Commenting Policy in WordPress

Once you’ve decided to have comments, it’s important to have a commenting policy in place. It doesn’t necessarily have to be public, but you might consider it. What’s important is to know how you’re going to respond to a specific situation and enforce your rules consistently.

1. Are commenters allowed to use profanity? Where do you draw the line?
2. It’s easy for a comment thread to get off topic. Is that OK or do you want comments to only pertain to your post?
3. Discussions often turn into debates, which turn into flat-out arguments. Do you step in to restore order? Or let people duke it out?
4. What do you do when someone disagrees with you or your company? What if that means they recommend competitors?
5. What happens when someone ignores your rules?

You may not run into any of these comment issues. But it helps to be prepared. Often the style of your organization will help you determine your comment policy. A loose, care free organization might encourage people to disagree. A strict, top-down company might ban any discussion of competing products. It’s your website—you set the tone.

Here’s another thing you’ll need to decide: how active are you going to be in your own comments? Some people like to be very active, encouraging responses and interacting with readers. That can also be time-demanding, but may also benefit your business. Other people may only step in when it’s absolutely necessary, letting their readers have their own discussion.

Managing Comments in WordPress: The Comments Page

Managing comments in WordPress is quite similar to the way posts and pages are managed. From the WordPress dashboard, visit the Comments page.

A yellow row means the comment is waiting for you to moderate it. You can act on comments using the on-hover action links or the Bulk Actions. In the Author column, in addition to the author’s name, email address, and blog URL, the commenter’s IP address is shown. Clicking on this link will show you all the comments made from this IP address.

In the Comment column, each comment includes Submitted on information, followed by the date and time the comment was left on your site. Clicking the date/time link will take you to that comment on your live site.

Hovering over any comment gives you options to approve, reply (and approve), quick edit, edit, spam mark, or trash that comment.

In the In Response To column, there are three elements. The text is the name of the post that comment is assigned to, and links to the post editor for that entry.

The View Post link leads back to that post on your live site. This small bubble with the number shows the number of approved comments that post has received. If the bubble is gray, you have moderated all comments for that post. If it is blue, there are pending comments.

Clicking the bubble will filter the comments screen to show only comments on that post.

Managing Comments from the Dashboard Home Screen

Another way to manage comments is from the WordPress dashboard home screen. Here you’ll see recent comments and you can quickly and easily approve, reply, edit, mark as spam or trash by hovering over these links.

WordPress Comment Settings

Don’t forget you can change your Comment or Discussion settings from within the WordPress settings menu. This page allows you to make changes to the details of comments made on your site, plus the ability to blacklist comments to help manage spam comments.


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