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The WordPress Comment System, Plugins and Moderation

After clearing out around 2,500 pending comments and over 3,000 spam comments, I thought it was time to do a little update post on how I do comment moderation and otherwise determine what comments to approve or delete.

The Overall Commenting Picture

Let’s start with the overall picture of what your comment will look like on Kikolani, starting with the comment form.

WordPress Comment Plugins on the Comment Form

And when you’re comment goes live, the above will result in the following.

Dofollow Comment with KeywordLuv and CommentLuv

The above is a great comment, and easy to spot as one to approve (thanks Murray of Start an Online Business). Now, let’s take a look at the plugins and services that make it happen.

After clearing out around 2,500 pending comments and over 3,000 spam comments, I thought it was time to do a little update post on how I do comment moderation and otherwise determine what comments to approve or delete.

The Overall Commenting Picture

Let’s start with the overall picture of what your comment will look like on Kikolani, starting with the comment form.

WordPress Comment Plugins on the Comment Form

And when you’re comment goes live, the above will result in the following.

Dofollow Comment with KeywordLuv and CommentLuv

The above is a great comment, and easy to spot as one to approve (thanks Murray of Start an Online Business). Now, let’s take a look at the plugins and services that make it happen.

WordPress Comment Plugins and Services

The following are the plugins and WordPress services that create the commenting experience here on Kikolani and several of my other blogs.


The dofollow plugin basically gives commenters full, juicy links with their comments. Contrary to popular belief, so long as you do a good job moderating your comments and not allowing any bad links to slip by (bad neighborhood PPC links – porn, pills, and casinos), then having dofollow comments do not affect your rankings or your PageRank. I have PR 4 and 5 posts with TONS of out going links between the body of the post and the comments which rank well for their related keywords.


KeywordLuv essentially allows commenters to leave keyword anchor text of their choice for their website by using Your Name@Your Keywords in the name field of the comment form. This will give you the chance to use both keyword anchor text and your real name when commenting.


CommentLuv is a favorite of mine. It allows the commenter to leave a link to their latest blog post below their comment. It’s a great way for me to see whether a commenter is also a blogger and for bloggers to promote their blog posts with their target audience. If you haven’t already, register your blog for free at to ensure that you can select from your latest 10 blog posts in the CommentLuv dropdown.

Subscribe to Comments

Subscribe to Comments allows commenters to be notified when additional comments have been added to the post.

The perk for blog owners is that they have a dashboard that shows them what commenters have subscribed to the most posts (aka, they’re most loyal commenters), and what posts have the most comment subscribers (aka, the most commented on topics).

Subscribe to Comments Dashboard

GASP – Growmap Anti-Spambot Plugin

GASP, which was created by the same guy who did CommentLuv, puts a simple checkbox under the submit button for your comment form to prevent automated spam bots from commenting on your blog. This eliminates 50% or more of your spam comments right off the bat, especially the ones that are super long and filled with bad keyword links.


Love it or hate it, Akismet (which comes pre-loaded into WordPress blogs) almost always gets the job done with the other 50% of spam that comes through your blog via human commenters.

I make sure to have the following settings to ensure that Akismet allows me to see anything it considers spam, as sometimes good commenters (even some A-listers) get caught up in its filter.

Akismet Settings

As far as marking things as spam, I exercise extreme caution doing this. What I might consider spam, someone else might consider a good comment. Hence, I only mark blatant spam (like ten Ugg boot links in one post or a full Penthouse like short story) as spam through the Akismet system. Anything else simply gets deleted, allowing the commenter the freedom to post elsewhere on blogs they might have a better fit upon.


Gravatar is not a plugin, but a built in functionality of WordPress that connects commenter’s email addresses with an image they have setup on

If you do not have a Gravatar and you frequently comment on blogs, I suggest you set one up now. As in stop reading this post, go to, sign up with the email address you use for blog commenting, verify that email address, create a user name, and then upload an image to go with that email address.

