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Should You Add or Enable a Comments Area on Your Website or Blog?  Consider This First.

Adding Comments to a Website

So, what about adding comments to a website?  Will it improve your website?  Maybe, maybe not.  There are several things to consider before opening up a comments section so that visitors can post to your website.

Every website and blog is different and unique.  However, comments generally don't serve to increase traffic.  The people who comment are usually those who visit your website regularly, and would do so whether or not a comments section is available.

A comments section does, however, provide a place for visitors to interact.  This can be a valuable service to your traffic.  But, they also take maintenance on the part of the site owner (you).  You will have to monitor them regularly, delete any vulgar or malignant posts, and delete the messages left by spammers.  This process can take every spare second you have (and even some you can't spare), especially if your website is successful and has a high traffic volume.

Visitors can benefit from the interactivity that adding comments to a website or blog provides.  A comments section allows visitors to easily communicate and socialize.  It can help you make new contacts.  It can foster a sense of community on your webstie.  All of these are good.  But, the time cost can be much too high for a comments section to be "worth it." 

What you may notice is that a lot of webmasters have discovered that adding comments to a website was a good idea initially, but proved to be unviable long-term.  These websites will be the ones that have several comments on article pages but have removed the ability to comment by the time you read the content.

Spammers are also a source of headaches for websites that have a comments section.  Spammers look for comments sections on various websites and then will post either obscene messages or will use your comments section to try and get a backlink for their website without really contributing anything to the discussion.  They put links to their websites in as a comment with no helpful additions.

One way to mitigate against this is to turn off the follow attribute of comments pages so that Google doesn't track or credit PageRank because of those links.  But, this penalizes people who genuinely provide help and answers.

There are plenty of crazies on the internet.  The last thing you need is to attract them to your website.  Comments sections tend to do this.

Remember, every website is different.  Comments may be the best possible thing for yours.  In general, however, I think they cause more problems than they solve.  An additional interesting benefit of not having comments activated on your webiste or blog is that you often get more backlinks.  People who find your content interesting will comment on it.  If they can't do it on your website, they'll do it somewhere else and post a link back to your website.  Voila, a backlink!

I do believe that interactivity on the internet is a good thing.  So, if you want to provide a way for your site visitors to interact and build community centered around your website or blog, go for it.  Instead of adding comments to a website, however, consider Adding Forums to a Website instead.

And, don't forget to improve your website by Starting a Newsletter.



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