Ending The Ability To Leave Comments When You’re Shutting Down A Blog

Anyone who’s visited this blog over the years known I’m not big on turning off comments on my blog posts. It’s something I’ve never actually done on this blog or my business blog, because I’m not fearful of writing a post that’s going to generate a lot of negative publicity… not that I’d care all that much if I had something I felt needed to be said.


With that in mind, I’ve recently turned off comments on a couple of blogs I’m discontinuing… with good reason. Not only did I do that, but I discovered an easy way to do it so I don’t have to deal with the issue again.

The reason? I’ve decided to shut down 2 of my blogs and one of my websites, though one of the blogs is connected to the website so that was pretty easy to do. I also decided to go through both of those blogs to see if there were articles I could repurpose elsewhere. My qualifications were that they had to be pretty good already before I rewrote them, they had to be at least 600 words, and I needed to have a place to put them.

On one of the blogs, my medical billing site, this was fairly easy. Almost all the articles I decided to repurpose are going on my business website, since I found myself competing against myself on two different blogs; that just couldn’t continue. A couple of articles I thought were pretty good but didn’t fit there will be going to my local blog, Syracuse Wiki. The content isn’t necessarily local, so I’ll either find a way to make it somewhat local or publish it because the information’s pretty good.

The other blog… definitely more problematic. It’s my finance blog, and over the course of 11 years I’ve written almost 700 articles on financial topics. I had over 350 guest posts as well, but I wasn’t taking anyone else’s content and moving it; that didn’t seem proper. It took me almost 2 hours to go through and find articles I could use elsewhere… and there’s a bunch. I’m going to be mixing those articles up between my local blog and my accountant’s blog, for whom I write and she covers my accounting and taxes; win! 🙂

Every article I decided to repurpose then had to be made private. After a couple of weeks I can start putting that content on other sites without worrying about duplicating myself way too early. My making them private, those articles wouldn’t be seen by anyone else, so I didn’t have to worry about someone coming along and wanting to leave a comment on any of those stuff.

What to do, then, about the articles I decided to leave, whose content I either felt wasn’t up to snuff or wasn’t evergreen? I decided to go in and turn off the ability to receive any comments on any articles I left alone.

There are two ways to turn comments off on articles. The long way and more laborious is to go into each article, scroll down to Discussion, uncheck the box that allows comments and push the update button. That’s the way to go if you have a single article you want to turn comments off on.

That’s the slow way. If you want to turn comments off on all posts, go to Settings (WordPress), Discussion, then go down to the line that says “Automatically close comments on posts older than” and change the number to 1. That’ll not only close comments on all previous articles, but if you want to write an article letting everyone know you’re shutting down the blog or ending comments, it only gives them a day to leave a comment on that current article… which probably won’t happen.

That’s all you have to do. I’ve already closed both blogs, and the domains will expire in about 6 months. I’m going to try to sell them… somewhere… but I’m not holding out much hope. We’ll see…
 

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14 thoughts on “Ending The Ability To Leave Comments When You’re Shutting Down A Blog”

    1. Truthfully, with the plugins I’m using now, I’m allowing comments for upwards of 4 or 5 years. The overwhelming amount of spam I receive are on articles that are new or within a 3-month period. I rarely get spam on my old blog posts. I like leaving articles open longer since I’m often working on posts that are hopefully evergreen.

  1. Hi Mitch

    Most the bloggers I know who have shut down comments do it because it takes too much effort to keep up with replying to everyone.

    I understand that, but it’s really what blogging is all about in my opinion.

    So I’m a fan of leaving comments on and just dealing with spam as part of the biz 🙂

    And I certainly understand your reasons for handling them in various ways.

    I guess whatever makes sense for your particular business model is what you need to run with.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Marketing your profession online in 2020My Profile

    1. I’m with you on having comments and I’ll never turn them off on an active blog. On the two I’m shutting down, it makes no sense keeping comments on especially since I’m competing with myself. 🙂

      I can see famous bloggers with hundreds of comments shutting them down, even if I don’t like it. I can’t see someone who’s never responded to any comments and gets less than 5 on the majority of posts shutting them down. That’s either laziness or not caring what their readers have to say. I hope I’m never in a spot like that.

  2. Most people that comment on blog post do so to get backlink or traffic to their blog. The problem is that most of the comment will be irrelevant to the topic of the content.
    At the same time, it is a good idea when someone ready an article and sharing his/her own opinion about it or give suggestions for others to learn more.

    1. I never think much about backlinks, but I’ve recognized over the years that the best way to drive traffic back to my blog is to leave comments. Not just any comments, one line pieces of trash, but actual comments that have something to do with the article I’ve just read. That’s what drives traffic, especially if the topic is of interest to both the blog owner and other commenters.

  3. I like the idea of closing comments after, I think that is something we will begin to do.
    Most after that time period are spam but what if you update the old post?

    1. First, let me reiterate that I close comments after almost 6 years; I figure that’s giving people enough time to have seen it earlier. If you update an old post, you should be changing the publishing date so it looks like a brand new post. That will reset the time frame if you set a period for closing comments.

  4. Actually I have been allowing people to comment on my blogs because I believe this is how I can get traffic, however, I m dealing with some comments that don’t even match with my blogs.

    1. If you don’t get comments that match your article content, consider those comments spam and remove them. We all want comments to show because we believe more comments make us look good, which they do, but if the comment doesn’t match the content then your blog looks like a spam farm.

  5. Depending on the type of site you run, turning off comments, or having moderation required (even if it takes the dreaded 7-day delay) is definitely a time-saver.

    I run a wiki and on that I moderate all comments before they go live – they are supposed to be additions/subtractions to the wiki, versus actual conversations about the topic so I think the delay is ok.

    What do you do on your Syracuse Wiki?

    1. It’s actually a regular blog instead of a wiki site. There’s a story behind that but in the end me & a group of friends decided against creating a local wiki site. Basically I don’t moderate comments, I moderate people and links. For instance, you went into the pending area because you don’t have an avatar (or gravatar for blogging purposes), something most spammers don’t think about.

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