Should I Disable Comments On My Blog? Pros And Cons

I've always allowed for comments on my blog. Engagement is one of the key ingredients for building a successful blog, I know that. However, some people do question whether allowing comments on a blog is at all that important. Is it?

Should you disable comments on your blog?

Well, before I try and answer that question, I know there's already been some debate about this topic in the past.

I decided to write this post to share with you my perspective, and hopefully, by the time you've read this post, you'll be able to decide for yourself whether comments are needed or not.

In addition, I wanted to take this opportunity to look at, and share with you the advantages and disadvantages of disabling the comment feature on your blog.

So, if you're seriously thinking about disabling comments altogether, for whatever reason, just hold off until you've read this post.

I have disabled commenting on my blog

Some time ago, I decided once and for all, to completely disable comments on my blog.

The reason for this is that dealing with comments was taking up too much of my time.

In addition, I wanted to shift the engagement over onto social media, because essentially, that's where everybody is hanging out these days.

OK, let's get on with the post.

First of all, ask yourself this:

"Why should I disable comments on my blog?"

I think that's the best way to start, by being clear about it yourself, Why do you want to do this?

Here are some possible reasons -

  • It could be because you want to spend less time reading through and responding to comments every single day. Like I was doing.
  • It could be because your content is the type of content that doesn't encourage much engagement, i.e. product, reviews, tutorials.
  • It could be because you don't have the time anymore for comments, full-stop.

Whatever your reasons may be for the moment, let's just start off by weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of turning off comments on your blog.

Should I Disable Comments On My Blog? Pros And Cons

4 huge disadvantages of turning off comments

#1. No more engagement or conversations on your blog

I think this is a BIG disadvantage because blogging has always been about conversations.

Comments on a blog help you to make those all-important connections with your readers. They help you to build lasting relationships with your audience and to understand their needs better. I'll talk more about that in point #3.

OK, so here's a really stupid way to look at it:

Think about eating toast in the mornings, if you do eat toast. Would you prefer it cold with no butter or jelly? Or would you prefer it warm where the butter melts?

I did say it was stupid.

Anyway, upon eating cold rancid toast, you know there's something missing, although you still eat it.

Your toast could be warm, butter could be melting off the top of it with a nice dollop of sweet tasting jelly.

Cold toast is bland and uninteresting. Almost as bland as a blog with zero engagement.

If you turn off comments, that's exactly what it will be... like eating cold rancid toast.

You'll have a blog with just a one-sided conversation... Yours.

Also, as I said earlier, it's not just about the engagement value, but comments help you to understand your reader's needs better.

#2. Is your blog active or dead, who knows?

When visitors come to your blog for the first time and see lots of engaging conversations going on, they immediately get the impression that hey, this blog must be pretty popular, let me check it out.

It's also validation, proof that your blog has an active audience. People are reading your post, sharing their thoughts and adding value to your content.

Lots of engaging comments also show that you are an authority in your industry and that people are actually listening to you, following you, and communicating with you through comments.

When other people are visiting your blog for the first time, they see all these comments and this will encourage them to want to do the same, and perhaps even subscribe to your newsletter too.

If you disable comments, you'll have no proof to show to anyone that your blog is indeed alive and active or an authoritative platform.

Perhaps you can rely on social proof (shares) for this instead unless you have social counts turned off too.

#3. Difficult for you to build and strengthen relationships

Following on from the last two points I made about zero engagement and providing no proof that your blog is indeed alive, with engagement, comes the strengthening of relationships between YOU and your readers, and your community.

That is vitally important.

When frequent visitors and other bloggers drop by to leave meaningful comments and you respond to them, something truly magical happens. You become connected, intertwined, and over time those relationships strengthen.

This is how trust and credibility are gained online, and that to me is extremely important.

#4. Difficult for you to properly understand the need of your audiences

I kind of touched on this in my first point, but let me dive a little deeper.

Allowing your readers to comment on your blog makes it easier for you to tune-in and truly listen to what they're asking for.

You can see what questions they're asking in the comment section? What they are conversing about on your blog too?

Understanding your reader's needs will help you to determine what types of "problem-solving" content to create for them in the future.

As you continue to engage more with your readers, you become more connected with them and on a more personal level too.

You get to understand them and their needs better. Blog comments can do all of those wonderful things and more.

OK, you've heard the disadvantages, what about the advantages of turning off blog comments?

Let's take a look.

3 huge advantages of turning off comments on your blog

#1. No more spam comments and time wasted moderating comments

Spam comments used to take me quite a bit of time to sieve through. More often than not, I'd always find a small handful of good comments caught up in the spam folder too.

Disabling comments made all of those spammy comments disappear. And as for the time I've saved not moderating those comments, well, that has been priceless.

#2. No more "zero comments" shown on posts

If you have a blog that gets a lot of comments, then that's great. However, if your blog doesn't actually get many comments, to begin with, that's not so great.

Let me explain why:

I know many new blogs struggle to get comments in the beginning, however, they will come with time, and as long as your content is good and your marketing and promotion strategy is on cue.

