A naive person might assume that the most important part of a comment is the content of the comment itself. It is pity that wordpress theme designers are not naive and understand that site owners wants to know who is commenting as much as they are interested in the content.
For most themes the flow of submitting a comments is as follows
- Enter your name
- Enter your e-mail address
- Enter your web site
- If you still remember what you wanted to write (and still have time to do that), at last you can do it
The ridiculous aspect of this scheme is that steps 1-3 do not ensure that the owner will know who made the comment as it is just easy to provide a valid email address which doesn’t exist or do not belong to the commenter, and anything can go as name and website.
So steps 1-3 are just obstacles that not necessarily provide a value so isn’t it better to let people write comments and then, only if they feel like it, identify themselves? Even without going for radical design change by allowing people to submit comment and only after it was submitted identify themselves with it (blogger kind of works that way), just emphasizing the comment content by putting it on top can improve commenting experience.
Comment form should be in this order:
- Enter Comment
- Enter e-mail (let site owner contact you)
- Enter name (you might want to be identified by name if you are a returning commenter, or so people can easily refer to you in the discussion)
- Enter your website (only SEO wannabe care about that)
*Almost – just because there might be one or two that I don’t know about and get it right.