the whole situation, i.e. to combat slow blog and yet lessen the impact of disabling comments?
Well, my suggestion is when you think you should close the comments option for your posts, do leave a note to indicate so. It may not necessarily be for each and every post. That would be too tedious. A short remark on the side bar would be sufficient and do leave a contact mechanism e.g. through your contact form, so that communication between you and your readers is maintained.