How to Handle Comments in WordPress

Handling Comments
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Hi, how are you? I hope you are doing well. So let’s get started with how you can manage, moderate and handle comment spam in WordPress.

Comments are a standard feature on any blog platform and WordPress is no different. WordPress features many different tools to help you maintain your web site comments and discussion. From comment moderation to comment spam, there is much to think about opening up your web site to comments from the public.

Managing Comments

The comment icon displays the total number of comments on a post
The comment icon displays the total number of comments on a post

You have multiple ways to manage comments in WordPress. The most commonly used method is the Comments SubPanel. Here you can view all comments across your entire WordPress web site. Comments are listed with specific information on the commenter including name, e-mail, IP address, and more. Hovering over any comment gives you moderation options. Click Reply to reply directly to a comment from your dashboard. The comment is displayed as a public comment once added. Comments can be filtered using the links across the top. Filter comments to only show pending, approved, spam, or all comments. You can also search comments for specific keywords using the search box located at the top right.

Comments can also be managed directly from your dashboard. The Recent Comments box allows you to quickly approve, reply, edit, and delete comments.

A quick shortcut to view all comments for a given post is to click the comments icon on your Posts SubPanel, shown in the figure.

Clicking the icon filters all comments and only displays comments for that particular post.

Moderating Comments

By default WordPress requires that a comment author have a previously approved comment before posting. All new comments are automatically placed in moderation, which means that new comments will not show publicly on your web site until you approve them either on the Comments SubPanel or the Recent Comments box on the dashboard. You can change this option in the Settings -> Discussion SubPanel.

Another popular setting is forcing all comments to be approved comment rule and forces all comments into moderation regardless of whether there is a previously approved comment. Disabling both of these settings will open up comments to the worlds, meaning a comment is displayed publicly as soon as it is posted. It’s best to avoid this method because it opens up your web site to comment spam.

Handling Comment Spam

Comment spam is an ongoing problem that has been around since the beginning of comments. Comment spam is defined as any comment that is unwanted and generally promoting another web site or product. The Settings -> Discussion SubPanel has multiple settings that can help reduce the amount of comment spam your web site receives. For example, you can hold a comment is a common characteristic of spam. WordPress also provides a keyword blacklist, allowing you to automatically flag a comment as spam if it contains any of the keywords you have listed. This is a good way to moderate comments that contain obscene language, competitor names, and so on.

A number of plugins can help reduce or eliminate comment spam; here are two we recommend:

Akismet: One of only two plugins that comes pre-installed with WordPress, Akismet is an anti-spam comment plugin. Created by Automatic, Akismet scans your comments for spam as they are submitted. If a comment is determined to be spam it is automatically flagged as such and not shown on your web site. Akismet learns by combining information about spam captured on all participating web sites and then uses those spam rules to block future spam comments.

Anti-Spam Bee: The Anti-Spam Bee plugin works as a gatekeeper, preventing spammers and bots from ever delivering their spam. This plugin complements other spam plugins and can run alongside Akismet without issue. Anti-Spam Bee blocks comments from specific IP addresses, countries or with different language, logs spammers using Fail2Ban,  clear WordPress database of spam after a specified number of days (spam purging) and displays monthly statistics on the dashboard with spam numbers which helps this plugin attack spam in a whole new way.

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Authored By Aakanksha Singh

Hi, I’m Aakanksha, a computer science engineer and the founder of TheTechPower. I help people make there online presence process easier by empowering them with clean, beautiful and easy to use wordpress themes.

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