There is an opinion that a comment section is not needed anymore as it doesn’t do any good to the users, to the author of the content, to the site as a whole and even to the commentators themselves. But is it true?
Let’s try to see what the pros and cons of having this section on your website are.
First of all, the good things.
Why you need a comment section
First of all, comments are communication — and not only in a bad way. People can share opinions with you, suggest new sources of info, point out the inaccuracies in your posts, etc.
People are not as mean as you might think. Comments are the area where you can ask questions and get professional (and nonprofessional) help. Even more, if a user asks something, and you manage to answer quickly and provide them with helpful and useful information, they will always return to your site. So, comments are also a good way to establish a relationship of trust with your audience.
For a SEO specialist, the comment section is a way to make a site more popular. A search system sees comments as a part of the content of your site. Even more, it sees them not just as content, but as unique content. So, from that point of view, the more people commenting on your content the better.
Fair criticism is beneficial for your personal progress and for your site as well. When people politely point out your mistakes, you can take them into consideration and avoid them in the future. It lets you grow.
People’s opinions can seriously affect the author’s self-esteem. So yet another reason to leave the comment section on your site open is all the good things people tell you. There are always those people who will encourage and inspire you. These are the ones who will leave those cute and cool notes about your work and will make you want to try even harder.
With so many good things about comments, is there really no harm in them? Well, not so fast — let us count some of the bad things!
Why you DON’T need a comment section
It’s no secret that comments are a great way to express your own opinion on a subject. But don’t be surprised to find nasty things under your blog, video or merchandise one day.
See, the internet gives everybody the feeling of complete anonymity. And people are so used to it that they sometimes forget that there is a real person, with real emotions behind a cute or funny avatar.
That’s why they are comfortable with writing whatever they want without thinking too much. That’s why if you want to deal with people commenting on your content, you need to be prepared for what you can find there.
This brings us to the next point. Comments like that not only hurt, but also put wrong ideas in the people’s heads.
How can a person feel good and proud of themselves if they are constantly told how wrong everything they do is? This is true both in real life and on the internet.
Comment sections are crawling with all kinds of trolls, spammers, etc. Dealing with them is not pleasant.
Hearing criticism about your content, site, or whatever it is that you do is a good thing. But only the fair criticism is valuable.
We all understand that sometimes commentators throw mud at authors just for the heck of it. It can discourage a person and seriously affect their self-esteem.
Is there any way to get rid of bad comments? Entirely and permanently? Nope. But there are some things that will help to cope with them.
- Hire a bunch of people to moderate the comment section and delete everything that’s offensive, hateful or meaningless (like spam, advertisements or troll provocations).
- Use filters. On some sites, you can create a list of words, and the filter will delete every comment that contains those words.
- Try not to take everything personal. Use their hate as fuel to do better, and remember: there is no way to please everyone.
Is there still a need for a comment section? The answer is — there is no answer. On one hand, there is the user’s trust, feedbacks, communication, sharing of thoughts and opinions; on the other hand the negativity, spam and unjustified criticism. What is more important to you personally? You must decide for yourself.
And if you decide to make a comment section on your website, write to us. Our Drupal developers will do it quickly and efficiently.