Commenting Frustration on WordPress Blogs

I’ve posted a query on the WordPress Forums as follows:

Can I add my voice to the request to do something about this commenting change. I am now spending ages going through my loyal readers comments and manually editing their logins so that when other readers click on their names it goes to their blogs as it always used to do. Why have you done this? I really don’t understand. It makes a nonsense of my commenting preferences set up and I really wish you would do something to put it back the way it was before, or are you actively trying to discourage non wordpress bloggers from commenting on wordpress blogs? I really don’t understand why you would do this. Best wishes, Joanna

In the meantime, let me know if you are having difficulties commenting and I will do my best to manually edit your logins. If you leave a message on this post, rather than on the regular posts I will check it regularly. If you want to see the replies to my forum post click here if you can log in to WordPress to read the conversation.  Thanks!

Joanna

35 thoughts on “Commenting Frustration on WordPress Blogs

  1. hotlyspiced

    I don’t have a problem with anyone on wordpress but I do have a lot of trouble with people on blogger. It takes three times longer for me to comment on a blogger site than it does on a wordpress blog. I had no idea wordpress had made things more difficult for non-wordpress bloggers! Let’s hope they fix it fast! xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Charlie,

      I think it is easy for people to comment within their own blog host system and the moment we go cross platform it becomes hard. I have the same as you with blogger and blogspot sites. I find that logging in via my Google mail address is the simplest option for those and seems to link back ok to my blog here.

      The wordpress problem happens for anyone who has ever linked their email to a wordpress user account/blog or gravatar account, it then won’t let them comment using that email address without logging in to the wordpress system, it then autocompletes the name, email, url sections with whatever data it holds. i.e. a blog they may have inadvertently activated and never used when they were first looking at setting up a blog. I don’t know if they then change the boxes manually themselves that they are still ‘allowed’ to comment. I know I can do it retrospectively but it’s very longwinded.

  2. hopeeternal

    I don’t have any problems commenting on WordPress sites and have not had problems from my commenters either – yet. However I do agree with ‘hotlyspiced’ about commenting on Blogger where I usually have to try again and again before it accepts me. Sometimes I have given up in frustration and not left the comment I wanted to.
    What I am frustrated about is the new infinite scroll feature that has been introduced on some WordPress themes, including mine, without the option to turn it off. I could change theme but that could make me a lot of work. I can see how it would be useful for a visitor just scrolling back through my posts but for me, working sometimes several pages back on hidden posts (which I will eventually publish) after about 7 hidden posts I start to see what I have published in the last few weeks!
    hopeeternal
    ‘Meanderings through my Cookbook’
    http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

      1. hopeeternal

        Thanks for this – Timethief has done some good work on this since I commented/vented my frustration when they brought infinite scroll in and I had missed her update. However, I just have not got the time to play with getting my theme right (Mistylook which unfortunately does not have footer widgets). One day perhaps …!
        h/e

  3. peasepudding

    It seems there is a war going on with WordPress and Blogspot, I have a WordPress blog and have great difficulty commenting on Blogspot. Fortunately I have a Gmail account so now use that for Blogspot comments. It all seems a little petty really doesn’t it?

    1. Joanna Post author

      I use the Gmail workaround like you. I reserve my special hatred for the ones that have very long two word Captcha codes to tap out, almost impossible on a small screen like a phone or an iPad…. I notice that neither you nor Hope have entered your blog names in the url box which means that someone clicking on your name doesn’t go to either of your blogs. I am assuming that is out of choice on both your parts but if not, let me know and I can amend it for you :)

      1. hopeeternal

        I wasn’t give the option of a URL box to write in! One reason I have got into the habit of putting my URL in at the end. Not really good form, I know, but gets round the link problem!

        1. Joanna Post author

          I am beginning to think it is the best way to deal with this, they always said it wasn’t good form but maybe it would be a better option for most people.

          I have just put your url in so your name links to it for the comments on this post. How odd though, yours is a WP blog so it should give you that option. Have you logged out and tried logging back in again?

  4. sallybr

    I was unaware of changes in WordPress, I don’t think I’ve had problems commenting. One thing I absolutely hate is the word verification in some blogs, that now instead of one simple word decided it would be much “better” to ask for two words, always quite difficult to read. It really makes me think three times before leaving a comment. I often wonder if the owners of the blog know how convoluted it is for their readers.

    1. Joanna Post author

      The problem is for people who don’t have a current wordpress blog but who at some point in the past have associated an email address with wordpress or gravatar. So that could be people exploring their blogging options and deciding after a quick look and having signed up with wordpress that they prefer another platform, or people who move their blogs elsewhere. WordPress now remembers this and it seems impossible for these people to disassociate their email address from their WordPress connection, even if it is one they don’t use. If you logout of WordPress yourself, then try and comment on this blog (not sure if you can be bothered but you will see what I mean) without logging in, you will not be allowed simply to enter name, email address and url. You will go to a window which says you must log in to wordpress to comment. I am not terribly good at explaining things like this but I hope that makes it clearer.

