WordPress comments are responses that users write on a WordPress post. Usually, you can find this type of content on the bottom of the page.
By allowing people to comment on your WordPress, people can talk to other users or even you as the author.
But creating a safe and fun place to have an online discussion needs a bit of work. So besides explaining how to leave comments, I’ll also show you how to manage comments on your WordPress website.
How to Leave a Comment on a Blog
Commenting on a blog is easy. First of all, you need to visit the website and choose the post that you want to leave a comment on. Then, scroll down until you see the comment box.
After that, write your reply and enter the required information, such as your name, email, and website (optional). Lastly, hit the Submit button.
If the blog owner turns the moderation feature on, you have to wait until your comment gets approved. You will receive an email notification once it’s published.
However, if they choose to automatically approve any comment, your response will instantly appear on their website.
How to Moderate Comments in WordPress
As a WordPress user, moderating comments on your website is important. This can help you avoid getting spam and keep track of all replies from the readers.
To see comments, you will need to go to the Comment menu on your admin page. But if you want to adjust how your site handles comments, navigate to Settings -> Discussion.
You can also find additional settings in case you have installed a comment-related plugin, such as Akismet Anti Spam.
However, we’re going to focus only on the default configurations that are available on the Discussion submenu. Let’s take a look at the most important moderation options that you can choose.
Automatically Approving Comments on Your Site
First and foremost, find the Before a comment appears section. Notice that there are two boxes — Comment must be manually approved at the top and Comment author must have a previously approved content on the bottom.
In order to automatically approve any comment, you should uncheck both boxes. However, remember that you should install a spam plugin before proceeding. Otherwise, unsolicited replies will soon flood your comment box as anybody can leave comments on your site – including bots.
In this section, there are also other actions that you can choose.
- Check the first box and uncheck the second box — you will have to manually approve all replies.
- Uncheck the first box and check the second box or check both boxes — you only have to approve a comment once. After you approve it, you don’t have to moderate future comments from the same user anymore.
On WordPress, you can edit a comment before publishing it. To do this, navigate to the Comments menu, hover the cursor above the desired reply, and select Edit. You’re free to change the content, name, email, and website.
There are also other options, such as:
- Approve — instantly approve a comment and move it to the Approved tab.
- Reply — allows you to quickly reply to a comment. You can see your reply on the Mine tab.
- Quick Edit — is similar to Edit except you don’t have to leave the comments page.
- Spam — flags a comment as spam and sends it to the Spam tab.
- Trash — puts a comment in the Bin tab.
If you wish to delete WordPress comments, just click the Bin button on each reply and it will be sent to the Bin tab. There, you can remove the deleted item permanently or restore it.
Spam comments are unsolicited messages that are irrelevant to your post. Usually, they are sent by a spam bot and mainly contain ads and link to other websites.
Unsurprisingly, this kind of comments could harm your SEO performance. Not only that, but spam will also slow your website down.
Getting an anti-spam plugin is crucial. I’ll show you some of the best options available later in this article so keep on reading.
You can also manually mark unwanted messages as spam. To do so, go to the Comments menu, select one of the comments, and click Spam.
It will be put on the Spam tab automatically but you still have the options to permanently delete and restore it.
What’s more, once you mark a spammer, their next comments will be flagged as spam as well.
Activating Automatic Email Notifications on New Comments
When you are not logged in to your WordPress site, you can still receive email notifications if a new comment appears.
To activate this feature, head to Settings -> Discussion and find the Email me whenever section. There are two boxes — anyone posts a comment and a comment is held for moderation.
For the best experience, make sure to tick all boxes. This way, you will be informed about a new WordPress comment, whether you have previously approved the author or not.
Pingbacks and Trackbacks
Pingbacks are automatic notifications received when you link a website on your post or comment. The website owner has to check the link to see if it’s spam or real. Note that pingbacks only work if the target website enables this feature.
Trackbacks are also notifications that tell a site owner that you have linked to them. However, you need to copy their trackback URL first in order to notify them.
Another similarity is that once your pingbacks or trackbacks are approved, they will be displayed as comments on the target website.
That being said, pingbacks usually only contain a link to your post or comment while trackbacks also include a title and an excerpt from your post.
Although pingbacks and trackbacks seem beneficial, they are not that significant for you. In fact, many people will only try to send you pingbacks or trackbacks in an attempt to improve their SEO.
As a result, you have to confirm or delete their notifications, which can take a lot of time and energy. Therefore, make sure to disable these features to prevent you from getting tons of spam. After all, many big websites have done the same thing and they are doing just fine.
To stop receiving pingbacks and trackbacks, navigate to Settings -> Discussion. On the Default post settings section, uncheck Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new posts.
You can also disable the feature to send pingbacks to another blog if you link their website. Simply do so by unchecking the Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the post box.
Bulk Edit Comments
WordPress allows you to bulk edit several comments at once to save you a lot of time. Here’s how you do it:
- Go to the Comments menu and tick all the boxes of comments that you want to bulk edit.
- Click on the expandable Bulk Actions option and choose between Unapprove, Approve, Mark as Spam, or Move to Bin.
Simply tick the Author box at the top to select all available comments
How to Disable Comments on a WordPress Blog
The comment section on your blog can become an interesting and engaging place for your readers. But what if you don’t people to leave comments at all?
