What is a Comment in WordPress?

Blog comments are written responses to your blog posts that readers can leave. Visitors can easily communicate with you and other readers by leaving a comment on a blog post.

Comments normally appear right after the blog post content on your site, along with the commenter’s name, the date, and the time they left the comment.

A vibrant comment section can help you and your readers form a community around your blog. Visitors can provide feedback, ask questions, and express their own opinions on the topic.

What exactly are comments?

If you opt to allow comments, WordPress posts, pages, and other post kinds will accept them. It is, however, your responsibility to engage website visitors and urge them to submit comments.

First, let’s go over how to monitor and approve comments.

The WordPress Comments Screen

The Comments page in your WordPress admin area displays all comments on your WordPress website. It shows all comments by default.

Dashboard for WordPress comment moderators

You can see Pending, Approved, Spam, and Trash comments by changing the view:

  • Visitors have left pending comments, but they will not appear on your blog entries until you approve them.
  • All visitors to your website can see approved comments on your blog entries because they have been published.
  • Spam comments have been marked as potentially undesired or irrelevant, and visitors to your site will not see them.
  • Trash comments have been flagged as undesirable and will be removed permanently after 30 days.

When you move your cursor over a comment, the action links for that comment will appear. You can approve a remark to make it public to all visitors to your site, or you can unapprove it to make it pending again.

You may also respond to other people’s comments. When you respond to a specific comment, your response will appear directly beneath that comment. This is referred to as “nested” or “threaded” comments.

On your own site, you can also opt to modify anyone’s comments. Quick Edit creates a text field where you can edit the remark without having to reload the page. Edit, on the other hand, gives you more options for changing the user’s name, email address, and other details.

WordPress comment editing

By hovering your mouse over a comment listed as spam that is truly a valid comment, you can mark it as Not Spam.

Comments in the trash area are comments that you have erased. Any trashed comment can be recovered by clicking Restore. WordPress keeps comments in the trash for 30 days before permanently deleting them.

What Are WordPress Discussion Settings?

Many settings are available in the WordPress comment system, which you may configure from the Settings » Discussion page. The default article settings are in the first part of these choices. All of your posts, pages, attachments, and custom post kinds are affected by these settings.

WordPress Default Comment Settings

If you select “Attempt to alert any blogs linked from the article,” trackbacks or pingbacks will be sent to the articles you link in your post. You can use this tool to tell other blog owners that you’ve linked to their content.

If the website you linked to has a pingback-enabled system, such as WordPress, the owner of that website will receive an email with a link to your article. The owner of that website can then select whether or not to display your trackback in their comment area.

By marking “Allow link alerts from other blogs,” you can enable your WordPress site to receive pingbacks from other websites, just like the option above.

Under the Comments section, you’ll see pingbacks from other sites. When you link one of your articles in a new post, you’ll also see your pingbacks.

Comments are not required on every WordPress website. By unchecking the box next to “Allow others to make comments on new articles,” you can disable them.

Disabling comments will not remove previously published comments from your website. It will just cease to accept new comments. You can also re-enable them at any moment.

See our tutorial on how to entirely disable comments in WordPress for more information.

What Is Comment Moderation?

Comment Moderation is a WordPress function that allows website owners to approve or delete visitor comments. From the Settings » Discussion panel, you can adjust the comment moderation settings.

Go to Settings » Discussion and click the option “Comment must be manually approved” to enable moderation.

Approve all WordPress comments manually

Website owners can use comment moderation to prevent potentially damaging, abusive, or spam content from appearing on their site. Using comment moderation in conjunction with a spam protection plugin like Akismet can drastically reduce the likelihood of any spam comments being published.

Allow only registered users to leave comments

Only registered people can leave comments on your website if you choose. To do so, first create a registration page on your WordPress site. Check the box next to “Anyone can register” in Settings » General.

If you don’t want new users to be able to create posts on your site, make sure that Subscriber is the default role for new users before saving the modifications.

Subscriber Registration

Return to the Settings » Discussion screen after registering on your website. Check the box next to “Users must be registered and logged in to comment” in the ‘Other comment settings section.

Only logged-in users can leave comments.

Receive WordPress Comment Notifications by Email

You can also choose to receive email notifications whenever someone posts a comment on your website or when a remark is awaiting approval from the Settings » Discussion page. If you check these boxes, you will receive an email notification whenever a website sends you a trackback or pingback.

You will not, however, receive email notifications for spam comments or trackbacks.

Email Notification for Comments

If you don’t receive email notifications after enabling these checkboxes, ensure your email address is valid on the Settings » General page. Check your email spam folders if the email address is correct.

In WordPress, you can enable or disable comments on a single post.

You can disable or enable comments on a single post, page, or custom post type to alter the default settings for articles. Simply uncheck the boxes to prevent comments and trackbacks, or check them to enable them, when editing the post.

Allow or disallow comments

What Is an Avatar (also known as a Gravatar)?

The term “avatar” refers to a user’s profile image in online communities. Gravatar is a web-based service that allows users to use the same avatar image across thousands of Gravatar-enabled websites. Automattic, the company created by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, owns Gravatars.com.

WordPress searches for a gravatar image that matches a user’s email address when they create an account or make a comment. If the user has a Gravatar account with an image, WordPress uses it as their profile picture when they leave comments.

WordPress displays a default Avatar image if a user’s email address does not match a Gravatar account.

Mystery Person is the default Avatar image in WordPress. This can be altered in the Avatar section of Settings » Discussion.

Gravatar Comment Settings Avatar

Unchecking the “Show Avatars” option will prevent Avatar images from appearing on your website. However, because most WordPress themes include Gravatar layouts, it may not appear nice on the front end of your website.

You can give your Avatar image a maximum rating. G is the default setting, which is appropriate for all audiences. However, if a user’s Avatar image is potentially offensive, Gravatar will display the default Gravatar image you choose for your site instead.

We hope that this post taught you everything you need to know about WordPress comments and how they work. For more information, see the recommended reading list below.