  5. heidiannie

    I always have trouble commenting- but I think that has to do more with my incompetentcy on the computer more than anything else. No- really- I have problems with all the work to get a comment posted on blogger like the ladies above commented about- but wordpress has difficulties as well- so I just figure I better have something worthwhile saying to make a comment. :D

    1. Joanna Post author

      You are a brave soul Heidi but don’t blame yourself, the people who design this stuff should do it better and make it easier for people who are not confident in their computer skills, well, that’s my view anyway :)

  6. ceciliag

    Goodness joanne, Thank goodness we have you here to help, that is all i can say, I agree with all of the above, tho have never been able to activate my google account at all. Lucky for me you and I are both wordpress as i would hate NOT to be able to comment! I have only a few problems and am encouraging some of my favourites to link me to their blogs in their comments so i can find them.. well done for catching this problem for us.. c

    1. Joanna Post author

      I think maybe I just muddy the waters a bit, in the best tradition of a woolly poodle, splash splash, what’s going on here… It’s all a bit random what works and doesn’t work commenting on other blogs, I find the ones that use Disqus completely mysterious ….

    1. Joanna Post author

      We will become a world of divided blogger states – the Captcha code being the Berlin Wall of commenting, the WordPress thing CheckPoint Charlie…. ;)

  7. Lynne

    hmmm lots of problems with Blogger in particular that they don’t tell me I have any comments so need to go check in to see who I have missed :(( At least my WP ones seem to come through so I can moderate.

    I prefer not to have any captcha codes on mine I HATE them so won’t use them. No idea if my blog comes up with my name, doubt it as this seems to want to use my wordpress.com account I use for my subscriptions, not my wordpress.org blog for my actual blog. I will see later when this comes up I presume…

    1. Joanna Post author

      Did the link go where you want it to go Lynne? Or do you want it to go somewhere else? I have only ever blogged here on WordPress so have nothing to compare it to.

      1. Lynne

        yes, it did. But I realised that a) I was logged into WordPress.com b) I have my wordpress.com account linked to my wordpress.org blog for the use of a plug-in.

        It took me to my hub blog, but there was no way I could have forced it to go to one of the other blogs if that was more apt for the particular blog I am commenting on. I much prefer the system where I can log in through facebook or twitter if I wish, or just add the name, email and web url I want to associate with that particular comment.

        What is so difficult about the three line version, or is it just wordpress geeks changing things for the sake of it?

        1. Joanna Post author

          Image 1
          I think you can log out of wordpress and then you will see the screen above if you try to comment. You can click on the Twitter and Facebook icons and then you get a window like this :
          Image 2

          If you read Val’s suggestion it is to alter your email address slightly and then you can put whatever name or url you like in the other fields. As long as you remember your altered address each time you comment. Sigh.

  8. Val

    I’ve just logged out of WordPress.com to try out something. You’ve got your comment for set up for the following two fields to be compulsory: email and name. You have the website set as optional (I think that’s default, anyway). So I’m going to try something here. If it works, I’ll log in and post another comment to explain it.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Yes, that’s right. The idea is that commenters leave a real email address so that I can contact them if needs be. I also have my preferences set so that the first comment that a new email address/name combo leaves on a post is held in moderation so that I can decide if it is spam or not. After that initial moderation check people are free to comment without moderation, unless they include a link in their comment, as I like to check they work before publishing them. I still reserve the right to remove comments but so far have never felt the need to do so.

  9. Val

    Yes, that worked. Here’s what to get your non-wordpress and logged out readers to do: in the email part, tell them to change just part of their email address to one that is not associated with wordpress.com or gravatar. All they need to do is to change one letter in their name or do what I did – for instance, I changed my usual dot co dot uk to dot com. Then they put their usual name in the name area (mine is Val) and then ask them to fill in the website area with the blog or site that is usually associated with their name.

    You shouldn’t need to do any editing to your comments for anyone clicking the commenter’s name to get to that person’s blog or website providing your commenter fills in the website field in the form. And the email changes – annoying though they are, and I’m probably as annoyed as most people as it’s what make me change my blog to a pseudo website recently – can be overcome by just putting in one that’s not associated with the account.

    I hope this helps. It’s highly unlikely that the staff of WordPress.com (which I’m not, I’m just an ordinary blogger here) will change anything now.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks for all this work Val! I really do appreciate it. I experimented similarly earlier to see if I could comment on my own blog using a non associated email address and I found that I could.

      Your work around is great, the only slight drawback is that the commenter has to remember what they changed each time they comment here and on other WordPress blogs. It also means that they give an invalid email address so from my point of view it is a bit sad as it means if I wanted to email someone with extra advice or to discuss a particular point they have raised in more detail I can’t do that.

      The other thing is, as you said, for people to create a new email address just for the purpose of commenting on WP blogs which they can then link to their blog or site urls as they wish. But as people say, why should they bother to comment at all if the blog hosts make it such a hoop jumping exercise?

