This guide will help you understand what you should consider when choosing a commenting platform for news sites.
Comments are the voices of the readers of your website. If someone asks for a definition for comments, it could be given simply like this: Comments are the medium that connects a website's owner/writers and the users/readers. Moreover, comments are the way that readers/users communicate with other readers/users as well as with the owner or the writers.
However, most people do not have a clear idea about why comments on websites are important. Comments are the definite response of users to your content. They ask questions, give their own opinion, give opposing ideas, appreciate your content, carry discussions, etc. Sometimes, they might ask you critical questions.
Still, most of the owners of the websites struggle with enabling comments on their own websites. There are two reasons.
They haven't decided whether to enable comments or not.
They don't know what commenting platform is the best for their website.
If you are an owner of a news site or a blog, you will find this article worth a lot to find the answers to those questions.
This article is divided into 3 parts.
Reasons why owners feel bad about enabling comments.
Why do you need to enable comments on news sites?
How to choose a commenting platform for news sites?
If you bear the question "Why does my news site need comments? ", you should read the first and second parts. The 3rd part actually explains what features the commenting platform you choose should have.
If you have already decided to add comments to your news site, just jump to the third section.
1. Reasons Why Owners feel Bad about Enabling Comments
There are two popular contradictory ideas among website owners.
Comments are essential.
Comments are nasty.
Therefore, I did research on this matter for 3 months, and here is what I found. I asked a number of news site owners - who do not allow comments on their news sites - to tell me why they feel comments are nasty. Here's what they said:
1. Users may leave negative feedback on my news site and publications
Yes, they might! But, you need to get over it. Those bad reviews will be your chance to improve. Remember, your intention is the success of your news site. Now, imagine that you have got bad things regarding your news site by the users. In this case, what you need to do is to make your users feel positive about your news site or do the necessary things to avoid it. When handling comments, be responsive; especially in criticism. That's it!
Also, usually, most news sites pre-moderate comments, which means that comments are not published until moderated by a moderator of the site. If you wish to do so, things are much easier. You can delete comments that are negative or don't help to make conversations.
But, make sure to use negative comments about your site to improve your site!
2. I don’t have enough moderators to respond to comments
Suck it up and assign a time for that. Moreover, you can assign one or more of your staff members for that particular task. When handling comments, remember it all starts with responsiveness. Being responsive to users' comments is important. When handling criticism, be courteous. Handling criticism is something to be careful of. Be very polite to your replies.
3. I don't have enough money
This is one of the reasons that most of the news site owners claimed.
Yes, if you choose to add comments to your site, you'll need to spend some money on it.
For commenting platform.
For moderators (their time and work).
While some commenting systems have fixed or enterprise pricing plans, commenting platforms have flexible pricing plans. If you go for the first option, it is hard to change the amount you pay. But, the second option will give you freedom. In most platforms with flexible pricing, you'll only need to pay for the number of page views you get. So, you should choose a commenting system with a flexible pricing model (we will talk more about it later).
Additionally, if you are just starting a new news website, there are commenting platforms that are free for a certain number of page views per month. Go for that!
And, you have to make sure that the commenting system you choose has powerful moderation tools. Otherwise, it will take more time for your moderators to moderate the comments, which will cost you more.
4. I don't even know how to begin
They say that they cannot even think about how to begin and where to begin. That is why this article is written for. You need to follow the right tips and steps to achieve success. There are quite simple methods/steps that you need to do.
How about you? Do you have any more claims than those? Feel free to comment below. We will figure that out.
5. I'll need developers to set up comments
That's not true! While some commenting systems may require hard work, most can be installed by just copy-pasting code on your website. Even a non-technical guy can do that. You don't have to hire a professional developer to set up comments on your website.
2. Why do You need to Enable Comments on News Sites?
As news site owners, you are always concerned about the success of your news site. Success means,
high user interaction
becoming a trusted news site
high domain authority
desired revenue, etc.
What do you do to achieve that success on your news blog? You will hire the best editors. You will do paid promotions and partner with other organizations. Finally, let's see if enabling comments can help you get there.
1. Comments develop a community sense on your news site
When you enable comments on your news site, readers/users can freely give their own ideas and opinions regarding your news articles. When one comment, many others start giving their own opinions regarding the previous comment. You'll also see controversial topics being discussed on your website.
Eventually, this process goes like a chain and it creates a huge community on your news site discussing a certain topic. Not only for one webpage but also for all webpages of your news site, once you enable comments.
Most importantly, because of having more comments on the page, users will spend more time on your news site. The more time spent on your site means you'll rank higher on search engines (Source).
2. Comments improve user interaction
As it is said earlier, once a huge community starts building up, it spreads all over your news site within a few days. As this happens continuously, millions of users come to your news site and start spending their time on it. They comment, reply to other comments, and so on.
Moreover, visitors will come back to check replies for their comments. Make sure that your commenting platform handles email notifications for you.
3. Comments create free content
Having more content and keywords on your page helps you rank higher on search engines and give more information to your visitors. Sometimes, users will share amazing ideas that even your editors cannot give. Having users who have different ideas, you can make powerful unbiased discussions on your website. They can be either small-scale or large-scale. Whatever they are, users create some kind of content by their own ideas, experiences, etc. These comments on your page become part of the page and part of Google’s index. That’s the free content that you don’t have to create.
