Why would I talk about disabling comments in WordPress posts and pages? Comments are in fact part of content – if you have a blog, then comments go hand in hand with your blog’s content.
The comments that your readers leave on your blog posts make your content complete. But at the same time, comments can also become a headache for blog owners.
Don’t get me wrong here – I am not talking about the genuine comments blogs receive. I am talking about spammers! Living and non living. You know both kind if you are having a blog, right?
“Great post!” is one example of spam. And I can give you a lot of other examples of spam comments left by people and by bots.
As a blogger, you already have too much in your plates, right? On top of that if you have to deal with moderating spam comments – that’s terrible.
Thankfully, if you are using WordPress you have plugins for anything and everything (I’m not exaggerating). And you have a variety of plugins to combat spam comments.
Akismet is a classic. You have even more effective ones like Antispam, Commentluv, Captcha based plugins and so on.
The problem is, I have tried a lot of them – but I am yet to find out one plugin that can prevent comment spam 100%. So far such a plugin doesn’t exist.
So I got asked a lot about disabling comments in blog posts. To be honest, I am against that.
I’ve been blogging since 2007, and I’ve had so much with spam comments. But till today I haven’t thought about disabling comments in blog posts altogether.
Mainly because I want to know what others have got to say on the content I’ve published.
I don’t want my blog to be a place where I only talk monotonously. I want it to be a conversation – a community where everyone can share their thoughts.
But that’s my personal opinion. Some bloggers might just want to cut off the time they’d be wasting in monitoring and moderating the comments.
And some giants like Copyblogger have already done that – which has made many bloggers to follow the same route.
This post is for those bloggers who want to disable comments in blog posts altogether.
Towards the end of the post you will also learn how to disable comments in WordPress pages too.
How to disable comments in WordPress posts?
Login to your WordPress dashboard and on the left side panel, click on Settings > Discussion.
To the right side of “Default article settings” you will see 3 options (as you see below).
You have to uncheck the second and third options:
(i) Allow link notifications from other blogs (ping backs and trackbacks) – this is usually spam trackback which will be a headache for you.
(ii) Allow people to post comments on new articles – this is the option to disable comments throughout the site. Unchecking this will disable comment forms on all blog posts.
But you might see comment forms on some blog posts – this happens quite rarely. As you can see in the above picture unchecking the option to allow people to post comments can be overridden in the individual post settings.
So if you find any posts with comment form you should edit that particular post and scroll down past the post editor to look for a module called “Discussion”.
If you don’t see such a module go to top right and click on screen options.
Make sure “Discussion” is ticked. Then scroll down to see the Discussion module and uncheck the “Allow comments” option.
This should do the job!
How to disable comments in WordPress pages (and keep comments in posts)?
Now, the story is totally different with pages. What if you want to keep comments on posts and disable them in pages?
Mostly pages are for particular purposes – like it may be a landing page or a contact page or an about page.
Having the comment form enabled on pages will not only attract spam but also unwanted comments. Besides, you cannot be following comment discussions on pages like contact pages and participate in those discussions.
You want certain conversations to be private, right? That’s the purpose of a contact form!
So here’s how you do that.
Genesis theme users
If you are using Genesis, you can solve this problem in a couple of clicks, literally.
Go to Genesis > Theme Settings in your dashboard and scroll down to “Comments and Trackbacks” – here you can see the option to enable/disable comments in posts and pages separately.
Uncheck the boxes next to pages, and it is done!
For most other themes that don’t have this easy option
Go to “Appearances” > “Editor”
From the list of files in the right, choose page.php (named as Page Template). If you are using a child theme, you should first switch to the main theme or the framework and then look for page.php file in the list.
Make sure that you have all the back up of the file and either Cpanel or FTP access BEFORE you make any change so you can restore the original file, just in case if this change breaks anything.
If you don’t have a strong heart to do this change in your core file, you have two other easy options 🙂
If you have less than 5 pages…
If you only have less than 5 pages on your site, you can simply edit each page, scroll down to the Discussion section and check off “Allow comments” (and “Allow trackbacks and ping backs on this page”) – just as you did for the posts.
You might have to check the “Discussions” in “Screen options” on top if you don’t see the Discussion module.
If you have a handful of pages…
If you have more pages than that but not too many, you should go to “Pages” module in your WordPress dashboard. Click on “All” pages and select all of them.
Then, click on “Bulk actions” and select “Edit” and click “Apply”.
Click on “Comments” and choose “Do not allow”. This applies to all the pages you have at the backend (published and unpublished).
If you want to exclude any pages from this global preference, you can remove that from the list of pages to the left under “Bulk Edit”.
Did you succeed with disabling comments in your WordPress pages and/or posts?
Did these options/tips help you? Were you successful? Let us know in the comments below!
If you have a better or an alternate tip to disable comments in WordPress, let us know in the comments too 🙂