Why do people choose to turn off comments in WordPress? Comments are an important part of your website and can help you grow your blog in many ways. Allowing your readers to leave comments on your pages, posts, images, etc., has a lot of benefits.
Comments help you build a diverse community and engage your visitors in various discussions, on various topics. They can also improve your SEO, thanks to search engines that index the comments.
However, many people choose to turn off comments, for several reasons. Some want to make their website faster, others to avoid spam. And some people have a type of website that doesn’t benefit from user interaction.
Table of contents
- The benefits of disabling comments in WordPress
- How to turn off comments in WordPress
- 1. Disable comments directly from the WordPress settings
- 2. Use custom code to turn off the comments
- 3. Disable the comments in WordPress with a plugin
The benefits of disabling comments in WordPress
As helpful as comments can be for most websites, there are still contexts in which you’d benefit more from turning them off. Here are some of the most important reasons to disable comments:
- Not everyone has something good to say about you or your website; comments can sometimes be really offensive and hateful, even when it’s uncalled for;
- Comments are often used to spread spam, harmful links, and self-promotions;
- Not all the pages on your website need a comment section; “About us” or “Contact us” are just a few examples of such static pages that don’t need comments;
- You have a type of website that doesn’t need a “Comments” section because it doesn’t serve the purpose of your website and doesn’t bring any additional value to the content of your site;
- When you turn off comments, you can speed up your website;
- You have another dedicated space for user interaction, such as a forum, your social media page, etc.;
- You can save a lot of time when you turn off comments; comments need to be moderated, you need to screen them, write replies, and so on.
How to turn off comments in WordPress
There are three common ways to turn off comments in WordPress and you can use them to disable comments for all the published pages/posts on your website or just for specific ones.
1. Disable comments directly from the WordPress settings
WordPress is a flexible platform that allows a lot of tweaking and customization. One of the most commonly used method to disable comments is to do it straight from the built-in settings in the admin. And there are several options here, as described below:
Turn off comments for a specific page/post
The first thing you should know is that by default, WordPress has the comments disabled for pages and enabled for posts. So if you want to turn off the comments for a page on your website, keep in mind that it might already have them disabled, unless someone changed the default settings.
If you want to check if the comments on a specific page are disabled or not, you have to go to your Dashboard – Pages – All pages and click on the page you want. Open it, go to the right sidebar and click on the Discussion option.
Look for the box with Allow comments. If it’s checked, you have to uncheck it in order to disable the comments for that particular page. When you’re done, don’t forget to hit that Update button on top-right, to make sure you save your changes.
Same goes for specific posts, only in this case, the WordPress default setting is to allow the comments. If you want to turn off the comments for a specific post, go to the Dashboard – Posts – All posts and open the post you want.
Click on the Discussion option in the right sidebar and uncheck the Allow comments box. After that, don’t forget to hit that Update button on top-right, to make sure you save your changes.
Manage comments that have already been approved on a specific page/post
On a side note, you should know that the methods described above won’t help you get rid of preexisting comments. You might have already approved a comment and it is now visible on your site. There are two actions you can take in this case: you can either unapprove it or delete it altogether.
How to unapprove a comment
You have to go to your Dashboard and click on the Comments section, in the left sidebar. This will display all the comments that are already on the site. You can Unapprove a specific comment or select more/all of them, click on the Bulk actions button and then choose the Unapprove option in the drop-down.
How to delete a comment
If you want to delete it permanently, you can move it to Trash. Once again, go to the Comments section in the left sidebar and instead of choosing the Unapprove option, click on Trash.
In order to delete multiple comments, you use the Bulk actions button again. This time, instead of clicking on the Unapprove option in the drop down, you have to click on Move to trash.
After all that, don’t forget to save your changes.
Disable comments for multiple posts/pages
If you want to turn off comments for more than just one post or page, here’s what you have to do: go to the Dashboard and click on Pages or Posts, depending where you want to disable the comments from.
When you open Pages (or Posts), you select all the posts/pages you want and from the Bulk actions button, select Edit from the drop menu.
Go to the Comments section (somewhere in the middle of the page, where you also have Author, Template and Status) and under Comments, you choose Don’t allow from the drop menu. Don’t forget to hit that Update button once you are done, to make sure you save your changes.
Turn off comments on your entire website
If you want to turn off comments on your entire site, go to the Dashboard – Settings and from the Settings section, you have to click on Discussion in the drop menu. Several options will be displayed, for which you can check or uncheck the boxes.
You have to make sure you uncheck the box for “Allow people to submit comments on new posts”. This will disable all future comments on your pages/posts.
If you don’t want to see any already submitted comments either, you have to perform one more action. In the same list of options, check the box for “Automatically close comments on posts older than” and you change the number of days to 0.
2. Use custom code to turn off the comments
If you’ re tech-savvy and know your way around computers, you can also disable comments through HTML coding. However, make sure you know what you’re doing, otherwise you can mess up your website.
Also, as a piece of advice, make sure you back up your website before you publish your changes, just to be safe.
You can modify the necessary line of code in your HTML text editor (you can use free ones such as Notepad ++, Brackets, Visual Studio Code, to name just a few). All you have to do is open the page.php file in the HTML editor and replace a line of code with another. The line of code you need to replace is this:
<?php comments_template( '', true ); ?>
You have to replace that line of code with this one:
<!-- Begin Comment <?php comments_template( '', true ); ?> End Comment -->
When you perform this action, you will turn off all the comments sections on all the pages of your website.
Similarly, if you want to achieve the same result for the posts on your website, you have to find this line of code:
<?php comments_template(); ?>
You have to replace that code with this one:
<!-- Begin Comment <?php comments_template(); ?> End Comment -->
3. Disable the comments in WordPress with a plugin
One of the most popular plugins you can use to turn off the comments in WordPress is Disable Comments. This plugin is free and user-friendly.
Disable Comments is especially useful if you want to disable comments on your entire website. It allows you to turn off comments for your posts, your pages and your attachment files.
If you want to use this plugin, go to your WordPress admin page and from the left sidebar click on Plugins and Add New.
You type Disable Comments in the “search plugins” bar and install the plugin by WPDeveloper.
Click on Install Now and after you install it, you hit the Activate button.
The next step is to go to Settings in the left sidebar. In the drop menu, you will see the Disable Comments plugin. Click on it and a window with options will open. Choose what you want to disable and check the boxes you want.
You can either check the box with “Everywhere: Disable all comment-related controls and settings in WordPress” or you can select only certain post types: Posts, Pages or Media. You check the boxes you want and click on the Save Changes button.
Of course, you will still have to disable or delete preexistent comments before using the plugin. The reason why is that the plugin will only turn off future comments, not already submitted ones.
As far as spam comments go, one of the best tools you can use is the Akismet Smart Protection plugin. It is free and very useful in filtering and blocking spam, misleading links and so on.
To sum up, comments are usually useful for your website, but they can also be unnecessary or harmful in some cases: offensive comments, spam and so on. Moreover, not all types of websites can benefit from having the comments enabled.
There are several ways to turn off comments and we’ve described the easiest and most common ones you can use.
👌 The best way to manage comments on your website is to use the WordPress built-in settings because it’s a user-friendly platform and it’s highly customizable. It gives you the freedom to choose how you deal with comments. You can opt to turn certain comments off, to disable them globally, unapprove or even delete comments that are already visible on the website.
Other available options to turn off comments are WordPress plugins or you can dive into coding and do it from your HTML editor.
There are plenty of methods available, so feel free to use the one that works best for you.