Let me explain:

In order to get more comments on a website's article, the best approach is:

  1. To let the users know beforehand that they have to sign in, in order to make a comment

  2. To simply let a comment box for the user to write in, along with a submit button, and when the user hits this button, a "login required" popup shows up giving the options to Sign In or to Sign Up

And if it is not too much to ask, could you explain the reason for your answer? Thanks.

3 Answers 3


Letting a user comment and asking him to sign in or sign up when he hits the submit button would be a better solution as it would at least make a fraction of new users sign up as they have spent some time in typing a comment compared to asking users to sign up or sign in before even typing his comment. Also, a registered user can quickly sign in and submit the comment even if he has not signed in before typing his comment.

Alternate Solution: Enable comments to all users by asking for their name and email. For non-registered users, the comment would be added but, he has to verify the link send to his email to get a verified status for his account. Preventing the user from commenting without signing up can make the user even bounce back from the website without commenting.

  • 13
    When a site pulls that on me (and it isn’t clear before hands that registration is required), I get frustrated and throw the comment away. Even if it is only "you need to enter your email", if it pops up after trying to submit the comment, I find that sneaky and it looks like an attempt to trick me via sunk cost fallacy. Make it very clear by either making it clear that full registration is required (e.g. by attaching user profiles to comments, as is done on imgur, here on SX etc.) or by adding a required email field to the comment form if not signed in. Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 9:38
  • 2
    From a user conversion point of view, I agree with Akhil 's suggestions. But as @JonasWielicki said, it's not particularly user friendly. The choice between what is 'better' depends on if you want higher recurring user engagement, or simply want as many comments as possible. The former requires a login before or after trying to submit, and the latter would only require a name field for example. Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 10:03

I'm going to be devil's advocate here because I'm not sure I agree with previous responses. As stated by Wanda in the comments, option 2 is clearly better for user conversion, but I don't think it's a better user experience, and I'll tell you why.

The user comes in, has a point to make, types it out, and often spends 10 minutes or more typing a response only to find out he/she can't post it unless you have an account. At this point the user gets extremely frustrated with your site for wasting his/her time, and then leaves. OR the user gets frustrated that you're now going to make them jump through a bunch of hoops, risk getting a bunch of spam mail, and having to remember another username/password combination which the user is likely, not interested in, but is being forced into, thereby wasting even more of the user's time in the registration process.

If you are asking strictly for giving users the best experience and providing the richest discussion forums, you should try to eliminate as many barriers as possible to allow them to post (within the technical constraints you're given obviously).


The purpose of the user is writing a comment. Being obligated to do something else before being able to write a comment would always be boring. Seeing all the steps the user has to do in order to be able to add a comment (sign in or sign up in this case) is not so nice.

But your second one has an advantage: you have already written a comment: you have more interesting about the subject, you already spent time and you don't lose what you did (effort brings involvement).

Since we know that user wants to see its comment, we can directly add his message to the list of comments (locally) and saying that he has to fill in a small form. What we at this step should care then that user should not think that he has to do more effort. To avoid this again, for example, a simple registration form with basic information you need, can appear in the same screen.

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