August 6, 2012

Are You Scaring Away Commenters?

“What? Scaring them away? What do you mean?”

What I mean is, are your readers able to comment on your blog with NO ISSUES?

I find this on more Blogger/Blogspot blogs than anything. I read a great post, I want to add a comment, and yet I can’t!

“What do you mean, I can’t?”

Well, depending on what equipment I’m using (Android phone, my Android tablet, or my laptop), I may not be able to leave a comment.


Because of that blasted thing called CAPTCHA. CAPTCHA is used on blogs to help keep those blasted Spammers from commenting on your blog. However, it may also be stopping non-spammers from commenting as well.


Because the words, numbers, symbols and whatever else may be showing up in your CAPTCHA box, may not be easily readable to your commenter, thus deterring them away. I’ll be honest, on my phone and table? Forget it. It’s truly a shame because I love to leave comments, especially if I can relate to the post OR if it’s an awesome post.

The other thing that I have to ask when I see CAPTCHA on a blog is, if I leave a comment will (1) the author reply in a timely manner; or (2) will they reply at all; or (3) do they even read their comments. With today’s technology, we have our blogs at our fingertips. There is a Blogger app and Wordpress app for our phones. Awesome tools, I might add. I’ve used both extensively. I will admit, I’m partial to the Wordpress one. It is superfantastic!

So you set your blog up to email you when you receive a comment. Then you receive notification on your phone. You read it. If it’s SPAM, delete it. Easy as that imo.

“What else can I do?”

If you’re still afraid of getting SPAM comments and don’t want another dang app on your phone or you don’t want to be bothered with blog comments while you aren’t sitting at your laptop or desktop, why not try something like Disqus? Disqus can be set up to block those Spammers. There is also LiveFrye and IntenseDebate which could easily be added to your blog.

Or if you’re like me, at least on my Blogger blog, I don’t use CAPTCHA. Try it out for a while and see what happens? If you get an enormous amount of spam, just enable CAPTCHA again.

“How do I disable it on Blogger?”

Simply go to your Dashboard. Settings. Posts and Comments. Set “Show Word Verification” to NO as shown below and then SAVE.

It’s as easy as that! Again, try it out and see if you see a difference in your Comments. If you don’t, then feel free to reset your CAPTCHA.

So now I ask you, if you stumble upon a blog that has CAPTCHA enable, does it hinder you from commenting?

About Guest Author

Brenda Lee from Pibbles & Me is a snarky, sometimes hormonal pit bull mommy and veterans wife. She works full-time as an Administrative Assistant at the local landfill. When's she's not at work, she enjoys spending time rehabilitating her pit bull, Titan and having fun with the family.
Find Me: Twitter | Facebook | Google+

Awesome! Thanks for coming by and taking your time to read this post :) I hope you have learnt something today. Now you can share it with your friends and I'd love to hear from you too.

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Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Brenda,

I just thought word verification could stop people from spamming around. I hate spammers and doesn't wanna let 'em in. But personally if I write a comment and when captcha pops up, it's kinda interference. So now I get what you mean :) Glad I have Disqus on my blog now. But I had captcha enabled on my contact form. Once I read your post before publish  here, I made the choice. Removed captcha from the form. That would be really convenient for users :) isn't it? Thanks for opening my eyes on that dear.

Thank you very much for contributing to Mayura4Ever with a topic that really matters for my readers and I really appreciate being "out of box" dear :) I'm honored to have you here. Who said you can't write about tech, eh? ;)


Lisa Buben said...

Yes, if I can't make a comment from the Droid YIKES....Now I have to check my fun blogs on Blogger is I have it set or not. Another type of blog that is hard to make comments on is Those really drive me insane. The only way I can find a way to comment is to to use Twitter if I don't want to use my own log-in. They should really incorporate Disqus or CommentLuv. I really have to like the blog on to comment. Nice to see your post here on Mayura4ever Brenda :)

Brenda said...

Thank you for having me Mayura! I appreciate the "push" you gave me to post something a lil different than my norm. Disqus is a big plus, as well as Livefrye and Intense Debate, however, still with any kind of Captcha, it's kind of a downer...especially on a blog (at least for me). 

It's sad that not everyone thinks about this. I can't count the amount of times I didn't leave a comment simply because I couldn't get through the Captcha :( .

Thank you again for having me sweetie! 

Brenda said...

