Allow Comments on Older Blog Posts?April 19th, 2010 by Michael Kwan
I made use of a WordPress plugin that would automatically close the comments on blog posts after it had been published for a certain period of time. This “window of opportunity” would then be extended if any new comments were placed. If no new comments were submitted after this period of time, the form would close and no new comments would be accepted on that particular post.
Part of the appeal of blogs in the first place is the ability for readers to openly express their views and opinions, creating for a discussion rather than a soliloquy. Comments are a great way for the writer (i.e., me) to get feedback and these comments add further value to the blog by encouraging other readers to join in on the conversation too.
As with every pro, there is also a con. The comment form can attract a lot of spam and dealing with all this spam can be time-consuming. Many spam bots and similar operations tend to target older posts, possibly because they may offer greater SEO value or maybe the perpetrators think that comments on older posts can more easily fly under the radar.
By closing the comment form after a certain period of time, you can effectively thwart these efforts. However, I find that this strategy isn’t as necessary today as it may have been in the past. Tools like Akismet can be reasonably effective in blocking out spam in general, so it may not be necessary to close comment forms any more.
In doing so, I can allow newcomers to the blog to leave comments on older posts. Looking through my Google Analytics account, many of the most popular blog posts on this site are not the newest. I get a fair amount of search engine traffic on my Nexus post and my US bank account post to this day. New comments can pose new questions and offer new answers.
What do you think? Do you allow comments on older blog posts or do you close comments after a set number of days?
Filed under Freelance Writing.