WordPress comments can be a terrific addition to your website, providing direct feedback from your audience, sparking engagement and giving you the opportunity to interact with your readership.
However, WordPress comments can also be a double-edged sword and as a result, those who host them might find themselves inundated with comment spam, irrelevance and a consequential drop in their site’s speed.
But fear not! If you find that the negatives of your comments section have started to outweigh the positives, you can disable WordPress comments.
But how exactly do you disable comments? Happily, our White Peak Digital wizards have pulled this article together to explain everything you need to know to successfully disable comments in WordPress.
Why Disable WordPress Comments?
As discussed above, WordPress comments can represent an opportunity for unwarranted, spammy content to infiltrate your website.
Aside from potentially reducing your site’s speed and functionality, your comments section can also provide an arena for unsavoury content and even online bullying.
Naturally, all of the above can result in penalisation from Google and a loss of trust from your userbase. As a result, if you disable WordPress comments, it can provide a simple way of maintaining your ranking and reputation.
Spam will not only make your site look messy but more often than not, it introduces irrelevant, inappropriate content to your WordPress site.
These reams (of unwelcome comments) also tend to provide a multitude of links, providing access to further inappropriate content for your users. In the eyes of Google, flooding your site with irrelevant links violates their terms and thus your ranking will dissipate.
Completely disable comments, however, and you’ll immediately vanquish spam from your WordPress site.
Inextricably linked to spam, inappropriate content is a big no-no on your site.
Depending on your market, the demographic of your WordPress site visitors is likely to be wide-ranging and as a result, the inappropriateness of the content posted in your comments can range greatly too.
From links about dog toys and vapes right up to pornography, if you leave your comment form unchecked, you risk providing access to all sorts of unsavoury domains.
Such content can leave the reputation, authority, traffic and ranking of your entire WordPress site in tatters. Disable comments and you remove that risk.
Harassment or bullying
When trolls emerge from under their bridge, they can materialise anywhere, including the comments section on your website.
With a combination of bad luck and naivety on your part, you may find your website becomes a playground for bullies. All it takes is one disagreement or one scathing comment to spark a thread or culture of harassment dialogue.
By disabling comments, you banish trolls back from whence they came.
How To Disable Comments on WordPress
With all of these unfavourable scenarios a very real possibility for unwitting website builders, disabling your comments section can immediately eliminate the opportunity for them to take hold and allow you to focus on what’s important: building your site.
So, if you’ve decided that disabling comments is the right move for you, here are the best 4 ways to disable your WordPress comments.
Disable Comments On Past Posts
It takes 4 simple steps to disable existing comments on your past posts.
- From the WordPress dashboard sidebar, head to Posts > All posts to reveal all of the posts you have ever produced on your site.
- Next up, check the box in the top left corner of the posts table and then Bulk Actions > Edit.
- Following this, locate the Comments Section and select “Do Not Allow“.
- Last but not least, make sure you click Update! This will implement and save your changes.
To disable existing comments on all of your pages, navigate to Pages > All Pages, and repeat steps 2-4.
Disable Comments on Future Posts
WordPress disables comments by default.
However, if you’d like to make sure or have had a change of heart having initially turned comments on, you can disable comments on your future posts by:
- From the WordPress sidebar, navigate to Settings > Discussion.
- From there, simply uncheck the “Allow People To Post Comments On New Articles” option.
- Click “Save Changes“.
Et voila! You’ve successfully disabled comments on all of your future published posts.
Disable Comments In Bulk
Disabling comments in bulk is, perhaps, the most convenient way of shutting out troublesome comments and, happily, the process is essentially the same as disabling them on past posts.
- First, navigate to Posts > All Posts.
- Next up, ticking the box in the top left corner of the table, select all of your posts and then Bulk Actions > Edit.
- Now, as before, locate the Comments drop-down box and select “Do Not Allow“.
- Finally, you’ve guessed it, click Update.
Again, to bulk disable comments on all pages, navigate to Pages > All Pages and following the same process.
