Do you remember how you felt when somebody first pressed the ‘like’ button on one of your early blog posts?
Does the ‘like’ button lose its appeal the longer you blog?
Do you notice who has clicked the ‘like’ button on any posts?
Is the ‘like’ button overrated?
When I first started blogging, the ‘like’ button on blogs was something I thought was one of the best ideas about blogging.
Getting a ‘like’ on one of my posts gave me the best feeling. I thought anybody clicking the ‘like’ button had read my post.
For me, a ‘like’ indicated that somebody had taken the time to read what I had written. Yes, somebody in the big wide world had taken a few minutes to read and like something I had written.
It also motivated me to write more blog posts in the hope that they would attract even more ‘likes.’ Of course, if somebody also left a comment, that was a bonus!
The Like button doesn’t have any disadvantages, does it?
It was not long before I discovered that the ‘like’ button has disadvantages.
Some bloggers said that seeing too many ‘likes’ on a blog post makes them feel demoralised.
In turn, some users go on to delete or abandon their blog or develop ‘blogging envy’ at seeing how well other users are doing compared to themselves.
I know of one user who admitted that, for them, ‘the number of ‘likes’ was more important than the content’; in other words, they saw blogging as more of a popularity contest.
I have never envied seeing bloggers get hundreds of likes, but I understand why some bloggers may envy it.
As I grew the list of the blogs I followed, it wasn’t long before I realised that there was not enough time in my day to read, like, and comment on all the blogs I followed.
Given that some of the bloggers I followed were publishing new blog posts more than once a day I was soon overwhelmed and drowned in a sea of voices, all wanting my attention.
Doing the following is not a solution.
Rather than unfollow any blogs, I began to ‘like’ posts without reading them. I thought that doing this would indicate to the blogger (who had written the post) that I had read their post, and they, in turn, would continue to read and ‘like’ my posts. I was fooling both them and myself.
I soon discovered that other bloggers and readers were playing the same game because they were all in the same boat as me. Some users (including me) were misusing the’ like’ button.
A dilemma. What would you have done?
When I read a blog post about the death of somebodies wife, I asked myself what I should do. Should I click ‘like’ or just leave a thoughtful comment? After all, many readers had already clicked the ‘like’ button on the post. Did those who clicked it not read the post? How could they have pressed the ‘like’ button on a post about somebodies death?
That was the day I left my first comment without clicking the ‘like’ button. Now I’m doing it much more often. Do you leave comments without clicking the ‘like’ button?
Would you press the like button on a post that contained bad news or news of death?
What shocked me the most about the ‘like’ button.
What shocked me the most was why some bloggers and readers click ‘like’ even if they have not read the post. The most surprising reason why bloggers do it was that it ‘shows support’ for the blogger who had written the post, even if they didn’t have time to read it.
Really? Liking a post without reading it is a way to support other bloggers? Are there no better ways to support bloggers? Of course, there are.
Should you remove the ‘Like’ button from your blog?
I did it about four years ago and was inundated with messages from readers who said that they missed seeing the ‘like’ button. When I asked why they missed it, only a few responded, most saying that it was a way to say they’d visited even if they didn’t read the post or leave a comment saying so.
When I enquired what kind of comment they’d leave if they’d not read the post, most said a comment that confirmed they’d visited.
How would you feel if a reader told you they’d clicked ‘like’ on one of your posts, but they’d not read it?
Of course, there’s also the other side of the coin. Just because somebody hasn’t clicked the ‘like’ button does not mean they have not read the post.
Do you notice the gravatar icons next to the ‘like’ button?
These days, I take little if any notice of them. I’d go as far as to say that the ‘like’ button found at the end of blog posts should probably disappear for good.
Not everyone misuses the ‘like’ button. And remember, there are many other ways to support a blogger than clicking ‘like.’
For example, occasionally, leaving a blogger a valuable comment that adds value to their post. Or ask questions about their post’s content to show you’re interested in what they’ve written.
Don’t become a ‘comment spammer‘ by leaving empty comments hoping you’ll get comments back on your posts.
Of course, if you’re happy with the comments section on your blog containing boring comments that serve no purpose other than saying that those who left them visited your blog, click away.
Why do some bloggers press the ‘like’ button on their blog posts?
That’s a question I’d love to know the answer to. Can you help? Does it benefit the post or their blog or make it look odd?
Don’t have time to leave thoughtful comments?
Rather than spend small amounts of time leaving pointless comments on many posts, use the time you save not leaving them by leaving the occasional comment that adds value to the post. Most bloggers will value you more for leaving a thoughtful comment occasionally than leaving many comments that add no value.
One thoughtful comment that adds value to a post is worth hundreds of comments that add no value.
When and for what reasons do you use the ‘like’ button on WordPress? Have you ever misused it, and would you miss it if WordPress removed it from all blogs?
Before you answer my questions or leave a comment, this is what WordPress says about the ‘like’ button.
Let’s say you’ve found a particularly awesome post on WordPress.com. You’d like to tip your hat to the author and give him or her credit. At the bottom of the post, you see the Like button. Press it, and the author will know that you have acknowledged an exceptional, phenomenal blog post.WordPress.com
Please feel free to answer any of the questions I have asked throughout this post by leaving me a comment. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
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123 thoughts on “Is Now The Time For WordPress To Remove The Like Button From All Blog Posts?”
Hi Hugh, you raise some interesting issues here and again the comments are interesting too! I like to think I’ve followed the WordPress description of the LIKE button, ‘tipping my hat’ to other bloggers so to speak :). I haven’t clicked the like button if I’ve not read the post and can’t see who that benefits at all.
