Several readers have written that they had trouble figuring out how to add a comment to one of my web site articles.
Since I appreciate the article comments, and I invite comments at the end of each newsletter article, I decided that this topic might make a useful article.
As an example, I received an email from Robin in England, where the final comment was that Robin was unable to figure out how to post a comment on the web site:
Also, I wanted to add a comment to the article but I could not make out how to add the comment!
Below each article on my Terry’s Computer Tips web site, the comment section has a header "Speak Your Mind" as shown in the annotated image below.
The first input field is mandatory — that’s your name. This will be displayed as the author of the post.
The next input field is also mandatory, and requires your email address. This is not displayed with the comment, nor is there any link for a site visitor to mail you using that address. The email address is visible only to the site administrator.
The next field is optional. If you have your own web site, this is the place to put it. When your name is displayed as author of the comment, if you have provided a web site in this field, the name is displayed as a link to the web site. You might get more visitors to your site…
The next field is a large text box that allows you to enter your comment. Most HTML is does not work if it is entered in this text box (it will be displayed as text rather than "working" HTML). Carriage returns work, so you can use normal sentence and paragraph structure.
Don’t be worried about the relatively small size of the text box. The text will scroll so you can make your comment about as long as you want it to be.<grin>
The comment text box is followed by the anti-comment-spam system called reCAPTCHA. If a commenter has a problem, it’s usually with the reCAPTCHA test. I can’t do without it, though — I tried and spent way too much time handling spam comments that had been automatically posted (presumably, because of the numbers posted).
The reCAPTCHA box is designed to prevent automatic spamming programs from being able to add spam comments to the posting. An earlier version was called CAPTCHA, but its images were too easy for character recognition software to identify. reCAPTCHA uses two "words" — sometimes one is just numbers and the other a string of unrelated letters that are twisted or otherwise deformed.
The test to keep out the automated spammer is for you to visually recognize the letters and numbers and to type them into the reCAPTCHA input box that says "Type the two words"
Note the three vertical red symbols to the right of the reCAPTCHA input box.
- The top one is two curved arrows, meaning "I can’t read these, give me another set of words.".
- The middle one looks like a speaker with lines representing sound coming out of it. It will make reCAPTCHA play a sound file saying those words.
- The bottom one is a question mark, which means HELP!
When you’re ready to post your comment, click on the button (below the reCAPTCHA test) that says "POST COMMENT."
As a final note, because of comment spam, I have WordPress set to moderate all comments. That means they’re held for me to see them before they’re released to the public. It also means that, when you post a comment, it will not show up immediately. You don’t need to post it again unless you got an error message.