I am declaring today Test it Tuesday in this month’s edition of How the Heck Do You Do That?!? Blogging Maintenance goes beyond updating your theme, plugins and writing posts. It is important to test links, plugins and more. These are things I see on blogs daily and today I am going to help you test one of them.
Test it Tuesday
Social links, fancy plugins and gadgets all delight us as bloggers. WE all want cool features for our visitors and links to make things easier for them to discover new things. As I hop around visiting blogs I come across a lot of plugins or links that aren’t function properly. So today I am going to go over one of those issues- Comments. Next month I will focus on other issues and recommendations.
The first thing I want you to do is log out of your blog. We are going to visit it as if we are a stranger. Do you have a second email? We will be using it today. If you don’t go create one and come back. (I have a free hotmail account I use just to log-in and test blog)
Commenting and the ease of commenting are the biggest complaints I hear bloggers making when they visit sites. So we are going to test your commenting and reply system.
- Using your second email select one of your recent posts and leave yourself a lovely comment. As you do check to make sure commenting is easy. Usually a comment should only require an email address and name with url to website being optional.
- Can you easily comment?
- Is your spam blocker easy or does it require multiple tries to prove you are Not a Robot?
- If you comment is held in moderation does it notify you?
- Check your email. Did you get an annoying spammy notification?
Did you have any issues with commenting? No? proceed to Replies. Yes..let’s resolve them
- Commenting system requires login etc. There are oodles of commenting systems so I cannot go threw each one. I recommend you check a few things though.
- Go to WordPress or Blogger Settings (Blogger got to Settings/ Comments. For WordPress go under Settings/Discussions)
-For Blogger make sure it says Anyone can comment. We will deal with moderation and spam in a moment.
-For WordPress the Default should be [allow people to comment] and Other Commenting Settings should be – [Comment author must fill out name and e-mail] If you have only registered user clicked un-check it. Folks have enough passwords to remember. Commenting on your post should be stress free.
- If you are using a commenting plugin, go to comment section in plugin settings. Be sure you are allowing everyone to comment who at min provided an email address.
2. Spam Blocker is like Fort Knox
I am not going to lie I loath Captcha. I cannot figure out the words and often have to enter twice. This is a HUGE deterrent for folks commenting. If you are having issues with Spam then moderate comments on Blogger or install a user friendly plugin like Google’s reCaptcha.
For WordPress you can hold comments in moderation or use a Spam catcher plugin like G.A.S.P (provides that little check box saying I am not a spammer) or Askmit. These will all help filter comments while making it easy for folks to comment.
Since I know inquiring minds want to know- I use Comment Luv premium which comes with G.A.S.P and comment reply built in. You can get them all for free separately but I snagged this plugin when he does his yearly sale and like that it is all in one.
3. Notification of comment being held
If you are using the WordPress commenting system or Blogger’s it should automatically pop up a message. If you are using a commenting system be sure to go through settings to ensure it notifies user their comment is being held for moderation.
4. Spammy Notification. Did you get one of those WordPress auto replies that says something like XXX got your comment and you should visit them again etc? Turn this puppy off. Our mailboxes runneth over and I know I commented I was there. I see this the most on WordPress.com sites.
You should have a notification either in your mailbox or on WordPress that you received a comment (from your other email address) Now it is time to check how your replies work. Unless you have a commenting system installed on Blogger this section will not apply to you. I highly recommend installing a free one. My personal favorite for Blogger is Disqus.
- Let’s reply. Thank yourself for that lovely comment.
- Now go to your other email and see the response you sent.
Did you get something like this?
Blogger (Admin of XXXX) replied to a comment you left on:
(url link to post)
You can check admin’s comment here:
Url link to their response
This e-mail was sent by XXXXXX
If the comment isn’t belong to you, never mind about this e-mail
This comment reply hasn’t been set up properly. Check the plugin you are using under Reply and set it up to include your response.
or how about this:
an email from Blog site saying the comment you made on XX’s blog couldn’t be delivered to XX-email address.
This means that the blogger has a notification being sent to her email address to let her know you made a lovely comment..only the email address isn’t valid. Fix it! Make sure any notifications regarding your blog go to a valid email. (You can also choose to turn off notifications)
or this from WordPress:
XX blog likes your comment [post name xxxxx]
“a highlighted copy of the comment you just left”
You might want to go see what they’re up to! Perhaps you will like their blog as much as they liked your comment!
To me this is spammy and so are those replies that say Thanks for commenting, stop back again.
Your reply should include your response and look something like this:
[Blog Name] Your comment on the post [XXXXX] has a new reply
Here is your original comment:
I skimmed since I am curious about this series. I love that the author amazes you with her twists. Female assassins are cool!
Here is the new reply:
Thanks for commenting I hope you are able to pick a copy up. I think female assassins are cool too.
