How to Turn Off Comments in WordPress For Good (Plus Why You Should)
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Want to know how to turn off comments in WordPress? You're in the right place.
Have you been deliberating over whether or not you actually should?
You're in the right place for that, too!
There are many benefits of getting rid of comments on your website. And if you're here, I'm willing to bet you already have a few reasons in mind.
In this article, you'll learn how to turn off comments in WordPress step by step manually and also with the help of a plugin.
You'll also learn the top benefits of disabling comments, and why we removed comments from the Niche Pursuits website years ago.
- First, Why Turn Off Comments in WordPress?
- To Disable Entirely or Turn Off WordPress Comments for Specific Scenarios?
- How to Turn Off Comments in WordPress: Step-by-Step Tutorial
- Alternatives to Turning Off Comments in WordPress
- How to Turn Off Comments in WordPress: Conclusion
First, Why Turn Off Comments in WordPress?
There are many reasons you might want to turn off the comments on your WordPress website.
Spencer (the creator of Niche Pursuits) turned off blog commenting for good in 2020 and hasn't looked back!6 Reasons Niche Pursuits Turned Off WordPress Comments
First of all, blog engagement just isn't what it used to be. Several years ago, every new blog post generated a ton of comments and discussion.
But today, fewer people than ever before are leaving comments. Instead, the conversation is happening elsewhere, like on social media platforms.
Some bloggers turn off blog commenting because they just don't have time to moderate and reply to comments.
When your blog starts attracting a lot of free traffic, your time is needed elsewhere. Comments don't provide a lot of value and take up a lot of time.
Additionally, many comments that come in on blogs and websites are for the sole purpose of the commenter building backlinks or promoting their own content.
These types of comments are fluffy and disingenuous.
Spam comments are another big reason you might want to turn off your WordPress comments. They're annoying, frequent, and no one wants to deal with them.
Of course, there are spam-blocking plugins. But if you turn off comments, you'll never have to deal with that at all.
Benefits of Turning Off WordPress Comments
The biggest benefit of turning off WordPress comments is all the time you'll save.
No more worrying about moderating and approving comments, replying to comments, or deleting spam.
Disabling Comments Make Posts Look Better
Blogs are generating fewer and fewer comments these days, even as the quality of content improves!
When your comments are turned on but no one has commented, WordPress will show a comment form with no comments. This makes it clear to the reader that no one has commented on the post yet.
If you turn off comments, there will be no empty comment section and no “Zero Comments” label on your article.
Direct Readers Elsewhere
When you turn off blog comments, you can direct your readers elsewhere to have a discussion.
Instead of writing “let us know in the comments below” in your conclusion paragraph, you can write a CTA that directs people to your Facebook page or group.
For example: “Do you have questions or comments about this article? Join us in the Facebook group (with your link) for a discussion!”
To Disable Entirely or Turn Off WordPress Comments for Specific Scenarios?
WordPress gives you the option to turn off comments in specific scenarios or just turn them off entirely.
So, which should you choose?
How you choose to disable your WordPress comments is entirely up to you.
You can choose to turn off comments on specific pages, specific posts, or custom post types.
You can set WordPress up to only disable comments on future posts, too. Or, you can turn them off altogether.
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How to Turn Off Comments in WordPress: Step-by-Step Tutorial
Here's how to turn off comments in WordPress for each scenario or altogether by doing it manually or with a WordPress plugin.
How to Turn Off WordPress Comments on a Specific Post or Page
In WordPress, comments on pages are turned off by default. However, you can edit the page settings to toggle them on and off if you prefer.
If you've ever enabled your pages to have comments, you'll have to go in and turn them back off.
The process for turning off comments on specific posts and specific pages is the same.
Navigate to your posts or pages tab and click “Edit” on the post or page that you want to turn off commenting on.
Navigate to the Settings cog in the top right-hand corner of the screen and select “Post”.
Scroll all the way down to “Discussion” and uncheck the comments and pingbacks boxes. Save or update your post or page and comments will be disabled.
How to Turn Off WordPress Comments on Future Posts
This is a handy way to turn off comments in WordPress on a new website or to just stop all comments on new future posts.
To do this, head to your WordPress dashboard and hover over “Settings” on the left-hand side. From here, select “Discussion”.
Dashboard > Settings > Discussion
Uncheck the box that says “Allow people to submit comments on new posts”.
Don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save” when you're done.
This will turn off the ability to comment on any new articles, but it will not turn off comments on any existing post.