It will take you less than five minutes, not counting how long it takes you to find an image of yourself (not a logo but of you) and resize it, and will probably result in getting more of your comments approved, both here and on other blogs using WordPress or any platform that incorporates Gravatar.

Comment Moderation and Policy

So how do I choose which comments to approve and which ones to delete? Here are some things I look for…

Signs of a Good Comment

  • Gravatar Images – A person’s face in a sea of default gravatar images really stands out when I’m scrolling through 20 comments in moderation or in spam. So if you don’t have one, get one now.
  • Good Comment Content – Just like a post has to have good content, so does a comment. I have the habit of being a bit of a speed reader, but if your comment in the moderation list makes me slow down and want to respond, it will probably get approved.
  • CommentLuv Links – Not that you have to be a blogger to get a comment approved here, but seeing that you’re a blogger via a CommentLuv link helps.

Signs of a Bad Comment

  • Links in the Body of the Comment – This is not always a comment-killer for me, as sometimes I ask for people to share links. But it’s easy to tell when links fit the discussion, or are stuck in for link building purposes. You have KeywordLuv enabled dofollow links just using the Name and Website field PLUS the extra link to your recent post via CommentLuv. Let’s not push it!
  • Read it Before – Some spammers have gotten creative and think that they will get approved by simply commenting a good comment from someone else. Once noticed, comment plagiarism will be moderated.
  • Foul Language – There’s a time and place for some $h!77y language, and I personally prefer my comments not be that place. Especially if the tone is abusive in any way. I (as all bloggers) do reserve the right to keep the discussion clean.
  • Personal Attacks – Anything deemed as a personal attack, towards myself or another commenter will probably get moderated. Constructive criticism and disagreements are one thing – being downright abusive or rude is another.
  • Comment Timing – If you comment on five posts in five minutes, this tells me that you probably didn’t actually read the posts because my posts take a while to read. So take a few minutes, really read the posts, browse through the discussion, then comment.

Last Little Tidbits

Here are some final little details about the commenting here on Kikolani.

  • Once you have a comment approved, then your future comments will be automatically approved unless you change what you enter in the name, email, or website field. But this doesn’t mean you have the option of writing one great comment to be followed up with crappy ones. I can unapprove you and put you back on the moderation only list.
  • If you are replying to a comment, please use the Reply link below the comment to keep things in order.
  • If you are responding to a specific person, mention their name in the comment. This helps those who have subscribed to the comments know if one is specifically directed towards them. And yes, I need to do this better as well.
  • Did your comment not get approved and you want to know why? Contact me! Maybe it ended up in spam and I somehow missed it, which is entirely possible.

Your Thoughts on Commenting and Moderation

After a lengthy post on commenting, you know what to do next. πŸ™‚

By Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and ghostwriter who specializes in business and marketing topics.

87 replies on “The WordPress Comment System, Plugins and Moderation”

Hey Kristi, my commenting policy is very similar to yours. The primary difference is that I removed Akismet about 3 weeks after installing GASP. The reason for this is that Akismet continued to put legitimate commenters in spam (including myself if I wasn’t logged in when I responded to a comment)! But with GASP installed – Akismet was no longer effective in blocking real spammers at all.

The other thing I wanted to ask you about is KeywordLuv. I don’t think many readers know the benefits of KeywordLuv and and they continue to use anchor text in the name field instead of their real names followed by keywords. Most of the time (depending on the actual value of the comment) I’ll approve the comment because I know that most people don’t really understand the concept – especially if they’re new. Do you end up trashing those comments?

Hi Ileane,

In my case, Akismet is still doing a good job in combination with GASP. For example, the other night I cleaned out all of those pending / spam comments from my system, and kept both zeroed out throughout the day.

