Is It Time To Remove The ‘Like’ Button From Your Blog? #MondayBlogs

In my recent post, ‘Is It Time To Turn Off Comments On Your Blog?’, the subject of the ‘like’ button came up in the comments section of the post. Some of those comments got me thinking and asking questions.

#bloggingtips #blogging #WordPress

WordPress says that clicking the ‘like’ button is a way of ‘tipping your hat’ to an awesome post you’ve just read and crediting the author of the post for a great piece of work. It doesn’t say anything else as to why or when the ‘like’ button should be used, yet I’ve heard and read other reasons as to why somebody clicks the ‘like’ button at the end of a post.

I’ve scattered some of those examples throughout this post.

“It’s a way to show support for a blogger, even though I’ve not read the post.”

“I use the ‘like’ button so that I can come back and read the post later.”

I’ve come across comments left on some blogs (which do not display a ‘like’ button) saying that they miss not being able to click on a ‘like’ button, and some even almost beg the author of the blog to reinstall it.

On my own blog, I regularly have some readers who will ‘like’ a chunk of my posts within seconds of each other. I’ve never known any of them to have ever left a comment on any of those posts. I also found out that some of the same readers, who do this, also do it on other blogs. And, how many of us have had somebody, we’ve never seen on our blog before, ‘like’ one of our posts (even those that contain over 500 words) within seconds of the article being published?

“Pressing the ‘like’ button on blog posts (without necessarily reading them) is a great free way to promote my blog or site.”

Recently, I’ve also begun to see spammers ‘liking’ posts in the hope that a reader will click on their Gravatar and be tempted to click on links that lead to sites selling certain medical remedies, followers, webcam shows, or pornographic images. These spammers are getting more and more ingenious in ways of getting spam links onto our blogs. Did you know that you can unsubscribe readers from your blog but, other than removing the ‘like’ button altogether, there does not seem to be a way to stop anybody liking one your posts? Unless, of course, you know of a way? However, you can report suspicious Gravatars and blogs to WordPress.

“When I click the ‘like’ button, it shows the blogger I’ve visited their blog even though I have not read the post.”

“I click on the ‘like’ button of all the posts of certain bloggers because I’m good friends with them. They’d be upset if I didn’t press the like’ button.”

I don’t know about you but, until recently, I rarely (if ever) look at who has clicked the ‘like’ button on any of my posts or those of other bloggers. Clicking the ‘like’ button (as I have discovered) doesn’t mean to say that the reader has actually read the post. So how many of those ‘likes’ at the end of your posts are from readers who have actually read your post?

For me, and more important, are the comments left on posts, especially those that clearly show they have read the post (I’m not talking here of comments that just say ‘great post!’). In my post, Is It Time To Turn Off Comments On Your Blog, it was clear (with just about everyone that left a comment) that leaving and responding to comments on posts was one of the positives of blogging. Not only that, but it also made many bloggers feel good and valued about what they were writing and/or publishing on their blogs. Does clicking on the ‘like’ button do that?

“Bloggers would get upset with me if I didn’t ‘like’ all of their posts.”

“I use the ‘like’ button on days when I’m too busy to read posts. At least the blogger then knows I’ve visited their site.”

So, is it time to remove the ‘like’ button on your blog? Is there any value in having a ‘like’ button on a blog? Have you ever ‘liked’ any of your own posts and, if so, why? If it is time to remove the ‘like button’ from your blog, you can click here to see how to remove it.

As for me, I’ve taken the decision to remove the like button from all of my posts (past and present). However, I can always be persuaded to reinstall it, but you’re going to have to give me some good reasons to do so. Not only that but, from now on, I’ll only ‘like’ a post in line with what WordPress says it should be used for. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from leaving comments on your blogs. In fact, if I like a post then I will probably leave a comment.

“I always click on the ‘like’ button on all of the posts of certain bloggers, even if I haven’t particularly liked the post or have given up on it halfway through. They’d be upset if I didn’ ‘like’ all of their posts.”

What are your thoughts on the ‘like’ button? Have I persuaded you to remove the ‘like’  button on your blog? Leave me your comments and thoughts, and let’s start the debate.

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Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar of my blog to learn more about me and my blog.