Disable All Comments On A Particular Page
If you’d like to disable comments on a specific post or page, the process is slightly longer but still quick and easy.
- Simply navigate to Pages > All Pages from the admin sidebar.
- Once you’re in, you now need to locate the page you’d like to disable comment on and hover your cursor over it before selecting “Edit“.
- Now, on the top right corner of your chosen page, you should see the “3 dots” drop-down icon. Click it and select “Options“.
- This opens a pop-up box containing numerous list items including “Discussion“. Tick it and close the box.
- You should now be able to see the “Discussion” meta box in your page editor on the right side of the screen (if not, make sure you’ve selected the “Document” tab at the top).
- Within the “Discussion” meta box, untick the “Allow Comments” option and Update.
Ultimately there are numerous ways to disable comments in WordPress, either en-masse, for individual posts and for those yet to come.
Likewise, if you’d like to keep the comments section(s), there are other methods by which you can control them without disabling them entirely.
Moreover, should you have time, these methods can be beneficial as they allow you to filter out any spam, harassment or inappropriate content while retaining relevant, valuable input.
For example, if you navigate to Settings > Discussion Settings and check the “Comment Must Be Manually Approved” option, no comments will appear on your site without your approval.
Depending on the amount of spam and unwanted comments you receive, however, this can prove a time-consuming endeavour. Thus, a “disable comments plugin” or “anti-spam plugin”, such as Akismet Anti-Spam or Antispam Bee, might be preferable; they can reduce spam in your comments by up to 99%.
To conclude, from a “disable comments plugin” to manual deletion, if you find your comments section is accumulating unwanted content, don’t panic, the issue can be remedied with a few clicks of the mouse.
Interested in building a website with WordPress? Peruse our “What Is WordPress?” blog to get ahead of the competition.
Can I keep WordPress comments but avoid spam?
To a degree, yes, you can keep WordPress comments while avoiding spam.
This will require you either install an anti-spam plugin, such as Akismet or Antispam Bee mentioned above, which is designed to police your comments section and filter out any annoying, unwanted spam content.
Similarly, you could check the “Comment Must Be Manually Approved” box so that, if you do receive any spam comments, you can delete them before they are published on your WordPress page.
How do I bulk delete comments in WordPress?
We recommend two methods of bulk-deleting comments in WordPress.
The first method is to do so manually. Pleasingly, this process isn’t dissimilar to disabling your comments.
- In your admin sidebar, select “Comments“.
- Next, either click the box in the top left corner of your comments table to select all comments at once or tick individual comments manually.
- Once you have selected your comments for deletion, click Bulk Actions > Move To Trash > Apply.
- Now navigate to the Trash Folder, select all of the comments you wish to delete and then Bulk Actions > Delete Permanently > Apply.
The second method is to use a plugin.
Here, you can either install a comment-deletion plugin yourself or simply use the in-built WordPress plugin tool. The latter will delete all the existing posts/comments indiscriminately.
- Simply navigate to Tools > Delete Comments.
How do I change Comment settings in WordPress?
To change your comment related settings in WordPress, simply head to Settings > Discussion Settings to review all of the variables available to tailor your site’s comments section(s) to taste.
Options include, “Comment Author Must Fill Out Name And E-mail.“, “Automatically Close Comments On Articles Older Than ‘X’ Days.” and many more.
Are there WordPress plugins with better comment systems?
There are countless WordPress plugin comment form systems that users can implement on their WordPress websites. However, the assessment of their virtue, compared to the native WordPress Comments system, is largely subjective, depending on your taste, experience and WordPress theme.
That being said, there are several third-party plugin comments systems that are incredibly popular with WordPress users and these include:
- Disqus – an aesthetically pleasing, feature-rich commenting system.
- wpDiscuz – a native WordPress plugin that tries to emulate the functionality provided by the likes of Disqus.
To find out more about what White Peak Digital can do for you, head on over to our Brisbane-bespoke WordPress Development Page.
To your success,