How To Comment on a Website

Have you never commented on a website? You are not alone. Many people enjoy reading websites but have not yet tried to comment. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.

Why Comment?
There are benefits to commenting. Here are some of them:

- Share your opinion with the author and other readers
In many cases you may get into an exchange with the author or other readers in the comment section
- Create opportunities for others to visit your website
When you enter your name for your comment, most websites will give you the opportunity to enter a website address in a space called Website or URL*.
The name or nickname you entered in the space for name will then become live* and link directly to the website you entered.
- Build a relationship with the author
Every author appreciates comments
- Build relationships with other visitors on forums* regarding topics of interest to you

Privacy and Security Concerns Should Not Be an Issue
ALL websites ask you to sign in in some manner before you comment. Most websites request your email address. You need not be concerned about this. Your email address is never displayed publicly. Sometimes, the author may use it to thank you for your comment. I have never heard of emails entered for commenting being abused – such as being picked up for a marketing database.

Your email may be set up (at your choice!) to notify you about further comments on the article you commented on. That’s it. Choosing not to comment should not be related to concern for privacy nor security. If you don’t want to comment under your real name, you can choose a moniker (nickname) such as AnniethePhilosopher to comment with. You could also dedicate an email address just for commenting and other internet activities.

Finding Where To Comment
When you finish reading an article, the comment section is usually just below the end of the article. Here is an example from my article on Boomer Tech Talk – How Your Cell Phone Can Save Your Life.

screenshot of where to comment on disqus

You can also find a link to the comment section of an article on most websites placed at the top of that article, just under the title. You will see the word comments or the number of comments. That notation is usually live*, which means you can click on that word and be taken directly to a place to comment.

screenshot comments at top of post with arrow

Sign In/Log In to Comment
Here is a typical comment box that you might find on another website. There are boxes in which to enter your name, your email and, if you wish, your website. Then you would type your comment in the comment box and click the Post Comment button.

screenshot of default comment box on studiopress genesis

Thank you StudioPress for this demo comment login box

I have found two commenting systems that I think are particularly good for the commenter: DISQUS and CommentLuv.

We have chosen to use DISQUS on Boomer Tech Talk.

With the DISQUS commenting system, you can log in with Twitter, Facebook or DISQUS (at the top of the box) or you can click on the bottom right side of the comment box on Post As. When you click on the words Post As the following box opens up. In this login box you have all the possible options for logging in. Today we will just do the most typical type of login – the kind that you will find on most websites.

This box says Before We Post This Who Are You? Other comment systems may not have this same way of expressing it but they all have the same objective. They want to identify you in order to limit spam comments and to foster an atmosphere where everyone feels like they are in a safe environment.

log in to comment screenshot on disqus

The DISQUS commenting system is smart. It guesses your name from your email. As you can see in the screenshot* above, when I entered Annie.Hall@aol.com, DISQUS guessed that my name was Annie Hall. If I don’t want to show that name, I can simply type into that box a name or nickname I prefer. I have done that in the next screen where I have changed my name to Annie the Philosopher.

Link to Your Website
Now you can add your website if you have one. In the screenshot just above, under “Annie Hall” – you see where it says “optional – link to your website”? You can click on the words “link to your website” to get the next screen below. Most commenting systems allow you to enter your website. They will indicate this with a box for you to fill in with the word website or URL*. This is a benefit to the comment author if they wish to share their website with other readers of the article they are commenting on.

log in with website for commenting on disqus screenshot

If you don’t have your own website, you could link to a social site like your LinkedIn page or your Facebook page. But if you have a business you’d like to show off, why not use that website? Or of course, if you have a personal blog, that is a very typical type of link* for this space. You can see that I have used my business site http://CourageGroup.com here – be sure to use http:// so that the URL you put in becomes a link.

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In other articles in this series, I will give you step-by-step guides for:
Part 2. How and why to register for a DISQUS commenting profile
Part 3. How to have an personal avatar* show up on your comment

*Techie Words Used in this Article:

Address Bar: The address bar (also called location bar or URL bar) is at the top of your web browser (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera) and contains the internet address of the page you are currently on. You can copy what is on your address bar to share the page you are on with someone else.

Avatar: You’ve seen the movie … an avatar is a representation of you in another form – usually a photo or illustration.

Forum: Members of a forum (message board) chat with each other on-line about a particular topic. The DISQUS commenting system and some others, can create a similar platform to a forum because it is easy for comment authors to interact with each other.

http:// : For now, just remember, every web address on the internet needs to start with http:// or https:// Typing www may create a link in an email but in most cases on the internet, you need the complete address to create a link.

Live Link: You can usually tell if there is a live link because the words representing the link show up in a different color and when you put your mouse over the word, you can see a little white hand with a pointing finger. When you click on the link, you will be taken to a new web page described in the link.

Screenshot: A picture taken from part of what is showing on a computer screen or other other display.

URL: Uniform Resource Locator – address of a web page on the internet.

Why not try your first comment here on Boomer Tech Talk?
If you need help, you can contact us at info@BoomerTechTalk dot com.

About Linda Sherman

International, multicultural marketing pro, Linda brings a distinguished background of international subsidiary CEO/CMO to her Social Marketing expertise. These include CEO Club Med Japan, Barilla Japan and CMO Wal-Mart Japan. Linda Sherman has been featured and quoted in Forbes, The New York Times, Christian Monitor and other leading publications. She devised and implemented an innovative guerrilla-marketing plan for ZIMA in Japan that produced a lasting, profitable success. Linda has hands-on technical skills in building and search optimizing WordPress websites and an influential on-line presence. Linda teaches social marketing for business at the University of Hawaii. Her company, The Courage Group, provides websites, digital film, branding and social marketing strategy and training.