258 thoughts

  1. I am another person who likes the like button, sometimes I can write something that may not be easy to comment on, I know what you mean about people clicking through on the like button on 10 or so articles, but I will still keep it. When I click like its not an empty like, for me I have read the post, and just didn’t have a comment

    1. From what you say, you’re using the ‘like’ button in the correct way. ‘Empty likes’ as you call them, seem to be a common problem around the blogging world.

      Thanks so much for adding your thoughts to this debate.

        1. I’ve thought about doing a post like that as well, where halfway through the post I request that readers do not ‘like’ the post. However, people can still ‘like’ a post from the WP Reader without even opening the post. And now I’ve removed my ‘like’ button from my blog, that idea is no more.

        2. But to get a rough idea on how many people actually read the post the readers would need to do something to make it a proper experiment.. Although having said this, I already have a rough idea of how many readers actually read my posts I would say its a 40/60 split, with only 60% just liking it

        3. Yes, I’ve noticed that as well. So has some others who have left comments. Given that somebody can ‘like’ a post on the WordPress reader without having to open it, I think it’s just one of the ways where the problem stems from.

  2. I like the like button, but i dont like the thing that people just like the post but don’t bother to read it. I think with liking its good to first read what other blogger has written, understand it and when you enjoy reading and really like the content then press the like button… But there are bunch of people who don’t bother to go through this process.

  3. I agree, the like button can stop people really engaging with a post. There is a danger that the reading experience becomes a race to the finish. Heartfelt or honest comments mean a lot, and are probably why we blog.

    1. I’ve never thought of the ‘like’ button being seen as stopping people engaging, but you could well be right. I guess it could be seen as an easy option if time is limited?

      I completely agree with your comments about ‘comments.’ For me, they are a big part of the whole blogging experience.

      1. I think twitter has affected attention spans, and short-and-sweet has become desirable. But a blog should be like a magazine article, shouldn’t it? Something to be savoured.
        Having said that, sometimes I want a quick pop, say photography or a painting, and sometimes I want to sit and think. There’s space for both.
        The way blog sites are set up like twitter, with counters and stats, also invites a ‘quantity not quality’ mentality.
        Gosh. Your post got me thinking. This is good!

        1. There’s a lot of scope in your comments for plenty of debate. I get a lot of blog traffic from Twitter, although I try and not ‘tweet’ too often within an hour, and therefore spread ‘tweets’ out. But, you’re right, they don’t have a long life spam unless, of course, they keep getting retweeted.

          Attractive looking blogs always work much better and, usually, this means there’s going to be good content. When it comes to reading blog posts, I will tend to limit the number of long blog posts to two or three a day, and then reads lots of short posts. However, I don’t always have time to do that, but I no longer allow that to worry me.

  4. I click the like button if I actually like/or agree with what I see. If I have time (that elusive ‘element’?) I will comment. Surely it’s only polite to do so? I wish more people would type at least a few words…(I have politely asked several people who have commented on my books/poetry/posts (to me personally) PLEASE give me a short review (it is so important!) but only a few do! Hey ho. Cheers!

    1. It is polite to do so when somebody has actually read and enjoyed reading a post, but when it’s done just to show support or to prove that somebody has visited, then I’m not sure it is.

      Getting reviews can be very difficult to do. As an author of a short story collection, I know where you’re coming from on the subject of reviews.

  5. I like the like button. Sometimes I read a post and don’t have a comment but I still like the content of the post. Also, I often look at my liners and if the title of their blog is interesting I will check it out. I realize that 90% of likes are just people flying by hitting the button in hopes of getting a return visit, but sometimes the other 10% are worth reading

    1. I think many of us are the same, Phil. I don’t always have anything to say, but if I really have enjoyed reading a post that has connected with me in some way, then I will click on the ‘like’ button.

      Is it really that high – 90%? I prefer to check out new blogs by clicking on the Gravatars of people who have left me comments. They obviously want to talk and interact with me, although that does not necessarily mean I will follow them back. It depends what they write about.

    1. Yes, I’ve seen bloggers liking their own posts. Somebody mentioned, earlier the comments, that they’d heard a reason as to why bloggers do this, but they could not remember the reason. I find it a very strange thing to do, but maybe I’m missing something?

      Thanks so much. I thought the subject of this post would raise a lot of comments and thoughts. They’ve been great to read.