The problem sometimes with having a blog with lots of 'zero comments' in posts is that some people will instantly think that your blog is NOT popular, or inactive.

When people visit your blog and they see big fat zeros in your comment counter, this can sometimes discourage them from breaking the ice and making the first comment.

Here's a good tip: In this instance, turning off comments on posts that have not received any comments after a while.

#3. Save money

If you want to avoid getting tons of comment spam, then you know you have to pay for something like Akismet.

While it's not that expensive, however, if you run several blogs then it can get costly.

Turning off comments means you don't need to pay for spam protection on your blog, usually.

#4. Shift engagement to social media

By disabling comments, you have the advantage and option to move all of the engagement on the social channels that work best for your blog.

For me, those channels happen to be Facebook and Instagram.

Wrapping up

So there you have it, hopefully, some credible reasons to remove or leave comments on your blog.

At the end of the day, and despite the pros and cons, YOU have to make the decision for yourself.

If you think you really need to save time, focus more on the areas of your blog that needs attention, and if you don't care much for engagement or interaction on your blog, then turn off comments.

Also, maybe you want to shift the engagement over onto your social media channels, that's another reason why some bloggers and marketers want to disable comments on their blogs.

I want to wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide to do.

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14 comments on “Should I Disable Comments On My Blog? Pros And Cons”

  1. Hi Fabrizio

    Very difficult topic you picked and it is still to say definitely about two of its options. You well covered all the merits and demerits and did full justice with the topic.

    I think it also depends upon the niche of one's blog. If niche relates to an industry where nothing is worthy of selling then obviously he has to rely on PPC options to earn money. For that he needs not to build a community.

    Yes for those blogging on popular niche they must continue commenting option and should not think to disable it. They can't make money without building a community and commenting plays a big role for this task.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this very debate igniting post.

    1. Hi Muba,

      Yes you're absolutely right about the niche type, I discovered that very quickly with my parenting / child custody niche site, since it is just an information blog and at present I've not yet thought about creating a unique product to sell on that site, nor is the site making any real money other than modest income from AdSense.

      For a blog like this one though, I realise how important comments are because I want to serve an audience and help people solve problems and take their blogging to new levels, so allowing comments is essential if I want to connect with people, strength my relationships with them and and build a community.

      Always great to read your comments here Muba, thanks for being part of my community =) You're truly appreciated.

  2. Hey Fabrizio,

    First time on your blog and I found you via Adrienne Smith's blog. You made some valid points on whether to turn on or turn off the comment section.

    I do say for beginner bloggers to leave your comment section on. As a beginner you want to start building engagement and a community. How do you do this? You want to comment on other blogs within your niche to start off. For me when I was a beginner, this is what i did, and people did come to my blog to comment as well. For others it may be different, but so far I haven't seen this for myself.

    Now once you get to the point where you're getting hundreds and hundreds and thousands of comments, then it might be safe to turn off your comment section. At this point you've already build a great reputation and trying to reply to all of those comments can be by far overwhelming. This is at the point where your shares become more valuable than your comments. I myself haven't got into this point yet, but would more than likely turn this section off it it does!

    Thanks for sharing your opinions on this subject! Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Sherman, first of all, a warm welcome to my blog, and thanks so much for leaving a valuable comment.

      Yes I absolutely agree with you, from a beginners perspective you need to start establishing yourself quickly, and like you say, you need to start getting as many eyeballs on your content as possible from the word go, and hopefully getting more people interested in becoming regular visitors, readers, and becoming part of your community. Blog commenting is the ultimate way in which to do that, that and doing content promotion and engaging on blog community sites.

      When I started my first blog back in 2010, that's exactly what I did (minus engaging on blog community sites), I had a strategy where I was commenting on 5 to 10 blogs per day related to my niche. Within a year I had built a reasonably good readership and averaging between 15 and 20 comments per post, which wasn't too bad I thought.

      I turned off the comments though during the second year on that blog because among the many great comments I was getting, also came the thousands of spammy ones. Spammers were getting cleverer everyday and bots were invading blogs via commenting like as if it was going out of fashion 🙂 But by which then I also had a nice little 'regular' audience to cater for.

      This blog however is still relatively new (started in March 2014) and so community building IS big on my agenda. I love reaching out and connecting with influential people online, and through blog commenting I've been able to connect with great bloggers like Adrienne Smith and Neil Patel and Ms Ileane Smith, and now of course yourself 🙂 I invested in Adrienne's community building course and very close to finishing it, it's such a great course what I've consumed of it so far, and I've learned so much.

      Anyhow Sherman, thanks again for visiting, hope to see you again soon. Have a super weekend too.

      Fabrizio

  3. Hello Fabrizio,

    This subject is interesting debate material and you're bound to get a plethora of opinions with each subsequent one conflicting with the previous one(s).

    One thing is certain though: it actually boils down to what works excellently well for a blog (or a blogger) as a person. Sometimes, experimentation is the best route to reach such a destination.

    Enjoy the weekend!

    Always,
    Terungwa

    1. Hey Terungwa thanks for your comment mate.

      Yeah sure, I mean I've experimented many times with comments on and off with blogs, to start with as I agree with Sherman having comments on to start the process of getting people to comment is essential, then later on if comments is working then that's great.

