WordPress Comments Guide

wordpress comments guide

Comments in the WordPress ecosystem allow a site owner to create a community around their blog and website. This allows readers to leave their thoughts on the content and interact directly with the author.

As with anything, there are good comments and bad comments. Good comments are from real people with a purpose. Bad comments are usually fake and can be classified as spam. They are off-topic and often contain inappropriate content.

A WordPress administrator can manage a site’s comments from the Comments menu option.

Glossary For WordPress Comments

Author – The person who left the comment. Users must leave a name and email address in order to comment. If a website is left that is included. Some plugins will give you the option to track more information about the user.

Comment – This is a preview of the actual comment left. Underneath the comment are options to approve or unapprove the comment, reply to the comment, edit the comment, mark the comment as spam, and delete the comment.

In Response To – This is the name of the blog post the comment was left on. The title is a link that you can click to view the post on your website as well. The number underneath the title is the total number of comments left on that blog post.

Submitted On – The date and time the user left the comment on the blog post.

Comments View Options

At the top of the Comments admin page, you can filter the comments you see in a number of different ways including the menu shown above.

All – Display all comments.

Mine – Only display comments made by the user logged into the WordPress site.
Pending – Only display comments that have not been approved.
Approved – Only display comments that have been approved.
Spam – Only display comments that have been marked as spam. (This may be done manually or automatically by WordPress or a plugin.)
Trash – Only display comments that are marked for deletion. These are permanently deleted after 30 days.

You may also filter comments using the filter dropdown.

  • Comments – Only display comments.
  • Pings – Only display trackbacks and pingbacks.

Approving WordPress Comments

You can manually approve any comments by clicking on the Approve link under the comment as shown below.

Comments can also be approved in bulk. If 2 or more comments need to be approved, check the checkbox next to the comments to be approved and then chose the Approve option from the Bulk Edit dropbox at the top of the page. See the screenshot below.

Reply to Comments

You can reply to comments in the Comments admin area or on the blog post directly.

To reply to comments in the Comments admin area simply click on the Reply link under the comment.

When the Reply link is clicked, a text box will appear for you to type the response. When done click on the reply button to save the reply.

To reply to comments from the blog post directly, open the blog post in a new browser tab or window. Under the comment you wish to leave a reply, click on the reply button. A box will appear for you type in a response. Please note you will need to be logged in to WordPress.

When you are done typing your response click on the Post Comment button to save it.

Quick Edit Comment

To quickly make an edit to a comment simply click on the Quick Edit link under the comment as shown below.

Once the Quick Edit link is clicked, a box will open allowing you to edit the comment as needed. See the screenshot below. You can edit the comment itself, the author’s name, email, or website.

Editing Comment

You can also edit a comment by clicking on the Edit link under the comment as shown below.

Clicking the Edit link will option the comment in a new screen to make edits to the author’s name, email, website, the comment itself, the status of the comment, and date and time the comment was submitted.

Marking Comments as Spam

You can manually approve any comments by clicking on the Spam link under the comment as shown below.

Comments can also be marked as spam in bulk. If 2 or more comments need to be marked as spam, check the checkbox next to the comments to be approved and then chose the Mark as Spam option from the Bulk Edit dropbox at the top of the page. See the screenshot below.

Deleting Comments

You can manually delete any comments by clicking on the Trash link under the comment as shown below.

Comments can also be deleted in bulk. If 2 or more comments need to be deleted, check the checkbox next to the comments to be approved and then chose the Move to Trash option from the Bulk Edit dropbox at the top of the page. See the screenshot below.

To permanently delete the comments, click the Trash view option, and then click on the Delete Trash button. Otherwise, all comments in the trash will be permanently deleted after 30 days.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

According to WordPress.org, trackbacks and pingbacks are “methods for alerting blogs that you have linked to them. The difference between them is:

  • Trackbacks – must be created manually, and send an excerpt of the content
  • Pingbacks – are automated and don’t send any content.

When a user writes a blog post and includes a link to another blog post (on the same site or another site), a pingback is sent alerting the owner of the link. This is all done automatically by WordPress behind the scenes.

Trackbacks are old and not used very much anymore. It’s a legacy system in which you have to manually add the trackback URL. For example, if you write a blog post in response to another’s person’s blog post, you must get the other person’s trackback URL from their blog post and manually add it to the Send Trackback block while editing your blog post. Please note that you must be using the Classic Editor to send a trackback. The option is not in the new Gutenberg editor (also known as the block editor).

When pingbacks and trackbacks occur they are listed under the comments. You can approve or unapprove pingbacks and trackbacks and even mark pingbacks as spam or delete them.

About the Author Sarah & Kevin Arrow

Sarah & Kevin Arrow have worked in digital marketing since 2006. They share their thoughts and tips here on this site. They'd love to help you become more visible. Book in a call or ping us a message - we're waiting to hear from you!

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