WordPress Settings

What’s the Big Deal about WordPress Discussion Settings?

Posted: 07 Dec 2011 01:00 AM PST

WordPress discussion settingsWhenever I coach a client or teach a workshop, I am amazed at how many people either ignore their WordPress settings or just leave them all as default. I’m talking about:

and Permalinks (for those of you self-hosted)

Most bloggers set up their general settings, or at least check them out. But the others? Not so much.

If you have been blogging for a while, it might be time for a little settings maintenance. One setting I frequently find that people give too little attention to is “discussion.” But, really, if you want to engage your readers and build a community, this part of your settings should not be ignored. Because it determines how hard or easy it is for your readers to join the discussion. Let’s take a peek.

Default Article Settings

This is where you decide if you want to let other bloggers know that you’ve linked to them in your post. A default setting simply means that it’s what you want to happen every time. In the first checked box below, keep in mind that it says, “Attempt”…(You won’t always be notified, but they don’t do too bad a job.) Also, remember, as it says below, that these can be changed by the page or post. Just make sure that whatever you set your default at, it’s what you want to do most of the time.

WordPress default article settings

Other Comment Settings

Again, very straight-forward. But you have several options you may not have thought of. I always recommend the first one. The rest, well, the choice is yours, but do review them to make sure they’re really what you want.

WordPress other comment settings

Email Me Whenever & Before a Comment Appears

This is important stuff. The first box means you want to be emailed when a reader leaves a comment. But the second box brings up the question: Do I want to moderate my comments, that is, read and approve each one before it is published? As a blogger, I’ve never done that. Why? There is nothing more irritating than leaving a well-thought out comment, pushing the publish button and seeing the dreaded words “Your comment is being held for moderation.” I don’t often return to a site with comment moderation turned on. It is especially discouraging to the reader when the blogger doesn’t approve their comment for several days.

Some of you will say, “But if I don’t moderate, I’ll get a bunch of crappy or spammy comments.” This happens when bloggers don’t have a spam filter or plugin installed. A good one, like Akismet, will catch most of the crap. And anything that sneaks through, well, you can delete it or set up more filters (as I explain below).

I do understand that there are instances where the subject matter of a blog may be so sensitive that the comments need to be moderated. If so, at least check the second box by “Before a comment appears,” so once you have approved a reader’s first comment, if they use the same name and email, future comments won’t be held.

WordPress email and moderation comment settings

Comment Moderation

Now, let’s bring out the big guns.  If you are finding comments getting through from certain people that you really, really feel you must moderate, you have these options. You can have their comment moderated by simply flagging certain words they always use in their comments, or you can choose to moderate based on their name, URL, email or IP address. You can find all of this in the comment section of your dashboard. And, because we don’t put self-promotional links in our comments, but spammers do, the first line below  allows you to hold a comment if it contains a certain number of links.  2 is the default here and it works fairly well.

WordPress comment moderation

Comment Blacklist

And, for the really bad commenters— you know, the rude, abusive, threatening ones? Well, blacklist them! :

WordPress comment blacklist


And last, but not least, avatars. This is where you allow them to put their shiny, bright little face by their comment. As a general rule, it’s good to allow your readers avatars to show when they leave a comment. When people create their avatars, they are supposed to rate them, kind of like the ratings on movies: G (acceptable for all audiences); PG (for age 13 and older); and so on. As a blogger, you have control over which types of avatars you allow your commenters to display. So, if you only allow “G” and someone with an R-rated avatar leaves a comment, their photo won’t show. And don’t forget, for those who have registered their email and picture, and don’t have an avatar, you can choose which of the default ones you want to show up (see the default avatars below).

WordPress comment avatars

There you have it. A review of the discussion settings in your WordPress dashboard.

Did you find something you needed to change or update?

Related Posts:

What’s the Big Deal about WordPress Discussion Settings? originally appeared on For Bloggers By Bloggers – Blogging Tips | Blog Design | Blog Themes | Grow Your Blog under a Creative Commons license.


SEO: It’s Never Too Late to Optimise Your Old Blog Posts

Posted: 06 Dec 2011 09:00 AM PST

SEO image cloud via Wordle

If you have been reading FBBB for some time the  chances are you know more about SEO now than you did when you first started blogging.

What do you do with that knowledge? Do you only use it on your current posts? You do know it’s never too late to go back and optimise your old posts, right?

It’s never too late to go back and optimise your old blog posts

Don’t think you have to work your SEO  magic on every single old post;  just choose the ones that are already getting some traffic. Look at your stats package or Google Analytics and see what posts are currently popular and tweak them. The key here is too tweak gently and not give the poor, unsuspecting blog post a full on edit :-)

Other posts to tweak for better SEO include pillar /evergreen / foundation blog posts  that you’ve spent a lot of time on and they’re so great you want everyone to read them. Of course you can also go back and optimise your pages as well.

Not sure what your older content is optimised for? Cut and paste the text in Wordle. The biggest words in your word cloud are your most frequently used keywords and phrases.

How do you tweak an old blog post?

  • Spend  time rechecking keyword tools for your best keyword phrase(s).
  • Look at the post and make sure you have your keywords in the URL.
  • Revisit the content of the post and make sure it includes your keyword phrase throughout, in an anchor text link, in your H1 and H2 tags, and your alt image tags.

And of course…

  • Work on your backlinking by leaving comments on other sites so they link back to your blog post.
  • Check out the sites that are above you in the search rankings and see where they’re doing their backlinking. Then see if you can get links from there too.
  • Deep link  – link to some of your newer, fresher content and of course you link back to older content all the time…
  • Add meta descriptions to any posts that don’t have them
  • Add images if the post doesn’t already have them
  • Add a call to action to help the post convert better
  • Alter the call to action if it’s not converting
  • To like your older blog posts, especially posts that pre-dated the Facebook like button
  • To G+ an older blog post once a day

Sure it’s extra work to go back and optimise your old posts. Make it easier by choosing the blog posts that are already getting traffic or are important to your brand. By optimising your older posts and doing what is needed to bring them up in the SERPs will get you great results.

Share with us in the comments your tips for optimising older content.

Related Posts:

SEO: It’s Never Too Late to Optimise Your Old Blog Posts originally appeared on For Bloggers By Bloggers – Blogging Tips | Blog Design | Blog Themes | Grow Your Blog under a Creative Commons license.


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