Blog comments weren’t working correctly because I misconfigured Jetpack

A couple months ago, I added Jetpack to my self-hosted WordPress site. Installing Jetpack took what had previously been a standalone blog and tied it into the greater WordPress community. I’m pleased with how it turned out. This blog has gained some new followers, and at the same time I’ve discovered new blogs as well. Win-win!

The first sign of any issues with the integration came yesterday, when a fellow blogger replied to a comment I’d left on his blog, letting me know my blog wasn’t accepting his comments. Since I genuinely enjoy comments from readers, I wanted to get to the bottom of this right away.

The first thing I checked was the WordPress for Android app on my phone. I could see something wasn’t quite right when I looked at my blog in the reader. When I looked at an individual post, I could see the comments icon, like this:

WordPress Reader, comments icon

However, when I looked at the list of posts for my blog, the comments icon was conspicuously absent, like this:

WordPress reader, missing comments icon

The next thing I did was to send Kathryn a Signal message and ask her to use the WordPress for Android app on her phone to post a comment on the post about Sonoran hot dogs, since this is what the other blogger couldn’t do. Curiously, it worked for her, leaving me scratching my head a bit.

Then, since not everyone reads the blog on an Android phone, I tried the web version of the reader and the desktop version for macOS. Ugh! The comments icon didn’t show up anywhere, not even on the individual posts.

After using the various WordPress readers to look around at the other blogs I follow, I could see several others were in the same boat. Of these, I happened to know most were self-hosted WordPress sites too. It immediately made me suspicious of Jetpack.

I dug through the Jetpack settings and found something I’d previously overlooked. In the Discussion tab, there’s a Comments section with a toggle that reads “Let readers use WordPress.com, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ accounts to comment.” For me, it was disabled, but it sounded like the kind of thing I’d want to enable, so I did.

WordPress Jetpack comments settings

After a few minutes, all the comments icons appeared everywhere I expected to see them in all the WordPress readers I checked. Mystery solved, for now.

If you’ve been itching to post comments on this blog and haven’t been able to do so, I encourage you to give it another try.

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