When I woke up this morning, I have 48 new comments in my spam filter. 29 of these comments were from one IP address, made over the course of one hour using two different URLs and about six different anchor text, which they actually screwed up in the last several comments because they started mixing up the anchor text for one URL with the other. This was obviously a person because they were able to check off that box, but at the same time, they were a spammer because even if I ignored the IP, URLs, and messed up anchor text, the comments themselves were pretty bad. The rest were other one off spammers or spam trackbacks. Without Akismet, all of these would have sent approval emails and been mixed in my more legitimate pending comments.I do admit that some good commenters do get stuck in the filter, but since I check that filter daily, I can fish them out pretty quickly so I don’t worry about that.

As far as KeywordLuv, I accept that some people see that others have keyword anchor text and gloss over reading the instructions and stick it in the name field instead. I’m like you – if the comment looks good, I’ll approve it.

I am with Kristi,

In my blog, Akismet is helpful besides GASP. I have ever had so many comments offering iPhones and those stuff with complete price lists as well as email address and links.

Seems it was not bot, because they can check the GAPS tickbox, but thanks to Akismet it filtered those comments to spam still.

One of the things I love about this blog, apart from the great info of course, is the fact that you’re so open about your stance on the do-follow/ no-follow argument.

Most blog owners out there would tell you to go after as many do-follow blog comments as you can, but limit the number you give out in an attempt to build PR. But you dispel this myth.

I think a lot of people associate do-follow commenting with SPAM. But having been involved with blogs offering both do and no-follow comments, I found the levels of SPAM to be higher with the no-follows.

I think it just comes down to the simple reasoning that if you offer your audience an incentive to contribute then they are more likely to reciprocate with a valuable contribution. The fact that you have a clear commenting policy and you filter out the fluff just enforces this.

BTW, I’ve pretty much copied your comment plugin set up!

Hi Kristi,

Thank you for featuring me as part of this post. Sometimes I think that my comments go slightly overboard in length but it’s something that I’ve kept since my days of forum participation.

My own comment policy can be a bit stern. I sometimes go to the length of deleting legitimate comments from fellow bloggers not as a sign of disrespect but because commenting, in my mind, should include an additional layer of participation. I never stand to be rude with my policy but I think it’s important that bloggers also look at the their community as a whole.

For example: If a fellow blogger were to leave a quick comment than the usual reaction, from many bloggers, is to instantly approve it because of their connection. However, others that come to the blog to comment may not understand your connection with this blogger and become partially derailed in their response to the posts’ topic.

Another item that has often been on my mind is the overall impact of CommentLuv, KeywordLuv and the various comment plugins. I think they are wonderful tools for commentors to gain additional value from their participation but a side of me also thinks that it may encourage people to comment for the sake of commenting. This issue is a topic in itself so I won’t pull the conversation toward that direction.

I think there is one other item that would add to this post: blogger etiquette.

If you are a blogger, I believe it’s respectful to keep the conversation active by talking about the post rather than as if you were talking to buddy-to-buddy so other people don’t have to ‘guess’ where the thread is going.

Likewise, in situations like these, I think it’s also important that you don’t ‘double dip’ on the page. (If you noticed, I removed my link, keyword and CommentLuv because you have already naturally linked to me within the post).

In conclusion (to all): Think of your comment as a post because you’re not just leaving a link – you’re leaving behind a glimpse into your brand.

(Hope this wasn’t too centered)

Love it Murray, that’s why I used yours as an example of adding additional valuable content to a discussion. I feel like a lot of my commenters actually know each other because I have seen the same groups of people commenting on other sites as well. For the most part, I think most of my commenters are adding to the post, not just being friendly with me. I have had the odd ones here and there that were using the comments more like a personal messaging system, and those I didn’t approve but emailed a private response.

Trying not to fully “pull off in that direction” but one of the neat things I have noticed on my site is that some of my now regular readers / commenters started off as just coming here to get some link juice. But they did it by actually reading the post and making a valuable comment, and I approved it, regardless of their motivation. And ever since, they keep returning, joining in the community and even getting positive recognition from other bloggers.

