Is it worth it to have user comments on your website?

Is it worth it to have user comments on your website?

In one of our older articles, we were discussing how you can embed a panel with user comments on your website through Disqus.com web service. But at the same time, we didn't dress the question if it's even worth it to have user discussion on your website.

There are websites that can benefit from user comments. Those are usually community projects, on which users usually participate in creating the content (even though it may not be always ideal). But if we are talking about a basic website with its specific content - for example about a blog on your portfolio, where your readers form more of a consume community, then you really don't need to have user comments.

Because the sad truth is that user comments and discussions under your articles can do more harm then good. A lot of aggressive users can emerge from these discussions like a jack-in-the-box, no matter how carefully you watch over them.

Comments on your blog

Somebody could stand up for user comments and say that they support search engine optimization of your articles and the users will spend more time on your website thanks to them, but that usually isn't true and search engines usually see user comments as trash.

The vast majority of your readers don't care about comments (that is if they don't want to provoke you through them) and even if they do, they will more likely comment on your article for example through Facebook. And that is our main point. Because if you write for instance technical or other expert articles that your readers can respond to in a constructive and productive way, there is one way that will motivate your readers to participate in your articles.

Because the main reason why you don't need user discussions within your articles is that social networks do much better work at this. Because if you share your article with Facebook, your fans and readers will most likely comment it there.

You can easily add user comments to your website... but should you?

Also with comments on social networks, you don't even have to worry about their moderating, because those discussing on Facebook under your work are overall much more pleasant and productive group of people, because they usually consist of your friends and followers that want to lead a productive discussion.

All in all; you can have user comments on your website, but you don't really need them. Rather post your articles on social networks (that we strongly recommend you to do, though you have to be a bit subtle about it) and let the discussion flow there.

Also, when sharing something on Twitter, all you need to do is to select a good hashtag and ask your readers to use it when reacting to your article. Also if someone makes a constructive or completing remark to your article on Twitter, you can embed this tweet to your original article, which can motivate other users to react to your article in a constructive way. There is a lot of options, but the main thing is to involve your readers in a positive and productive way.

Tags for this post