This is a normal decision to make if your website is not about a topic that invites discussion or you want to write controversial articles.
Therefore, we’ll show you several ways to disable comments on WordPress.
Turn Off Comments for an Individual Post or Page
- Choose the post or page that you want to edit.
- There are two different ways to turn off comments on an individual post or page, depending on the editor version you use.
- Gutenberg editor — expand the Discussion menu on the right sidebar and untick the Allow comments box.
- Classic Editor — go to a post, scroll down until you see the Discussion menu and uncheck the Allow comments box.
If you don’t see the Discussion menu by default, activate it on the Screen Options.
Disable All Commenting in a WordPress Site
- Head to Settings -> Discussion.
- Find the Default post settings section and uncheck the Allow people to submit comments on new posts option.
Note that this setting will only be applied to new posts and can be overridden per individual post. If you already have published posts, you have to turn off comments on each post one by one.
How to Remove the Comment Box Altogether
Many themes would still display a “0 comments”, “Comments are closed” or similar message after you disable the comment feature.
Actually, you can remove this notification by tweaking your theme’s CSS or comments.php. The problem is, the old comments might still load and your modification will be overwritten once the template is updated.
To resolve this problem, we recommend you to create a child theme and make some adjustments to it. This way, you are still able to keep the changes even if the parent theme is upgraded.
Once your child theme is created and activated, follow these steps to remove the comment box altogether:
- Open your web hosting file manager and search for your parent theme’s comments.php file, which calls the comment section in your parent theme. It’s located at public_html/wp_content/themes/parenttheme/comments.php
- Copy the file and paste it on your child theme folder.
- Delete the entire content and save it.
Now there will be nothing to load when comments.php is called
6 WordPress Plugins to Enhance The Comment System
The default comment settings on WordPress might not give you enough tools to manage WordPress comments or protect you from spam. Fortunately, there are many plugins that can make your job easier.
Here, we are going to review the six best plugins to enhance the WordPress comments system.
If you want to keep your readers engaged in a discussion, you should install Comment Reply Notification.
With this plugin, your users can choose to be notified via email if their comment is replied to by another person.
Using Comment Reply Notification is easy. Once it’s activated, the readers will automatically see a checkbox under the comment section that says, “Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment.”
2. Antispam Bee
Antispam Bee is a simple yet effective plugin to block spam and trackbacks. It has a user-friendly interface but packs many useful features. Some of the handiest functions include:
- Automatically delete existing spam comments after a chosen number of days.
- Only trust commenters that are using Gravatars.
- Block people that come from a specific country or speak a certain language.
- Keep the spam for a few days so you can review it later.
- Get spam statistics.
You’re just one click away from activating these features, which are located on Settings -> Antispam Bee. What’s great, this plugin is free without no ads and 100% GDPR compliant.
WPBruiser is one of the best anti-spam plugins. Despite being free, it still offers a complete set of features to control who can post comments on your site. With this plugin you can:
- Set a time frame for submission to stop spam bot from bombarding your comment box.
- Block comment authors by their IPs.
- Limit the character length for comments, names, and email
- Recognize spam bot without captcha, which makes it easier for the actual reader to comment
Not only that, but this plugin can also be integrated with many platforms, such as MailChimp, UltraCommunity, and Jetpack Contact Form.
At first, some users may be overwhelmed by the number of options available. But once you get used to this plugin, you might not need another tool to help you deal with the spam.
Akismet anti-spam is already included in every new WordPress installation. Unless you want more advanced features, this plugin is sufficient for most users. After all, it’s free and easy to use.
What makes Akismet really convenient is that you only need to register an account, copy the provided API key, and let this tool do the rest.
Remember that you should have a non-commercial website to use Akismet’s free plan. Otherwise, you have to choose between the $5/month (one site) or $50/month (unlimited sites).
Disqus is a popular commenting platform that has been trusted by millions of users. Once it’s installed on your site, you can provide your readers with a lot of features such as social media logins, web, and email notifications, as well as spam protection.
However, keep in mind that Disqus will replace the default comment system on your WordPress. In other words, users are required to register their Disqus account in order to post comments on your website.
Some people might find this inconvenient but in exchange, they will have a very powerful commenting tool. Disqus allows them to vote comments, upload multimedia files, and format their text.
If you want a complete WordPress comment plugin without no ads, WPdisquz can be a perfect choice. Just install, activate it, and your comment box will instantly be more fun for the readers.
Here are some of the reasons we love wpDiscuz:
- Simple and interactive — it has a user-friendly interface and comes loaded with interactive features, such as lazy loading, social share button, and multi-thread support.
- Engaging — users can follow each other, receive email notifications, edit their comments, and log in via their social media accounts.
- Extendable — you are able to connect with other extensions to add more functions.
- Secure — it includes spam protection with the help of Akismet, WPBruise, or WordPress Zero Spam.
Just note that some of the extensions are not free. wpDiscuz will also override the WordPress’ default comment system.
The WordPress commenting system is a great way to engage with your readers. It allows people to post responses on your blog posts and other website pages.
However, the default commenting system comes with certain drawbacks. If you allow anyone to leave a comment, your website will be vulnerable to spam comments. To manage these, you can either use the Discussion settings or a plugin.
The WordPress comments system provides you with various settings to manually manage comments.
However, to make your life easier, make sure to utilize one of the handy comment plugins mentioned above.