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How to Turn Off WordPress Comments

Is your website getting overwhelmed with spam comments? Unfortunately malicious actors use automated scripts to unleash a flood of spam comments all across the internet. In this article we’ll cover how to turn off WordPress comments easily and how to set up comment moderation as an alternative option.

In this short article we’ll also explain some smart moves to put an end to this spam madness. We’re talking about everything from shutting down comments on your site to setting up filters and giving those comments a good once-over.

The ball’s in your court! Let’s check out the options and slam the door on spam for your website today!

Table of Contents for Turn Off WordPress Comments Easily

How to Delete All Comments in WordPress

The first thing to do is delete all your spam comments.

From the WordPress Dashboard select Comments in the left hand sidebar.

WordPress Comments page

This page is used for managing all the comments for your website. The comments can be filtered by their status:

  • All
  • Mine
  • Pending
  • Approved
  • Spam
  • Trash

The next row contains a Bulk actions dropdown. To delete comments, simply select all the ones you wish to remove (you can click the checkbox in the top left-hand corner of the table to select all comments on this page).

Next, click on the Bulk actions dropdown and choose ‘Move to Trash,’ just like this:

Using the Bulk actions drop down menu on the WordPress comments page.

Finally, click on the “Apply” button to delete the comments. Like most tables in WordPress, the results are “paged” – meaning only a fixed number of comments are shown at once. You might have to perform the delete comment action several times until no more comments appear.

If you’ve got thousands of comments, this method is quite slow and inefficient. In this case, I’d recommend using a plugin to easily bulk delete all your comments. One great option is the Delete all Comments plugin, which makes removing all comments from your website a breeze.

delete all comments plugin
Delete all Comments plugin

How to Disable Comments in WordPress

Once you have deleted all spam comments from your website the next step is to turn off WordPress comments to stop new spam comments appearing. In this section I will show you how to disable comments permanently.

First, head to your WordPress Dashboard and click on the “Settings” option found in the left-hand sidebar. After that, choose “Discussion.”

select Settings -> Discussion from the WordPress Dashboard
From the WordPress Dashboard select Settings and then Discussion
turn off WordPress comments
Uncheck the “Allow people to submit comments on new posts”

Navigate to the Settings -> Discussion page. Here, you’ll find the option “Allow people to submit comments on new posts.” Uncheck this option, and it will prevent users from submitting comments.

And, of course, don’t forget to hit the “Save Comments” button located at the bottom of the page. You might need to scroll down a bit to spot this button

How to Moderate Comments in WordPress

Completely disabling comments might seem a bit drastic. After all, some comments can actually be quite helpful to other readers. So, you might be wondering if there’s a middle ground, an option that can filter out the bad comments while still allowing the good ones to shine through.

Yes, there is. But it requires some work from you – or someone else on your team.

You can moderate comments. Here’s how you enable this feature.

before a comment appears option

First, check the “Comment must be manually approved” option. This simple step activates comment moderation. When you head to the comments section on the dashboard, you’ll spot pending comments. You have the power to approve, reject, mark as spam, or move to trash as you see fit.

It’s important to note that with comment moderation enabled, approving comments becomes a hands-on process. You’ll need to manually approve each comment.

For a smoother moderation experience, consider enabling email notifications for new comments. This way, you’ll stay in the loop effortlessly.

email notification for new comments

You receive an email for each new comment that is pending on your website.

Reminder: You need to press the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the pages for any changes to take effect.

How to Filter Comments in WordPress

If you want to receive comments on your website moderation is essential. There’s just way too much spam floating around on the internet to let anyone comment without checking first.

WordPress makes it a bit easier by letting you define the words you don’t want to see. If WordPress spots one of those words in a comment, it’ll toss it in the trash automatically.

You are not limited to only the comment text when filtering, you can filter by all of these criteria:

  • Content
  • Author name
  • URL
  • Email
  • IP address
  • The user agent string from the browser

Just type each word on its own line in the “Disallowed Comment Keys” section on the comment settings page.

Oh, and don’t forget to hit that “Save Changes” button to put these filters into action.

disallowed comment keys
Disallowed Comments Keys

Comments can be Good for Your Readers and SEO

We’ve explain how to turn off WordPress comments but be aware that high quality comments can be helpful for you too. Let’s list some of the benefits comments on your website bring:

  • Allows readers to give valuable feedback
  • Can contribute to the article making it more useful
  • Quality comments can improve your article’s worth and give your ranking a boost
  • Great external links can offer additional resources for your readers

If you’ve got the time to keep an eye on comments and make sure things stay civilized, it’s a good idea to allow them on your website. But, just a friendly tip: never let unmoderated comments run wild on your site!

Final Thoughts for Turn Off WordPress Comments Easily

I hope you found this article useful. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Delete comments from the WordPress Dashboard using the Bulk Actions -> Move to Trash command
  • Delete large numbers of comments by installing the Delete all Comments plugin
  • Turn on moderation for comments to check comments before approving them
  • Turn on email notification for comments

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