Three months ago I decided I was removing comments from this website. Did I make the right decision, or will I be bringing them back?
If you can’t be bothered to read my previous post, the TL;DR is that dealing with spam and useless comments was taking too much of my time.
Was it the right move?
In short, yes, I think it was. Since removing comments I’ve been able to free more time up for writing posts, and I haven’t had to deal with comments that add nothing to the post itself.
The addition of the contact me link in place of the comments form seems to have worked really well. There has been a marked increase in people emailing me with questions.
This is great, because taking the time to actually email me means that they have something they really want to say, which means the engagements have been much more positive and interesting.
Will I bring them back?
No. Well, not in their traditional form at least. If I ever do decide to bring comments back, it will be in a similar way to how Gilles Chehade does it on his blog.
Basically, any post he creates has a corresponding Github issue. This issue is linked at the bottom of each post, and if people want to comment, they can do so by adding a comment to the issue.
I think this is a great way of providing a mechanism for people to comment easily, but it has enough of a barrier to entry to stop the spammers and useless comments.
Overall, removing comments from this site has been successful, I feel. My interactions with readers have improved, both via email and via my social accounts. And I haven’t had to manage troves of spam comments.
If you’re on the fence about removing comments from your site, I’d say do it. It has really worked well for me so far.