Most bloggers agree that blog comments are actually much more complicated than they appear at first glance. When all is said and done, the comment section of a blog is truly full of decisions that a blog owner must make. You have to decide whether or not you have the time to moderate every comment, if you want to moderate only a user’s first comment, continually check to make sure you don’t have any spam in your comments, reply to comments, ask authors to reply to comments, and finally you must decide whether or not to close comments on older blog posts.

Many bloggers have argued over whether or not closing comments on an older blog post is a good idea. At first thought, it seems like keeping comments open forever would be the best option for several reasons:

  • It shows you still care about what your readers think.
  • More comments means more traffic.
  • Search engines don’t like to see closed comments because it seems like a “dead” post from that point forward.
  • Readers like to be able to comment whenever they want. They may have something to say about a post that they found on a search engine that was written months or even years ago. If this is the case, they never got the chance to make a comment!
  • You can set up email notifications for certain posts, so everyone will be able to stay updated and no conversation will die.

For both users and blog owners alike, keeping comments open forever seems like the logical thing to do. This led me to wonder: Why would anyone ever want to close comments on an old blog post?

Why a Blogging May Want to Close Comments on Older Posts

The biggest reason that some bloggers close comments is because it will help the blog load faster. Leaving comments open leaves a blog susceptible to spam comments. In general, spam comments are extremely long and involved, which takes up quite a bit of bandwidth and space on the server. The worst part about these types of comments is the fact that they often target very old blog posts. You won’t always be able to see these comments if you have an anti-spam plugin, but you will notice that your blog is loading slower than normal.

Some blog owners also close comments simply because blog posts can become outdated. Although some posts can last the test of time, many bloggers try and write about things that are current. If this is the case for you, then you may want to consider closing blog comments. After all, there is no use risking spam comments to keep open a post about now outdated software or an old news story.

How to Close Comments on Your Older Blog

There are two different ways that you can close comments on your older blog posts.

  1. Individually – This is great because it doesn’t force you to close comments on all of your old posts. If you just want to close the comments on posts that are outdated, you can do that. It takes a little bit more time to manually do this with each post, but some find this works best for them. All you need to do is go into WordPress ->click on “edit post” ->then uncheck “allow comments” and “allow trackbacks and pingbacks.”
  2. Automatically – You can set a certain number of days you want comments to be open on a post in WordPress by going to: Settings -> Discussion -> Other comment settings -> “automatically close comments on articles older than X days.” Once you save the changes you’re set to go!

Ultimately, the decision to close comments is completely up to the blogger. Many blog owners get by just fine by leaving comments open forever. However, if your blog starts to load slower than normal, this may be something to consider.

Have you ever made the decision to close comments on old posts? What was your experience?

Photo Credit: printz.org

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to business proposals. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including business credit cards to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.