How to Moderate Comments in WordPress

Are you looking for a way to filter comments on your WordPress site but don’t know where to begin?

WordPress has a built-in comment system that allows users to connect with each other and with your content.

We’ll show you how to moderate comments in WordPress, deal with comment spam, and everything else connected to comments in this beginner’s guide.

How to Moderate WordPress Comments

What Are WordPress Comments?

Visitors to your website can interact with you and other readers by leaving comments. They can provide feedback, ask questions, and provide advice on a specific article you’ve authored.

Anyone with a valid name and email address can make a comment on most WordPress blogs without having to authenticate their identity.

Comments are enabled by default. Any blog post or the page will have a comment form at the bottom, though it may look different or not exist depending on the WordPress theme you’re using.

WordPress comment form

When someone writes a remark, they will receive a preview of it as well as a notification stating that it is being moderated.

The comment will be held for moderation until you approve or delete it before it is visible to other visitors. This gives you complete control over what displays on your site.

Message for comment moderation

So, let’s have a look at how to regulate comments on your website.

WordPress Comment Moderation

By going to the ‘Comments’ menu in your WordPress dashboard, you can see all of your website’s comments.

WordPress has a place for comments.

You’ll notice five tabs on the comments page: all comments, my, pending, approved, spam, and trash. Under the Pending tab, you’ll find comments that require your approval.

To approve a remark, move your mouse over it and click on the action links that show below it. To make a remark publicly viewable on your website, click the ‘Approve’ option.

By clicking on the reply link, you can also respond to a comment. When you respond to a comment, it is automatically approved.

You can mark a comment as spam if it appears or feels spammy to you. What does a spam comment look like, you might be wondering?

There are a number various clues you can use to determine whether or not a remark is spam:

  • The most obvious sort of spam remark is one that has a lot of links, keywords, and unusual characters. They could also have offensive information in their comments.
  • Comment with a Fake Name – If you notice a comment from someone entitled “Best Mortgage Rates” or “Cheap Printer Ink,” you can be sure it’s a marketer attempting to spam your site for a backlink.
  • Generic Comments — To get over your spam filter, spammers frequently use generic comments. “Thank you,” “Really Nice Article,” or “Insert the title of your post and add a generic message” are examples of generic comments (example: I agree beginners guide to comment moderation is essential).

Akismet can be used to filter spam comments.

Akismet can be used to filter spam comments on your WordPress website. It’s a WordPress spam filtering plugin created by Automattic.

When you report a remark as spam, Akismet learns to recognize similar comments in the future.

Change Akismet's settings

Check read our guide on what Akismet is and why you should use it for additional information.

The spam tab will display all comments that have been flagged as spam. You won’t need to come back to this tab very often. If a user complains that their comments aren’t showing up on your site, however, here is the first place you should examine.

If Akismet incorrectly flags a remark as spam, simply click the ‘Not Spam’ option to switch it from spam to pending mode.

Button to check for spam

You may also delete all spam comments at once by clicking the ‘Empty Spam’ button. Even if you don’t, WordPress will delete spam comments after 15 days if you don’t.

Keep in mind that deleting thousands of spam comments at once can cause your site to slow down. You can perform a bulk action if you want to delete thousands of spam comments. Check out our tutorial on how to delete spam comments in bulk in WordPress.

If you find yourself with hundreds of spam comments on the ‘Pending’ page by accident, simply click the ‘Check for spam’ button.

This will cause Akismet to do a spam check on any existing comments on your website, and spam comments will be moved from Pending to Spam.

Button to check for spam

Simply click the ‘Trash’ option below comment to delete it without designating it as spam.

Your removed comments will be sent to the trash, where they will remain for the next 30 days. WordPress will automatically erase them when this period of time has passed.

If you delete a comment by accident, simply go to the trash tab and select the ‘Restore’ link below the comment.

All comments for all posts and pages are displayed in the comment moderation area. You may, however, check the comments left on a specific topic by visiting that page on your site or going to your admin section.

In WordPress, you may turn comments on or off for certain posts.

There are occasions when you don’t want comments on particular posts to be enabled. You can disable comments for individual articles or pages in WordPress.

Simply open the ‘Discussion’ box from the options menu on your right while editing a post in the WordPress editor. After that, uncheck the box next to ‘Allow comments.’