  6. I agree what you say about some bloggers routinely “liking” my posts but who have never ever left a comment. I hadn’t thought people did it just to promote their own though. I have noticed that readers do hit the like button when I reply to one of their comments. So I think it has its place.
    Oh and just for the record. I liked this post.
    JP

    1. Yes, I agree with you about the ‘like’ button having a place to like comments, JP, but I’m still not convinced on the ‘like’ button for liking posts. The jury is still out.
      Thanks for liking the post on the reader. Fortunately, for me, those likes no longer show up on my blog. However, I still very much appreciate your ‘like.’

  7. I’m so naive, Hugh. I didn’t know how people misuse the ‘like’ button until I read this post! I didn’t add this to my blog until a couple of years into it, and have enjoyed having it. And sometimes if it is a new blogger I don’t know I go click on their blog to see what it is all about. Most of the time I only spend time on those who commented, though. And I only ‘like’ posts I have read and had never even thought of clicking it to bait someone to visit my blog. What will the aggressive bloggers think of next?

    1. Those spammers will do whatever they can to ‘bait’ people, Molly. During my early years of blogging, I would click on the Gravatars of people who had liked my posts. Unfortunately, many would have forgotten to add their blog details to their Gravatar, but it was a good way of seeking out new blogs and making new online friends. Then, as I started to get more and more comments, I would click on the Gravatars of people who had left comments rather than likes, because those people obviously wanted to interact with other bloggers. Gradually, I stopped looking at who had ‘liked’ my posts, and those of other bloggers, and started to think that the ‘like’ button had, therefore, lost its purpose. It seems, however, that some disagree with me, but that’s what makes these debates so good.

  8. I’m actually intrigued by this conversation Hugh. Although I have a loyal lot of readers who often comment, conversations which for me are the heart of blogging, more recently I’ve noticed lots of likes from other bloggers that I’ve not heard of, often ten or so likes in the space of seconds (seriously, how fast can people read?) and no comments left. Or I’ll just see a URL link scattered across many of my blogs, promoting their own. Personally, for me, it wouldn’t bother me if the like button was removed. In fact, it would be interesting. I only press like if I’ve read the post, not out of courtesy and if I have something to add I’ll comment. Thought provoking post Hugh. 🙂

    1. Arr, so you’ve seen those ‘waterfalls’ of likes all within a few seconds of each other, Miriam? Many of those who did it on my blog, never left any comments on any of the posts they liked. Then, at the Bloggers Bash, last year, I got talking about ‘Likes’ and comments and discovered that the same people who were liking a lot of my posts within seconds of each other, were also doing the same on the blogs of other people. I’ll be honest and say that I think it’s mainly done on those blogs that get lots of comments and ‘likes’ and that some people see it as a way of free promotion of their own blogs (and sites) by leaving a like and, thus, having their Gravatar on your blog. I think we’ll all start to see this happening a lot more.

      Thanks so much for leaving your thoughts. This is proving to be an interesting debate. I’m going to follow it up with another post in a few months time once the dust has settled.

      1. Oh yes, a “waterfall” of likes (very poetic), I saw it again yesterday. I think you’re right Hugh, I think these people are using it as a way of free promotion for their blog, or so they think, but as far as I’m concerned, it probably backfires on them.
        I’d be interested in seeing a follow up post on this for sure. Happy blogging. 🙂

  9. My English is not that good that I can always make a comment. I use the “like” button instead of writing “great post, very nice etc” which I think is an adulation (I had to look up this word). Using the “like” button is also an appreciation for the blogger making the effort of posting.

    1. Thank you for your comments. You say that using the ‘like’ button is also an appreciation for the blogger making the effort of posting. Does that mean that you click the ‘like’ button of every post you read, or only on those you would have left a comment on?

  10. I always read through the reader – so I can still like a post you make. I don’t get many likes anyway, so its not a biggie for me, but I know that sometimes I don’t have the time or brain capacity to type a comment, and in those situations I click “like”. BECAUSE I did read the post, I did like it, but my capacity to create a meaningful comment is not active. Removing the like from your blog seems a little like throwing out the baby with the bathwater – just my opinion though Hugh – you should do whatever makes you happy on your blog.