  10. bakecakecrumbs

    It’s all very frustrating isn’t it. Many thanks for the manual changing of my log in, but if you don’t want to I don’t mind. As I said on another post I think I am now linked to my blog with this wordpress login. As a Blogger blogger, I too hate and detest the Captcha codes, and have therefore turned them off – it is up to individual bloggers to do this though. Hopefully this makes it a little easier to comment on my blog for non-Blogger users. It’s also possible to set the comments to accept any comments – including from annoymous users, so I wonder if wordpress users would still have problems with Blogger blogs with these preferences set (as I have done)? Hard to tell when it’s your own blog! I do get more spam this way, but because I don’t get a huge amount of traffic anyway it doesn’t seem to be too much of a problem.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I am having an ongoing discussion over on the forum about this right now. I hope to find a solution and will let you know either way. I don’t want to have anonymous comments, I don’t write anything so contentious that anyone should need to comment anonymously :)

  11. skybluepinkish

    Whooo …. and I thought it was just me that Blogger hated. I have a WP account and most of the time I post using the URL option. i don’t have a Google account and i don’t want one so if a blog won’t accept a URL post then I don’t post. There is one blog I have stopped following because there was no way I could find to comment without signing up to either Blogger or Google. Don’t even start me on Captcha.

    On the other hand I had no idea that there was a problem commenting on WP accounts.

    1. Joanna Post author

      It is easy to feel ‘got at’ by unreasonable software isn’t it? It’s more that you might find people commenting on your blog who are not WP bloggers will have problems, we have no problems internally commenting on other WP blogs. I only use Google for email associated with the blog and so far it has worked ok, but these systems should be flexible to allow us all to do whatever we are comfortable with I totally agree :)

  12. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    My 2c.. :)

    I noticed that blogspot (are they the same as blogger?) recently changed their system, so that I’m now automatically directed to a .com.au version of blogs I used to read as .com. Ever since then, it doesn’t seem to recognise the wordpress login, so the only way to comment has been to use the NAME/URL option. I’ve written to a few bloggers I follow regularly and they’ve very kindly updated their systems to allow that option, which means I can comment again on their blogs.

    I also wrote an email to WP when they changed their comment login system, but they’re unlikely to change back. For what it’s worth, and in case it’s of help to people who are using self-hosted WP blogs, here’s the reply I received (Jo, please delete if you’d prefer):

    Hi Celia,

    I’m sorry for the inconvenience. We’re working to improve this as best we can. While it isn’t likely that we’ll switch back, I’ve noted your frustrations with the new comment system.

    If a commenter previously had a WordPress.com blog, then switched to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog, they can log into their WordPress.com account with their email address at the top of http://wordpress.com/ .

    Then, they can go into the Dashboard -> Users -> Personal Settings screen to update the website field so the comments from this point forward reflect the correct URL.

    https://dashboard.wordpress.com/wp-admin/users.php?page=grofiles-user-settings

    Also, since they’re commenting at WordPress.com, their email address is also linked to Gravatar, and they can login with that same email address to update the My Links section here:

    http://en.gravatar.com/profiles/edit/

    Once they do that, if a visitor hovers over the Gravatar image, the Gravatar profile can link to their current sites and content.

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/avatars/gravatars/

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/gravatar-hovercards/

    Best,

    Bryan V.
    Happiness Engineer | Automattic | WordPress.com

    Hope this is of some help.

    Celia x

    1. Joanna Post author

      If anyone manages to get as far as this down the comments on this post, they deserve a medal and a slice of chocolate cake on the spot :) Thanks Celia! I am sure that will be very helpful to people who have swapped to self hosting.

  13. Crazy and Confused of BlogWorld

    Just found a long post on a blog written about a month ago about some strategies to deal with the problems we are having http://diaryofdaedalus.com/2012/03/15/tech-note-wordpress-com-changes-commenting-with-gravatars/ I must confess I have never noticed that it says (Logout/Change) at the right of the comment box. Apparently if you have logged in and then want to change details then you can do it using the Change option…. I will just have a little go now and see what happens…ah ha I can overwrite my Name and Website details…. and you can go and look at my old Gorilla blog instead….

    Don’t worry it’s only me ! Joanna … ;)

    1. Joanna Post author

      I know it’s you, you Crazy thing, you’re me after all…. Why don’t you go and put the kettle on and have a cup of tea ;)

  14. drfugawe

    Jo,
    Thanks for starting this thread – I’m commenting at this time more as a ‘placeholder’ than anything – since I’ve not got the time to read all above comments yet – but I’ll come back later and catch up on all. Very quickly let me say that I’ve not seen any WP issues yet – I’ll reresearch research that too – but I’ve ALWAYS had a special hatred for Captcha (see the note on my blog!) I have NO idea why anyone would even use it! Not only is it a royal pain for commentors, it doesn’t even work properly – I use a spam filter on my blog, Akismet (http://akismet.com/) that has never failed to stop EVERY piece of spam, and NEVER filtered out a legit commentor! Beautiful.

    I’ll be back for more.
    doc

    1. Joanna Post author

      I think Akismet comes included in the hosted WordPress package and it has stopped most of my spam, but not all, though my moderation of first time commentors catches those. It has also classed three or four commentors as spam too. Still I much prefer it to the Captcha thing :)

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