Who Can Comment

Assuming that I've persuaded you to let people comment on your blog, you have a second decision to make: Which members of the unwashed masses should be able to post a comment on your blog?

Out of the box, WordPress lets anyone comment on your blog, but if that setting is just a little too wide open for your comfort, you can restrict commenting access to those folks who have user accounts on your blog. To restrict comments to users, choose Settings > General to open the

General Settings panel; in the Membership section, click the check box titled Users Must Be Registered and Logged in to Comment; then click the Save Changes button. This method is an effective means of combatting comment spam, and it lowers the risk that people will leave nasty comments on your posts.

This approach has one obvious downside, however: With everyone already having so many accounts and passwords to remember, do you really want to add that extra layer to enable commenting on your blog? You're sure to lose some commenters who aren't interested in signing up for an account just to leave a comment (though the counterargument also stands: If that person's comment isn't worth the effort of creating an account for, it probably isn't worth having).

I'm a proponent of having a devil-may-care attitude toward comments. Let everyone comment; then install a plug-in or two that makes comment spam much more manageable (as I discuss at the end of this chapter). But it's your blog, of course, so it's your choice.

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