How to Turn Off All Commenting on Your WordPress Website
Turning off comments site-wide on your WordPress website requires a few steps.
First, follow the instructions above to turn off WordPress comments on future posts.
Next, you'll need to disable commenting on all your previously published posts.
But don't worry, you don't have to go into each individual post! You can turn off comments on every published post in bulk easily, even without a plugin.
First, head to your “All Posts” page.
Check the “Title” box to select all the posts on the page. Then in the “Bulk Actions” box, select “Edit”.
Then click “Apply”.
When you click “Apply”, a box opens up right under the Title bar with several settings.
Toggle the “Comments” box to “Do Not Allow” and click “Update”. After clicking “Update”, it may take a couple of minutes for your page to refresh, so give it some time.
This will turn off comments in WordPress on all selected posts or pages.
If you have several pages of articles, this might take a little bit of time. You will need to go through each page of articles or pages and do this step until you've completed all of them.
Alternatively, you can use a plugin to turn off comments in WordPress.
How to Delete Existing Comments
Once you turn off comments on all published and future posts and pages, your old comments will still remain.
To delete comments on existing posts, select the “Comments” tab from the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard.
Next, check the box to select all the comments on the page and select “Move to Trash” in the Bulk Actions dropdown. Select “Apply” to delete all the comments.
If you have a lot of comments, you will need to do this several times to remove all of them.
If you don't have time, you can use a plugin for this step, too.
How to Turn Off WordPress Comments with a Plugin
If you have a ton of published pages or posts that you want to turn off WordPress comments on, it can be time-consuming even when you do it in bulk.
If this is the case for you, you can save time by turning off your WordPress comments with a simple WordPress plugin.
You can easily disable WordPress comments sitewide with a plugin by WPDeveloper called “Disable Comments – Remove Comments & Stop Spam”.
You can also use this plugin to delete comments or disable comments on specific posts and pages.
First, download, install, and activate the Disable Comments plugin.
Then find the plugin in your Plugins tab and click “Settings”.
Next, select the boxes for the WordPress comments that you want to disable.
You can select “Sitewide” or delete comments on specific posts, pages, landing pages, etc.
Deleting WordPress Comments With Plugin
You can also use the Disable Comments plugin to delete all existing comments on your WordPress website for a clean slate.
On the settings page, click “Delete Comments”.
Here, you'll be able to choose what existing comments you want to delete. You can select:
- Certain post types.
- Certain comment types like Pingbacks or regular comments.
- Spam comments.
Alternatives to Turning Off Comments in WordPress
If your motivation for turning off comments altogether is simply that you need comment moderation or are sick of spam comments, you have a few other options.
You have a lot of options for comment settings in the Discussion settings panel on your WordPress website.
You can access the Discussion panel by navigating to Settings > Discussion from your WordPress dashboard.
On this page, you have plenty of comment customization options.
You can select:
- Comment author must fill out name and email.
- Users must be registered and logged in to comment.
- Automatically close comments on posts older than X days.
- Show comments cookies opt-in checkbox, allowing comment author cookies to be set.
- Enable threaded comments.
- Break comments into pages.
Additionally, you can choose to receive an email comment notification for when anyone posts a comment or a comment is held for moderation.
For moderation purposes, you can select one or all of these options:
- Comments must be manually approved.
- Comment author must have a previously approved comment.
- Hold a comment in the queue if it contains # or more links.
To further moderate comments and prevent spam, hate, foul language, etc, there are even more options.
You can disallow as many keywords as you want. You can also disallow certain URLs, email addresses, IP addresses, and more.
Spam Comment Blocking
To deal with spam comments alone, you can use a plugin like Askimet to moderate comments for you.
This plugin can help prevent spam comments from bots, spam contact form messages, and more.
Askimet charges a monthly fee that varies depending on your needs.
If you want to eliminate all spam comments forever and don't want to pay for a plugin, perhaps turning off WordPress comments is the route for you.
How to Turn Off Comments in WordPress: Conclusion
Learning how to turn off comments in WordPress is pretty easy to do on your own. And it's even easier with the use of a bulk plugin!
Turning off comments on your WordPress website will free you from spam commenters, save you so much time, and allow you to move the conversation elsewhere.
There are a lot of benefits of encouraging your readers to join the discussion on other platforms. Once you turn off comments in WordPress, you won't ever look back.
For another cool WordPress walkthrough, check out our step-by-step guide on how to remove the date from WordPress posts.
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