You can see more information for the comment on this post here:
[url to post comment] was originally left at XXXX blog
Thank you for commenting at [Your Blog Name 🙂 [url to blog]
Click here to unsubscribe from all comment notification emails
Happy Testing! Was your comment/reply set up properly? Have a question about it, ask and I will try to help…
La La in the Library
I am going to be loving this feature. Thanks for taking the time to write out all this information!
Wickedly Delicious Book Blog
Thank you for taking the time for this. I just checked mine and still had Show word verification on. Thought I took that off because that was bugging me after awhile on other blogs a while back. Do not like Disqus. I guess my computer is not compatible with it. I would have to do something with my computer then it would take forever for me to leave a message. The comment section would be weird and delay. Love the idea with a different email to test. Off to see if my blog is hard to leave a message. Thanks again. Have a great weekend.
Thank you so much for this tutorial! I went through and did the checks and also downloaded GASP 🙂 Like you I HATE captcha, especially since a majority of the time I comment on my phone.
Thanks for the reminder to check … everything is good my end but people who comment still have to remember to check the box if they want a reply via email. Sometimes I wish that was automatic as I know I often forget. I’m another who detests captcha 🙂
Thanks for reminding me to do this. We just assume that everything is working ok and you know what they say about assuming! And I hate captcha, sometimes I really just can’t get the word and give up in frustration.
Thanks for the tips!
I always have to check my spam box on my blog because some real comments always ends up in there (even when it’s people who semi-regularly comment, it’s weird), so apparently it’s too good at regulating spam comments haha.
I have that on occasion too, not often.
This is a very helpful post, sometimes when I go on blogs – it eats my comments when I try to write but I always let the blogger know if something isn’t working.
I have had that happen, sometimes you just need to refresh and other times it is held in moderation..but the site doesn’t tell you
Unfortunately, the design I had done is so unresponsive — I can’t change anything without having to go through the designer! The good thing is, she did a great job. The bad thing is I can’t play like I want to (as I tend to get bored relatively quickly). I do need to do some maintenance and checking of things. thanks for the awesome tips!
Lover Of Romance
I definitely agree with this. I have found its so good to do maintenance and commenting is such a vital thing. Its one of the reasons I changed domains recently…commenting for many of my followers was too difficult and too much of a hassle. So I always try to test mine out every now and then…thankfully its easy from what I can tell. Every week though I try to do some maintenance…so I will be looking forward to future tips.
It is a good habit to get into.
Thank you for doing this post! It seems like no matter how many posts I see about captcha, people STILL have it. I hate it!
I had my commenting go a little weird not long ago and I guess I haven’t checked it since so I should probably do that.
Yeah, and sometimes folks don’t tell you. Or you try to and their email doesn’t work *smacks forehead*
Very helpful! I noticed that I don’t get an email on replies unless I click that little box. Is there a way to set it up to automatically send an email that I replied? I use commentluv
Yes…under comment luv setting set this to No “User should tick a checkbox to request email notification of replies to their comment?”
I don’t see that option. LOL I will keep looking, thanks.
I wish more bloggers considered what a person can go through to leave a comment. Some hoops are just not worth it. Great post, Kim. 🙂
Anna from Elements of Writing
Sharon - Obsession with Books
A great post Kimba! this is something I really need to look at doing.
Thank you for sharing! Sharon – Obsession with Books
Glad to give you the reminder.
This is a great post! I am soooo blogger challenged! I’m going to have to look into if my links are working right 🙂
Glad I could share, and it just takes a few minutes to test
The Blogger spam thing is the worst ever. It make your jump through like three hoops to finally leave a comment.
It really does and apparently I am half robot
This was a wonderfully insightful post, thank you!
So glad you liked it Steph
As one who visits lots of sites, I agree with the need to ‘test’ and make sure commenting/replying is working. I hate dealing with capcha. I love when sites use discus.
It takes 5 mins and is good form.
Interesting post. I like disqus because I can use it lots of places, not just blogs. Of course I am not familiar with most of the others you mention 😉
That is ok. I will tell you your site doesn’t save followers info and you need to reenter each time
Thanks for the post!
Anytime Angela 🙂
I totally love this post Kimberly! I’m about to go test out my blog because as you know one of my links on my blog wasn’t working and it’s always a good idea to see how the comments appear to visitors. Thank you so much for helping out us newbie bloggers. I heart you FOR EVA.
You are welcome and yep I think we set it up and forget it sometimes, so it is always good to check
I look forward to your “Test it Tuesday” Posts. It’s so sweet that you are willing to help other bloggers make their blog better by sharing your expertise 🙂 Thanks for the comment and reply test it tips!
You are welcome Lindy. I enjoy sharing
Wow! You could teach a class, Kimba? (You aren’t, are ya?!) Well structured and to the point, plus easy to follow. Thank you <3
I am glad you thought so. It is hard when dealing with so many platforms.