Allow comments in the box for discussion.

From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Posts > All Posts and click the ‘Quick Edit’ button for any blog post. Simply uncheck the ‘Allow Comments’ box after that.

WordPress allows comments.

Allow WordPress users to moderate comments on their blogs.

It can be difficult to regulate all of the WordPress comments if you have a lot of posts and get a lot of comments every day.

Having a dedicated comment moderator on your website is a simple solution to this problem. A user who is an active commenter on your site or a member of your customer service team can be assigned a separate comment moderator job.

WordPress does not have a user role dedicated to comment moderation. The Comment Moderation Role plugin, on the other hand, can be used.

Change the user's role to that of a comment moderator.

Configuration of Comment Settings

Finally, WordPress lets you customize comment settings throughout your entire site.

Under Settings » Discussion, you’ll find the comment settings page. The discussion settings page is divided into several sections, and we’ll walk you through each one.

Environments for discussion

Settings for the default post

The Default post settings are controlled by the top portion of the topic settings screen.

When you link to another blog in an article, the first choice in this area allows your site to alert them. The second option allows you to accept similar notifications from other bloggers on your site.

Pingbacks and trackbacks are what these are called, and we urge that you uncheck both of them. The first choice may cause your entire site to slow down, while the second option may result in a large number of spam comments.

‘Allow people to make comments on new posts,’ the third option on the article settings screen, enables comments for all new articles you produce on your WordPress site. It’s worth noting that, as we shown earlier in this post, you may switch comments on and off for particular articles.

Other commenting options

The first option under the other comment settings section is ‘Comment author must fill out name and email.’ This option requires comment authors to include their name and email address with their posts.

Other commenting options

There’s also the option of requiring people to register before leaving a remark, but we don’t think this is required for most sites.

On older posts, you’ll also find the option to close comments. This is used by some website owners to avoid spam, but it is entirely a matter of personal preference.

Users can respond to comments on WordPress. If you tick the box next to ‘Enable threaded (nested) comments,’ the answers will display nested behind the original comment, and you can define how deep these nested comments can go.

The readability of comments might be distorted by having too many levels. For most WordPress themes, the default value of 5 levels is sufficient.

If one of your posts gets popular and receives an excessive number of comments, the comment section will become overly long. To read the most recent comments on the story, users will have to scroll a long way.

You can solve this problem by enabling the option to divide comments into pages. This option permits 50 top-level comments by default; you can increase or decrease this number. If you select this option, the final page of comments will be displayed first.

I’d like to be notified everytime a new remark is made, and I’d like to be notified before

Whenever you make a change, please send me an email.

The following section allows you to get emails whenever a user makes a comment on your site or when a remark is being moderated. This option is exciting only during the initial few days of your website’s existence. These emails grow bothersome as you receive more comments, so we recommend turning them off.

The first option under the ‘Before a remark appears’ section is to manually approve each comment. Check this box to ensure that no comments appear on your site without your permission.

The ‘Comment author must have a prior approved comment’ option is located underneath this.

If this option is selected, comments from authors who have already had a remark approved will appear without further review. To ensure that all comments are manually vetted, simply uncheck this box.

Settings for comment moderation

Setting for comment moderation

The presence of a large number of links is a common feature of automated spam comments. Because you’ve already selected your comments to be manually vetted, regardless of how many links they contain, they’ll all go into the moderation queue.

You’ll notice a wider text field where you may insert terms, IP and email addresses, or URLs to keep an eye on. Any remark that matches the criteria you’ve specified will be posted to the moderation queue.

You don’t need to fill out this field because you’ve already set all comments to be manually approved, and they’ll all end up in the moderation queue anyway.

Avatars’ preferences

Avatars' preferences

Avatars are located in the last section of the comment settings screen. These are the images that appear on your website next to the comment author’s name.

WordPress makes use of Gravatar, a free service that allows users to have the same avatar across all of their blogs (see our guide on what is Gravatar).

When a comment author doesn’t have a Gravatar image connected with their email address, WordPress uses Mystery Person as the default gravatar. You can modify this by choosing a default avatar from the drop-down menu, or you can create your own default gravatar in WordPress.

That concludes our discussion. Your comment settings have been set up. Remember to click the Save Changes button to save your changes.

We hope you learned how to moderate comments in WordPress from this article.