Comments are an excellent asset to your WordPress website. Allowing your visitors to comment on your content gives you insight into what is popular and what their thoughts are on what you write. However, it’s important to keep comments free of spam and allowed only on the pages or posts that you want them to appear. Here are some tips on moderating comments, managing where they are allowed, and using external comment services.
Comments are enabled by default, and the way they are shown depends on your WordPress theme and comment settings. You may also see Pingbacks from visitors. When people cite or link to your blog post, WordPress will automatically send a pingback to the content author, and it shows up in the comment section listed amongst the regular comments.
To view the available settings for your comments section, go to Settings -> Discussion in your WordPress admin panel. Depending on your specific goals and needs for your comments section, there are a few important settings that you should view and change if necessary.
First, you’ll want to decide if you want visitors to be able to comment on your new posts. The enabled or disabled setting you choose will be the default for each new article. However, you can enable or disable the comments on a particular post, and that will override this setting.
Second, if you’d like each new comment to be reviewed, you can choose to enable the setting to require an administrator to approve the comment. If you enable this setting, you will need to make each comment viewable from the Comments page. If a comment is highlighted in yellow, it requires moderation. You’ll be able to approve comments individually or as a bulk action.
Third, you can decide if you want WordPress to show visitors’ avatars next to their comments. By default, WordPress will link the commenter’s email address to their avatar if one is present.
Once you have those settings enabled or disabled to your liking, you’ll want to protect your site from spam comments. Spam contents may contain unrelated, bogus content, or they may be full of links to other websites. There are some plugins that help control spam on your WordPress site. One excellent resource for preventing spam comments is Askimet. By checking commenter’s email and IP addresses against a database of known spammers, the plugin will automatically move comments that match into a spam folder.
You may post an article that you don’t want to receive comments on, and it is not necessary to have a comment section on some general pages on your site like your Contact Us page. In these cases, you can disable comments for those particular pages and posts. Open the page or post you want to disable comments on and scroll down to the Discussion tab. Simply uncheck the Allow Comments and Allow trackbacks and pingbacks options.
You can gain valuable insight into your visitor’s opinions and interests by utilizing the comments section on your WordPress site. Following these tips to keep them spam-free and well-managed will help your site look clean and professional.