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Improving the Readability of Your Comments Section

I love it when bloggers get on a ‘hot streak’ with their blogs and write multiple link worthy posts in a short period of time. Rachel’s blog is hot right now in my opinion (I seem to be linking to her a lot) and today she’s written an interesting post on Improving the readability of large numbers of comments which is full of ideas, plugins and suggestions to consider to improve the functionality of your comments section (especially if it’s pretty active). You wouldn’t want to implement all 10 of her suggestions but there are some great suggestions there. Here’s her headings (with more written under each point):

  1. Highlight your (own) comments
  2. Provide visual cues
  3. Show what’s new
  4. Split things up
  5. Newest first
  6. Distinguish Trackbacks
  7. Rate comments
  8. Nested comments
  9. Editable comments
  10. Categorise comments
About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. soxiam says:

    The first instance of thoughtful comment presentation design I ever came across was on Dunstan’s blog and I think it’s still one of the best references out there.

  2. Erno says:

    I agree with you Darren. I have included Rachel’s RSS in my feedreader. After her post I immediatelly revised one of my weblog http://www.enthousiasmeren.nl with the by Rachel mentioned WP-plugin to test it.
    Although the number of comments on my weblogs are very limited at the moment but I just liked idea for when the weblog becomes better commented in the (near) future ;-)

    @Soxiam
    Dunstan’s closed weblog is extremely good in design. Not just the comments but the whole site. To bad that he stopped blogging on that weblog.

  3. Alan says:

    Interesting timing on this as I was just about to make it easier to comment on my blog. The reason I’ve made it hard to comment is because of what Rachel addresses in her first sentance – “For many blogs, managing blog comments actually often means deleting spam comments.”

    I already spend too much time deleting spam. We’ll see how it goes though.

  4. Darnell says:

    Darren, do you have trackbacks on your site? (or did you take them down?)

  5. Darren Rowse says:

    Darnell – yes I have them but they only seem to work for some people.