    1. Yes, I’d forgotten about the ‘like’ button on the reader, Claudette. A few others have also mentioned the same thing. However, those likes no longer appear beneath my posts, so it looks as if I don’t need to concern myself with them…for now.

      I’ve asked this of a few other people who have left comments, but where you’ve not left a comment but read a blog post, would you still leave a ‘like’ if you hadn’t really enjoyed the post, abandoned reading it, or skimmed through it? I’m trying to get head around why people feel it’s important that they need to click on that ‘like’ button.

      After finding a couple of Gravatars from spammers on some of my posts, removing the like button seemed one of the safe options to do in order to protect any readers from clicking on those Gravatars and ending up somewhere which may have shocked them. I certainly got a few shocks when I discovered them. Given that I rarely, if ever, check who has liked any of my posts, I was horrified at the thought of just how long those spam Gravatars had been there.

      1. If I don’t really enjoy the post I don’t press the like. Every now and then, even some of my favourite bloggers have posts that don’t speak to me, and that is ok. I don’t click like unless I do.
        It is hard to make your blog safe from comments that include links, but you can delete comments, so that is the way I would go personally.
        Sorry to hear about the “not nice” people leaving links – one of the down sides of interacting with the big wide world I guess. My philosphy now is that I cannot control others, only, hopefully, myself. By restricting my options I feel like they win. Just my thought, and as I said previously, you need to do what feels right for you.
        Cheers Hugh, have a good day/night.

        1. It’s not the links that the real problem, Claudette. As you say, when they are contained in comments, they can be deleted, but not when they appear behind Gravatars that appear next to the ‘like’ button at the bottom of posts.

          Interesting in what you say in how you think the spammers win when somebody restricts them leaving links. If I was a spammer, I’d not be best pleased that somebody had closed the door on my getting my spam links onto their site. However, we’re all different and will see things differently.

          Thanks so much for your thoughts.

        2. Yep, realised what you meant in the middle of the night – in an aha moment.

          To tell the truth, I never look at, or click on, the gravatars of people you like my posts, and I don’t notice them on other blogs either, maybe that is just me though.

          What I meant about the spammer “winning” was just that their behaviour has influenced you to make a change you most likely wouldn’t have elsewise, in that you have limited the ability of genuine people to interact with your blog. Just my opinion though.

        3. I’m the same, Claudette. Until I started to do some research for this post, I never looked at who had ‘liked’ my posts or those of others. Imagine my shock when I discovered those spam Gravatars. 😳 That’s why when somebody says they leave a ‘like’ to show support, I won’t know that they have done it. And nor, it seems, do you.

  11. Most of those reasons for liking a post hadn’t occurred to me, although I wondered how some people could read the whole of a post within seconds of it being posted. I’m so innocent.

    I don’t press the like button unless I’ve read the whole post. Usually, I’ll comment as well, so not having a like button would be fine. Sometimes a post is very personal and I don’t comment if I don’t know the blogger well. On those occasions a like button is useful, but I suppose it’s really covering up my cowardice at not commenting.

    1. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head and said something that many would not say, April. I remember how guilty I would feel if I did not either comment on or ‘like’ all the posts of the blogs I followed. I started to think that people would get upset with me if I didn’t prove that I had visited and that, in return, they would then not visited my blog. It all started getting really silly and took away the real enjoyment and fun I got from blogging. Fortunately, I changed the way I blogged and changed the way I thought about blogging, and the fun and enjoyment came back. I was almost at the stage of quitting my blog but pleased to say that I managed to get myself out of a horrid situation.

      Thanks so much for your comments on this subject. They make real sense to me.

    1. Yep, and that’s the way (according to WordPress) it should be used. However, it seems that some of us use the ‘like’ button for other reasons. It’s an interesting insight into the purpose of the ‘like’ button.

  12. Oh no, Hugh. I like “like” buttons. I have all the same observations as you do (25 posts liked in 2 seconds), but I get notifications for every like and use them as opportunities to reach out to other bloggers. I initiate a conversation and sometimes a friendship follows (sometimes not). I often read posts and just don’t have time to leave a comment or I don’t have anything to say on the particular topic, or I already read the article on another site (in the case of reblogs). I’m curious how this goes for you. Let us know!

