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2.10 Setup for Comments

If you’re looking to inspire lively conversations in relation to each one of your blog posts, you’ll want to enable comments. In this lesson we’ll go through comment configuration, considerations for spam blocking, and the possibilities for using third-party commenting systems.

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2.10 Setup for Comments

Hey welcome back to the Word Press Secure Set Up Guide. In this lesson we're going to talk about the things that you need to think about in regards to comments and discussion on your websites. So here we're just looking at a regular blog post and if we scroll down, we can see comments on here. This is the default state of WordPress. When you install, the system is open for commenting. A person can add a comment via a form at the bottom of each post. And by default they don't need to be logged in or have any kind of verification. All they need to do is provide a name and then they can add essentially content to your website. So when you install a new site, you should know right at the beginning whether or not you want to allow comments and if you do, the way in which you want to allow those comments to be added. So let's take a look at some of the settings for comments. So we head into our Dashboard, we'll go to Settings > Discussion. Now here can see this first box is checked that reads Comment author must fill out name and email, but by default, that's the only requirement. Now if you leave it this way, I guarantee you, you will get spam. You will get torrents of spam. There's no WordPress site in existence that doesn't have spam bots attempting to put nonsensical comments on it. So in my recommendation, I think you should at least include this requirement here that users must be registered and logged in in order to comment. So I suggest checking that box and this way you can leverage some of the measures that you already put in place as part of your security set up. So people can't register on the site unless they successfully fill in a capture field. They can't login unless they get through your secured login form and while that won't necessarily stop spam, it can certainly slow it down. Now if you don't want to allow conversation at all, if you don't wanna allow comments, then all you need to do is uncheck this box here, Allow people to post comments on new articles. But you have to also pay attention to the wording here. This specifically refers to new articles. So if you change your mind and you decide that you don't want comments on your site anymore, and you just use this box, it'll apply to all new posts, but all of your old posts will still be open for conversation. So there's a couple ways that you can remedy that. One is you can check this box here, automatically close comments on articles older than X number of days. And then you can reduce that say to one day and then just wait for the day to pass and let everything deactivate. Or you can go to posts, all posts, check this box here to select all your posts. You might have to do this on multiple pages, go to Bulk Actions > Edit, hit Apply. And then down here you can set the comments for all of these posts to Do not allow, then if you update, that's gonna apply that change to all of your posts. So back in our settings here, another other thing that you can do to try to slow down spam attacks is, you can check this box here to say that every comment has to be manually approved. So then once a day, you jump into your admin panel, you just go through and you approve the legitimate comments. Another thing here that can be helpful in trying to slow down spamming is to specify a maximum number of links that are allowed inside comments. The number one reason that people will spam your site is because they're just trying to build back links to their own site. And this can come from spam bots that just post nonsense comments with links included in them. However, there are also people who will, for their own sites or hired by other people, sit down and fill in comments manually on your sites so that they can try to get past any spam blocking mechanisms. But they don't actually intend to add anything of quality to your site. All they're trying to do is just put their links into your comment section for their own benefit. So if you want, you can sit any comment to go into the moderation queue if it contains links. So then once you've got everything set up how you want, hit Save Changes. And then from there, if you are going to use Wordpress' in built commenting system, it's almost essential that you use the Akismet plugin. So to activate that Akismet plugin, we'll head into the plugin section, we'll activate that. And then what you need to do is actually insert an A.P.I. key that's provided by Akismet. So to do that, you're gonna need to go to akismet.com/WordPress and then go through this process here to get yourself an A.P.I. key. Once you have it, you fill it in here and then the plugin is going to help block spam to the inbuilt comment system. However there is a consideration to make when you're deciding whether or not you wanna use the inbuilt comment system and Akismet. And that is that it's free if you are using it on personal sites. If you're using it on commercial sites, then you'll need to sign up for a monthly plan in order to use the Akismet plugin. As an alternative, you can also consider using Disqus. So if you wanna use Disqus with WordPress, rather than having the inbuilt comment system, you have the Disqus comment system coming from their servers, coming in and replacing the default comment system in the same location at the bottom of each of your blog posts. So if you wanna use Disqus instead, you'll need to sign up for an account and then you'll need to use a plugin to enable it on your site. And the most popular one is this Disqus Comment System and I'll leave a link to this in the notes below this video. So there are instructions on how to install both of these on each the Disqus site and the installation tab here for this plugin. So that's just an alternative that you can consider in order to have a comment system on your site that has inbuilt spam protection. So that covers the essentials of setting up comments and discussion on your website. Coming up next we're gonna look at how to get your site set up for SEO. Most of the SEO you're gonna do on your site will be done along the way as you create your content, but it's important to get yourself set up with a good strong foundation. And that's what we're gonna cover in the next lesson. I'll see you there.

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