How to Enable or Disable Comments in WordPress?

WordPress was basically a blogging platform and later evolved into a complete content management system. Therefore, it has all tools needed to run a powerful blog. Integrated comment management system allows visitors to leave comment on your blog posts. By default, WordPress will enable commenting on blog posts after installation. However, you can disable the comments if you feel it is not needed for your blog.

WordPress Comments Form

WordPress will show a comments form below each post on your site. The comment form will contain the following fields.

  • Title – title of the comment section like “Leave a Comment”.
  • Comment box – text box to enter message text.
  • Name – mandatory field, name of the submitter.
  • Email – mandatory field, email address of the submitter.
  • Website URL – website address of the comment submitter, this is an optional field that commenter can leave it as blank.
  • Submit button – post your comment using PHP.

Users can leave comments in a form shown below each post.

WordPress Comments System
WordPress Comments System

Unfortunately, WordPress does not offer an option to remove any of the above mentioned field from the comment form. You can use third-party plugins to customize the fields on the form. Similarly, the visual look of the comment form in WordPress site depends on the theme you use. You can also plugins to customize the form like adding captcha code for verification.

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Why Should You Disable Comments in WordPress?

Comments are easy way to interact with the users by receiving feedback and responding to them. This can help you to build a community of followers over the period of time. However, spamming is the big problem when you manage comments in WordPress. Though, you can use plugins like Akismet or add reCAPTCHA to comment form, it is not possible to stop the spam. In addition, submitting comment will consume server resource each time when user press the submit button. If you receive no comments at all, then it is a good idea to disable comments on your site. Also automated bots can target your website to leave spam comments with malicious links.

On other hand, comments can help to directly interact with users. It can increase the time on your site and allow the possibility to create a community based on your blog. In addition, a satisfied commenter can also potentially become your long term client.

There are pros and cons of using commenting system on your WordPress site. Therefore, the decision to enable or disable comments completely depends on your situation.

Disable Comments in WordPress

There are two options for enabling / disabling the comments in WordPress:

  1. Enable or disable on the entire site
  2. Close comments after certain days of publishing article
  3. Use only on specific posts
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1. Disable on Entire Site

Follow the below instructions to completely disable comments on entire site.

WordPress Discussion Settings
WordPress Discussion Settings
  • Under “Default post settings” uncheck the box against “Allow people to submit comments on new posts” the option.
Allow Comments for Site
Allow Comments for Site

2. Closing Comments After Certain Number of Days

In some situations, you may need to accept comments but only for certain number of days. Generally, blog posts are time bound and valid for specific period. For example, you have an announcement of a product or new feature launch on your site. This type of content is valid for few days or weeks and accepting comments after that time does not make any sense. So, you can disable the comments after certain number of days for the entire site.

  • Go to “Settings > Discussion” section.
  • Enable the checkbox against the option “Automatically close comments on posts older than — days” and fill the days as per your need.
  • Save your changes and WordPress will disable the comments on the blog posts after the mentioned number of days.
Disable Comments After Certain Days
Disable Comments After Certain Days

Remember, this is a site level settings and you can’t limit the comments closure only for specific posts in this manner.

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3. Enable or Disable Comments for Specific Post

Depending upon your site level comments settings, you can enable or disable comments for individual post.

  • Go to “Posts > All Posts” and edit any post for which you want to change the comment settings.
  • Alternatively, create a new post under “Posts > Add New” for setting comments in a new post.
  • Click on the “Documents” panel on the right sidebar.
  • Scroll down and check under “Discussion” section.
  • Uncheck “Allow comments” box to disable comments only on that post.
Disable Comments for Post
Disable Comments for Post

What About Comments for Pages?

In theory, pages contain static information that do not need dynamic blogging features like commenting. Hence, WordPress by default disable comments for all pages though you have enabled site level comments in discussion settings. However, you can enable comments in WordPress for specific pages when editing or creating content in Gutenberg editor similar to post.

Note: If you use gravatar in comments, the profile images for each commenter will be loaded from gravatar.com. Loading external images will slow down the loading speed of your page. Disabling gravatar may not work properly on all commercial themes and you may need custom CSS to adjust the alignment. The best option in this case is to disable comments to improve page loading speed.

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