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Diana. I used to use ‘likes’ like you do, but when I started getting more and more comments, I started checking out the blogs of the people who had left comments as they obviously wanted to interact. Now, I rarely, if ever, check out who has liked a post. I’m trying to get my head around why somebody would ‘like’ a post if they’ve nothing to add to the comments or say they don’t have the time to comment. If I really have enjoyed reading a post and connected with it, then I will press the ‘like’ button, but if there’s nothing in the post that really speaks to me then I don’t click on ‘like.’ It seems, however, that some will click ‘like’ on everything they read.

      I’ll certainly be following this post up.

  13. Love when you put your investigative skills to work here on WP, Hugh. 🙂 Like a few have mentioned here, I like the ‘like’ button to show I’ve been there, to show I enjoyed the post but I have nothing to add. Although, sharing also shows we’ve been there too.
    Now, 2 things: Ya, what’s up with just publishing a post and suddenly there’s a ‘like’ within seconds?
    And how does ‘liking’ a post open the door to a spammer? A spammer can try and leave a comment without liking? And of course, if we moderate our comments before published we can catch those spammers before published. Am I missing something?
    Oh and, how could I not comment on your blogs, lol. You have one of the most engaging blogs. I enjoy my little back and forths with you. ❤ xxx

    1. Hi Debby. Thanks so much for your feedback and for the kind words about my blog.

      I agree with you in that if I have really enjoyed reading a post, then I will press the ‘like’ button. That’s how WordPress says the ‘like’ button should be used. What I can’t get my head around is why people feel they need to click ‘like’ button as proof that they’ve visited and/or read the post and/or don’t have time to comment. Should it matter? Afterall, even if we’ve nothing to add in the comments, there will be other posts in which we hopefully can add our thoughts.

      With regards your questions. When somebody ‘like’s a post within seconds of it being published, what does that say to you? To me, it says they’ve not read something, yet they’ve liked it? Why would anyone do that? Would I say I liked a lovely looking fairy cake, without trying it first? 🤔 No! 😀

      Spammers are now creating Gravatars and liking posts in the hope that somebody will click on the Gravatar and visit their site. I found a couple on my blog when doing the research for this post. But, what really horrified me is that I never looked at who had ‘liked’ most of my posts, so those spam Gravratrs had been there a long while. 😱 I got quite a shock when I found them 😳. 💕

      1. About your first paragraph, yes, that’s it – it’s ok to miss a few posts or not comment, but if you are following because you enjoy one would think there would be the odd post that same ‘liker’ would eventually leave a comment on right?
        About those ‘instant likers’ – Okay I do see your point, of course, how did they read it in 3 seconds of posting. I guess I was more curious to know how did they get there so fast within seconds after posting?
        And last, about those spammers, I have noticed the occasional gravatar I wasn’t familiar with. Of course, like you, I like to know who they are so before clicking on them, I hover my mouse the gravatar to see what the profile says and have caught a few selling sites which I delete. Also, many of those get caught by spam and I can delete before posting. 🙂 xx

        1. Yes, agreed, Debby. I find it strange that a blogger would like so many posts without ever leaving a comment on at least one of our posts, especially when they ‘like’ posts in batches.

          As for the ‘instant likers’ it can be done from the WordPress reader list. You can actually ‘like’ a post without even opening it. Rather strange as to why WordPress feel a ‘like’ button on the WP Reader is necessary when (in most cases) the like button is already at the bottom of a post.

          As you rightly say, you can hover your mouse over a Gravatar when it’s next to a comment and see what the profile says, but when you hover your mouse over a Gravatar that appears next to the ‘like’ button at the bottom of a post, all it will tell you is the Gravatar name of the person. To be able to view their profile you then have to click on the Gravatar, and that’s what these spammers want you to do in the hope that you’ll be tempted to then click on their spam links. Unfortunately (unlike when a Gravatar appears next to a comment) you can not delete the Gravatar of somebody who has pressed the ‘like’ button at the bottom of your post. It’s there for good unless you disable the ‘like’ button. ☹️

        2. Well that’s interesting. But really, if the spammer has ‘liked’ and their gravatar is there I don’t pay it any mind, only on comments. And if a fellow blogger is curious enough to click it and land on their site, that really isn’t our problem so just ignore. 🙂 x

  14. Interesting and thought-provoking subject.

    Hugh, it is your blog and you are free to do as you like (bad pun). It would be interesting to know if you receive more comments now that folks can not click the like button.

