Comments

Having comments on websites goes back to the early days of blogging and many sites enable user comments without considering their purpose and value. We suggest thinking carefully about why you would want to enable commenting on your site, and how you will manage comments.

If you decide commenting is a good fit, we recommend using Disqus over the default WordPress commenting system. Disqus is a third-party commenting system with excellent spam filtering, and it integrates with the WordPress commenting moderation tools.

Disqus requires setting up an administrative account on the Disqus platform, and use of the Disqus plugin. There's also a Disqus Recent Comments widget that can be placed in a sidebar to call attention to posts that are actively being commented on by site users.

Disqus has its own documentation and help system, so if you're interested in replacing WordPress commenting with Disqus, you should definitely become acquainted there.

How to Enable Commenting

To enable commenting on posts and pages, go to Settings > Discussion and check the box "Allow people to post comments on new articles."

It's strongly suggested that you also check "Comment must be manually approved" before a comment appears on your site, to limit spam. Spam is a fact of life for any site that allows comments.

Comment moderation screen in WordPress

If you want the author of a post to be notified when a comment is submitted, check the box for "Email me whenever anyone posts a comment." The other settings determine how comments are handled, who may post them, when they're closed, etc., so consider the right way to manage this for your site.

Removing Comment Boxes on Posts and Pages

Once you enable comments on all new posts, you can easily disable them for any given post by editing the post and de-selecting "Allow comments" in the Discussion field:

enabling comments in a post

If you don't see the Discussion field while editing a post, in the upper-right click on Screen Options and make sure "Discussion" is checked under "Boxes."

If you want to remove the comment box from all posts:

  • Go to Posts -> All Posts and select all posts by checking the box next to the Title column label.
  • In the Bulk Actions dropdown select Edit, then hit the Apply button.
  • In the right column find the Comments dropdown, and select "Do not allow"
  • Hit the Update button and the comment box will be removed from all posts.

disabling comments for all posts

If you want to remove the comment box for all of your own posts but leave it there for posts by other authors, in the All Posts screen click on your name in the Author column. This will filter to just posts authored by you. Then you can do the Bulk Actions thing above for just your posts.

If you want to disable comments for all future posts, go to Settings > Discussion and in "Default article settings" uncheck the "Allow people to post comments on new articles" box. If you don't do this, future posts will have the comment box unless you uncheck "Allow comments" in the post itself.

Approving and Moderating Comments

You can find all comments submitted, regardless of their status, in the Comments screen:

Comments screen in WordPress
(We've obscured the comments in this screenshot for confidentiality.)

You can manage each comment (approve, un-approve, edit, reply, mark as spam, or trash), and perform Bulk Actions on any number of comment. Notice the menu at the top of Comments screen has a link for Pending comments, a quick way to see all comments not yet approved:

Comment screen menu in WordPress

If you set up email notifications, authors will be notified when comments are submitted to their posts. If the Pending comments queue piles up, an Administrator can quickly see them and respond as appropriate.

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