Comment Display Order ~ Newer/Older at the top! What do you think?
Though the comment display order has not been a big topic of discussion online, the comment section is a very active and attention-grabbing spot on every blog that has it enabled. It’s where bloggers and readers interact the more.
As a matter of fact, some readers spend more time on the comment form than on the post itself. The reason is that they skim through and then scroll to the comment section to drop a comment. Most do that to get a backlink (which is not a good reason to comment)
If you are running a heatmap tool on your blog, one thing you’ll discover is that the comment section on your blog posts (mainly, the comment form) has more clicks.
Look at the clicks on the comment form on this post on my blog:
Just the comment field on the form has 75 clicks. The Name, Email, Website and Anti-spam and CommentLuv check boxes even have more clicks.
Now, this is just to tell you the impact of comments on blogs.
Comment Display Order ~ Newer Or Older at the top?
The default display order on WordPress blogs is Older at the top. That means the first comment ever made on the blog post remains stuck to the top of the list forever.
What’s the effect of this default comment display order?
Generally, commentators scramble to be the first to drop a comment so as to maintain that top position. The advantage is your comment gets more exposure. If you do a “wow” comment with a commentLuv link, there are chances to get even more clicks and traffic.
Some commentators who come in late, in order to benefit from the top position, drop a reply to the first comment. I have seen that happen on this blog a couple of times. Some replies are completely not related to the comment itself. You see clearly that the commentator simply wants that position. I delete such comment replies.
WordPress has an option to change the default display order. You may want to display older comments first. Go to Settings -> Discussion
In this case, the first ever comment will be pushed to the bottom of the list and the last comment displayed on top.
What’s the impact of this comment display order?
Some readers who covet that first position become disinclined once they know their comments will be pushed down.
Often, this comes from commentators who want to drop a comment for traffic and other reasons than connection. They want that first position for the exposure they’l get.
I think if you want to connect with the blogger in question, the position of your comment doesn’t really matter. That’s because the blog owner will always read the comment.
One very attractive impact of the reverse order is the fact that old blog posts will keep getting more and more comments. Older posts become freshened with new and new comments if readers are allowed to list their comments on top of the list.
Not only that…
Some readers have the habit of sharing on social media after dropping a comment. That means these older posts get a little more shares if their comment ordering is reversed.
What do you really think about your own comment display order?
Recently, I noticed one of my favorite bloggers, Adrienne Smith reversed the list order on her blog. It may be too early to conclude as she just made that move but I’ll still like to hear her out.
You notice that these comments were dropped on her blog same day (22 of Feb 2016) but Monna Ellithorpe’s comment which was dropped earlier (at 8:17pm) is listed under Suprabhat’s which came later (at 11:01pm)
Don Purdum, an outstanding business blogger and friend has his comments reversed too.
NB: My comment orders are reversed and I get many more comments and shares on old posts.
- What is your current comment display order?
- What do you think about listing newer comments first?
- What do you think about blogs that list newer comments first?
- Do you consider changing your order?
Drop a comment and let’s interact. If you like this topic of discussion, please share it on social media.