So, why don't you use the free content provided by your visitors to outperform your competitors?
4. Comments increase your revenue
As comments improve user interaction, it automatically gives you a great service to have good revenue. As I said earlier, comments help you to have more users and keep users for a long on your website. If you have set up ads for your revenues, users start interacting with them too: by clicking on the ads. This causes your rate of revenue to fly higher.
If you have set up paid subscriptions, having comments will help you get more paid subscribers. But, how? As we discussed earlier, comments help users to be on the site for a long time. They will become familiar with navigating your website. They will feel your website "like home". Eventually, they will consider becoming a paid customer of yours.
6. Build useful relationships
When you enable comments, users read the news on your news site and express their opinions through comments. Other users start replying to those comments. Through this, user-user relationships build up. Even though the news sites owner or comment moderators of the news site do not usually reply to users' comments, user-publisher/site owner relationship build-up: news site owners and moderators can easily understand their user's behavior, mindset, etc. This helps you to have a great understanding of your users: it is very useful when you work to improve traffic.
If you were not sure whether to add comments to your news site, I hope these facts helped you have a positive thought now. Next, let's see what commenting platform to choose.
COMMENT SECTIONS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR NEWS SITES. WE’RE MAKING CHANGES TO IMPROVE OURS.
How to Choose a Commenting Platform for News Sites?
It is a common problem among website owners what commenting platform to choose for their websites among available third-party commenting platforms. So, why not news site owners? You need to be careful when you are choosing a commenting platform for your news site. Because news sites are quite different from other websites. A news site is a place where lots of people from different countries as well as a native countries come often. There are a number of things that you need to be well concerned about before choosing a commenting platform for your news site. Let's get started step by step.
Firstly, you need to understand the intentions/ desires/ goals of your company: news site. (Before you choose a commenting platform).
1. Must Include Moderating Features
On a news site, handling comments is all about the moderation of comments. So, you need to pay attention well, especially on that. Choose a commenting platform that has essential moderating features. Also, it ought to have the possibility for multiple moderators to moderate comments through their accounts.
Also, you have to make sure that you can handle multiple websites on the same dashboard.
2. Ability to Analyze Moderators' Performances
The commenting platform that you are choosing has to be provided with a feature to analyze moderators' performances: eg: the number of comments they moderated. This is an important metric for your company.
3. Real-Time Comments
Receiving comments in real time is very effective. It refers to the publishing and gathering of information and data as it occurs, in ‘real-time’. There are multiple benefits of receiving comments in real-time such as the ability to capture correct data and understand your audience, the ability to rectify issues quickly, and improve customer experience and retention, etc. Many commenting platforms fail to offer research results in real-time so, you must check which commenting platform that has real-time comments.
4. User Attractive Interface/Comment Section
When you choose a commenting platform for your news site, it is quite important to consider whether the commenting platform you choose has an attractive interface/comment section. Because an attractive comment section acts like a magnet to iron. Users start coming in a row when they see an attractive comments section. Remember, you are dealing with human beings. Human beings are more likely to engage a lot with content that they find attractive.
Choose a commenting plugin that allows you to customize the comments section's appearance
This is also important when you set up an attractive comments section on your news site. Choosing a commenting platform that allows you to customize comment sections' appearance such as changing colors.
5. Make Sure the Commenting Platform has all the Features Users Need
When choosing a commenting platform for news sites, you need to choose one that has a user-friendly comments section. To do this, check whether they have editors full of editing functions that make users comment easily and freely: bold, italic, gif, image, ordered and un-ordered lists, etc.
6. Choose an Unbiased Commenting Platform
This is very important when you choose a commenting platform for news sites, especially when it comes to politics. The reason behind it is, there are many commenting platforms that do not allow users to express their ideas freely. Those commenting platforms ban users who bear just the opposite opinions regarding powerful politics. It is a great complaint that we usually hear in day-to-day life. So, you need to choose a commenting platform where the admins of the commenting platforms keep their hands off their clients' website comments.
Give your moderators full control over the comments on your website!
7. Preventing Spam is Important
When spam comments go on a comments section, it is important to spam people whose comments are abusive. Otherwise, the rest of the users will feel uncomfortable and may not visit your news site. So, when you are choosing a commenting platform for your news site, choose one which has features to prevent spam.
9. Analytical features
It is very useful to have a commenting platform that has analytics features for your ease: the analytics of your news site's comments, page views of the last 30 days, etc. It will help you to measure how things worked with your website.
8. Extra: Reactions Plugin
In a comment section, reactions are also important because users not only tend to express their ideas through comments but also they express their ideas through reactions. So, when you choose a commenting platform for news sites, it is good to have a reaction plugin too. Or, you'll need to use another site to add reactions to your website.
Now, it is your turn to choose the best commenting platform for your news site with the help of the above-mentioned tips.
Hyvor Talk as the Commenting Platform For News Sites
Hyvor Talk is a commenting platform that has all of the above-mentioned features. Used by many news sites around the world, it can be the best commenting platform for your news site too. Feel free to check more features on our homepage.
From this article, you got a clear idea of how to choose a commenting platform for a news site. News site owners who were in the team "comments see nasty", need to take a shift to the team " comments are essential". If you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions feel free to comment below.