    Enjoy!

    1. Thank you. As I wrote this post, I did think it would get a lot of interesting reaction.

      Yes, I agree. We should do what we feel most comfortable in doing. What works for one person, won’t necessarily work for somebody else. As for the stats, I’ve taken a screenshot and will compare them later on in the year. However, I don’t think I can truly compare those because I won’t be looking at it on a ‘like for like’ purpose.

  15. I have not thought of this until now; this made me wonder some. I have used the like button to leave ‘word’ I liked the post when I can’t think what to write as a comment.

    1. It seems you are doing the same as many others. But, would you still ‘like’ a post if you didn’t enjoy reading some or all of its content or if you skipped through it? I’m still trying to get around why people feel they need to ‘like’ a post when they have nothing to say in the comments.

  16. Count me among the ones who like the like button! I won’t take it off, because I love to see who has visited. Otherwise, how would you know? It would be like posting something and nobody nowhere even liked it…sad….The like button is one of the first things I look for on a blog, too. I always read before liking a post, and sometimes I’m in a read and like mood, and other times I’m in a commenting mood. I was once told they didn’t have a like button because it forced people to leave comments. That just rubs me the wrong way, and no longer follow them, even though I liked what they posted for awhile. Well, to each their own, I suppose.

    1. They may have visited, Barbara, but how many of them actually read your post? Maybe it’s not something that we need to worry about, but I don’t think it’s necessary or important that someone needs to prove that they have visited my blog (that includes leaving comments as well). Until recently, I never checked who had liked any of my posts. I don’t really have the time to do that. I value comments, but if a reader has nothing to say, then there’s no problem with moving on. There will, after all, be other posts and, hopefully, they will have something to say on the next post or a few posts after that one? I’ve certainly not removed the ‘like’ button to force people to comment. Nobody needs ever to have to prove to me that they have visited my blog. And I would never dream of commenting for the sake of proving I have visited.

      Thanks for your thoughts on this subject and for joining in with the debate.

  17. “Liked” 😀

    I support this move, although personally with my infrequent posting I do still crave the reassurance of likes, meaningless as I know deep down they really are.

    Do you follow any blogs on medium? They’ve introduced a “clapping” system…up to 50 claps. Fifty times worse, in my view!

    1. Never heard of ‘Medium’, Al. I’m taking that ‘claps’ are their version of a ‘like.’? Fifty is a high limit. I think it should be a maximum of 10, with no limits on the number of comments you can leave. I’m sure that would throw the cat amongst the pigeons.

      1. Medium is similar to WordPress, except medium are rolling out a pay model whereby writers actually get reimbursed depending on the number of claps (ie likes) they get. It’s certainly interesting… Writers have the choice of posting for free or behind the paywall… It’s worth looking into!

        1. Thanks, Al. I wonder if WordPress will catch on to the idea? Of course, they do offer WordAds as a way for bloggers to get some income from their blog. I used to have those ads on my blog. However, after some feedback, I removed them because some readers told me that the ads were distracting. It was good advice, and missing the income of a cup of a coffee a month isn’t something I’m going to miss.

  18. Certainly a great debate going on here. I think the like button (when I use it) for me is a way of saving time. There’s so much going on these days and I don’t always have time, or even anything to write as a comment so a quick like is my way of acknowledging. If I comment then I don’t like as well, I mean what’s the point in doing both, right – it just creates too many notifications back and forward. I don’t think there’s ever going to be a definite answer. Maybe WordPress should adopt the variation on the “like” button as Facebook has. Maybe someone has already said that in the comments here I didn’t go through every single one, I won’t lie. If they did adopt that approach you can like, laugh, sad etc oh and also do the angry face too lol

    1. But would you click the ‘like’ button even if you did not enjoy all or some of the contents of the post or did not finish reading it? A lot of people have said that they use it when they don’t have anything of value to add as a comment, but I can’t really get my head around why somebody would do that. Is it like a safeguard in that you’re proving to the blogger that you’ve visited or that you have read their post? Do we really need to do that, bearing in mind in what you said in that there’s a lot going on outside of the blogging world and that many don’t have time to comment? I think this debate is throwing up even more questions and it seems to be a subject that’s not been talked about (much) before.

