Would you like to know how to disable comments in WordPress (because too much spam?)?
Comments are the built-in feature coded into the WordPress core.
And every WordPress website out there has them BY DEFAULT.
They allow your website’s visitors to give their opinion or even start a discussion with each other.
Once the comment is approved (NEVER leave the comments unattended), it appears under your post or page’s content.
While comments are usually good and can even help with your SEO, it is not always so.
This post covers:
- Why disable comments in WordPress?
- Pros & cons of disabling WordPress comments
- How to disable comments in WordPress with standard settings
- How to disable comments in WordPress with a plugin
- Do I recommend you disable comments in WordPress?
Let’s check some reasons to see when it’s better to disable comments altogether.
Why Disable Comments In WordPress?
Receiving comments from your visitors is usually a positive experience (who doesn’t like praise on their articles, reviews, or opinions?), but it can also cause numerous issues.
Reviewing comments can take a lot of time, especially if you get many spammy comments.
You know which ones I mean.
The ANNOYING comments promoting casinos, forex, crypto, and similar content that’s completely irrelevant to your website.
If you are having a lot of problems with spam, I recommend installing the Akismet plugin.
It filters out millions of spam comments from the Web daily and is an easy solution to your spam problem.
Pros & Cons Of Disabling WordPress Comments
But spam is not the only reason why you might want to disable your comment section.
Let’s examine some pros and cons to decide if comments are worth the hassle for your website.
Many disagree on this matter because some of us like reading other users’ opinions on a certain subject matter, and others could easily live without them.
(I kinda like reading comments, well, not kinda, I MUST read them!)
What are the cons of having comments on your website?
- A heated discussion can take a lot of time to moderate. If your site gets a lot of comments, you will spend hours going through all of them and deciding whether you should approve them or not.
- Spammy comments can hurt your SEO.
- Comments usually don’t increase your revenue or page ranking as analyzed by Hubspot. That means they are not really a necessity.
- Professional websites for businesses don’t really need comments. If you are a lawyer, artist, or craftsman presenting your services, work, or portfolio, then disabling comments is usually a good idea.
On the other hand, we can also say that a blog without comments is not really a blog.
There should be two-way communication going on your content if you want to really call it that.
But as we mentioned above, not all WordPress websites are blogs.
Let’s take a look at some benefits of having comments on your website:
- Social proof can bring confidence to your site. Visitors will trust your website more if they see real comments from real people.
- Sincere opinions from your users can play an important part in your website’s evolution. How else would you know what your readers are interested in if they don’t express their opinions?
- Responding to comments is almost a must if you allow comments. It will increase interaction and deepen the bond between you and your visitors (it will also increase your page visits and lower your bounce rate).
How To Disable Comments In WordPress With Standard Settings
There are many possibilities and options for disabling comments on your WordPress website.
You might want to disable it from all your future posts or only on certain pages.
1. Disable Comments Globally
Disabling comments globally is very simple.
Go to Settings > Discussion and uncheck the “Allow people to post comments on new articles” option on the right.
Save the changes, and now users cannot post new comments anywhere on your website.
That is especially useful if you have just started with your website.
Note: This option above only prevents new comments, but the existing ones will remain visible (you will have to delete them manually).
2. Disable Comments On Specific Posts & Pages
Comments are already turned off by default on all the pages (and enabled on posts).
However, you can always enable or disable comments on any individual post or page.
Go to your pages or posts and edit the individual page where you would like to disable comments.
WP doesn’t display the discussion settings by default – you need to turn it on manually.
Click the Screen Options button in the top right corner.
This will open up a window with several settings.
Check the discussion box.
You will now notice a new box at the very bottom of the post where the discussion options are displayed.
Uncheck the “Allow comments” box and you will disable commenting on that specific page or post.
And you are done.
3. How to Delete All WordPress Comments Manually
If you have a lot of comments from before or receive a lot of spammy comments daily (please install Akismet, so you don’t deal with spam manually), then deleting them is not an easy task.
By default, WordPress only displays 20 comments per page, so even the option to select all and move to the trash can take a lot of time if you have 1,000s of them.
In this case, I recommend you use a plugin.
Here’s the thing, you can use the Screen Options in the top right corner like before and set comments to any number greater than 20, but this can break your site. (It happened to me – twice!)
So I don’t recommend doing it. Just go with a plugin and simplify your life (see below).
4. How to Delete All WordPress Comments With a Plugin
Out of all I tested, Delete All Comments of WordPress is my favorite plugin.
It is a simple, effective plugin that easily deletes all unnecessary comments.
After you install & activate the WordPress plugin, head to Tools > Delete Comments.
As you can see from the image above, deleting comments is a straightforward task.
You can even choose only to delete certain segments and not your entire site’s comments.
And the plugin is completely free to use.
5. How To Remove “Leave A Comment” In WordPress
So you just disabled the comments and deleted all of them, yet you are still seeing the “Leave A Comment” or “Comments are closed” section under your posts and pages.
This can be very frustrating as most users have no idea how to fix that.
The easiest way is to hide it with CSS.
Head to Appearance > Customize and click the Additional CSS button.
Copy and paste the following CSS code to the appropriate field and click the Publish button.
While this is a simple and elegant solution, it just hides it, but it is still there in the background.
Fix it by editing your WordPress theme’s PHP file
If your website displays this part, it means the theme is NOT coded properly.
(You can send a complaint to the theme’s developer or try fixing it yourself.)
But please note that this requires some coding knowledge.
First, connect to your host through the FTP client.
You need your FTP username and password for that. (Contact your hosting if you don’t have login credentials.)
Navigate to /wp-content/themes/ folder once connected to your website through the FTP client.
In your theme folder, you need to locate the file comments.php, right-click on that file, and rename it to comments_old.php.
Now simply create a new file and name it comments.php.
This is just an empty placeholder file that WordPress now displays instead of the “Comments are closed” section.
How To Disable Comments In WordPress With A Plugin
If you want more control over your comments, I suggest you give Disable comments plugin a try.
It allows you to disable and delete comments on your website globally.
You can disable comments according to post type, which can be really useful.
Install & activate the plugin and go to Settings > Disable Comments.
Now simply choose whether to disable the comments on all your content or only on specific post types.
Another great feature is: Exclude Disable Comments Settings Based On User Roles.
What this effectively means is that you can allow comments on the posts and pages written by users with a specific role.
For instance, visitors will only be able to comment on the posts you wrote (the administrator).
Or you can create your own specific role, like writers. This group can then write only specific content that people can comment on.
This is a great way of segmenting your content if you don’t want to completely remove all comments on your website.
Do I Recommend You Disable Comments In WordPress?
Yes, I recommend you disable your comments entirely. They won’t really bring you any value.
Our team is also strongly debating whether to keep or ditch the comments section. (They will very likely go.)
Here’s a scenario where I recommend you keep comments on your WordPress website.
If you plan on having a solid social media following, that’s when comments can help you grow your site to the next level.
Because you can drive your social traffic to your website, urging them to share their opinions.
Best example of this?
Sugar Spun Run is an excellent example of having 1,000s of comments!
Check out her pizza dough recipe post – CRAZY. By the way, does anyone make pizza at home?
But everyone else should just stick to a no-comment website. (Hey, you can still re-active them later.)
You can then even use a WordPress comments plugin for custom functionality.