In June, I made the decision to shut down comments on my blog. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly, and I had my concerns. I worried that readers wouldn’t like it and that I would miss out on the interaction I was used to seeing. Well, it has now been two months, and I can confidently say that shutting down comments was one of the best things I’ve done for my blog! Here’s why:
1. I have more time.
Pretty obvious, yes — when you remove something you spend time on, you can use that time for other things. But this applies in ways I didn’t realize it would. For starters, do you know how often you check your comments? I didn’t realize how much of an idle action it was for me until I didn’t have comments to check. I must have visited my WordPress dashboard at least five times the day I turned comments off, looking for reactions.
Checking comments was just something I did to pretend I was being productive — I read them a lot more often than I actually responded. I did this a lot on my phone too. I’ve now removed the WordPress app since I was only using it to check comments, and that’s now time I spend paying attention to other things instead of checking my phone (I’ve also turned off all notifications — but that’s probably a post for another day!).
Furthermore, I no longer have spam to deal with. This means I don’t have to worry about emptying it out regularly to keep my database clean and help my site run faster. (Side note: disabling comments in WordPress does not disable trackbacks on your previous posts that accepted comments, so it’s possible to continue getting spam even after you turn comments off. You’ll need to turn off all default article settings in the Discussion section, and also turn off comments and pings on each individual post. You can select all posts in the Posts section and bulk edit them to turn off comments and pings.)
2. I have more focus.
It’s amazing what having just one less thing to think about can do for your focus. When it’s time to blog, I can just write. I’m not thinking about how I need to respond to comments. It’s funny, when I decided to shut down comments, I also decided to stop blogging on a regular schedule. But because I can focus more on writing, I write faster and have been able to continue posting regularly!
3. It increases sharing.
Let’s be honest: you don’t always have a response to a post — sometimes you simply want to say you like it. I think people feel obligated to do that in the comments section when it’s there. But when it’s gone, they can simply hit a share button and move on. I’ve definitely noticed an increase in the number of shares from my Click to Tweets — which means more people see my work. Plus, with sharing I tend to use the time I would have spent responding checking out the tweeter’s blog instead.
I admit, shutting down the comments section isn’t for everyone. But if it’s something you’ve been considering, it might be worth giving a try! Have you or would you consider removing the comments section? Tell me @elembee_!