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WordPress: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Chapter 8. Comments: Letting Your Readers Talk Back

In the chapters you’ve read up to this point, you’ve learned to create the two most essential ingredients of any WordPress site, posts and pages. They’re the vehicles for your content—the way you’ll reach friends, potential customers, or hordes of devoted readers.

Still left to explore is the WordPress commenting system, which is a keenly important part of almost every WordPress site, whether it’s a chatty blog or a buttoned-up business website. Used properly, comments can change your site from a one-way lecture to a back-and-forth conversation with your readers or customers. Commenting isn’t just a fun way to make friends—it’s also a serious tool for promoting your work, getting more traffic, turning casual browsers into repeat visitors, and even making money.

In this chapter, you’ll learn how to manage comments on your site. You can banish offensive ones, insert yourself into the discussion, and even tweak the way WordPress displays comments by adding author pictures and formatting them to make them more readable. Once you understand the basics of comment management, you’ll be ready to confront one the single biggest hassles that every WordPress site faces: comment spam—the messages that dubious marketers and scammers slap across every site they can find. You’ll learn strategies for preventing spam without aggravating your readers, and you’ll take a side trip to explore the spam-crushing Akismet plug-in.

Note

This chapter points ...

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