      If I do leave a comment then I generally do also click ‘like.’ After all, it only takes a second to click on a button, and WordPress does give us the ability to turn off notifications. As for variations on the like button – I’m just running out of the room screaming 😱 Please, no thank you. Don’t go giving WordPress any ideas like that. I can only imagine it would cause even more debate and problems.

  19. The only posts that I “like” without reading are the wordless posts. If the subject matter of a post isn’t interesting to me then I just pass it by. There’s only so much time in a day!

  20. I have never thought about removing the like button. But you are right, I too never check the likes but only the comments. I will leave it for now but keep this in mind!

  21. Someone once told me that ‘liking one’s own posts was useful for ‘something’ but I can’t for the life in me remember what, Hugh. And someone else said they ‘liked’ posts (even if they hadn’t read them) as a courtesy. Guess i really don’t have a clue and will just either carry on and ‘read and like’ or save posts until I have time to read or panic because I have fallen behind with it all. Hopeless!! But it’s an interesting thought and has certainly provoked some comments.x

    1. Oh, I hope you’ll be able to remember what it is about liking one’s own posts that helps the post, Judith. I have (by mistake) pressed the ‘like’ button on a few of my own posts, but I’ve always removed the like (by pressing the ‘like’ button again). It seems very odd to me as to why a writer would press the ‘like’ button on one of their own posts. But, as you say, maybe there is a very good reason for doing so?

      Yes, ‘liking’ a post without reading it was one of the reasons why I wrote this post. Again, as far as I’m concerned, it seems an odd thing to do.

      Thanks so much for joining in with the debate.

  22. And just when I was getting excited at receiving more likes on my blog 🙂
    You’re probably right about this issue, Hugh, but the likes makes me feel better so I’ll keep them- at least for now!

  23. I enjoyed reading the comments that came before mine (and liked a few). For me, I’m pretty straight forward- if I like the post, I will use the “like” button. Sometimes I don’t have much to say so I won’t comment, and I’m glad that the like button allows me to show the blogger that I liked their post. I hadn’t given it much thought (even though I knew that not everyone that likes my posts has actually read them) and as I’m processing everyone’s comments on this post, I’m realizing how important those comments really are! I’m going to need to think some more on this because if there’s no “like” button and I only want to say, “Hey, I like this post!” that qualifies as a pretty lame comment, as far as comments go…. or does it have more weight since it’s replacing the “like” button? Hmmm, I’ll have to get back to you, Hugh! 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comments, Kat. I hope this debate didn’t stop you getting a good night’s sleep.

      By removing the ‘like’ button, I’m not expecting everyone to now leave a comment on all my posts to show they’ve visited. What I was trying to get over in the post is that it should never matter how often or little someone visits a blog. In fact, it’s impossible to visit, read and/or comment on all the blogs we follow, but a comment once every couple of months is worth a lot more to me than somebody ‘liking’ every single blog post I publish. Besides, I take little if any notice of who has ‘liked’a blog post. And, of course (and I’ve already mentioned), there are other ways to like a post such as sharing it on social media or sharing it by reblogging or via ‘Press This.’ Those are my thoughts, anyway, but I realise that not everyone will agree with me.

  24. I just love comments … the odd like is good I guess, but I want to know what other people think about what I’ve written and a like doesn’t tell me a lot. The thing I’m not sure about is when one blogger posts masses upon masses of other people’s blogs …. what’s that all about? Sorry quite new to all this. And is it a good thing or a bad thing if someone takes your blog and reposts it? Same question I guess … 🤔

    1. I like to call then ‘reblogging farms.’ It’s a bit of a mystery when that is all they do. I certainly would never follow any blogs like that. However, when somebody, who also writes and publishes their own material on their blog, reblogs or shares your post (and gives reasons as to why they are sharing it), it’s one of the biggest compliments somebody can give you. They are, after all, showing you support by sharing your work in front of a brand new audience. Many bloggers get a big sense of achievement and appreciation when one of their posts is reblogged or shared in the correct way. When it happens to me, it never fails to put a big smile on my face.