I don’t think your comment was too centered at all – it was great and I appreciate the perspective and input! πŸ™‚

There should also be a plugin that checks google whether a URL is in the index or not or whether it ranks high for their website name or not, in which case a flag could be raised and the blogger could manually verify whether the URL looks solid or may be penalized in google.

That’s an interesting point, but it might not be good for people who are commenting with sites / blogs that they just have started out which may not be even indexed yet.

I’ve recently come across a new kind of comment system, Highlighter,

Its very new, but transforms your commenting system into a social media, and newletter building tool. I’ve installed it on my blog yesterday and seeing how it transform the engagement on my blog.

Did you see that on my blog, Haroun? I wrote about Highlighter earlier this week… and promptly removed it a few days later due to underusage and too many conflicts with the vanilla commenting system.

Hi Kristi,
I too have all the commenting plugins that you have mentioned installed besides GASP, I am planning to use it to but then again I already have around 22 plugins installed beforehand in my Blog. I wonder what is the extra use of GASP since it seems that Akismet already functions quite properly although once or twice it lets go of odd spam comments. Besides that Commentluv, Keywordluv, Subscribe to comments have always been my favorite.

Thanks for coming up with this post and describing your comment policy, I am sure this will be helpful to a lot of bloggers to frame their commenting system and policy too.


Hi Shiva,

For me, GASP cuts out the automated spam. And I got a LOT of automated spam. I mentioned in previous comment response that I had 48 spam comments overnight, but that number used to be in the hundreds over the time frame of 8 – 10 hours. Installing GASP cut out somewhere around 50 – 75% of the automatic spam which makes checking my Akismet filter for legit commenters much, much simpler.

Solid tips and advices on commenting Kristi. I do have similar policy as you although I use a different plugin to enable dofollow on my blog. Basically what it does is that it will transform comment links, including Author, once they get 3 comments approved. It is another of moderating and thus occasional fly by’s don’t. Contrary to Illeane I am running both GASP and Akismet at the same time and they work well in tandem.

Wow, what a great job you did on this post. It has been a topic of discussion for a forum I am in and also for some other probloggers because it is always an ongoing issue.

I have a Comments Policy on the blog but still moderate each comment but I am at a level now that I need to do a few things differently.

By simply turning off comments after two weeks, I’ve really reduced the spam on my main blogs. Plus, I have also cut them off entirely on those blogs where I am promoting a particular product (such as my books).

Since I am increasing my social media activity, I really like the suggestion by Karoun–so thanks for that.

I did us Disqus ( for a while but since my audience at my main blogs are not so Internet savvy it really worked well for some but not the majority.

Finally, I just upgraded my theme platform and the learning curve is high and all the previous plug-ins have been dumped so this post comes at a good time.

Thanks, I think with the move to social media away from search engines, which still rule, such socially aware ways of sharing content could be the way forward with engagement with readers

I actually leave my comments open permanently, mainly because I have come across old posts and wanted to say something but couldn’t because they had closed the comments off. I think it all depends on what your goals are on a blog, and if you find that closing them works for you (and possibly redirects comments to your newer posts) then there is nothing wrong with that. Good luck with setting up your new blog platform – it can be a struggle at first, but once you get things how you like them, it usually is well worth it!

Interesting to see your prospective on the subject, Kristi.

I do believe that you are more than generous with your commentators and considering that despite the recent trend of withdrawing from being DoFollow, you are sticking with it AND growing, makes me always give your blog as an example of a flourishing DoFollow environment.

I have a very similar moderation practices.

My blog is also DoFollow and I too get a ton of comments, both legit, but lots of spam as well.

GASP saves me so much time!

However, it’s the pesky spam trackbacks that are killing me. I completely turned off any pingbacks, since they are not used by legitimate bloggers any longer, but I still want to see who is linking to me for all the good reasons and thus have to deal with the influx of spam trackbacks.

Complainers/agitators/haters/just commentators who have nothing better to do but to vomit all over someone’s content: I’d love to hear your extended opinion on that.

