Blog’s are designed to encourage user feedback and reader interaction, but unfortunately, until you’ve built a community to support your blog, you won’t find this happen out of the gate.
Before Creare, my previous web experience laid in building community websites for video games. But, in the earlier days of the internet, owning a basic, static website threw up many barriers that would often put-off my regular visitors from commenting on a blog post.
WordPress as a Blog Platform comes with a Comments System out-of-the-box, but again, like those vintage days, it can be a cumbersome process to have to sign-up exclusively to a blog to post a quick comment, plus, by their nature, visitors can be just plain lazy sometimes (sorry!).
I recently revamped one of my bigger websites, and put a lot of time into researching how I can make it more inviting to get my regular readers interacting with my blog posts by using WordPress Plugins on the site.
You won’t find all of these features on the Creare Design blog just yet, but as you may of noticed, we are in the process of revamping our website design.
Disqus is a replacement comments system for blog platforms including WordPress that gives users the ability comment on a Blog Post using their Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo! or OpenID username.
This takes away the barrier of requiring Users to create an exclusive Username/Password to publish a comment on your blog, which is far more inviting from a readers perspective.
Disqus also offers the ability to ‘Like’ a Post, ‘Reaction’ snippets such as who has retweeted your Blog Post and Subscription options. Disqus basically takes your default WordPress Comments system, and turns it up to 11.
GD Star Rating
GD Star Rating does what it says on the tin, giving Blog Posts or Pages the ability to be star-rated. You can use this data to rank and categorise popular posts, configurable via filters.
Expanding beyond this, you will find about a million and one options to set up the architecture of your rating system including Multi-Ratings (think of ‘Come Dine with Me’), IP Banning, Google Rich Snippets supports and even Thumbs Up/Down ratings.
Top Commentators Widget
Give back your regular Blog Readers a little thank-you by using the Top Commentators Widget.
Using the widget, WordPress will generate a list of your most active Blog Commentators, defined by the criteria volume of approved comments they have made across all of your blog posts. This criteria can be tweaked for specific time periods in the back end.
One tip is to configure the Plugin to display a link to the Blog Commentator’s own website. This can be really inviting to encourage new regular commentators as its effectively free advertising (don’t worry, you can also ‘nofollow’ the links).
Beyond this, if you haven’t already, also consider adding a Facebook ‘Like’ and Twitter ‘Tweet’ Button to your posts. We also use a widget called AddThis across the Creare Design website which is another way to easily share a link.