Discussion: Why I Disabled Comments on Older Posts

Everyone loves comments, right? I know I do, but off and on during 2014, I experimented with disabling comments on old posts (over 30 days old). Why?

Spam.

spam stats 01/01/15

(Ignore January. I forgot to turn off comments before I went to bed on December 31, and by the time I got to it at 9:45am on January 1, I already had 38 spam comments. I would have cut it out, but I wanted to leave the accuracy percentage.)

Taking the two most recent full months, I disabled comments on old posts for November. Askimet caught 66 spam comments. Maybe 1 or 2 were legit comments that it caught by accident. In December, I enabled comments on old posts again. Askimet caught 2675 comments. TWO THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE.

Looking back at earlier months, you can probably see a pattern where I enabled or disabled commenting on those older posts. I switched mid-month a lot of the time, but I believe I had them off for most of November and on for most of December (maybe a day or two in).

Now, I can see where it would be beneficial for some bloggers to leave commenting open on old posts. Bloggers who post tutorials and tips and those who offer social media button downloads probably get a lot of people reading their older posts, and some of them might have questions or want to leave a “thanks” comment.

But my old posts? Very few people read most of my old posts. I do have a post from June that still gets a lot of hits (my spoiler review of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay and Where She Went). It’s my most popular post BY FAR — but no one has commented on it since the day after I posted it. Some of my other reviews get regular hits from Google, Pinterest, and Tumblr (especially when I keep those last two updated). But no one comments. Even when comments are on. Even when I was using a plugin to retweet links to my old posts, I never got comments on them.

While I hate for even one person who might want to leave a comment on an old post not to be able to do so, those people don’t seem to visit my blog. It’s just not worth my time to sort through all of those spam comments, an average of 86 a day, looking for legitimate ones that don’t exist. With comments disabled on old posts, I can easily skim the few that land in spam for the real ones. It takes seconds.

Do you check the spam Askimet, or whatever you’re using, catches for you, or do you just let it go? Do you comment on old posts when you visit a new blog?

Jenna

Comments

  1. I do check the spam that Akismet catches, because sometimes a legit comment gets caught. 🙁 I hardly disable comments on my old posts, but I might try doing so now after hearing your input. I followed this post by Ashley and my spam count really went down. 😀 Like from 12 per day to maybe one or two in a week.

    The spam count has been climbing up lately though. -_-
    Ana @ Read Me Away recently posted…Read Play Blog: Anticipation in 2015My Profile

  2. Really fascinating topic. I rarely if ever check the Akismet spam queue (my spam count is RIDICULOUS as well), but I do occasionally get comments on older posts. I’ll have to research and see if they are older than 30 days, though. Good post!
    Kasey @ The Story Sanctuary recently posted…Cover Reveal: Draven’s Light by Anne Elisabeth StenglMy Profile

  3. I always hope Askismet is doing it’s job and catching lots of spam and no real comments, sometimes I check and see if it might have caused a real comment, but often after 1 or two pages of spam comments I usually stop with that again.
    Just like you I don’t get a lot if any comments on posts that are older then one or two weeks. Although I don’t wnat to turn off comments, because what if someone does want to leave a comment?

    I hardly ever comment on old posts myself, although there are a few times when I did.
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  4. I don’t have Askismet. I use Blogger, and it seems to do a good job catching spam comments. I do have my account set up to moderate comments for posts older than two weeks just because I thought it would be the best way to catch spammers.

    I do comment on older posts. If I see that someone has reviewed a book in the past that I recently read, I’ll comment on it. I do the same for anything that interests me.
    Erin @ The Hardcover Lover recently posted…Blog Tour and Review: Wish by Grier Cooper + GIVEAWAYMy Profile

  5. I use Askimet but I also use the ticky box plugin thing that asks people to check the box to prove they are not spammers (which you have! I can never remember the actual name of it). Instead of getting thousands of spam comments in a week, I now get about 35 in the same period – although it might have helped that I changed url’s during this experiment, and that made a lot of spam go away. Askimet does occasionally let spam comments through, but I also have moderating enabled so they never show.

    I sometimes comment on old posts, but tbh it depends on how old it is. I might comment on the most recent post with ‘I also just read your post on…’ 🙂
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