Connect with Linda Sherman on Google+

  • JuneJacobson

    Wow, this is so useful. As a boomer and novice with all this stuff, I have found the whole commenting thing quite confusing. You’ve put it in terms I can understand, which I’ve found all over your site. Thank you Linda. I am starting to become a bit less afraid and, in fact, this is my first comment. It does all seem so complicated at times. In the “old days,” we just wrote letters to the editor and wondered if they’d be published. Now, it’s all instant everything and I guess if we don’t proof-read what we’ve written, our mistakes are there for posterity. Thanks for this piece…much appreciated.

  • http://Shermanpianoman.com Richard Sherman

    LInda, I love your new site. I will spread the word among my friends.

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      Thank you for your comment Richard! I look forward to hearing what your friends think of #BTT.

  • Tinzley

    Now this is a great break down of why commenting is good. I love this! Great post Linda!

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      Thank you @tinzleyb. Your comment is most appreciated and great meeting you here.

  • Judi

    Very thorough tutorial for newbies. I will share it with my website clients. #blogchat

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      Thank you very much Judi!

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      Thank you very much Judi!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Judi – this is just the first of three that Linda is writing on this subject. She’s put in a ton of work, research, and effort into this. I believe these will be reference material for all bloggers to use and is an area many of us writers have over-looked in assuming that our friends know how to comment. That is a naive assumption!

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  • http://www.holiday-home-web-design.ajm7.com Holiday Home Websites

    Blog commenting is an essential part of SEO. It adds diversity to the types of backlink pointing to your website.
    I am going to switch to Disqus because when posting comments on blogs, quite often the standard comment system on WordPress leads to a blank page after hitting the submit button. It never happens with Disqus.

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      Thank you. Just to explain a bit further – “a blank page” refers to a “nofollow” – it does not mean you do not see the page linked to – but it diminishes the link juice provided by a “dofollow”. If you comment on sites with DISQUS commenting platforms like ours, and you enter a link to your website where provided, your website will get an extra benefit.

  • http://blog.webmays.com Matthew Erdman

    I’m new to commenting on blogs. I registered and created a profile at Disqus. I’m having a problem getting my blog address to show up as the link when I mouse over my name in the comments. Right now, the link showing is to my Disqus profile page. Does anyone know how to fix this?

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      Glad to see you have decided to start commenting on blogs Matt. Good karma will be yours.

      From what I understand, your Name – which is obviously clickable because it is blue – connects to your website. Your avatar connects to your DISQUS profile. If you sign in to DISQUS commenting with Twitter or Facebook – your avatar is taken from there and links back to that page. You can also further trick out your DISQUS profile by adding an avatar (which will show up when you comment with it). You can also “add connections” to your DISQUS profile – go to “edit profile” on DISQUS.com – and you will see a variety of website and social platforms to connect to.

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  • http://www.seo-services.ajm7.com seo services

    How is spam dealt with using Disqus please?

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      I don’t know if the Disqus guys would be willing to share how they do it, but their system appears to work very well. Akismet is of course built into Disqus. If we do delete a comment, we are asked if it is spam and if we wish to report or block. Now that you have tried Disqus, what do you think?

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  • http://twitter.com/LeoWid Leon Widrich

    Linda, just followed you over here back from your lovely comment over at the Buffer blog.

    This is a really amazing post and I believe guiding small businesses through this process in a piecemeal manner the way you did is super important to get everyone started.

    Thanks for a great post, I am off to read some more here. :)

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      A very nice demonstration of how commenting creates relationships, expands readership and generates traffic in a snippet of our activity. We are now connected on Twitter.

      I have taken a look at the Buffer app site, interesting alternative to the pending tweets system that a platform like Hootsuite offers. I encourage my clients to be as authentic and present as they can, but when we discover something great on the web at 2am that we’d love to share with our followers, scheduling rather than sending makes sense. I remember the good old days of Twitter when the first scheduled tweet app was introduced and one of the Big tweeps tweeted: It’s like sending a mannequin to a cocktail party …. Twitter has changed a great deal since then and using some scheduled tweets in the mix just makes sense now.

      Another notable part of our interaction is that both of our websites use the Disqus commenting platform. I can click on your avatar and see where else you are commenting (within the Disqus world) along with other little interactive treats.

      All in all, more evidence that commenting is a worthwhile investment of our time.

      • http://twitter.com/LeoWid Leon Widrich

        Linda, yes, indeed, I couldn’t agree more with what you are saying here. I am very glad indeed that we have connected over several platforms including both of our blogs and twitter accounts, a great example. I am sure it is also a source for another “Amazing Twitter Story” in our series :)

        Yes, Twitter has definitely changed inside out since the early stages.

        What hasn’t changed fortunately is that it is that everything is still determined by the real time conversation the platform enables us to lead. It is just like you said, keeping a consistency of our tweets or simply scheduling it at a point in time, where tweeting it right away makes no sense is key.

        You are absolutely right, the Disqus system is very powerful and allows us to followup on encounters and deepen relationships further.

        I am very glad we connected and I am looking forward to speak more with you soon. :)

  • http://www.monessonphotography.com/ boudoir photography

    Thanks for the tips about mentioning the detail of name and URL can you please explain further how the links and name got indexed on search engines