Blog Suggestions

I will keep a list some of my common suggestions for blogging–especially for WordPress folks.  I am not a “Layout King” by any means, but some folks may find these helpful.

(1) Stop “Related Links” (WordPress only)

Get the “related links” off the bottom of your posts (it is a default of WordPress). The posts look much better without it. It distracts from your post. It almost appears as if you recommend the links while WordPress is just choosing other WordPress sites with similar categories. They say it increases your hits but I think it is worth the sacrifice. It will keep your post looking nicer and less confusing.

Here is how in WordPress:

  • Go to your dashboard — look down the left menu
  • Find “Appearance” and click on “Extras”.
  • Uncheck the “Hide related link …” option.

(2) Don’t moderate comments

Don’t filter comments.  One, the commenter does not get that immediate good feeling of seeing their contribution posted immediately.  Two, you can always censor later if you need to.

  • Go to your dashboard — look down the left menu
  • Find “Settings” and click on “Discussion”
  • Find “Before a comment appears”
  • Uncheck both boxes: “An administrator …” and “Comment author …”

(3) Don’t make commenters register

It is a great pain for commenters. I guess folks like it to control comments, but I avoid sites that do it — it is just one more password to remember. Kills the spontaneity of commenting.

  • Go to your dashboard — look down the left menu
  • Find “Settings” and click on “Discussion”
  • Find “Other comment settings”
  • Uncheck the “Users must be registered and logged in to comment” option

(4) Turn off mShots

This is a cute functionality. It shows a mini picture of a links site. But it gets in the way of the mouse and it is too small to serve any real purpose.

How to in WordPress:

  • Go to your dashboard — look down the left menu
  • Find “Appearance” and click on “Extras”
  • Then uncheck “Enable mShots site previews on this blog”

(5) Put Search Capacity on your site

People need to be able to search your posts. They can do it best with a search option. I don’t know if Blogspot has this — if not, it is a huge minus. Also, put archives up. You will need a at least two-column template to do this. One-column templates are obnoxious.  Also, see # 6 below on Indexed posts to help people find your posts.

How to In WordPress:

  • Go to your dashboard — look down the left menu
  • Find “Appearance” and click on “Widgets”
  • Drag the “Search” widget into your widgets on the right.
  • Remember, you can always delete widgets, so play with them and then look at your site. If you don’t like it, delete it.
  • While there, add the “Archives” widget.

Related PostsBlogging: an index post of my posts about blogging.


Filed under Blogging

7 responses to “Blog Suggestions

  1. brucehood

    Thanks.. Sabio
    I have instigated your recommendation on comment hierarchies and I give comments registration a go.

  2. Sago

    1) I wonder if (conceptually, not WordPress specific) there would be a way to combine both approaches. I agree, I hate threaded comments, particularly when they throttle the depth of the threads so you end up being linear anyway. But it is also handy to be able to respond directly to someone. Hmmm….

    5) Do you have any data on the number of internal searches on your blog? I kindof assumed that most search would be done through external engines, so if you’re seeing otherwise it would be good to know.

  3. @ Bruce — You do understand that I said DON’T !!! make commenters register. I hope you were being sarcastic (British humor and all)?

    @ “Sargo”
    (1)That is why we write “@” so-and-so. It accomplishes both.
    (5?) No, I have no idea how many internal searches on my blog. I would guess that there are few. THAT is why I build INDEXED POSTS, to guide readers. Actually, I occasionally remember something having been discussed on a blog and go specifically to that blog to search for it. In that case, an internal search tool would be most helpful.

  4. Ian = Sago = Sargo

    “Sargo” – hmmm, wordpress keeps resetting my id. Hmm.

  5. All good tips. Especially 2-4. Regarding hierarchical comments, I don’t like them especially either but can see some benefit as well. The mShots drive me crazy.

  6. Kay

    I don’t use hiearchy comments anymore (thanks to your recommendation from way back when), but you wouldn’t know that at first glance.

    Disqus allows you to turn threaded comments off, but the plugin still offers a button to reply directly to a comment. You click that, leave the comment and it gets put at the bottom of the page. But then Disqus says “In reply to” above the reply.

    None of that makes any sense. You just have to try it to see what I mean. 🙂

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