Lisa! I totally forgot about blogs! I guess I kinda gave up on them a long time ago, simply because of Captcha! Eeek! I hate it!  I think some blogs kind of "attract" spam comments, depending on the niche. However, over the past several years and the many blogspot blogs I've had, I never had any spam and never used Captcha. I agree with the Disqus-CommentLuv merge too. Wow! Disqus would be superfantastic then! :)

Velody said...

Yes! I was just on a blog that used a word verification,though not captcha and though it was right it kept telling me I had it wrong. So I couldn't leave a comment! If I see captcha it makes me think twice about doing so.

I've turned it off on my own blog but I've been thinking about switching to Discus also.

Patrick McCleary said...

Between my three blogs I get somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 spam comments a week. I just can't delete that many individually. And that doesn't count the spam users registering on my forum site. Before I enabled captcha for registration I was getting a dozen a day.

And this is with Akismet installed to weed out the majority of spammers.

Brenda said...

Thanks V! There are a couple different versions of Captcha out there and they totally peeve me. I do have difficulty with it sometimes, and like you, can't comment. Glad to see you're braving it without Captcha. BTW, Mayura has a great tutorial on his blog for installing Disqus! ;)

Brenda said...

Dang Patrick! That many? I wonder why? Is it the topic? Spammers targeting Pagan or Parenting type blogs? Have you tracked the ip's to see where the majority are coming from? I notice a few on my wp blog, but Akismet is awesome with flagging. I get a couple that sneak through cause they are tricky lil boogers. The Captcha "type" on blogs isn't quite the booger it is on or blogspot imo. Thank you for chiming in! Have a blessed day my friend!

Harleena Singh said...

Wonderful post Brenda and nice to see you here! Glad you got her over Mayura!

My earlier blog was on Bloggers and this problem wasn't something I ever faced because I had put up some other plugin to take care of spammers (I forget the name now!). But yes, whenever I am visiting someones blog, and after reading right through, when I sit to comment and have to fill in those captcha words - it just feels horrible. I just keep wondering as to why people have to go through all these security measures and why they don't try out Discus or Livefyre for that matter. 

My writing blog had Discus for a long time. However, once I switched over to Wordpress and enabled CommentLuv on my blog, everything is taken care of. I am glad that Andy's plugin takes care of spammers to quite an extent and put them into the spam folder. Also, if you spam someone's comment once, and if they comment again, their comments would go straight to the spam folder - so it saves you a great deal of time and bother.

Thanks for sharing. :)

Brenda said...

Thanks Harleena! Disqus is fabulous however, I had many people complain when I added it to my blogspot blog. "Too many hoops" to jump through. :/ Go figure. :) I guess you can't please everyone, right?

It is a sad day when you really want to comment, and I hit one at least every day, and I just can't get the Captcha or codes right and I just give up. Very irritating. Sad for the blogger because they are missing out on some good interaction with their readers!

Thank you for commenting here and on Pibbles & Me. Have a great day!

Sonia said...

What I can't believe is that people still use this. No one wants to work hard to leave a comment and sometimes those silly captcha's are so small I think I need glasses. I do hear that Captcha's is the biggest complaint out there with bloggers and something every blogger should stay away from. I think it had its merit when it came out with spam and such, but now its so old news and people tend to deal with it now...but if I see it, I don't even comment. Good post Brenda!

JB said...

Hi Brenda and Mayura!
The Captcha thing. I hate it, it must be my eyes or something, but i'm having a hard thing reading the two words on my screen - let alone a phone or tab.
My guess is, it's easier to filter the 'bad' comments out (Askimet - Wordpress) by hand and decide what you want to keep. If we are talking about 500 comments a day, that's a lot of work. But how many of us get 500 comments per day on a blog...
And the name 'CAPTCHA' could scare people away. Does 'GOTCHA' ring a bell? And we're talking about readers that are used to comment on blogs.

One thing is overlooked here, I believe. What about the inexperienced blog commenter. They might not know what to expect when they have to fill out two secret words on a blog post *before* being able to comment on that, and navigate away from the page. Say bye to a potential customer when you're running a commercial blog...

Compliments to Brenda! Great guest post!

Brenda said...

Yes Sonia, they do! I've had people tell me that they refuse to give it up, after I've told them I had issues. Needless to say, I never went back to those blogs. Their loss. I'll try once, maybe twice if I'm on my laptop, but if I'm mobile, forget it. Thanks for commenting Sonia! Muwah!

Brenda said...