I’ve had a couple of those battles on my blog a couple of weeks ago and I don’t want to be accused of moderating “opposing” opinions, but in my view, there’s opposing and there’s bitter and unprofessional.

Would you still publish comments like that and possibly open the pandora box?


Hi Ana,

I think I’m more generous because I have the blogging and Internet marketing / SEO background, so I see commenting from both sides – the blogger moderating vs. the link builder trying to write legitimately good comments but struggling to get approved. Hence why I will take any comment so long as it is going to add value to the discussion and not worry about the site they are linking to, again unless it is something I would rather my readers not click on.

Extended opinion on complainers etc. I don’t mind opposing opinions and constructive criticism at all. What I do mind is anything that isn’t adding actual value to the topic at hand. If someone comes in without a valid email address and obviously fake information and says “this post sucks” then it really doesn’t add any value to anything.

I had one guy get pissed about a post because, at the end of it there was a link to an affiliate product (and I disclosed it was an affiliate link right next to it). Five minutes later, he sent another comment saying to dismiss the first one because he actually took the time to read the post, admitted it had a lot of valuable information and wasn’t just to prop an affiliate product. This guy was pretty nice for coming back to clarify, but it also just goes to show that sometimes in the case of people who just like to complain, they just find one thing they don’t like and go off on it which doesn’t really add to the community.

A good discussion / debate over differing opinions that is done in a professional (aka non-rude) manner, however, can lead to more thought provoking discussion, and that I will support whole-heartedly. πŸ™‚

Great overview of commenting on WordPress, one thing I would mention is the ReplyMe plugin for WordPress, this is a requirement in my opinion as it automatically notifies commenters via email when somebody directly responds to their comment without having to subscribe to the whole post. It also doesn’t require any checkbox, users will automatically get notified when their comment is replied to without having to checkmark anything. I use this on all of my blogs and it helps with conversations further than simply 1 comment / 1 reply because few readers want to subscribe to a whole post, especially one with dozens or hundreds of comments or they would be spammed via email.

I think I looked at that plugin before. Does it have an opt-in option? I think it might have been the one I was wary about because some people don’t like getting notifications that they didn’t opt-in for.

As far as getting the emails for all comment updates, I have noticed that some people jump back into the conversation to reply to someone else’s comment because they are getting notified of all comments for the post instead of just their own replies. Plus they have the option to unsubscribe anytime if the emails get to be too much.

There is no opt-in or opt-out with ReplyMe; it’s automatic. But I state such in a text block preceding the comment area so people are aware.

Since activating ReplyMe, which required threaded comment views btw, the number of returning commentators has increased tremendously.

I have been using ReplyMe on several blogs for the last 6mos and have never had one single complaint about a commentor being notified because someone replied to their comment, and like Ari says, it definitely increases the number of return comments to keep the conversation going…

I think a lot of bloggers underestimate the overall impact that allowing comments with links to bad sites can have on their blog. I can only shake my head in disgust when I see a good post has nothing but spam for comments…I won’t even leave a comment on posts like that. If I do, I certainly won’t link to my site.

All that said, I’m in line on my blog with what your doing here. DoFollow, CommentLuv, KeywordLuv, GASP, all that. What I’ve found is that I don’t get nearly the same level of comment spam anymore. The combination of GASP and Akismet seems to do the trick really, really well.

Where I used to get up to a hundred items of spam per day, I now get under 10 per day. Sometimes none.

So now, my question is, because you wrote about commenting, how many comments will this post earn? It seems that when you write about comments, you get a lot of comments. πŸ™‚

At least you won’t have as much spam to deal with given your plugin configuration.



Yes Wayne, you’re right! You have to really be vigilant about moderating your comments, hence my “PPC” mention in the post. So long as you do that, you’re probably in the clear.

