Configuring and Maintaining JComments

The aim of this tutorial is to teach you how to set up and configure JComments on your Joomla website. To learn how to install the component, access another article:

After the successful installation of JComments, go to the Components page in the Administration Panel and select JComments. Click on Settings. You will see several tabs full of different settings and options. Lets see them through one by one.

Tab 1. General

JComments settings - General tab
JComments settings - General tab

Categories

  • Choose categories for JComments to work in – Left sidebar allows you to choose categories you want to enable comments in. To select multiple categories, press and hold Ctrl and click on their names.

Miscellaneous

  • Enable RSS feeds – This will allow your users to watch the comments to the given article via RSS feed.
  • RSS-feed length – This will set an amount of comments to be displayed in RSS feed. By default it is 100.
  • Enable plugins – This option lets you enable or disable the usage of JComments plug-ins in your website, for example, avatars display plug-in.
  • Always include comments into the page source – This enables inclusion of comments into the Web page. By default, if caching is active the comment list is loaded dynamically and not present in the page source, so it is not indexed by search engines. This setting allows changing behavior of the component and ensuring indexing of comments by search engines.
  • Comment deletion mode – There are two options: delete the comment and all its replies and mark as deleted. It means that system will either hide deleted comments in the website pages or display the message “Comment was deleted”.

Notifications

  • Enable notifications – This option allows you to enable or disable automatic notifications about changes in comments or posting of new ones. Administrators can receive notifications to review comments before publishing them.
    • Notification Types – There are two options allowing site administrator to receive notification via e-mail. They are Notifications about new or changed comments and Reports about comments’ content. Both are selected by default.
    • E-mail for notification – a field to input e-mail you want to receive notifications to.
    • Enable quick moderation – This option allows you to enable or disable quick comments moderation function in notifications to administrator. Additional links to quickly publish, unpublish or remove comments will be added to e-mail notifications if this function is enabled.

Report to Administrator

  • Enable "Report to Administrator" feature - This feature allows the site users to inform site administrators about offensive comments. The rights to use this feature are set in Permissions tab separately for each user group. Enable Report to Administrator feature if you want to keep your website free of spam and flamers and offensive users, but this may become a problem if you do not have enough staff.
  • Maximum number of reports per comment – This option sets maximum number of reports per comment. After this number has been exceeded, users will be given a message that the comment has already been reported.
  • Number of reports for the comment to be unpublished - If the number of reports exceeds the set value, the comment will be automatically unpublished. Set the value to 0 to disable this feature.
  • Require a reason for the report (yes / no) - This enables the requirement for users to give a reason for reporting a comment.

Tab 2. Layout

JComments settings - Layout tab
JComments settings - Layout tab

View

  • Template - The template assigns design and layout of comments. If you have not changed your JComments template, it will use the default one. Do not forget to choose a new template name from this list after successful installation of JComments template.
  • Enable smilies (yes / no) – This option allows you to convert text smilies to image based emoticons. You may disable it if you don’t need emoticons to be displayed within comment feed and form or if you simply don’t like them. They really can get annoying.
  • Enable Custom BBCode (yes / no) – This option allows you to enable processing custom BBCode tags in comments text. You can add your own tags in Custom BBCode manager. Most likely, you do not need it, but if you understand what you are doing – enable it. Just remember that some BBCodes can be security vulnerabilities.
  • Show votes – This option allows users to vote for comments. You can set user groups which can vote on comments in the Permissions tab.
  • Author's Name – This option allows you to display either user's real name or login name. This does not affect unregistered users. Two options are available to select: Real name / Username (login).