  25. I don’t know Hugh, it’s definitely not a one-way-for-all type of decision. Do you really think there’s no value in having a like button on a blog? I get the WordPress ‘definition’ but it isn’t a strict rule, thankfully. Blogland is where we express ourselves in a variety of ways and we don’t have to all agree on the same exact behaviour here, nor can we expect that everyone will share the same principles. Besides, I’m not clear what’s even accomplished by removing the like button. When one can’t possibly know something– who read and who didn’t– maybe we should think the best and give all the benefit of the doubt.
    Did someone read or not before liking? I’m not going to become sidetracked by suspicion. Not everyone has something significant to add via comment. Or maybe their thoughts have already been addressed by another commenter. Don’t let a few (maybe) like-but-don’t-read’ers spoil everyone’s chance to express their ‘like’ for what they’ve read. I’ve pressed like many times, not commented, but wished there was a ‘love’ button instead. Pressing like is as meaningful to some as commenting is to others. I also press like on shared posts as a way to thank the blogger for sharing someone else’s work, even though I’ve not even clicked over to complete reading the original blog post yet. If I have a comment, I don’t often put it on the sharer’s blog but reserve it for the original author’s blog.
    I completely think when a post is liked within the first minute of publishing, it’s unlikely they’ve had the time to read it, but I’m really okay with that and I don’t take it personally. To me, it says something about them (unsure what that is, not necessarily bad though), not about me or my writing.
    Devil’s advocate talking here…Why not also remove comments because, as you pointed out, some comments are shallow and, in my experience, might prove that the person didn’t read or didn’t read thoroughly what I wrote, as in when the answer to their query is in my article. Buuuuutt, the benefit of the doubt says they did read and perhaps misread/misunderstand it? It’s all good.
    Stay positive. Keep your like button. Assume everyone is sincere and that those who aren’t, well, their own blogger karma will catch up with them in time.
    I hope this helps Hugh. Take care, Melissa Xx

    1. I completely agree with what you say, Melissa, when you say “Blogland is where we express ourselves in a variety of ways and we don’t have to all agree on the same exact behaviour here, nor can we expect that everyone will share the same principles.” That’s exactly why I started this debate (and others that I have done in past posts). I enjoy getting and hearing the opinions of others. I think debating is healthy although, as in politics, not everyone will ever agree with what you have to say. It’s one of the facts we all have to face when we put ourselves online whether it be Facebook, Twitter, a blog, etc.

      But, yes, I have come to the conclusion that for me, the ‘like’ button has no value. In the early days of blogging, I think the ‘like’ button played a big part because it gave me the chance to click on Gravatars, check out blogs, and make some new online friends. However, as my blog has grown, I now take little if any notice of who has ‘liked’ a post, preferring instead to click on the Gravatars of people who have left comments. Why? Because (in most cases) these people want to interact with me and other bloggers and, for me, that’s a big part of the whole blogging experience.

      There are also many other ways that a reader can show support for a blogger and a post they have read (without leaving a comment). For example, they can share the post via social media giving a reason why they are sharing it (and putting it in front of a whole new audience). For me, that’s of far greater value than by clicking the ‘like’ button and moving on. However, I know that some will disagree with me.

      You mentioned shared posts. That’s another great way of showing a blogger how much you have enjoyed reading their post and, whenever I share a post, I always turn comments off on my post and ask readers to comment over on the original blog. That completely makes sense to me. And, I don’t know about you, but I get a great sense of achievement and appreciation when somebody reblogs one of my posts or shares it via ‘Press This.’ It never fails to put a big smile on my face. 😀

      As for removing comments, I can already do that before they appear on my posts, as I moderate all comments before they appear (Spam filters don’t always work). However, I don’t believe I am able to remove the Gravatars of spammers who have ‘liked’ one of my posts. As yet, nobody has said it can be done, but I hope it can and that somebody will show us how.

      Thanks so very much for all your thoughts on this subject, Melissa. It was great reading them all and I really appreciate the time it has taken you to write them and for joining the debate.

      Best wishes,
      Hugh

  26. Personally, I like the like button but I only use it for posts I’ve read. I don’t always leave a comment however. Sometimes it’s because I’d be repeating what’s been said more than once or I just haven’t anything to add. I’ve had people like posts as soon as they’re published which kind of defeats the object. As for links, unless I know the person they go straight into spam. Interesting topic and replies, Hugh.

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