Looks like this post is generating a healthy amount of comments so far, and some of the most robust ones! πŸ™‚

Hi Kristi, I also have a very similar arrangement to you but I added ‘Subscribe to Comments Reloaded’ instead of ‘Subscribe to Comments’ because it claimed to resolve some problems in the original version.

Its a bit spooky because I only decided to look for and add this feature today and then I saw your Facebook update on the exact same subject. Anyway I can’t really say how good or bad it is, but I should know reasonably quickly and if there is a marked improvement in exchanges I will let you know.

I’d be interested to hear that Brian. I feel like I tried it and it was missing something from the original, but I’m not sure what that was…

Hi Kristi,

I really admire how you have built up this site. Do you recommend that most bloggers allow dofollow comments with keyword anchor text. I think the risk is that you are linking out to sites that you don’t necessarily approve but it doesn’t seem to have hurt your site.


Hi Charles! I don’t necessarily recommend it – I think since I come from an SEO and blogging background, it makes sense to me. It does lead to a higher amount of spam though, as people will list your site as “one to target” when building links. Of course, I also think a shift is happening where SEOs are seeing less value from comments and more value from community building, so hopefully that will lead to a better quality of comments, even from link builders.

Hi Kristi

I heard my friend Murray featured on this post, so had to come read what he had to say to get a mention here. Murray always gives value, whether sharing about marketing and encouraging me on my blogging journey or on his own blog with his posts. He didn’t disappoint here either πŸ™‚

I have strict commenting approval in that I always visit the blog of a first time commenter. I don’t approve if it is just full of ads or from a “bad neighbourhood”. And I only approve comments that add to the conversation.

Means less comments approved but it has built a community where often the commenters will be replying to each other and a good conversation will take place.

Like you, I don’t mind if someone disagrees….as long as they are polite and respectful of one another. Only had a couple of rude arrogant commenters since I began blogging in 2010, although I don’t get the amount you do, I am pleased that the people who do visit add to my posts and enjoy visiting.

Patricia Perth Australia

Hi Patricia,

I have fortunately not had too many bad commenters (vulgarity wise) since I started blogging in 2008. Sometimes I think it’s about the community you attract to your site, and possibly the tone of your posts. If you keep it pretty calm, polite and professional, like-minded people will be the ones who come to see it. πŸ™‚

Like Ileane, I uninstalled Akismet shortly after installing GASP. They didn’t seem to play well together. So far, I’ve had very few false positives of good comments being thrown into the spam folder. It has radically reduced the time I spend moderating, which is very important to me.

I also appreciated your references to how many spam comments you get in a day and that popular DoFollow sites become targets of interest to spammers. This is something few new blog owners are prepared for. They may get few, if any, comments for months after initially launching, which can be very disappointing. As their site becomes more popular, they begin seeing a high ratio of spam to every legit comment, which can be discouraging. I’ve heard from folks who decided that the few good comments they received were not worth the hours they spent weekly deleting the spam, so the stopped allowing comments altogether.

And, newbies may not know what a spam comment looks like. If someone only includes, “Nice post.” in their comment, is it spam or not? The only clue is the email address or IP.

Because I blog about the techie aspects of online marketing, my content is about half and half evergreen and time-sensitive. I’ve chosen to cut off comments after two weeks. It has really reduced the spam. But after reading this post, and seeing how the recent trend toward creating community is growing, perhaps I should think about extending the cutoff to at least a month or more. The comments here are as rich as the post itself.

Hi MaAnna,

What kind of conflicts did they have? I know Akismet occasionally puts good comments in the penalty box, but other than that I haven’t seen any problems with having both.

I think in my case, I do have more legit, valuable comments that counterbalances the time I spend moderating spam, so it works out (thanks to the two plugins). I have created new sites without dofollow on them, and those get spammed just as much, so I find it’s not always a dofollow issue but rather what your blog is about and how many people are spamming within that industry.