Comment List

  • Layout – This option allows you to render comment list either as a tree or as a flat layout. Tree layout should be chosen for using reply on comment function. Comments pagination does not take effect if tree layout is used.
  • Display order – This option sets display order of the comments. This parameter does not take effect if tree layout is used. There are two options: Most recent first and Most recent last.
  • Comments per page – This option allows you to set the number of comments displayed on one page. To disable pagination set the value to 0. This parameter does not take effect if tree layout is used.
  • Maximum number of pages – This option will cause pagination to have limits. Using it you can increase the number of Comments per page – this will allow to avoid this limit longer. The default is 15, but if you want to have unlimited number of pages – set to 0… on your own risk.
  • Page numbers position – This parameter determines where the links to other pages will appear for your comments. By default, these links are displayed both on top and bottom of comments list. This parameter does not take effect if tree layout is used.

Comment form

  • Default – This option allows you to show/Hide comment form. If you choose Hide, then by default only the link to a post's comment will be shown and the comment form will appear after clicking on the link. Available options: Show, Hide and Hide if any comments exist.
  • Position of the form – This option allows you to set the position of the comment form. By default the comment form is displayed after the comment list. Attention: functionality of this setting with third-party comment templates is not guaranteed!
  • Show policies – This option allows you to enable displaying policy rules for adding comments for different user groups. Multiple selections by holding Ctrl and clicking are available.
  • Field “Name" – This option allows you to set the Name field for display and verification of users who are not logged in. If set to Required the field will be validated before the form is sent. If the field is set to Disabled or the user did not fill it before sending the comment, the comment will be displayed with the name Guest.
  • Field “E-mail" – This option controls display and verification of the E-mail field. If set to Required users will have to write their emails before they will be able to comment. Makes sense for unauthorized users only.
  • Field “Website” – This option allows you to show Website field in comments feed. There are following options available: Disabled, Unrequired, Required for guests, Unrequired for guests, hidden for registered users., Required for guests, hidden for registered users, Required for all. Field “Title" – This option allows you to show Title field in comments feed. You may choose fro following options: Disabled, Unrequired, Required for all.
  • Character counter (yes / no) – This option allows you to enable or disable display of the character count while user is typing.
  • CAPTCHA – This option allows you to choose type of captcha to be used for verifying comments. By default it is kcaptcha, but if you install 3rd party plug-in re-Captcha, it will become new option for choosing in this drop-down list.

Tab 3. Permission

JComments settings - Permissions tab
JComments settings - Permissions tab

Here you can see important settings that allow you to control display of different elements for different user groups. Take a look at left sidebar where you may select User Group and control its settings. It’s very flexible since you may setup custom settings for different user groups.

The main area has common settings. Let’s see them through:

New comments

  • Post new comments - This permission allows users from a selected user group to post new comments. It does not allow to post replies to comments.
  • Post replies to comments - This permission allows users from a selected user group to reply to comments. Do not forget to switch to tree layout in Layout tab.
  • Autopublish – Check this option to allow new comments to appear automatically (for selected user group). Uncheck if you want comments to be moderated (for selected user group).
  • Enable CAPTCHA – This option allows you to enable or disable spambot protection (CAPTCHA). Enabling this option will force users to enter image security code when adding new comment.
  • Flood protection – This option allows you to enable or disable protection against multiple posts from one user.
  • Check comment length – This option allows you to enable or disable message length limit (in symbols).
  • Enable subscription to new comments – This option give users ability to subscribe to this comment feed to receive notifications about new comments.

Additional functions

  • Allow voting on comments - This option allows you to give permission to selected user group to vote on comments.
  • Allow reporting comments to administrator – This option allows you to give permission to selected user group to report comments to administrator.
  • Allow blacklisting users - This option allows you to give permission to selected user group to blacklist IPs.