Hey Jan! Trust me, it's NOT your eyes! Do you know sometimes when you have to reset a password and they give you some crazy code string to input? Oh hell no! Eeek!

I do understand the "noob" blogger as when I started out, I did use it. However, even when I tried to comment on my own blog via my phone, that's all it took! Adios!  I try to educate those who are using it and encourage them to give it a try, without. I totally see what you're saying about customers. Eeek, that sux!

Thanks for commenting Jan! 

Brenda said...


Many thanks for having me guest post on your blog. It's truly been an honor. I have learned so many things from you and your blog, it's truly an inspiration. Keep up the good work, I know you'll go far. From a personal standpoint, I'm so glad I got to know you and although many miles stand between us, I'm glad to call you a friend.

Thank you again! Muwah!

Mayura De Silva said...

Hey Brenda,

You are the joyful one among my friends Brenda ;) And when it comes to blogging, though you don't write about tech much, I remember how you did write about Disqus on yours and I see how you handle things in your blogs. So you're a tech savvy. We all know that.

It's an honor to have you here and you've learnt me about CAPTCHA too. WHAT? You come to my place and you've learnt me? LOL... Yeah, it's true.

You know I ll go so far and I know it too. But without all of you, I won't go so far ;)

Thanks again for taking your time and effort to write here dear :)


Pupu Parida said...

Thanks for your post on word verification. It is true that disabling captcha means a lot of spam comments, however it is also true that enabling Captcha bores users. I am talking of my personal experience. Whenever I have to enter a captcha code, it is the most boring part of posting. So thanks for the suggestion of enabling DISQUS in blogs. I am gomma try it. 

Brenda said...

Thank you for commenting. It's true, it could mean a lot of spam or it could mean little to no spam, however I'd rather weed through the spam comments than deter someone from commenting on my blog. Look at it like this, one person who is unable to comment on your blog most likely means one less reader. :) Disqus is awesome! Good luck!

donna_tribe said...

I do all my work from my laptop.  It makes it so easy for me instead of using a phone.  When it comes to comments, it is filtered through my wordpress and that suits me fine!

Capture confuses the heck out of me.  Sometimes I go on blogs with that and loose my comment and have to start all over again.  I like things is just the way I am.  I don't even use an Iphone or ipad.  Just my reliable laptop.  Because I work from home, when I go out the phone does not come with me.  I need to have a balanced lifestyle.  So when it comes to phone apps, there are no worries her lol

Thanks for letting me know all about the android phones and the comment trouble one can have with them.  It will come in handy when I finally purchase one he he

Brenda said...

Thanks for commenting Donna! I rely heavily on my phone as I work during the day and am not allowed to "surf the net" while at work. :( Bummer right? So my phone is my walking laptop during the 8-5 hours and boy have I had a time with Captcha! Eeek! I am very much like you and enjoy "simple" things!

Thank you for your reply! :)

gnparida said...

As you have suggested, I have activated Disqus on my blog and waiting for a new experience. Thanks again.

gnparida said...

Thanks and I have activated Diaqus on my site.

Linda Ursin said...

I use Disqus on my main site, but just regular Wordpress on my blog, so far. I have to have some kind of spam protection, because I don't want to check and delete over 300 messages a day, which I was until I installed the protection.I don't use Captcha though, I just have a box that says "Check this to confirm you're human", everything else is behind the scenes (Akismet). The only kind of spam I get these days, is fake ping backs.

Brenda said...

Hey Linda! Whoa! Why so much spam? It has to be content right? Crazy! I do like that check box on your wordpress blog. That I can click on my phone. :) Thanks for stopping by! 

Jeevan Jacob John said...

Great Post Brenda!

I agree, we should remove distractions or things like Captcha that deter the commentators from leaving their comments (I think it is more new bloggers who use Captcha. Established bloggers tend to know the disadvantage of using Captcha for comments).I have used both Blogger and WP commenting systems (Well, when I was with blogger, I was using third party commenting systems such as Intense debate and Disqus. Blogger still has a long way to go with their commenting system). And, when I switched over to WP, I decided to stick with the default commenting system (I love the Disqus 2012, but most of my readers prefer that I use default commenting system, so I am using it).Anyways, thank you for the post, Brenda!Jeevan Jacob John

Linda Ursin said...

 I get so much because my blog's been online, in one form or another, since 2001

Brenda said...

