WordPress Discussion Settings

This is an important section to configure in order to reduce and eliminate comment spam from making its way to your WordPress installation. Navigate to “Settings” in the left menu from the WordPress Dashboard to access this area and click “Discussion” from the sub menu.

We include a screenshot and list of recommended comment settings if you do not wish to accept comments in your website or blog.

Default post setting

  • Attempt to notify any logs linked to from the post – If checked, WordPress will send out a ping to a site or article you have linked to in your post. Your mention of the site or post will show up in their comments as long as their site allows pingbacks.
  • Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingback and trackbacks on new posts) – If checked, WordPress will accept or decline pings from other sites and posts that reference your site.
  • Allow people to submit comments on new posts – This checkbox determines the default comment status for all new Posts. If selected, then by default, when you write a Post, comments will be allowed. This can be overridden in the individual Post’s comment section.

Other Comment Settings

  • Comment author must fill out name and email – If you are allowing comments on a Post, this checkbox requires the comment author to fill out a name and email field as a measure to ensure the author is a real person. In our experience, this setting alone will not eliminate spam.
  • Users must be registered and logged in to comment – This option requires additional steps for the author to comment. In our experience, this setting may lead to many “fake” user registrations
  • Automatically close comments on posts older than [X] days – This is a way to prevent comments from building up on older articles so that posts will no longer accept new comments after the specified number of days.
  • Show comment cookies opt-in checkbox, allowing comment author cookies to be set – This is a GDPR compliance field. By default, a cookie is set to remember a comment author’s name and email to make it quicker for them to submit future comments. By checking this box, the author will be presented with an opt-in for that cookie to be set.
  • Enable threaded (nested) comments [X] levels deep – This determine the number of comments to comments that are allowed
  • Break comments into pages with [x] top level comments per page and the [x] page displayed by default – This will create pagination in your comments
  • Comments should be displayed with the [x] comments at the top of each page – This determines if you want to show older or newer comments first.

Email me whenever

  • Anyone posts a comment – This will send an email to the author of the post and the Administration Email whenever a comment is posted.
  • A comment is held for moderation – This will send an email to the author of the post and the Administration Email when the comment is held for moderation (as set below)

Before a comment appears

  • Comment must be manually approved – This holds the comment for moderation and if set above, will send an email to the author and the Administration Email for approval. Upon approval, the comment will display in the Comments section of the Post.
  • Comment author must have a previously approved comment – This “shortcut” allows comments to be automatically approved if the comment author has a previously approved comment and so the comment will immediately display in the Comments section of the Post.

Comment Moderation

  • Hold a comment in the queue if it contains [x] or more links – This is another spam deterrent but in our experience will not alone,  prevent spam from making it’s way into the Comments of your website.
  • When a comment contains any of these words in its content, name, URL, e-mail, or IP, it will be held in the moderation queue. One word or IP per line. It will match inside words, so “press” will match “WordPress – This is where you can add your own blocked, spam words.

Comment Blocklist

  • When a comment contains any of these words in its content, name, URL, e-mail, or IP, it will be marked as spam. One word or IP per line. It will match inside words, so “press” will match “WordPress” – Similar to the above setting, it will block the comment and delete it rather than hold it for moderation.

Avatar

  • Avatar Display – This will display the comment author’s Avatar (Gravatar) if they have one
  • Maximum Rating – This setting sets the highest level of rating for Gravatars that you will allow.
  • Default Avatar – This is the avatar that will display if the comment author has no avatar.

Further Reading – https://en.gravatar.com/

Recommended Comment Settings

Further Reading: https://wordpress.org/support/article/settings-discussion-screen/

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