How to Disable WordPress Comments: A Helpful Guide

Comments and likes are often seen as prized “social proof,” of making connections and building authority with your WordPress site – but not always. When comments are taking up time and not making a clear contribution to the goals of your site, WordPress offers ways to disable them on single posts and pages or even your entire site. Disabling WordPress comments is easy with tools included in your site’s default settings, or with a variety of free and premium WordPress plugins.

Why Disable Comments?

Comments on new articles posted to your blog, or new pages added to your site, can open doors to interacting with readers, getting new insights from thoughtful commenters, and stimulating discussions that can build a dedicated community of readers that keep coming back to your site. But that’s not always the case.

New and even longstanding WordPress websites can be plagued by a barrage of spam comments that take up space and need to be deleted. Even if your site has clearly posted commenting rules, offensive or harmful comments can creep in, alienating readers and damaging the reputation of your site. Depending on the nature of your site, some comments can create legal issues for you and your business. In some cases, you might want to disable comments for a particular piece of content that could be seen as controversial, or not at all comment worthy.

For some types of sites, comments really aren’t useful or necessary. If your site exists as a portfolio or “brochure,” site for showcasing creative work, or as a landing page for promoting a specific product or service, you may not need to offer the comment option. Likewise, e-commerce stores don’t need comments on every product or checkout page. In some situations, too, comments may not be appropriate for a particular piece of content, even though they’re useful for posts and pages on the site as a whole.

Regardless of how reader comments relate to the content of a website, comments need to be managed. Depending on the site’s comment settings, comments must be moderated, approved, or marked as spam and deleted – and that takes time and consistent monitoring to ensure that a backlog of inappropriate comments doesn’t build up. Responding to comments can also be time-consuming, especially if you’re using other kinds of channels as well to connect with customers and readers.

For all of these reasons, some WordPress site owners may find it easier to remove the default commenting feature and find other ways to interact with readers, such as by providing an easy to use contact form or setting up another platform off the site for readers to interact, like a Facebook group. The WordPress core code and plugin directory offers tools for disabling comments anywhere or everywhere on a WordPress site, without knowing any code at all.

WordPress Disable Comments on Post with Screen Options

WordPress provides a number of edit options to control the content that appears on a page or blog posts by using the Screen Options button appearing in the upper right corner on the post and page editor screen. Screen Options settings can also be used to disable comments on the individual page or post you’re working on, while still allowing comments in other areas of your site.

To disable the comments section from the current post or page,

  • Click the Screen Options button to open a drop-down menu of options for content that can be displayed when the page or post is published.
  • From the drop-down menu, select Discussion, and from the options offered, uncheck the Allow Comments box. This disables the comment option for that piece of content only while leaving it enabled for other pages and posts on your site.

If you decide at a future time to enable comments on that page, simply return to Screen Options in edit mode and check the Allow Comments box to begin showing comments going forward.

Disable Comments with Dashboard Settings

It is also possible to manage comments using the Settings options on your site’s Admin dashboard.

  • From your site’s Settings tab> select Discussion, which opens a list of options under Default Article Settings for controlling commenting behavior on the site.
  • From this menu, it’s possible to set preferences for pages, new posts, or both, and to selectively enable or disable commenting on existing content and control functions, such as comment notifications and displays.

These settings allow you to select which kinds of content will allow commenting ​or which ones will be closed to any new comments​, and under what circumstances comment options will show on a published page or blog posts.

WordPress Disable Comments with Plugins

Your site’s Screen Options and Admin Settings allow you to control comment options for specific kinds of content, including being able to enough or disable comments on selected posts and pages. Although, under some circumstances, it might be more effective to completely eliminate the commenting function for your site as a whole. To do that, you can choose from a variety of free and premium WordPress plugins to simply remove the commenting feature on the entire site.

Plugins, such as Disable Comments and No Page Comments, can be selected from the WordPress plugin directory or purchased from third party plugin developers and installed on your site’s plugin page. When activated, this WordPress disable comments plugin provides its own settings and options for disabling the comment feature on an entire WordPress site, or on a particular kind of content such as pages. When using Disable Comments or a similar WordPress plugin, though, it is important to delete any existing comments on various types of content before activating the plugin. Otherwise, they’ll continue to be displayed even though new comments won’t appear once the plugin is active.

Comments on your WordPress site can boost your brand’s authority and create a way for readers to interact with your site, but they can also become a nuisance if allowing comments doesn’t directly contribute to the site’s purposes, or if managing them becomes too time-consuming. With default WordPress tools and free plugins, WordPress users, from beginners to experienced coders, can control how –or whether– comments appear on any WordPress site.

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Desiree Johnson
Desiree Johnson | Content Specialist
Desiree Johnson is a Content Specialist at Bluehost where she writes helpful guides and articles, teaches webinars and assists with other marketing and WordPress community work.

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