Administration rights

  • Allow editing of any comments – This option allows you to give permission to selected user group to edit any comments.
  • Allow to edit own comments - This option allows you to give permission to users in selected group to edit their own comments.
  • Editing comments to own articles - This option allows you to give permission to users of the selected group to edit comments to their articles.
  • Allow publishing any comments - This option allows you to give permission to selected user group to publish any comments.
  • Publishing comments to own articles - This option allows you to give permission to users of the selected group to publish comments to their articles.
  • Allow deletion of any comments - This option allows you to give permission to selected user group to delete any comments.
  • Allow to delete own comments - This option allows you to give permission to users in selected group to delete their own comments.
  • Deletion of comments to own articles - This option allows you to give permission to users of the selected group to delete comments to their articles.
  • BBCode tags (Enable / disable usage of following elements)
  • Element I (italic)
  • Element U (underline)
  • Element S (striked)
  • Element URL (link)
  • Element IMG (image)
  • Element LIST (listing)
  • Element HIDE (hidden text)

Display

  • URL recognition – This option allows you to enable or disable automatic link recognition within the text of the comment. Enabling this option will show URLs as clickable HTML-links.
  • Spambot E-mail protection – This option allows you to enable or disable usage of spambot deception function. If it is on, then symbol @ in email-addresses will be replaced by the picture and real address will be accessible only after clicking on the link.
  • Show Gravatar – This option allows you to enable or disable display of GRAVATARs. After enabling this option you may use avatars from 3rd party extensions that can be configured through Avatars plug-in.
  • Show author's e-mail – This option allows you to enable or disable display of author's e-mails.
  • Show author's homepage – This option allows you to enable or disable display of author's home pages.
  • Show author's IP – This option allows you to enable or disable display of author's IPs.

Tab 4. Restrictions

JComments settings - Restrictions tab
JComments settings - Restrictions tab

Restrictions

  • Maximum username length – This option allows you to set the maximum length of username. The user will get an alert on exceeding this limit.
  • Minimum comment length - This option allows you to set minimum number of characters a user should post. The user will get an alert if comment's length is less then this value.
  • Maximum comment length - This option allows you to set the maximum number of characters a user can post. The user will get an alert on exceeding this limit.
  • Break up words with more letters than - This option breaks words longer than a certain length into pieces so they do not disturb the comments layout. This option should not be set to a value below 30.
  • Shorten links longer than - If length of a link exceeds the specified length, then this URL will be displayed in a shortened form (e.g., www.mysite.com/.../…/).
  • Interval between posts - This option allows you to set the time interval (in seconds) between postings to prevent comment flooding. This parameter sets time interval only. To apply this option you have to enable flood control protection for selected user group in Permissions tab.
  • Enable nested quotes - If you select No, all nested quotes will be automatically removed from replies.
  • Maximum interval of comment merging - This option allows you to set the time period (in seconds) during which consequent comments from the same user will be merged unless interrupted by comments from other users. To disable this feature, set time to 0.
  • Maximum number of comments - This option allows you to set the maximum number of comment per article. After reaching this value, adding more comments to that article will automatically be stopped. Set this value to 0 to disable the feature.

Security

  • Check names - This option allows you to enable or disable checking usage of already registered usernames by unregistered users. It is suggested for you to turn this on.
  • Enable blacklisting - This option allows you to set to disallow commenting or comment voting from specified user IP addresses
  • Forbidden names – In this field you may input names that other users will be unable to use. By default it is: administrator,moderator.

Tab 5. Filter

JComments settings - Filter tab
JComments settings - Filter tab

Filter

  • Filter censored words – This option allows you to select user group(s) which will be a target for the filter.
  • Censored words Here you will have to enter the list of censored words to be automatically replaced in comments with specified characters. Separate words by comma.
  • Characters for replacement - input keyword on which censored word shall be replaced to. By default it is [censored]

Tab 6. Messages

JComments settings - Filters tab
JComments settings - Filters tab
  • Comment policy Here you may enter comment publishing policies for this site (html can be used). If not defined, users will see nothing.
  • You have no rights to post comments - Here you may enter message text to be displayed if the user has no rights to post comments.
  • Comments closed - Here you may enter the text to be shown to the visitor if comments are closed for a particular item (tag {jcomments lock} is found in the text of the material).
  • User blacklisted - Here you may enter a message displayed to the user of a blacklisted IP-address.

And that’s all about JComments! From now on, you can use this amazing extension to its full capacity, integrate it with other 3rd party extensions and even make it look more professional with templates from RoundTheme!

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