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Comments in WordPress

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Comments allow your website's visitors to have a discussion with you and each other. When you activate comments on a Page or post, WordPress inserts several text boxes after your content where users can submit their comments. Once you approve a comment, it appears underneath your content. Whether you want to customize how your receive comments or tweak how your site displays comments, WordPress provides a thorough set of options to build a community from the visitors to your site.

Anatomy of a Comment

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Depending on your site's settings, comments display slightly differently from site to site. The basic comment form includes:

Once a visitor submits his or her comment, WordPress follows your preferences and either holds the comment for your approval or posts it immediately.

Discussion Settings

Before you enable comments on posts or Page , reviewing the options under Settings > Discussion can help make your life as a moderator easier. Settings > Discussion contains a list of options that change how WordPress processes comments. Experimenting with these settings can help you find a balance between restricting comments to reduce the amount of spam or less-relevant comments you receive and encouraging your users to actively participate on your site.

The settings under "Avatars" control the images your site displays next to comments. For an introduction to Gravatars, read the WordPress Lesson about How to Use Gravatars in WordPress .

Comment Spam

Because spam is pervasive on the Web, some of the comments you receive will most likely be spam. However, WordPress developers and administrators have already developed a number of successful strategies to help you prevent spam comments from appearing on your site. In addition to experimenting with different options in Settings > Discussion , you can install a WordPress Plugin like Akismet or make other changes to help you keep spam comments under control.

Enabling Comments on Your Site

Once you have decided on your discussion options, you are ready to enable comments. If you chose not to enable comments on all articles automatically, you can turn on comments for a specific post or Page in several ways.

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After navigating to the editing screen for the post or Page you wish to add comments to, find the “Discussion” box and check “Allow Comments.” (If you do not see the “Discussion” box on the edit Page, click “Screen Options” in the upper right corner of the browser window. Make sure the box next to “Discussion” is checked.) Save your changes by clicking “Publish”, “Save Draft” or “Update."

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Navigate to the Posts or Pages screen. In the list of Pages or posts, find the one you want and hover your cursor over the title of the post. You will see several links appear underneath the title. Click "Quick Edit" and check “Allow Comments.” Click “Update” to turn comments on for that post.

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From the Posts/Pages screen, check the boxes next to the posts or Pages on which you want to enable comments. Select "Edit" from the "Bulk Edit" Dropdown box and click Apply. Then, select "Allow" next in the Comments drowdown box and finish by clicking "update."

Managing Incoming Comments

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Once you start receiving comments on your site, you can check the status of comments quickly by looking at the dashboard, the admin bar, or the left navigation menu. When you log in, the dashboard's "Activity" box will show you the status of your comments. Hover over a comment to see your moderation options. From "Activity - Comments" you can approve, reply, edit, mark as spam, or trash comments. Alternatively, you can look to see if there is a number next to the comment bubble in the admin bar or "Comments" in the left navigation. This number represents how many pending comments require your attention.

WordPress makes moderating your users' comments a simple process. The Comments Screen lays out the basic information about each comment and lets you decide what to do with it.

The Comments screen is divided into three columns: Author, Comment and In Response To. Each of these columns provide you with a different category of information about a particular comment.

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Like the posts and Pages screens, the Comments screen supplies a Bulk Action dropdown box. Select the comments you want to edit, and then select Unapprove, Approve, Mark as Spam, or Move to Trash from the dropdown and click "Apply."

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