Configuring Discussion Settings

Discussion settings, which have to do with the interaction on your blog via comments and trackbacks, can be configured by selecting the Lists and Settings section of your administration panel, and then clicking on the Discussion Settings tab.

Once you've done this, the following panel will be presented to you.

The options are explained below:

Allow Comments on Posts - Setting this to No will turn off the comment features on your blog. This will remove a lot of interaction from your blogging experience, but is, of course, your choice. Sometimes, if you're being tormented by particularly nasty commenters, this can be done just to give yourself a break.

Allow Trackbacks on Posts - a trackback is a way for other bloggers to let you know that they've linked back to one of your posts. You can turn off the ability for others to trackback to you here.

Default setting for "Allow comments on this post" - In the Post administration form, there is a checkbox that you can select to turn on or off comments for that specific post. This setting sets the default, or normal, state for that checkbox.

Default setting for "Allow trackbacks on this post" - Ditto the above note, except this time for trackbacks.

Allow guests to edit their own comments - This is a useful feature, depending on your level of friendliness with your commenters. If this is set, commenters will be able to edit the last comment they left on your blog, within a space of a few minutes (see next setting). Turning this on gives commenters the ability to correct grammatical or spelling mistakes, to re-word or de-snark their comments, etc.

Time limit for guest comment editing - If the previous setting is enabled, this is the number of minutes that have to elapse before the commenter is no longer allowed to edit their last comment. Five minutes is generally the recommended time (it's also the default).

Comment link style - The default setting is "Popup comments". This means that when a user clicks on the "Leave a comment" or "# comments" link on the post, a popup comment window will be displayed. If this setting is changed to "In-page comments", clicking on the link will refresh the current page, showing the comments thread for the post in question with the "Leave a comment" form at the bottom of the thread. Set this based on whatever your preference is.

Full Comment Moderation - Depending on the type of blog that you have and the amount of traffic you get, you may want to turn on moderation for all comments. This will send every comment that hits your blog directly to moderation. The advantages of this is that you have full control over the content of comments, and can screen out spam and trolls. The drawback of this is that it can slow down the conversation on your blog, and it is a bit of an administrative burden if you have a lot of traffic.

Here's how you turn on comment moderation. Note: only the blog administrator can do this.

1. Click on the "Send all comments to moderation . . ." checkbox

2. If desired, select from the list of Administrators and Moderators to designate who will receive email alerts when a comment needs to be moderated. If no one is selected, moderation emails will go to the administrator(s) by default.

3. Press the "Save Discussion Settings" button to save your settings

Once you've done the above, anytime a new comment hits the blog, selected moderators will receive an email containing the comment content and a link they can click on to approve or disapprove the comment.

There are other settings that determine some aspects of how comments are displayed. See here: Post and Comment Display Settings