      Like I found with my niche fatherhood/parenting blog, people didn't comment very much on that site, they were quite happy to just share posts on their favourite social network site. I think largely due to the fact that the content wasn't personal like the content on this blog for example. Here I write and address the readers in my post. On my niche site I don't address anyone, I just write content that provides value without promoting engagement, without asking questions or providing call to actions, so eventually I turned off the comments.

      Hope you're having a great weekend too bro, thanks for stopping by, come back soon.

      Fabrizio

  4. Hey Fabrizio,

    I had to stop by and chime in on this subject, it's one of my favorites as you know.

    I know that not everyone is here for the same reasons. Not everyone is using their blogs the same way. I know that a lot of them use it as just a resource and they don't really care whether or not they build engagement or have a community.

    For those people I hope that's benefiting them well but for the rest of us I believe it's valuable to not only have comments but have great conversations taking place. That's social proof that you not only know what you're talking about but it's very attractive in new prospects eyes.

    To me having a community behind you is the key to your success. They are the ones that will be there for you and support you. If you can achieve that through building your list and having great results than all the more power to you. But I believe that by having social proof, that will entice more and more people into opting into your list and getting what you offer.

    Down the road if you're having massive success because of these avenues and you can't afford to continue keeping up with them then at that time each person can decide whether or not they want to disable their comment section. I can't really ever see me doing it because I'm so big on community but again I think it has to be up to the individual.

    As far as doing it for spam, I think that's just an excuse. If you have the right things in place you won't be run over by spam. I don't use Akismet and only did in the very beginning. Anyone with a blog will have spam, it's just part of it but it can be controlled and all I can say is that mine is very much under control.

    Anyway, that's my two cents on this subject and thanks for bringing this up. I know everyone has their opinions on this.

    Hope you're enjoying your weekend and thanks again.

    ~Adrienne

    1. Very well put Adrienne, though like I said, on my niche site I had no spam protection whatsoever, so I could have easily solved that problem right there by adding Akismet. But I chose to turn off comments on that site as well because there we'rent really any real comments being left, it seemed that visitors preferred to share content more as apposed to leave meaningful comments on them, and most of that sites traffic comes from search engines in any case. I guess it's like Muba says it ALSO depends on the niche type as well.

      Had a great weekend Adrienne, should be fully recharged for another week 🙂 Hope you had a great one too =)

  5. Hi Fabrizio.

    That was an interesting topic for discussion. I thought that Copyblogger were wrong to disable comments (although I thought they were right to dump Facebook).

    I agree with all the points that you made - except one: "I’m not putting off new visitors." Perhaps it's because I make and receive comments regularly on blogs, but I am put off by an article that has not enabled comment. It looks lonely and desolate, which puts me off reading further. Therefore, I wouldn't describe disabling comments as a potential advantage for that reason.

    However, I'm enjoying the discussion thus far and look forward to reading your future articles.

    Nathan.

    1. Hey Nathan thanks for checking out my post and thoughts on blog commenting.

      That's cool, I love hearing about others thoughts and opinions too. You make a strong point, yes no option for commenting is off putting, but I think in my case for my niche site, comments was simply not working at all, people were simply using it to leave me thousands of spam every month, so I flipped the switch and disabled their ability to leave me crap lol.

      But on a blog like this, I would never dream of removing comments again after carrying out my little experiment.

      Have a super week Nathan, truly appreciate your visit and comment.

  6. Hey Fabrizio,

    If I remember correctly you had comments disabled on this blog for a while. You had left an option below every post so we could join the conversation at Google+. I might be wrong - but I am somewhat sure because after reading a few posts, I wanted to leave my opinion on the post right there. Since I didn't have that option, I simply left disappointed. And then I stopped visiting your blog since it was all one way 🙂 Sorry to say so.

    I'm happy today - I see the option to comment. I visit your blog after a while and this very title prompted me to check out your blog because I just published a post on the topic http://www.blog.dosplash.com/blog-commenting-effective-traffic-strategy/

    Personally, I wouldn't turn off comments and make my blog a rigid place for my readers. I want my blog to be a place where everyone can speak up and share their opinion on ANY topic! It is a place where everyone, including me, learns.

    Thanks for bringing up this topic 🙂

    Cheers,
    Jane.

    1. Hello Jane, nope, you are absolutely correct, I did disable comments on this blog for almost a month (about 26 day), I posted on the Facebook page that I would be running an experiment with comments turned off.

      I decided to turn it back it back on because a few people had emailed me to say that they couldn't leave comments, what was going on? I soon realised that turning off comments was a bad idea, especially on a blog where I'm drawing readers into the conversation.

      The feedback I got from people was great, they were disappointed too that I had turned off comments, thankfully though they emailed me and told me, so I knew this was not going to work.

      After reading some great articles, one particular one on Adrienne's blog, here's the link: http://www.adriennesmith.net/blog-commenting-blog-thrive/ I realised how much I underestimated the power of user comments.

      Have a great week Jane, thanks for your time here, truly appreciated =)

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