Take More Control Over Your WordPress Comments
If you’ve built up a decent readership on your blog and you’re starting to get a heavy load of comments, it’s a good idea to get into your discussion settings and make a few tweaks.
Just venture into the ‘Settings’ panel on the left sidebar of your dashboard, and click on ‘Discussion’ to access your WordPress comment controls.
Managing your WordPress discussion settings
You can make several changes to the way WordPress handles your comments, to reduce your workload and keep your blog discussions clean and tidy. These are the important variables you can play around with:
How much identification a commenter must provide
You can specify that comment authors need to provide a name and email address, but these aren’t actually verified in any way before the comment is published.
For added security you can also restrict comments to registered WordPress users only. (Keep in mind, however, that this can alienate a lot of your readers who aren’t WordPress users themselves).
The approval process for comments
You can choose to hold all comments for moderation, which means you will need to approve every comment before it appears on your site. (A lot of bloggers avoid this because of the time it requires).
For a more streamlined solution, you can choose to moderate comments only from unknown authors. Once someone has had a comment approved on your blog, their future comments will be published automatically.
How long a blog post stays open for comments
You can close commenting on your blog posts after a certain number of days, or leave it open indefinitely.
Comment display order
By default, WordPress displays the oldest comment at the top of the discussion, and works downward in a chronological order.
You can change this if you like, so that the discussion displays as a reverse chronology, with the most recent comments directly below your blog article.
Controlling who and what appears in your comments section
But outright spam isn’t your only problem – it’s sometimes necessary to block nuisance commenters who are causing trouble on your blog, or to keep certain content from appearing in the discussion.
You can take your comment moderation a step further in WordPress, and create your own personalized filtering system.
In the Settings › Discussion panel, you can use the ‘comment moderation’ function to hold a comment for review, and the ‘comment blacklist’ function to automatically mark it as spam.
Both functions allow you to filter your WordPress comments based on the following criteria:
- The commenter’s IP, name, URL or email
- Specified words or phrases in the comment
Using these functions gives you a greater degree of control over your discussion, without having to scour through each comment individually.
Over to you
Got any tips and tricks for managing WordPress comments effectively? Drop us a line below and share your wisdom.