The comments tab section of the WordPress Dashboard can be very confusing for beginners. WordPress allows you to use this section to approve or delete the different comments on your WordPress blog posts. Here’s a breakdown of how you can use this section of your WordPress Dashboard.
The Different Parts of the Comments Tab
There are a few main parts you will be using within the WordPress Comments Tab. They include:
Top Option Links
The top option links are the main navigation for the Comments Tab. These links allow you to see the pending, approved, spam and trash comments. You can move comments into different sections with the links below each comment, as well.
The Dropdown Menus provides an easy way to see specific comments and move multiple comments at once. The “Bulk Actions” dropdown allows you to unapprove, approve, mark as spam or mark as trash any comment or comments you want.
The other dropdown is called the “All comment types” dropdown. This will allow you to see the comments filtered as either comments or pings.
The spam link at the top is one you will use quite often. This is where any comment you mark as spam will go. You can use this section to empty your spam comments or move a non-spam comment back to another section.
The trash section is much like the spam section. Any comment you mark as trash will be moved to this section. Once comments are dumped into the trash folder, you can go to the trash link to empty your trash comments. You can also move a comment back to the right section from the trash, if necessary.
How WordPress Comments Work
When somebody leaves a comment on a blog post on your WordPress blog, it will show up in the comments section. If you have adjusted the discussion settings to hold comments for moderation, they will show up as “pending” in the comment section.
When a comment is held for moderation, you have the ability to approve, mark as spam, mark as trash or leave the comment pending. You can also edit the comment if something vulgar is said, it has spelling or grammar errors or contains links you don’t want on your blog.
The best way to handle a single comment is with the links that show up below the comment once you hover over the comment. If you need to mark a number of comments as spam, trash or as approved, the best way is to select them with the check boxes and use the “Bulk Actions” dropdown menu. This will allow you to handle multiple comments at one time.
How can you Block Comments From Repeat Spammers
Sometimes, you get repeat spammers in your comment section. They don’t provide anything you want on your site and all they want is a comment with a link back to their website. This is a problem and it can be handled.
There are a few things you can change in the “Discussion” section found under the “Settings” tab:
Default Article Settings
Under the “default article settings” option, you can use three options to allow people to post comments or you can turn them off. You can also allow notifications (pingbacks and trackbacks) or you can turn them off.
Other Comment Settings
The “other comment settings” will allow you to force anybody that want stop comment to fill out their name and email. You can also check the box to make sure they are a registered user and logged in before they comment. Another option found here is the one that allows you to close comments once posts become a certain number of days old.
You can also adjust a few other settings within this section.
Before a Comment Appears
The “before a comment appears” section will allow you to make a comment be held for moderation by checking the “comment must be manually approved” setting. You can also force a comment author to have an approved comment before they can post any new comments.
The comment moderation section allows you to enter a word or an IP address to hold any comments with that specific word or IP address for moderation. You can also set the number of links you will allow before a comment is flagged for moderation.
The “Comment Blacklist” allows you to block any comments with a specific word or IP address. The IP address will be shown when somebody comments on a post on your blog. If it’s a blatant spam comment, you can add the IP address to this list and block that specific IP address from future comments.
Along with using settings within the “Discussion” section of your WordPress Dashboard to keep the spam comments out, you can use the Akismet plugin and the Captcha plugin. Both of these plugins will make it harder for spam to get through and will help you keep the spam comments on your WordPress blog to a minimum.
Now you should have a better understanding of the Comments Tab within the WordPress Dashboard. If you are a beginner, you can also use our, Getting to Know the WordPress Dashboard tutorial to help you understand how WordPress works.