In today’s world where people turn to the Internet for information, purchases and entertainment, your website or blog is the lifeblood of your business.

You might spend hours each week or month making sure that your visitors have the best possible experience, so when you start getting negative comments there, it can feel like a personal assault.

Most people comment on blogs to share their views or to get attention focused on a legitimate concern, but there are those lowly Internet trolls spreading their venom too.

Taking these steps can put you in a place of power when dealing with all types of negative comments on your website or blog.

Enable or Not?

It’s up to you whether to enable the comments function on your site, and you may be tempted to avoid criticism by not offering people the option of commenting. But most marketing gurus suggest that doing this blocks you from engaging with your target market in important ways. For example, if someone is unable to comment directly to you on your site, they may take their issue to social media, where it’s much more difficult for you to control. Enabling comments helps you look approachable and interested in what your visitors have to say.

Spam filter

One of the first things you should do once you get your site up is to add a spam filter on it. These easy-to-install plugins work in the background, scanning all comments to ensure you only deal with the genuine ones. One of the most popular spam filters is Askimet, though there are many other free ones to choose from.

Moderate comments

Most website platforms let the administrator moderate comments. This feature gives you the power to manually choose which comments to display on your site. Regardless of how great your spam filter is, you will have some spam that gets through, so this is a way to catch them before they go live on your site. It also gives you a preview of the comments before the public can. This gives you time to decide if negative comments are rational and genuine and to determine how you want to address them.  If you don’t have built-in comment moderation features on your site, there are plugins that you can add. One of the most popular for WordPress sites is Disqus.