Allow Your Readers To Edit Their Comments In WordPress

As a blog reader myself, I have experienced situations where I left a comment in a blog only to realize I made a spelling or factual mistake after submitting it. Whenever that happens, the only way I can correct my mistake is to submit another comment with the corrections or to contact the blog owner.

By default, most blogging platforms including WordPress does not allow a reader to edit their comments after submitting it. However, that can be changed by installing the WP Ajax Edit Comments plugin. With this plugin, the author and reader can edit comments on the post directly. The blog admin may set the amount of time a reader may edit their own comment. The reader can edit their name, blog URL and comment within this time frame. The time left will be displayed as a countdown timer.

The WP Ajax Edit Comments plugin should work on WordPress version 2.1.+ and above. However, there are known compatibility issues with this plugin when it is used together with:

  • Any plugin that posts comments via Ajax and doesn’t require a page reload. An example plugin is JQuery Ajax Comments.
  • Any plugin that loads jQuery improperly without queuing it with WordPress.

I’m definitely giving this plugin a try. As mentioned in the plugin page itself, “What better way to show reader appreciation than letting the readers edit their own typos?”

Does Buy Me A Beer Plugin Works?

I’ve seen some bloggers using the Buy Me a Beer plugin. I was tempted to give it a try but I wasn’t sure if it will work for me. I guess it works best for blogs with good content and high number of visitors (which I don’t have).

I stumbled upon JohnCow’s post on how he has over 5,000 unique visitors a day after 14 days but has only 3 people donated through the plugin (albeit he hacked it to donate milk instead of beer, I think it should be the same plugin).

So the questions are:

  • Does Buy Me A Beer plugin works?
  • Will it work for my blog?
  • Have you tried it and is it worth the try?
  • Should I give it a try?

For those not familiar with Buy Me A Beer plugin, it is a plugin that enables the blogger to request for donations through PayPal from their readers. It’s also an easy way for the readers to say “Thank You” to the blogger for any information on the blog that has somehow helped them in anyways.

How To Display Related Posts In Feeds

Some bloggers include wordpress plugins like WASABI related entries or Ultimate Tag Warrior to display related posts after each posts. This enables readers to quickly identify other posts that may interest them.

I have been using WASABI related entries for quite some time now. It works great in my blog but I notice the links to related posts doesn’t show up in my blog feed. Just recently, I stumbled upon ST Add Related Posts To Your Feed plugin at CincauHangus’s plugin list. It is suppose to show the related posts in the blog feed after installing it. I have tried it and it works.

Below is a screenshot of a blog feed that doesn’t display other related posts.

Feed without related posts

Below is a screenshot of a blog feed that displays other related posts after installing the plugin.

Feed with related posts

You will need to install either WASABI related entries or Ultimate Tag Warrior for this plugin to work. I notice that the related posts links does not display immediately in my blog feed after installing the plugin. They appear only after I published a new post in my blog.

How To Get Your Feed Readers To Participate In Comments

I have subscribed to 30+ feeds from various blogs. I notice that only 10% of them have a link or indicator in their feed to their post’s comments. Below is a screenshot of a feed without a link to its post’s comments.

Feed without link to comment

Below is a screenshot of a feed that links to its post’s comments.

Feed with link to comment

From my point of view (as a feed reader), feeds that do not provide a link to their post’s comments are “dead” articles. It feels like reading the daily newspaper or a magazine. To me, blogs are different from traditional printed materials because it allows readers and the writer to comment and discuss on the written article.

Some might argue that the comments are accessible by launching the post in a browser. However, the point is to make it as simple and effortless for the reader to access them. A year ago, GMail created the “Delete” button just to speed up the deleting process of unwanted e-mails.

GMail's Delete button

To create a “link” to your comment in your feed, you will need to have an account at FeedBurner.

Step 1: Click on the “Optimize” tab.

Step 2: Select the “FeedFlare” option on the left and activate the service.

Step 3: Select “Comments Count” and other function(s) that you want to appear on your feed and blog and click “Save”.

Step 4: Select the platform your blog is running on at the “Get the HTML code to put FeedFlare on your site:” option. Copy the given code into the appropriate files.

Allow some time for the link(s) to appear. It may not show up immediately after adding the codes. Now that you have a link to your comments in your feed, it increases the chance for your feed readers to engage in the comments.

References:
1. Comments included in feed?
2. Adding FeedFlare to WordPress 1.x/2.x
3. Feedflare Code for WordPress – Where should I put it?!

You Must Decide! www.domain.com Or domain.com?

(This post is meant for those who has (at least) a domain name.)

So, what’s the big deal between using www.domain.com (with www) and domain.com (without www)? You probably didn’t bothered, did you? I guess you didn’t know that it will affect your website or blog’s pagerank too.

According to ekstreme.com, “to search engines, because subdomains are different entities, http://www.domain.com and http://domain.com are two different websites with the same content. This means that they both will be penalized for duplicate content and will rank lower.”

So, have I got your attention now? To www or not to www, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you decide between one of them and stick to it. no-www.org recommends websites to drop the www prefix because they claim that it is depreciated and that the “use of the www subdomain is redundant and time consuming to communicate“. Meanwhile, www.yes-www.org argues that it “serves as a gentle reminder that there are other services than the Web on the Internet“.

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Method 1: Apache mod_rewrite and 301 redirection:

(source)

To redirect domain.com to www.domain.com:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^domain\.com [nc]
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.domain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

To redirect www.domain.com to domain.com:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.domain\.com [nc]
RewriteRule (.*) http://domain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

If you open up your .htaccess file in a WordPress blog, you’ll see this:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>

What I’m doing is to redirect tenthofmarch.com to www.tenthofmarch.com. So my version looks like this:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^tenthofmarch\.com [nc]
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.tenthofmarch.com/$1 [R=301,L]
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>

Method 2: Using WordPress Plugin

I found 2 WordPress plugins that allow you to redirect either way without the need to tweak the .htaccess file. This is an easier and safer alternative, since you do not touch the .htaccess file. Bare in mind that any mistakes made while tweaking the .htaccess file might cause some problems while accessing your blog.

1. Enforce www. Preference.
I’ve tested this one and it works. This plugin detects the selection you made in the “Blog address (URL)” under Options –> General.

2. Objection-Redirection
Haven’t tried this (lazy) but I think it should work.

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Again, it doesn’t matter whether you choose to www or not to www. The important thing is to choose either one. I’ve done a quick check on some blogs that I frequently visit and notice MOST of them have not done this. It is about time you guys decide.