WordPress Front Page Comment Display

lettersWe all love to receive comments and it’s not surprising that some beginner bloggers arrive in the support forum asking why their comments aren’t displaying below their posts on the front page of their blogs. There is a good reason for this but first let’s confirm what “normal behavior” is.

The front pages of our WordPress blogs are designed to load quickly and showcase content so comments are collapsed on that page.  By clicking the comments link or the post title on the front page the posts will open on their own page where all comments display below them.

In a new blog one does not have many posts or comments. In an established blog with many comments if the comments did not collapse on the front page there would be serious performance drawbacks. The page would take a long time to load and page loading time is a page ranking factor. We have only seconds before visitors refuse to wait and click out.

It’s important for bloggers to keep in mind that at least half of all internet users are currently using dial-up connections.  What that means to us is that half of our visitors are downloading the pages at about 3-4 kilobytes per second. And it’s estimated that if a page has not loaded with within 3- 5 seconds we can stand to lose one-third of our visitors.  —  Blogging: Strategies for reducing page loading time

Independent tests have shown that more than 3 seconds is a problem for users. Google webmaster tools suggest that 1.5 seconds or less is fast. And Google’s own tests show that shaving even 0.1 second off their SERPs load time increases user engagement. Indirectly, slow page speed can affect user experience and engagement and Google apparently does use those metrics. If slow pages are lowering a site’s user engagement and that is noticeable in the metrics Google can see, then Google might choose to send less traffic by lowering rankings, because Google wants to give their own users a quality experience.

Related posts found in this blog:
WordPress.com Comments and Discussion Settings
Blogging: Comment Baiting
A comment policy for your blog

16 thoughts on “WordPress Front Page Comment Display

  1. I just came across you in a forum replying to some guy who said he did’nt get any readers anymore as a result of some technical change which is a long way beyond the reach of my understanding but your reply was so level headed that I wanted to come and recognise your approach. I shall attempt to read you more often

    • Thanks so much for looking my blog up and posting this comment. i hope you find the content in my blog to be useful. :)
      Though fe want to hear the truth the way to get comments is to give them. The golden rule of social networking online or offline is the same – give to get.

  2. Thank you for th insights! I’ve been blogging on WP for over a year now and your site is on my list of hotlinks. Thanks and keep up the great work!

  3. I tried to figure out how to send you a message directly, but I wasn’t able to find a way. I just wanted to thank you again. You’ve been incredibly helpful and patient in answering questions I assume you’ve heard thousands of times. I hope in the future I can reciprocate the kindness you showed me.

    • I discontinued posting my email address and a contact form on my blog. This is because I have so little time and I answer many questions on the support forums http://en.fourms.wordpress.com that I could not keep up with them. Thanks for your kind words and best wishes with your blog.

  4. It’s all a matter of convention and user education. Once users become used to a convention and know what to expect, changing that functionality becomes an issue. Not having the comments displayed might be irritating to some people if they come from forums or blogs where they are displayed. But that irritation is balanced out by other features, and if those are more important, then users become used to the convention and most will cease to care. Personally, I like not having the page cluttered with the comments. It makes sense and keeps the blog entries as the main point of the page. What occasionally bothers me is not finding a place to make a comment or a link to add one. I usually look for those above or below the article. That’s what I’d prefer to be standardized. A nice “leave a comment” link is always helpful.

    • Hi there,
      Thanks for your comment. Since loading time became a pageranking factor this issue has arisen from time to time. In every case it’s a new blogger who wants all their comments to display. As time passes and they rceive more comments then begin to comprehend why the collasped comments on the front page make perfect sense.

    • Compare the time it takes to get to a desk phone ringing on one end of your home to the other end of your home ie. about 4 -5 five rings to how long it takes to answer c cell phone n your pocket or purse. We no longer control technology we have succumbed to allowing it to control us. Consequently, we have become continually switched on and very impatient people.

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