Thank you Jeevan! I, like you, when I went to WP continued using WP comments. Well, wait, when I first went to WP I tried Disqus, IntenseDebate, and LiveFrye which took me back to standard WP comments. :) At least I gave them all a shot. :) I also agree with you on Blogger. I run another blog that is Blogspot. I tried other commenting systems but am currently using the normal one. Definitely not a fan however, it doesn't get a lot of traffic either.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and stopping by! It's always great hearing from others! :)

Jeevan Jacob John said...

When I switched to WordPress, I thought of switching to Disqus (because I was using Disqus in blogger, so I had to all the importing, and it was a bit messy). But, I decided to stay with WP comments. 

I haven't tried Live Fyre yet (I wanted to try it when it came but, but didn't have the comment luv option. And after some months, they added a comment luv like feature). I still didn't switch - mainly because for some reason, every comment I leave with Livefyre, it gets linked to my Contact page instead of the latest post. I tried to fix it and then thought that I should just stick with WP.

But, I did switch to Disqus (2 weeks back when I learned of Disqus 2012). I just wanted to see how it works, but it didn't work well with my site, so I immediately switched back to WP comments.

In my opinion, WP comments are the best (but, they should work on improving the look and add real time commenting to it).

Heartache Into Beauty said...

 Thanks for the tip!  I didn't even realize mine was set to "yes" until I went and checked my settings.

Brenda said...

Did you turn it off Colleen? I can understand if ppl that are using it get an abundance of spam, but I also hope they know, they could be missing on on some comments as well. I guess it's one of those things... damned if you do, damend if you don't. :) 

Heartache Into Beauty said...

 Oh I definitely did.  Captcha makes me crazy!!

Brenda said...

Good thing! BTW, did you see you were nominated for an award on Pibbles & Me? 

Lokesh Muniyal said...

Hi Mayur,
You have great thoughts on how to retain commenters on your blog. I am using captcha right now on my blog. After reading this i am in no dilemma that i am going to remove that. I prefer the check box that says "confirm you are not a spammer". It is very friendly for your readers i think..What's that thing called btw.

Brenda said...

Thank you for your comment. Lokesh, Are you using Blogger or Wordpress? Like Mayura said, Blogger doesn't have that "Confirm your are not a spammer" feature but I do believe Wordpress does as a plugin. I'm not using it on my Wordpress blogs however. By using Akismet on my blog, it catches all spam set per my requirements and then I can check to see if any REAL comments slip through. Rarely it catches a real comment but when it happens, I just approve it.

Kyle said...

Yes it does! I mostly find it a problem with Blog spot captcahs where I enter the letters correctly yet it still doesn't let me in.

I used to be able to get in several months ago but now ANY blogspot blogs do not let me post regardless of the type of blog it is.

I feel as if evil aliens are playing jokes on me but I refuse to give them the feeling of power over me. :p

You hear that alien pranksters? Your days are numbered! The light spirits shall win victory and free the people of the matrix you fooled people into setting up!

Kyle said...

I'm one of those new bloggers to but am now seeing the disadvantages of captchas.

Kyle said...

I would like to make a blog with scenery pictures from places I've traveled physically but I am unsure which company is the best because after seeing other people's blogs I've noticed certain types of blogs have harsher captchas and they make me mad.

Problem is I can never remember which blog types have them as I will keep captcha off if I can on my own.

Also does certain topics or the way a blog is written attract spammers more then others?

Mayura De Silva said...

That's great to hear from you Kyle :) It's what Brenda intended to teach. We all are learning everyday :)


Brenda Lee said...

In my opinion, blogger has the worse captcha. If you're using Wordpress, there are other "easy" options to utilize other than captcha. I'm unsure about Tumblr though. I do believe that the topic can attract more. They use keywords and when a blog is scanned, it catches it, and BLAM, there you get the spam comments. ;) Thank you for stopping by Kyle!

Brenda Lee said...

haha I see you too get hit by the blogger captcha's! They are horrid sometimes. I just give up. :)

Jon Whiting said...

Hi Brenda, I agree with you. I have never used a CAPTCHA on my blog. I like to make it as easy as possible for people to comment. I even allow completely anonymous comments. I love the interaction. I don't have much problem with spammers either. The spam filter on my blog catches most of it, and I pay close enough attention that I can quickly delete what does get through. You've given people some other good options to consider as well.

In my own blogging I've had a much bigger problem with spammers when I don't post regularly. Also if I don't respond to comments efficiently. Thanks for the tips, and good advice.

