Do you think WordPress needs better comment management functionality? Prolific WordPress blogger Lorelle VanFossen discusses what she thinks is WordPress’s most significant weakness, the lack of a simpler and more intuitive way of handling comments in the popular blogging platform.
Iâ€™m sure that your â€œnumber one flawâ€ or lacking feature in WordPress might be different from mine, but this is one that really bothers me. I think the solution is simple. So the question is: Why hasnâ€™t something been done to fix this flaw?
The flaw? Comments.
Comments are critical to blogs. They are the number one distinguishing feature that separates them from websites, those static billboards on the web. It is through this interaction that blogs continue the conversation started by the author. Feedback, input, advice, answers to questions, questions needing answers, all enrich the dialog that makes blogs blogs.
The first blog publishing apps used to have no provision for comments and discussions until the likes of Greymatter, MovableType and much later, WordPress, came along. Weblogs have always been synonymous with personalized conversations and comments have been integral in the growth of several of the influential weblogs today.
With WordPress’s logarithmic growth, being the popular choice puts it in the limelight highlighting not only its strength but also its weaknesses. Several months ago, comment spam was a time–wasting concern for most bloggers until Akismet was made available, somehow easing the comment moderation burden.
For high–traffic, large–discussion blogs however, the current WordPress version seems inadequate for handling discussions. It is quite hard to get a grip on the actual number of comments recently posted and you only have a paginated interface for going through comments chronologically. Unless of course you go through each entry and check for recent replies to the specific discussions.
A very helpful addition for comment handling would be an overview page similar to the standard dashboard but with more important information on discussions and activities. We have plugins that list down recently commented entries, why not make it available on the administration side too? A listing of unread comments similar to an email inbox could also be a welcome addition and complement the default email alerts for comments.
What other comment handling features do you think would help make WordPress better?