Blogging and Writing

Is “Liking” Comments Important?

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Liking comments came up as an expected issue related to my recent search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, which have focused on making my site faster. One of the things that Google cares about is how long it takes your posts/pages to load when someone pays them a visit. Google and various SEO tools I use have been telling me for a while that my site was on the slow side, so it’s been a bit of a mostly mindless project to try to tease that out. It doesn’t actually matter that much in my world, but I like mindless projects for times when my mind isn’t interested in working.

The (unimportant) behind the scenes

When you load a web page, there are a lot of different things that happen. If you’re curious, which you probably aren’t, Google Chrome developer tools will show you all of it, and GTmetrix will show you a fancy waterfall diagram. The point is, the less that has to happen, the faster your page shows up and is interactive.

When you have comments on a post, not only is your browser showing you the comments, it’s fetching all of those Gravatars that are associated with the comments. If you have quite a few comments, that takes a while. We’re not talking old-school dial-up internet takes a while, but it’s still something.

Okay, so comments can slow things down a smidge. A way around that is to use a plugin to “lazy load” your comments. Comments are down at the bottom of the page, so your browser really doesn’t need to load them right at the beginning. Lazy loading tells your browser to wait to load the comments until you scroll down to that vicinity rather than right at the start.

Getting to the point (sort of)

An unexpected side effect of the plugin I’m using is that something about the way the comments are loaded means users aren’t given the option of being able to like them, even though my WP settings enable comment likes. (it doesn’t affect being able to like the post itself). I wouldn’t have had a clue if another blogger hadn’t pointed it out to me, because I do all my comment liking and replying within my notifications in the WP Reader, and that’s not affected.

Once I was aware of it, I was faced with a decision, hence this post: do I care more about comment likes or my pages loading faster?

Granted, I don’t actually care all that much about either. I’m a big fan of the like buttons for posts, but with comments, it’s more of an acknowledgment than anything.

I realized, though, that I have no idea how other people manage their comment back and forth. As I said, I do all my back and forth in my Reader notifications, regardless of whether the original comment was on the site itself or in the Reader. One of the reasons I’m so pro-Reader is that it makes the comment back and forth so easy.

For me, lack of being able to like comments on the site itself makes no difference; being able to like comments and see comment likes in the Reader is working exactly the same as it did pre-plugin.

Actually getting to the point

So, my rambling up until this point aside, I thought I would ask, because I’m curious—how do you manage your comment back and forth-ing, and is the ability to like comments on a blogger’s actual site important or relevant in any way to you?

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31 thoughts on “Is “Liking” Comments Important?”

  1. Interesting. You are driving pretty deep into stuff there.
    I haven’t gone to your page to notice if the loading speed is noticeably slow. Like you, I manage everything from the app normally. I’m disabled and being able to type one-handed is priceless to me…
    You always provide useful and meaningful content. 🤗

  2. I find it useful to “like” all comments on my posts with few exceptions. That way, the commenter knows their comment appeared & I acknowledged it. There are times I don’t feel like replying to all the comments, so the like feature is even more important then. As far as people liking my comments on their blogs, I don’t really care. To me, the “meat” of the post is more important than an after-convo, but I know others disagree. On your blog, I have to load the post in a browser to see the whole thing (I don’t do this for everyone with that setting lol), but when I like and/or reply, I return to the reader. For whatever reason, when I try to do these actions in a browser, I’ll have to log in again, and sometimes more than once!

  3. I visit your site, and also read your post through WP Notifier because I pin many of your fantastic posts. I have not noticed any slowness at all in your website load.
    I enjoy being able to like comments, it is a great feature.

  4. Liking comments doesn’t mean much to me. I’d love to be pro reader like you but the apps are so inconsistent that I end up asking it to email responses to comments, then I unsubscribe when I get the response.

  5. I like using the Reader for, well everything. “Liking” a post or a comment in the Reader IS easy and efficient – sometimes I comment through it, sometimes not, I guess it’s where I read the blog that determines that – in the Reader or on the site. I mostly use my desktop, but I know what Paula is talking about re: signing in again and again when I use my iPad. So I might read in my iPad but I will comment, and Like using my desktop. Also the Reader is good for those blogs where the font is so small, that even on my desktop I have to squint – so again the reader is very useful…Blogs that use a lot of photos, well I do kinda like seeing those on the big screen, just words blogs, the Reader just makes them easier to read! Short Answer: Doesn’t matter to me!

  6. I hadn’t noticed any slow loading, but mostly I interact from my desktop. I did notice that the ability to like other people’s comments disappeared. I assumed it was a “me” problem, not a new plug in. I do miss it.

    1. Slow loading is in a very relative sense, and it’s mostly on mobile that it’s an issue, which probably has a lot to do with my theme. This post is currently taking 0.9 seconds to be interactive on desktop, but 5.1 seconds on mobile.

      1. That is a big difference that would frustrate me as a creator, and also as a user. I do notice that about the mobile site, true for almost all: it takes a bit for the stories to appear.

  7. I think there is a way to not have comments show on your blog but still have them enabled within WordPress JetPack (Reader). It could be another option to explore because I think most readers that want to comment do so through the WordPress Reader but I guess if you want website readers to comment as well, then it’s good to keep them on your site.

  8. I can honestly say it would not matter to me. I have found during the past eighteen months, I have less and less free time. Because Jack is away, and I have had some time off work, I have been able to spend a bit more time on WordPress than normal recently. I tend to read and comment as much as I can in the time i have spare. I would never notice if someone had liked the comments I had left on their post.

  9. I do almost everything through the Reader. I like posts and like tapping like on comments as an acknowledgement, because they are interesting, or made me think.

  10. I noticed that I was no longer able to “like” a comment on your blog, but I also don’t know what I have done to ensure that people can always “like” people’s comments. It’s just always been that way. I do think it adds something to the overall feel of the creation if people can “like” comments as well as reply to them.

  11. I also use Reader exclusively to respond back to comments and like comments on my post. Reader makes it very easy to respond to comments in that way.

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