Good tip, It is always good to go in every once in awhile and make sure everything on your own blog is running smoothly and make sure it is user friendly.
Awesome post, when I first started with blogger a lot of people told me they couldn’t leave comments or their comments just wouldnt show up, which pushed me to use Disqus. I looove Disqus now. lol so simple.
I like Discus as well and used it when I was on the blogger platform
This post is great thanks Kimberly. I am going to do this now. 🙂
thanks Megan…good luck!
Thanks for this Kimberly, a lot of times I don’t hear if my comments are wonky until days or hours later. This is all good advice for us newbie bloggers out there 🙂
i think it is just good habit to test everything once or twice a year
This is great info, Kim. I’m taking note of everything. Thanks!
glad i could share Grace
What a great idea – i’m going to test my comments. And by the way I also hate captcha. Sometimes I even give up on commenting on a blog just because it has captcha.
I comment anyway..but oh lord sometimes the air around me turns blue 🙂
I do wonder why some blogs have me fill in my personal info each time I comment, but I don’t let that stop me from doing it if I am determined to leave a message.
There are a few blogs I visit where I choose Google account to comment and type in a comment and then it disappears, so I have to type it twice. I now copy/paste my answer beforehand so I don’t have to do it all again 🙁
Is that a problem on my end or theirs? Only happens once in awhile. I can mention something to the few folks whose blogs it happens on, but don’t want to bother them if it isn’t their doing.
Thanks for great tips as usual. I love Disqus on blogger, and have no problem with it.
It is hard to say whose problem it is. If they test it they may be able to resolve issue. I would email them.
I love this idea Kim and I know that I probably have a few links on my blog I need to check out to make sure they are still actively working.
I think we forget, so it is always a good idea to check periodically.
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Like you, I despise captcha and have been known to stop commenting on blogs that insisted on having it. I removed it ages ago and it didn’t change a thing with the amount of spam I get so I see no reason for anyone to have it. Spammers know their way around it anyway.
And blogs that forget my info every time and make me write my name an demail again make my life much harder. They slow things down considerably.
Yeah..i would think most bloggers aren’t aware that is happening, which is why I want them to test.
My comments work fantastic. ^_^ Personally I prefer IntenseDebate, since Disqus annoys me a little sometimes.
Fabulous post, Kimba! ^_^
ID always gives me trouble..lol
LOVE THIS KIM! Not being able to comment (I run into this a lot with Disqus if it doesn’t have a “post as guest” option) or having to jump through a bunch of hoops to comment is always frustrating. I try and reply to the comments on my own blog to make sure everything is running smoothly:) I don’t know anyone that doesn’t love getting comments on their posts, so it’s definitely worth the time to make sure it’s easy to do on your blog!
Thanks Kim, mine was pretty straight forward and easy to do.
Anytime. Someday I hope they add reply ability to blogger.
That’s a very good idea, I’ll have to try 🙂 Thanks for the tips !
Yyyuuppp! Hi5 for us being in tune this week
LOL thanks. I have psychic ability since I wrote a month ago..
These are some great tips for newbie bloggers, Kim. Having a good working commenting system is so important to build a blog.
Not just nobbies…there are a lot of blogs with comments configured wrong who might not realize it.
Thanks for sharing. I need to look into comments more and all those other gadgets. Things just get so confusing, so these type of posts are great.
Yours works well, except that we don’t get emailed your replies.
Great post, I recently got rid of holding a comment in moderation on my blog. I also added comment luv-what a great plug -in. As always thankyou for your posts.
I really like Comment-Luv as well, but quite a few folks have it set up wrong
My comments work fine, but I wish I knew how to change the info that comes w/ Comment Luv or WP because there are 2 buttons that say “Notify me of follow up comments” one from each provider.
You should be able to turn those buttons off. With CommentLuv under reply me settings in the Additional settings disable the check box option
Thanks for this post Kim! so helpful as usual ! 🙂
Glad you found it informative 🙂
Great topic, and explains why some comments end up in outer space! Thanks so much for the awesome tips and hope all is well today. Hugs…Ro
This is a fantastic post Kimberley! It’s so frustrating when things aren’t working. What I hate most is when I put a lot of time into writing a comment and then it won’t publish.
Another thing I’d suggest: if you do find something on someone else’s blog that isn’t working, LET THEM KNOW. I recently had something broken on my blog (comment fields weren’t being saved so people had to fill them out each time they visited) and it took months for someone to tell me!
I think people really appreciate it if you let them know something is wrong ASAP.
Completely agree. I usually try to email them if possible
Captcha is eeeeevil. Sometimes I miss, and no I do not go back and fix it, I leave it
Yes..I am part robot apparently.