I was asked recently by my good friend Pete ‘How can I enable or disable comments on a WordPress website? What he wanted to do specifically was enable comments on a WordPress website. Wether you want to Enable or Disable Comments on a WordPress Website we’ll look at the process here. The reason Pete needed to ask this question was because I’d done what I always do when setting up a new WordPress website, by default I disable comments and you may well ask why I do that. After all, does that not go against the very principle of having a blog? The ability to interact and get feedback from your community is surely what blogging is all about?
Well, yes it was and in some cases still is. If you’re going to operate a blog however do be aware from the start that you will need to put time aside to manage that. You’ll need to manage how people are able to interact with your posts and manage the spam which of course is the main problem that comes from allowing comments. If not watched carefully your blog can be deluged with all sorts of unwelcome stuff. Do you need that these days? You can stimulate conversations on some fantastic social media platforms without the need to put up with managing dross! You would certainly want to monitor what the advantages are by measuring how much interaction is being generated by genuine readers.
Things to Think About Before You Enable or Disable Comments on WordPress Website
If my customers want to enable comments then it will be a considered decision rather than the default setting. I hate spam! I’ve had clients ask for discussion to be enabled on their blog as they intend to nurture and manage that only for me to find a few months down the line that no new posts have been added and the old posts are riddled with spam. Of course there are plenty of great plugins to help you deal with spam but you should be prepared to devote management time and sometimes money (for commercial plugins) to those.
I talked this through over the phone with Pete in a couple of minutes so below is a step by step account of how that went if, as is the case with Pete’s site comments on blog posts have been disabled on your WordPress pages and posts and you would like to enable them.
Step by Step How to Enable or Disable Comments on WordPress Website
Simply go to Settings -> Discussion in the WordPress admin. Most of these options are self explanatory but to enable comments on all posts written from this point onwards make sure the 3rd checkbox is ticked. Here, you can specify whether or not users need to be logged in to post comments, or fill out a name and email in order to post. These options but will help minimise spam. To go a step further you can select the “Comment must be manually approved” option. This will have the effect of making sure that comments won’t appear on your site until you go to the admin and approve them individually which can also be a good way of keeping comments constructive.
How to Enable or Disable Comments on WordPress Website
WordPress admin also has options related to trackbacks and pingbacks. The purpose of these is to track who is linking externally to your post. If included, they can be displayed alongside comments and users can read the responses. Other options are available to allow you to customise your comments, such as turning on and off threaded comments, or blacklisting certain users from posting.
On any posts written prior to this you can go to the individual post and enable comments. Make sure that the Screen Options settings at the top of your post admin has ‘Discussion’ shoing on the admin and then scroll down and make your selection as shown below.
Select Options for the Individual Page