Safe Commenting with the Page Comments Plugin for Umbraco
We have been working with Umbraco and find that this open source Content Management System (CMS) is one of the best in the business. With a 200,000 strong community that is working on making it better than before always, and its nature of being highly customizable makes it a great choice us and our clients. As more and more companies choose this CMS, its popularity automatically translates to more exchanges with readers and web users, making its websites highly interactive.
While we appreciate the conveniences and the malleability of the CMS that make it extremely user-friendly, we found that there is some room for change in a few areas. One of the glitches we struggled with was that Umbraco currently lacks the feature of being able to add comments on pages or manage comments without third party vendors.
Third Party Security Concerns
Third party vendors sometimes engage in security violations by mining users’ data and selling them to advertisers. This is an unfortunate yet blatant reality of the virtual world’s business model. Third party vendors whose plugins are used on your website are likely to have access to the email addresses of those who comment on your pages posing the risk of data misuse and other security concerns. The Disqus security breach in December 2013 is an example of the risks that come with third-party comment management widgets. 29 million comments from Disqus were downloaded and the addresses of anonymous commenters were accessed by a leading Swedish Newspaper, Expressen.
We were therefore very keen on protecting the interest and privacy of those who visit and comment on our pages. To overcome this security hassle, we were looking for a solution where user information would not be compromised as well as comments are moderated with ease. While we found very few such plugins, they didn’t suit our needs. So, we decided to develop our own plugin for this use. And share it as well!
The Page Comments Plugin apart from enabling comments on any pages, makes managing them a breeze. As websites and blogs increase in popularity and have a lot of comments it often becomes challenging to handle a large volume of responses and comments. Imagine having to go through each one of the hundreds or sometimes thousands of comments you receive. Moderating every comment – accepting or rejecting pending comments; flagging, removing spam, banning users etc. will not just be time-consuming, but in some cases will be impossible.
With our new plugin for Umbraco, comments can be moderated and managed in one go. The display and interface allow for quick and effective moderation of comments as bulk, provide email information of comments, as well as give you the option of auto-approving comments.
Pulling the Plug on Spam
An all-pervasive problem in the comment sections is a dreaded four letter word that can ruin the liveliest of discussions – Spam. While websites try to stay on top of the game by being cautious about spam, spammers often catch up quickly changing their methods.
This makes it that much more important to have direct control over your comments and to manage them in a way that reduces spam. Moderators must delete and flag suspicious comments and even ban such users. Effective comment moderation over a period of time increases the accuracy of your comment management. The Page Comments Plugin works as a great tool to do just that and keep your comment section healthy and spam-free greatly reducing the risk of spam due to third party widgets. It provides the option of easily customising and incorporating a spam checker in the comments section. It comes with the Google reCAPTCHA 2.0 System that allows for spam to be at bay.
The Page Comments Plugin can be downloaded in English or French. However, additional languages can be extended by adding translation files. The comment forms, validation messages and labels of the public pages are multi-lingual, changing automatically based on the website language settings, so users can comment easily.
Have you faced some security concerns with a third-party comments plugin? Give the Page Comments Plugin a try and let us know what you think. Here’s where you can
- Enable comments on pages and blogs
- Reduce spam with the incorporation of Google reCAPTCHA 2.0.
- Check misuse of personal data of commenters
- Manage comments as bulk, saving time and energy
- Receive convenient emailer with comment information
- Compatible with Umbraco Versions 7+
Elizabeth Raj| Blogger