Frank Woodman Jr said...

I'm with you and hate Captchas. And while there was a time when they made sense as there weren't many other effective tools that's not true today. And to think that people would take the chance of turning off visitors and making comments harder when they don't have to is hard for me to follow. Anyway you won't find them on my blogs and sites.

Brenda Lee said...

Thanks Frank! It's bad, imo, to really want to share on someone's blog post when you have to jump through hoops, especially CAPTCHA hoops. I'm 44 years old and sometimes those letters are hard to read, let alone, someone who may be older than myself having issues. I've tried to pass along to other folks about it but some refuse to let go. I see it mostly on blogger blogs. Solution? Use Disqus :) Thanks for sharing!

Brenda Lee said...

Thank you Jon! Glad to see you use alternatives to that bloody Captcha. It can be a real booger imo. :) I haven't gone as far as allowing anonymous as I'm not sure what kind of comment would come out and wouldn't want my readers reading something truly "off the wall". Go you! You're a brave one.

Interacting with one's readers is another peeve of mine. I've seen blogs where the blog owner never replies period. What's up with that? Good idea for another post, no? :) Thanks for sharing!

Barry Wells said...

Hi Brenda and Mayura,

Good topic to cover. If I see CAPTCHA required to leave a comment I don't leave one. As Sonia said we don't want to have to work hard to leave a comment. Blog owners need to be aware that if they want comments they need to make it as simple as possible for their readers.

Yes we need to avoid spam comments but there are easier ways of doing so. For WordPress i recommend GASP, which places a checkbox beneath the comment area and if it's not checked then the comment doesn't land.

I use Catcha for my contact form but make sure that it's easy to read. Those with the letters all twisted make it hard and after the 3rd attempt I give up, but like I said for comments NEVER.

Thanks both, Barry

Brenda Lee said...

Thanks Barry! I don't think bloggers realize how many comments they may be missing out on, let alone, new subscribers. I was using GASP at one time but then it got flukey on me and no one could comment. Remember that Mayura? It was a good plugin and not sure what happened on my site. :/

I think if more people knew how much they were missing on by using Captcha, they'd quickly look for new options. Thanks for sharing Barry!

Mayura De Silva said...

Yeah Brenda ;) I didn't know the plugin name, but remember there was no way to comment that time. I've heard recently that some plugins not working well with blogs as they intended. It happens :)

Frank Woodman Jr said...

And it's things like Discus that make Captcha such a silly way to try to stop spam any more. Discus works very well and in fact better than Captcha in my experiences with testing both. The spammers have just turned to using people to enter Captcha's or even programs in some cases. So Captcha is offensive to your visitors with out any real benefits IMO.

Daniel Sumner said...

Hey Guys, lol it looks like the general feeling is "we hate Captcha" I used to have it on my help desk, but when my tickets stopped and my email was getting bombarded I know then it was a stupid idea. As far as my blog goes, I get away with GASP, but I do get spam. It doesn't bother me too much as I just spam it when I look down my comments. If it gets out of hand I will use Disqus.

I did have a run in with Captcha on a very popular blog recently. I actually sent a Tweet to the blog owner to ask him if his comments had dropped. They had, it was removed a little later.

Thanks for sharing :-D

Brenda Lee said...

That's awesome of you to let the blogger know about Captcha on their site! I hope their comments have picked up since then.

Captcha has really become a dirty word to me. I give up anymore with it. Thank you for sharing!

Creativebloggers said...

Hello Mayura great post, I don't understand why people would even use this method. They're so worried about spammers that there loosing people who want to comment on.

I think if you want your blog to be successful and drive more readers to your blog, then you need to make it easier for them to leave those comments and not put up barricades. Thanks so much for sharing your post my friend

Brenda Lee said...

Hi Rob! I think one of the biggest problems is that people simply aren't aware of the issues Captcha causes. Unless you have commented on several blogs that use it, you'll never know how horrible it is. It's up to US, the more seasoned bloggers, to make people aware of what a pain in the butt it is. I understand those wanting to control spammers and imo, if you want more security, jump on the Disqus bandwagon or simply move to Wordpress.

I'm not biased am I? hehe Well yes I am! I've gotten to the point that if I see blogger Captcha freaky codes, I'll just skip it all together. Sad because the blogger is missing out on my most important comment... hehe.... and others for that!

Thanks for sharing Rob! Always a pleasure!