Comment Posting Settings

The second group of fields on the comment configuration page, Comment Posting Settings, details comment workflow and the fields that are presented to users when they create comments.

Anonymous poster settings: This determines whether anonymous users may or may not enter contact information, and if so, whether the information is required.

Name, e-mail, and homepage: These are the contact information fields that are requested. If the information is required, the name and e-mail fields become mandatory fields. Names matching the usernames of registered users are not allowed. When comments from anonymous users are displayed, the name they supply will be wrapped in a hyperlink pointing to the site they entered as their homepage.

Comment subject field: This determines whether the subject field should be enabled for comments. Once again, this is a matter of taste. One could argue that anyone commenting on a posting is going to talk about the posting and therefore shares the subject of the posting. On the other hand, maybe the commenter wants to address only one specific point relating to the posting, so it might make sense to allow subject fields.

Preview comment: Requiring that users preview their comments before posting helps avoid errors (the users see what they're about to post) and also to filter out script-generated comments (spam), as the posting process is made more complicated by the added step. On the other hand, it is one more click that you are expecting your users to make before they can add content to your site. I'm sure many well-thought-out comments have evaporated into the ether because the author thought that she was finished with the process after clicking Preview.

Location of comment submission form: Would you rather have the comment submission form appear below the post or on a separate page? Having it appear on a separate page clutters the content page less but puts one more click between your users and the comment they want to post.

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