About Reply Buttons

In the Comments section - beneath each Article on my website - I currently just have an “Add Comment” in the header bar.

This seems like a pretty common design for online newspapers.

But now I am wondering if I should have a “Reply” button or link at the bottom of each Comment? (Similar to how SitePoint does things…)

My goal is not to just have people post one lame comment, but to start a conversation about the Article.

In the end, I see my Comment Section more as a forum, where the Article is the “thread”, and people’s Comments are the “posts”.

With that being said, would it be better to have a “Reply” or “Add Comment” button or link next to each Comment? :-/

I guess the reason this is done is so people don’t have to scroll all over the place to find the button to post a reply, right??



The normal convention is to have a “Reply” by each comment only if you have the facility to associate the reply with the parent comment. If you can do that, give people the option to reply to a specific comment and keep track of the developing conversation. If you’re going to end up with a flat structure and no way to associate a follow-up comment with the one that prompted it, it would be misleading to have a discrete “Reply” button by each individual comment.

SitePoint doesn’t do that, right?

SP has “Reply” which is just tacking a new Post onto the end of the Thread, and then “Post w Quote” which sort of ties to a parent post in that it quotes it, but not in the sense of creating a “tree”…

I am tempted to add quoting, but I just don’t have time, so what I am offering in this version is a linear set of Comments tied to one Article, where when a new Comment is added, it just gets tacked onto the end.

#1, #2, #3,…



If you can only add a comment at the end, I’d just put the Reply button at the end of the comments. You can’t force people to read other people’s comments, but that’s at least a way to encourage them to read over them as they scroll down.

Remember that SP used the Disqus service, which you plug and play. I didn’t like the idea of it at first, but now I’m sold on it.

But SitePoint has a button to reply 1.) at the top of the thread, 2.) as well as under each post, and finally 3.) at the end of the thread!

Are you saying that you don’t like having a “Reply” button under each Post?

To me, it seems handy to have a quick way to post a message as you read for a few reasons…

a.) If a user is in “View All” message mode, it is a l - o - n - g way to the top and bottom!!

b.) Maybe a user is half-way down the page - in any view - and something they read inspires them to add a comment. Why not have a button or link right there in front of them to allow them to comment?

The easier I make it for people to comment, hopefully the more likely they are to do just that.

Having an “Add Comment” button at the top and bottom of the Comments section seems like a must.

However since I am tweaking some other things, I was wondering if adding a subtle “Add Comment” link under each Comment/Post would be a plus? :-/