How to stop or disable WordPress comments completely

WordPress comes in two platforms that have slightly different comment management regimes. First time WordPress or beginners often confuse between the two WordPress platforms, but first, here is how to differenciate the two: What is the difference: WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

WordPress comments allow your website’s visitors to have a discussion with you and each other. When you activate comments on a Page or post, WordPress inserts several text boxes after your content where users can submit their comments. Once you approve a comment, it appears underneath your content. Whether you want to customize how your receive comments or tweak how your site displays comments, WordPress provides a thorough set of options to build a community from the visitors to your site.

Anatomy of WordPress Comments

How to stop or disable WordPress comments completelyDepending on your site’s settings, comments display slightly differently from site to site. The basic comment form includes:

  • Comment
  • Name
  • Email
  • Website

Once a visitor submits his or her comment, WordPress follows your preferences and either holds the comment for your approval or posts it immediately.

Managing comments on both platforms

  1. WordPress.com:

You can enable/disable comments on future posts by going into your Discussion settings.

If you have more than one site, go to My Sites and select the site you would like to enable/disable comments for, then go to Settings.

Next, click on the Discussion tab.

Under “Default article settings,” check/uncheck the box next to “Allow people to post comments on new articles,” and then click “Save Settings.”

And you’re done!

Automatically Closing Comments

It’s possible to turn comments off automatically after a specific number of days. To do this, visit the Settings → Discussion page and look for the “Other comment settings” section. Check the box next to the option specified below, fill in the number of days, and click “Save Settings.”

On Pages comments are disabled by default, but you can enable them when publishing a new page or editing an existing one.

2. WordPress.org: A.K.A ‘Self hosted wordpress’

Discussion Settings

Before you enable comments on posts or Pages, reviewing the options under Settings > Discussion can help make your life as a moderator easier. Settings > Discussion contains a list of options that change how WordPress processes comments. Experimenting with these settings can help you find a balance between restricting comments to reduce the amount of spam or less-relevant comments you receive and encouraging your users to actively participate on your site.

Comment Administration

  • Email me whenever … Anyone posts a comment and/or A comment is held for moderation: If you don’t check your site often, this feature can help you stay up to date on your comments.
  • Comment must be manually approved: If you don’t check this option, comments can appear on your site without your permission. This will not only allow an influx of spam comments, but they will appear on your posts and pages immediately after being submitted. Check this box to maintain the maximum amount of control over your site’s comments.
  • Comment author must have a previously approved comment: This option will allow you to cut down on the number of comments you have to approve. Once you approve one comment by an author, their future comments will be automatically approved.

Turning on WordPress Comments for a Single Post or Page

How to stop or disable WordPress comments completely
Allow comments Option

After navigating to the editing screen for the post or Page you wish to add comments to, find the “Discussion” box and check “Allow Comments.” (If you do not see the “Discussion” box on the edit Page, click “Screen Options” in the upper right corner of the browser window. Make sure the box next to “Discussion” is checked.) Save your changes by clicking “Publish”, “Save Draft” or “Update.”

Turning on Comments from the Posts or Pages Screen

Quick Edit

Navigate to the Posts or Pages screen. In the list of Pages or posts, find the one you want and hover your cursor over the title of the post. You will see several links appear underneath the title. Click “Quick Edit” and check “Allow Comments.” Click “Update” to turn comments on for that post.

Turning on Comments for Multiple Posts or Pages

Bulk Edit

From the Posts/Pages screen, check the boxes next to the posts or Pages on which you want to enable comments. Select “Edit” from the “Bulk Edit” Dropdown box and click Apply. Then, select “Allow” next in the Comments dropdown box and finish by clicking “update.”

Managing Incoming Comments

How to stop or disable WordPress comments completely
Comments in Dashboard’s Activity

Once you start receiving comments on your site, you can check the status of comments quickly by looking at the dashboard, the admin bar, or the left navigation menu. When you log in, the dashboard’s “Activity” box will show you the status of your comments. Hover over a comment to see your moderation options. From “Activity – Comments” you can approve, reply, edit, mark as spam, or trash comments. Alternatively, you can look to see if there is a number next to the comment bubble in the admin bar or “Comments” in the left navigation. This number represents how many pending comments require your attention.

Moderating Comments with the Comment Screen

WordPress makes moderating your users’ comments a simple process. The Comments Screen lays out the basic information about each comment and lets you decide what to do with it.

The Comments screen is divided into three columns: Author, Comment and In Response To. Each of these columns provide you with a different category of information about a particular comment.

Comments Screen

Bulk Edit Comments

How to stop or disable WordPress comments completely
Bulk Action in Comments Screen

Like the posts and Pages screens, the Comments screen supplies a Bulk Action dropdown box. Select the comments you want to edit, and then select Unapprove, Approve, Mark as Spam, or Move to Trash from the dropdown and click “Apply.”

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