Alrighty, Shtickers, here's the dealio!
I have had COUNTLESS issues responding to comments left on my and my mother's blog from various posts of ours. I have finally figured out the issue after weeks literally weeks of research and dead ends, and I want to share the information with you. This is very important for your image. For instance, I felt terrible not being able to respond to someone who had taken the time, not only to read my post, but to leave a comment and feedback. What kind of blogger does that make me look like? A snobby one that doesn't give two you-know-whats about the thoughts and feelings and input of my readers. That's SO NOT ME!! Not to mention, it is my hope that this post will help you to better understand the settings that we fiddle with in our dashboard and also to make your blog more "reader/user-friendly".
I want to go ahead and add this disclaimer - this is a tutorial for Blogger and Blogger only. I haven't had this many issues with the comments on my Tumblr account, because Tumblr is kinda like the Vegas to Blogger's... well, everywhere but Vegas! Also, being a tutorial by it's very nature, this post will be a bit long, but it's okay! You can do this!
Now, the different options that we have on our Blogger comments, and how to find them. First of all, you have the option to use Google+ Comments. It makes it sound like this really awesome, all encompassing thing, but my advice to you do not use it! It completely disabled all of my comment options, so if you go into your comment options by going to your Blogger Dashboard > The Blog You Want to Make Changes to > Settings at the bottom on the left hand column > sub-menu "Posts and Comments" and you see that you have:
Comment Location: <option>
but then nothing else, this is because you have Google + Comments enabled.
To fix this, in the left hand Dashboard, click Google+ and disable Google + Comments.
Now, for the part that I can give you pictures for! (Yay pictures!)
This is what your Comments options should look like:
You should have four options in your Comment Location. Let's review those:
Embedded - I think this is a great option. It's the sleekest and integrates very well into the blog by simply showing all of your comments, giving you the option to comment and reply, and (if you're an admin) delete comments from right there as you see fit. However, to use this option the user that is trying to comment on your blog has to have third party cookies enabled. Otherwise, you can comment or reply and hit enter, submit, whatever you want, and nothing will happen. Your text disappears into the nether and you can retype it all you want, but unless you have third party cookies enabled you are not going to get anywhere.
I've opted out of this option myself because I feel for all of those people that aren't all that tech savvy and just "for the love of God just want to leave a freaking comment!" But if you're just too attached to the aesthetics of it, IN CHROME (other browsers will be similar but I do not use them, so I don't have a step-by-step) go to the top right hand corner where you see this little diddy:
Then go to Settings > "Show Advanced Settings..." (little blue print all the way at the bottom) > under Privacy (first one) hit "Content Settings..."
That little check box that says "Block third-party cookies and site data" - make sure that little dude is blank.
As for your other options:
Full Page - I find this one to be annoying. You may want to comment on a post, but aren't ready to actually leave the post. You click to post a comment and suddenly you're on the "Comments Page". Maybe for some this is a good option, but I tend to get frustrated with sites that take away pages instead of just giving me a new tab. I mean, come on... We have tabbed browsing now... Sheesh ;)
Pop-up Window - This is what I finally broke down to on my blog. It's not the best, because it is a pop-up window, and will often times get blocked. However, most browsers are good about saying, "Hey, just wanted to let you know, that window you wanted opened. We didn't let it open. You want it open? Click here." And bam, your reader can post their comment in the little window, stay on your post in the big window, and they don't have to know jack squat about "advanced" options or "cookies".
Hide - Only use this if you want NO COMMENTS!
Now, a few other things I want to touch on - a lot of my points you can find on my previous blog posts here - but to keep it short, we really don't want to "edit" our readers right? But we don't want spam. Hmmm.. What a quandary. Here's my take on it. You have these options on Blogger:
Who Can Comment? - Anyone
- Registered User
- User with Google Accounts
- Only Members of This Blog
I choose to let anyone comment. In my opinion, who cares if they're anonymous or don't want to have a Google/Google+/Blogger/Whatever account? If you want to use more discretion, that's your prerogative, but if your reason for not wanting anonymous users is to prevent spam, then I have a suggestion for you. Your next set of options are these:
Comment Moderation: - Always
(I have never, once again, your prerogative.)
Show Word Verification: -Yes
Now, what's that? It's the dreaded Captcha... I know, I know. I hate them, too! But they prevent bots from posting stupid advertisements on your page, and most of the time will drive away someone who is not really that committed to posting a comment on your page. Blogger provides you with lots of options, and I hope that this post, although a little lengthy, helped you to better understand them. Now that I can respond to your comments, I hope to hear feedback from you!
May muses whisper to you always,
from Kat Knap Crafts