As far as cut offs, I like to look at new comments on a post as a way to update content on the page, and Google loves pages that are regularly updated. Therefore, getting a new comment on a year old post might somehow “ping” Google back to your site. I don’t know if that’s how it works, but that’s how I hope it works at least. πŸ™‚

What program do you use to capture screenshots — and more specifically, how do you blur the stuff you blurred?

Also, any reason you didn’t mention the WordPress->Discussion dashboard boxes for spam moderation? You don’t use those to filter out unwanted words or IPs?

I use a combination of the Snipping Tool (comes with Windows 7) and Gimp (free photo editor).

I haven’t used any of those yet, because there’s the rare time that someone uses a normally spammed word as part of a conversation. And I think I would be at it all day if I banned IP addresses. πŸ™‚

Hi Kristi,

Speaking new a few new bloggers recently I realized that some people struggle to figure out what comments are genuine and which are spam and I’m sure your article will help people with this. Incase it is of interest to any other readers I wrote an article showing some actual spam comments I received recently together with hints of what to look out for when trying to tell genuine comments from the dodgy ones – it’s at for anyone who is interested.

I don’t use GASP simply because it adds one more item to check or fill out for the commentor, besides, I don’t mind checking my spam folder for real comments a couple times a week.

Also, as mentioned above, ReplyMe is one of my fav’s.

Great article and explanation of using the commenting system and plugins Kristi!

Hi Keith. It probably depends on the type of spam you get. I had tons of automated spam that made it nearly impossible to sift through and find the real commenters (which used to be 1 out of 100 in my spam folder). I haven’t had any complaints about the extra checkbox – I think people have gotten used to it as it’s popping up on so many blogs now.

Hi Kristi
That is a lot of comment you get in here. Don’t know if I should be glad or jealous of you for getting that many comments. I can’t see that we a using many of the same plugins and that we have almost the same policy when it comes to comments. The main difference is properly the number of comments πŸ™‚
Have a nice Sunday Kristi. See you around.

Hi Thomas,

It took awhile for me to develop a strong enough community to get this number of comments. But it is very well worth it in the end. πŸ™‚

Hey Kristi,
I have the same policy, although I also have a posted comment policy on my blog πŸ™‚ I delete comments I don’t think are appropriate and those that are not in agreement with my policy. Thanks for sharing and awesome post never get approved on my blog. I also hate when a person comments on 5 posts at once and replies to 5 more comments on those same posts. And all of them are one short sentence comments. Again – delete.

Anyway, I do have a questions. I am pretty sure I use the same Subscribe to comments plugin but I can’t find those stats. Would you tell me where to click to get those stats?

Hi Brankica,

I need to link to this post as my comments policy. πŸ™‚

The stats should be under the Tools heading and just called Subscriptions – that’s where it is on mine at least. It doesn’t stand out and I actually found it by accident, but it can be pretty valuable information!

I don’t like using my real picture for a gravatar. I am sure some people just find or pick a fake picture to use I don’t know for sure. I guess it makes them look more real, but is it really them? Maybe…maybe not. I really hate seeing the one or two word comments or short phrase that makes little or no sense. I have seen keywordluv and commentluv on some sites that work great, and other sites there is either problems or they don’t totally explain it to visitors. Perhaps they did once, but it gets buried 10+ pages back and new visitors do not fully understand it sometimes.

Hi Ray. I’m ok with people not using a real person as for some, it’s a privacy thing. But at least having something in there will make your comment stand out from the auto trackbacks and other mess that ends up in the moderation folder.

Your post help me to understand WordPress commenting system in detail. I will try to make better comments on blogs by now.
All plugins are good enough but Akismet creates problems sometimes unnecessarily.

Hi Nazimwarriach. Akismet only creates problems for commenters if the settings are wrong (ie. letting te plugin permanently delete what they consider spam on older posts) and if the blogger doesn’t regularly check their spam folder. Other than that, it can really help on the blog owner’s end, and even for the commenters because, if you think about it, you don’t want to comment on a blog that is allowing a lot of spam through either.

