WP Tutorial #5 – Managing Comments

What Are Comments?

Comments are a great way for you to spark discussion on your website.  A lot of blogs that ask for this type of feedback really should be using some sort of comment system.  Luckily our the content management system that we use comes with a fairly simple one that is very user-friendly.  We will explain how to use and manage comments in the following article.  You will notice that below the box where you enter content for each article/page that there is an area called “Discussion” which will allow you to state whether you want to allow comments or not:

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Managing Comments

Once you have selected the “Allow Comments” in that section you will see a comments box show up below the article that will allow people who read your blog/website to give you their opinion, feedback, or whatever else you are looking for.  The beauty of this is that you have full control over whether or not it actually shows up.  This is what the comment box will look like without much styling:

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So now that we have the basic information about commenting, let’s dive a little deeper into it.  Chances are if you have a popular website at some point you will be the target of spam, irrational people (because the internet is full of them) or just plan trolls (people who just comment negatively to incite a reaction from the website owner).  In these cases you are going to either want to delete the comments and/or mark them as spam (which will eventually stop them from being able to comment on your website and in some cases WordPress websites in general).  There are several ways to do this and we will go over all of them.

The first way to do so is to go to your discussion settings in the “Settings” area on the left side of your dashboard menu.

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Discussion Settings

Once you are on the Discussion Settings page you will see a ton of options as it pertains to commenting.  This is where you can control pretty much everything about commenting.  Starting from top to bottom it first shows you the default settings (which can be changed on an individual article basis).  You can also close comments on posts older than a certain number of days, enabled a deep thread where people can reply to comments, and you can also determine the number of comments that can show up before it moves them to another page of comments.

One of the interesting additions to the discussion settings is the fact that you are able to get emailed immediately as people are commenting on your articles.  You are also able to hold all comments for moderation if you choose so that you have to approve of them before they actually show up to the public.  This can be very helpful in fighting against any spam that you might receive in the future.

One of my favorite parts of the discussion settings is the fact that you are able to block comments based on several different criteria.  You can block based on words used, names, URL’s, e-mails, or IP’s.  This makes it almost impossible to continue to get spam from the same people over and over.  The issues that you will run into with using WordPress is that it is so popular.  It is literally used by tens of millions of companies and individuals around the world.  This, believe it or not, can make it vulnerable to people who wish to do harm to websites.  That’s why taking measures such as preventing spam are so important.

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Another cool feature that you will see in the above image is you can give your users a default image or avatar when they sign up.  They can of course change it if they feel the need to but this will actually give your comment section a better look as all users no matter what will have images next to their username.  Now you can get a feel for how the comment system works via our back end.  WordPress is a great tool to have in order to get feedback on your articles and website.  Managing comments should be much easier at this point.  If you can any questions feel free to get a hold of us through the various means of contact.