Managing Comments

In this lesson, you will learn how your readers can communicate through comments and how to manage those comments on your WordPress site.  


After going through this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Locate and change the status of comments left on their site.

Prerequisite Skills

You will be better equipped to work through this lesson if you have experience in and familiarity with:


  • Admin access to your WordPress site
  • Some comments to moderate

Screening Questions

  • Are you familiar with the WordPress Dashboard?
  • Have you created some pages or written any posts?
  • Are you ready to start having conversations with your subscribers?

Teacher Notes

  • If your students are very new to WordPress (or you’re teaching this as part of the Getting to Know WordPress workshop) they may not have any comments on their blog posts yet. Have everyone pair up and leave comments on each others’ sites!
  • The screenshots and images in this lesson are meant as a guide as you prepare the material. This lesson is intended to be a live walkthrough/demo on a projector for your students to follow along with.

Hands-on Walkthrough


In this workshop, we’re going to be talking about comments and how to moderate them on your site. By default, comments are available for all pages and posts on your site but are held in pending status so you can approve them. As the manager of your site, you can decide whether you want comments to show on all pages and all posts or nowhere at all! You can also decide if you want to publish comments before they have been reviewed or have them kept as pending until they are approved.

What is a Comment?

First things first. A comment is part of a discussion about your blog post or page that a visitor can leave to begin a conversation with you. Some people will choose to turn them off on their entire site and some people only allow them on blog posts. Without a place for people to comment, you might find that you miss out on a chance for a conversation with your visitors. If you decide to allow comments on your site, just remember to make choices about what language is allowed, how to handle bad behavior on your site, and how often you want to moderate your comments.

Moderating from the Comments Page

You’ve just gotten your first comment on your blog. The next thing that you have to do is find it and approve it to publish! This will look and feel very similar to the way that both posts and pages are moderated. Navigate to the comments page by locating the button that looks like this in the navigation bar on the left side of the administration panel: Comments button

  • Let’s walk through a brief anatomy lesson on how comments are organized. We’ve got four columns of information related to each comment: Author, Comment, In Response to, Submitted On.
    • The “Author” column includes links to the comment author’s website, their email address, and the IP address that the comment was posted from.
    • In the “Comment” column, hovering over the comment itself will cause the following options to appear below it: Approve/Unapprove | Reply | Quick Edit | Edit | History | Spam | Trash
    • The “In Response To” column includes a link to the edit screen, the published post/page, and a comment counter that shows how many comments are already on that post/page.
    • The “Submitted On” column lists the date and time stamp that indicate when the comment was posted.
Comments page
  • All comments are shown on the front of the comments page.
    • Pending comments can be found here and will be highlighted in yellow.
    • All actions that are available for comments are in the on-hover links below each comment or the Bulk Actions drop-down list above.
Comments detail

Moderating from the Dashboard – aka the Quick Way!

Navigate back to the Dashboard by locating the button that looks like this in the bar on the left: dashboard button

  • Any comment that is still pending will be displayed in the Activity widget.
    • Hovering over the comment will bring up most of the same options as hovering on the comment in the Comments page.
    • This is a great place to moderate comments if you know who wrote them or if you don’t get a lot of them yet.
Comments widget in dashboard


  • Optional: Find a buddy in the class and leave a comment on their site.
  • Go through any comments currently on your site and either reply, mark them as “Approved”, or mark them as “Spam”.


Where can visitors and subscribers leave comments?

  1. On pages
  2. On posts
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 or 2

Answer: 3. Both 1 and 2. The default settings allow comments to be left on both pages and posts. It’s possible to limit where comments are allowed in the Discussion Settings.

It is not possible to mark a comment as approved from anywhere but the Comments page.

  1. True
  2. False

Answer: 2. False. It’s also possible to mark comments as approved from the Dashboard.

Additional Resources

Comments in WordPress @ Codex