Hi Kristi,
Have a CommentLuv plug-in it is a hard move. We didn’t set up our blog yet (luck of time) but we ‘re managing a few blogs for our clients. And we always check-in all comments by hand to avoid the tricky spam and bad neighbors. What kind of technique you use to clean up your blog?
Thanks an advance.

Hi Dimitry,

I use the option in WordPress to automatically approve comments from people once they have had their first comment approved. After that, I manually go through my pending / spam folder on a daily basis and read through the comments to determine which are legit and which I’m going to have to toss in the bin. I also keep an eye on approved comments to make sure no one is getting lazy simply because they know they’re being auto-approved. πŸ™‚

Kristi, I have to admit.. you’re doing a very great job with this blog… really. I mean, how many useful, dofollow, not full of spam blogs are out there? and by running it dofollow (still, after all this time) proves that you know what you’re doing and you’re doing it the right way:) I know a few friends of mine who wanted to start dofollow blogs, with comluv, keyworluv, top commenters and all this stuff.. in max 3 months they got back to nofollow:D they couldn’t handle it.. it’s pretty hard, I guess

It can be a bit difficult to manage Jake. I think a lot of bloggers run into the issue of not wanting to spend the time moderating the comments, so they either approve everything (which looks awful) or ignore everything (which also looks awful. I get behind in moderation sometimes (hence the 6,000 comment cleanup) but if you tell yourself to handle the moderation first thing on a daily basis, it’s much easier to manage.

I just transferred my blogger site into a wordpress site to take advantage of some of the more advanced options that are available. I think the biggest problem i’m having is like all is spam. I know that alot of dofollow sites are setup by SEO companies that just try and sell you for commenting. I guess it’s been a pretty big learning curve and especially figuring out which plugins to use for allowing comments. Askimet for now and well see about commentluv.

It’s funny Chi, because I have setup some sites without dofollow comments and they STILL get spammed. Dofollow just gets you a little more notoriety as people will refer your site as one to go comment on.

HubPages are not always a bad thing Haroun. While there are certainly spam ones out there, there are a lot of writers who only write on sites like HubPages because they like the community and don’t want to manage their own blog. I have written a hub on that site about promoting their articles on blogs using the CommentLuv system that way they can bring in a new audience to their writing. Just like there are spam blogs vs. quality blogs, there are spam HubPage articles vs. quality ones. There are good authors there that deserve to get the same linking love as bloggers, I think at least. πŸ™‚

Hi Kristi
Came over via your comment on Ari’s blog.

I mentioned to Ari that I get very little comment spam but lots of trackback spam.
He pointed me in the direction of this plugin – Simple Trackback Validation plugin.

Thought that your readers might be interested in it if they get a lot of trackback spam.

Hmm, good point. I have seen people come through with 10 – 15 comments at once and just feel like it is a bit spammy. If I knew the person, that would be different, but a new commenter should pace themselves.

If we really want to get backlinks from our fellow bloggers, we should read and understand the post first before commenting. Make quality and related comments to the topic because every topics of a blogger was done with hard work and determination. As a newbie in blogging, I really take time in reading the article before commenting.

I found this article in my research due to my latest run in with Disqus. I liked it because folks could sign in using Facebook, Twitter, or a lot of other accounts. It seemed ‘faster’ and more ‘forward thinking’. However, I just discovered that it completely negated my links in FireFox despite the fact that it played nice in Chrome.

Anyway, I see your comments thread and are all nice and smooth. Since you covered a bunch of other plugins, I was wondering what you did to get the comment threading effect as well as the Comment Form that requires more than an email.

Right now my site has the plain vanilla look and it’s just not something I’m satisfied with.


I think those tips above are the most appropriate requirements to drive great of traffic, and of course good content of posts as well.
I always try to say to my self to choose only 1 gravatar image so people would remember my image. But I still have trouble in choosing which one to use, perhaps I just don’t have a good picture at all.

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