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This chapter is from the book

Setting Commenting Preferences

Commenting allows site visitors to enter comments for publication regarding log entries.

Commenting is also a detailed feature of Movable Type, so we've dedicated all of Hour 14, "Getting Started with Comments," to the implementation process. At this point, you can determine whether you'll be offering these options at all, and then set some basic parameters for them.

Comment Preference Options

The options available within the Comment Configuration section are as follows:

  • Allow Anonymous Comments. This option sets whether site visitors can post comments anonymously.

  • Order of Comments Displayed. As with regular entries, comments can be displayed in ascending or descending order.

  • Email New Comments. Selecting this option will set up an email notification to you when someone posts a comment to your site.

  • Text Formatting for Comments. This feature sets the text formatting options up for your site visitors who want to add comments (if you're allowing comments, that is).

  • Allow HTML in Comments. You can decide whether or not you'd like visitors to be able to use HTML tags to modify their comments. If you do not want them to have this functionality, any HTML a visitor uses will be stripped out prior to publishing.

  • CAUTION

    Allowing visitors to use HTML tags can be problematic. If visitors do not know HTML very well, they might introduce errors to your page by using improper tags, causing potential rendering and validation problems.

  • Auto-link URLs. This cool option provides a means for automatically auto-linking any URLs that are typed into a comment.

  • Allow Comments Default. This sets the default as to whether any comments are allowed. You can modify this per entry, so the default will be based on the way you'd like to use comments in general.

Now you're ready to configure your comment preferences.

Configuring Comment Preferences

To configure your comment preferences, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Comment Configuration section of the configuration preferences page.

  2. If you'd like to allow anonymous comments, check the check box next to the Allow Anonymous Content? question.

  3. Set the comment order. Most people tend to like to read most recent entries first, so Descending would be the option to choose from the drop-down menu. If you prefer to see old entries first, use Ascending.

  4. Comments can be emailed directly to you as the administrator of the log. If you'd like to be alerted to comments, check the box next to the Email New Comments? question.

  5. Choose text-formatting options for your visitor comments. This is exactly like the options you chose for your weblog authors. You have the option of converting line breaks, or not. Make your selection from the drop-down menu.

  6. If you'd like to have visitors be able to use HTML in their comments, check the Allow HTML in Comments? check box. If not, leave the check box blank.

  7. If you'd like URLs to be automatically linked, check the Auto-link URLs? check box.

  8. CAUTION

    If you check the Allow HTML in Comments option, you can't use the auto-link feature. This is simply the way the software works—if you do allow HTML, then people commenting who'd like their links to be live will have to input the proper tags to make them so.

  9. Set the default value for allowing comments. If you are certain that you'd like to allow comments for most entries, go ahead and select Open from the drop-down menu. If you are certain that you're not going to allow comments for most entries, select Closed from the menu. If you do not want to select a default but rather configure comments independently (which you can learn about in Hour 14, "Getting Started with Comments"), select None from the drop-down menu.

Look over your entire configuration to ensure you've chosen the correct options. When you're ready, click the Save button at the bottom of the page and all of your configurations will be saved.

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