I do like your question about pressing the like button if the post was about bad news – this is a hard one, as to my way of thinking I would prefer to leave a comment or show my support in some way and the like button is one way of telling the person that I’ve read the post and recognise their feelings in some way, but I agree it’s not the best button for that purpose!
So much to think about, you have a way of making us think! Thanks for that 🙂
Hi Debbie, thank you for joining the discussion.
Good to hear that you’re in the same camp as me in only clicking ‘like’ if you’ve read the post. While some people see it as a way of supporting bloggers, I think it gives a little false hope that the post has not been read. After all, we want everyone to read what we write, don’t we?
I’ve been delighted with the response to this post, even those who disagree with me. But if we all thought the same, it would have been somewhat of a dull discussion. This one is far from it.
Hello, again Hugh. I don’t know if this has already been stated because I only read the dozen (out of 117 at the time of this comment) comments that appeared when I clicked the “comment” link. And my first point would be that I did not see a comment box or link until After I clicked ‘Like.’ So I would not get to participate if there were no ‘Like’ button.
Second, I know that people grow as they continue to learn about something new. And at each stage of their growth, they gravitate to something different. In the early stages of blogging, nothing indicates that you have reached someone else except for the ‘Like’ you receive. But 20,000 Likes later you no longer need ‘Likes’ to know if people are reading because now you understand the reader engagement statistics. But the new blogger is happy when you hit ‘Like’ on their blog for the first time.
Another point I might add is that some readers see the parade of ‘Like’ avatars as a crowded room. And adding their ‘Like’ means they are a part of the group. I use the ‘Like’ avatars to find new blogs to read and perhaps follow, Like Carrot Ranch and others.
So I believe that the ‘Like’ button is a necessary, versatile and important part of the blogging experience. Thank you for reading!
A comment box appears at the bottom of all my posts, Will. You shouldn’t have to click the ‘like’ button or any links for one to appear. I’ve never had to do that, nor has anyone mentioned it to me before. I was concerned by what you said, so I asked a few bloggers if they could see the comment box on my posts, and all said they could and don’t need to click ‘like’ or any links for the comments box to appear. I also asked my partner to check my blog on his computer, and he said the same as the bloggers who I contacted. I’ve also run what you said via the Happiness Engineers. They run a test and say all is working fine. No need to click any links or the ‘like’ button for the comments box to appear. Even when I did remove the ‘like’ button from my blog, readers could still leave me comments. The Happiness Enginers recommended you contact them if you’re having to click ‘like’ or any links to get a comments box to appear.
Thanks for joining the discussion about the ‘like’ button. As I mentioned in the post, getting those first ‘likes’ when I started blogging was one of the best feelings. Of course, I had no guarantee that they’d read what I’d written, but those ‘likes’ counted. Then the comments started, and it was not long before getting engegaing comments was more important to me than getting ‘likes’. Getting both is wonderful, but there is no guarantee that all those pressing ‘like’ have read the posts. When somebody leaves you an engaging comment, it proves that they have read your post and want to discuss it with you.
I’m glad the ‘like’ button acts as a way for you to find new blogs to read. I tend to use hashtags in the WordPress reader to find new blogs as it saves me a lot of time in finding the content I’m going to be interested in reading.
I found the expected comment box. It seems I was stopping my search when I saw the advertisements at the bottom of your blog. It was a mental barrier not a broken page. Sorry I put you through so much research. Thank you for helping.
I must admit, I prefer a thoughtful comment above somebody hitting the like button. You can hit the like button without ready a post, but if you leave a thoughtful comment, you must read and understand the post to be able to contribute with a comment. I for one do not have a like button on my blog, and at one point did contemplate to add but have decided against it.
I also value comments much more than I do ‘like’s Esme. One thoughtful comment every now and again is worth hundreds of likes. It’s conversations, engagement and discussions I crave. Not somebody pressing the ‘like’ button on any of my posts without ever having read them.
I believe you should feel free to express our appreciation, and also to have the opportunity to show if we liked something, by having a Like button. As a writer of articles and interviews for children on 4tinyhands, I use the likes and comments to figure out what my readers enjoy. So for me, the likes are also a tool. What do you think, and how important are the likes for you?
Well, I’ve outlined my feelings on the ‘like’ button in this post. Since publishing the post, I have changed my mind a little as I use the ‘like’ button but only when I have read the post and have enjoyed reading it but have nothing of value to add.
I’d never use the ‘like’ button for anything other than what it was intended for (as per what WordPress say about it ).
I also like to show my appreciation whenever I read a nice article.
Another good post hugh. I like the ‘like’ button. I also never hit like if I haven’t read. 🙂
I wish there was another type of button to offer empathy. I know you are not on Facebook Hugh, but you mentioned different buttons on social media. I do like the “caring” button and use that often when it is warranted. If it is a sad blog post, I generally won’t “like” it, but my first few words in the Comments section will be”I can’t bring myself to press ‘like’ but I do want to acknowledge what you wrote and I’m sorry you’re going through this.” (or something similar)
Same here about leaving a caring comment rather than pressing the ‘like’ button and leaving saying nothing, Linda.
I’m always shocked by some readers clicking ‘like’ on a post containing bad news. I find it quite unnerving.
I feel the same way about clicking “like” on a bad news posts whether it is here on WordPress or social media. I have to say that I am often appalled on Twitter for news media sites I follow – are people that insensitive or just lackadaisical about what they are reading. I keep hearing that people like social media for their news source because they comprehend short “news bites” better in favor of reading an entire story.
Like all social media sites, Twitter has its fair share of these sites. I ignore or block them if they try to contact me or ‘like’ any of my tweets.
I think a lot of people have too much time on their hands Hugh and go looking for trouble.