How to Design Comment Sections for Better Engagement (Tips, Practices, and Examples)

Blog comment design is a frequently underestimated aspect of blog aesthetics. Most often, comments are tucked away at the end of a post, unnoticed until a visitor has formed an opinion about your website. They primarily serve a functional role, so why spend extra effort in refining their appearance?

However, superior comment design can make your blog stand out from the crowd. Investing effort in crafting your comment section and the associated form can leave a lasting impact on your regular audience. It subtly indicates that you value their insights and encourage active discussions on your platform.

In this article, we highlight best practices and showcase examples that will inspire you to design a captivating comment system for your upcoming blog projects.

Styling Comment Displays

How you design your comment section can significantly influence your blog’s overall impression on visitors. A well-styled comment area signifies that you truly value your readers’ feedback, making their remarks stand out in an aesthetically pleasing and navigable manner.

Should You Opt for Threaded View or Flat View?

Choosing between threaded comments and a chronological arrangement can be challenging. Here’s what to consider when making that decision:

If the goal is to foster active discussions among readers, threaded comments are effective, especially if you receive numerous comments. It promotes better interaction among visitors.

Example of freelanceswitch comment design

However, threaded comments have their downsides. Some users might reply to the earliest comment in the thread with unrelated content just to have their feedback appear near the top. While moderating can prevent this, it does add another task for administrators.

If the intent is for readers to respond primarily to the content rather than each other, flat comments are more appropriate.

Both configurations have advantages and disadvantages. It’s essential to consider the pros and cons before deciding.

Top Guidelines for Comment Styling

Explore these suggestions to craft more engaging comment designs.

Highlight Author Responses

While designing your comment section, differentiate author or admin comments from the rest. You can achieve this by incorporating a distinct icon or opting for a different background shade.

Such distinctive styling helps readers quickly identify replies from the author, promoting more extensive discussions.

Example of alistapart comment design
Integrate Gravatars

Seeing faces adds a personal touch to discussions. By incorporating Gravatars, you streamline this aspect, encouraging more interactions.

Pro Tip: Offer a unique Gravatar image for users who haven’t set their own, instead of the typical geometric or monster visuals.

Example of mark boulton comment design
Distinguish Between Comments and Trackbacks

Trackbacks shouldn’t mingle with regular comments as they aren’t a part of the immediate discussion on your platform.

Allocate a dedicated space for trackbacks, placing them either above (if comments usually outnumber trackbacks) or below the other comments (if trackbacks are more frequent).

Implement Meaningful Design Elements

When fine-tuning your comment section, opt for design elements resonating with your content’s nature. Features like speech bubbles, quotation marks, minimalistic borders, and alternating background shades can amplify the appeal of your comments and enhance readability.

Example of copyblogger comment design
Opt for Comment Pagination

For blogs that consistently receive over 20 to 30 comments per post, integrating pagination can uplift page load performance.

Additionally, paginated comments can give an illusion of abundant interaction. Switching between pages often gives the perception of more content to users.

Enable Direct Linking to Individual Comments

Embedding anchor links to each specific comment facilitates easier sharing by visitors.

For instances where readers engage in insightful discussions within your comment section, they might wish to invite peers. Direct links to their latest feedback or the relevant comment thread simplify this process.

Example of garrettdimon comment design

Examples of Elegant Comment Designs


Rockbeatspaper comment design

Baekdal comment design


Subtraction comment design

GoodBytes comment design


Squarespace comment design


BlogLESS comment design comment design


Particletree comment design

The Hickensian, Hicksdesign

The Hickensian comment design


Dezinerfolio comment design

Design Considerations and Best Practices for Comment Forms

For an engaging blog, it’s essential that your comment form is approachable and prompts visitors to join the discussion. While a well-designed comment form might not flood you with comments instantly, an uninviting design can deter readers from engaging.

Designing your comment form requires thoughtfulness. From implementing spam deterrents to deciding on reply structures, there’s a lot to contemplate. Here are some insights to guide your choices.

Placement of Your Comment Form

The positioning of your comment form is crucial in defining the commenting experience. Should the form sit right beneath the post or trail the comments? It’s a choice between nudging readers to engage with the post directly or encouraging them to join ongoing discussions.

If you’re aiming for the former, position the comment form immediately after the post, but before the comments. If the latter, have the form succeed the comments.

Tackling Spam

Even with spam filters like Akismet, integrating an extra layer of spam defense on your form can minimize unwanted comments.

You have a couple of prevalent strategies: captchas, which at times can be tough for users to interpret, and question-based barriers, which might require users to solve a basic math problem before submitting a comment.

Chris Shiflett comment form design
Login Requirements and Alternate Login Options

For those inundated with spam or disruptive comments, mandating users to create an account before commenting can be beneficial. Alternatives include allowing sign-ins via existing accounts such as X (formerly Twitter), Facebook Connect, or OpenID.

This login mandate not only makes commenters more responsible but also potentially reduces spam or offensive comments. However, be mindful that such a requirement can also diminish comment volume, as some might find it cumbersome.

Baekdal comment form design
Managing Comment Replies

For blogs that allow users to directly reply to comments, it’s crucial to determine the reply process. You can opt for an inline comment form that surfaces when the ‘reply’ option is selected or simply redirect users to the existing comment form.

The former is often perceived as intuitive, ensuring users that they’re responding to a specific comment rather than making a general observation.

Organizing Form Fields

The arrangement and labeling of fields within your comment form significantly influence its usability. Dive deeper into this topic with this comprehensive article from Usability Post.

Outlaw Design comment form layout
Guidelines for Form Completion

Facilitate the commenting process by highlighting mandatory fields. It’s also essential to assure users that certain data, like their email address, remains confidential.

Simple Bits comment form guidelines
Feedback on Submission

Once a comment is submitted, provide a confirmation to the user. If you’re moderating comments, ensure that users are informed that their comment is awaiting approval. This will prevent them from posting repeatedly under the assumption that their initial comment failed to upload.

Offering a Comment Preview

Providing a preview feature can enhance user experience, a detail that many blogs neglect. This not only ensures clarity in the comments section but can also elevate the quality of discussions, as users often refine their responses before final submission.

Jason Santa Maria comment preview design

Comment Form Showcases

Internet Zillionaire

Internet Zillionaire comment form design

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Authentic Boredom comment form layout


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Oaktree Creative comment form style comment form visualization


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Doc4 Advertising Agency comment form appearance

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Mac Appstorm comment form visualization comment form design