The comment section below the WordPress post allows you to directly interact with your readers. But WordPress goes a step further: it enables you to review user comments through the comment moderation feature.
However, moderation or discomfort is an old question, and there seems to be no clear answer. Ultimately, the decision is up to you, but you must carefully weigh the pros and cons of either option.
What is review moderation?
In short, it is based on a set of processes that restrict approval of comments. You can manually approve comments or enable settings to automatically filter and selectively approve comments instead of just allowing any and every comment on your website to be posted.
Since this is a beginner’s guide to WordPress comment moderation, I would like to highlight some reasons for and against comment moderation before suggesting an ideal solution.
Why review comments
- Without moderation and proper spam filtering tools, your blog can easily become a spam section, especially when it is very popular. Moderation gives you full control to display only comments from trusted users, thereby eliminating spam and other low-quality comments. Attracting trusted users can build confidence, and your blog will soon gain authority in your chosen market segment.
- Spam comments often contain links, some of which may redirect to potentially malicious websites. If a user clicks a link that redirects them to a place they don’t want to go, they will lose confidence and trust in your blog—it is essentially the same as losing confidence in you. With moderation, you can block potentially malicious links.
- A well-reviewed comment thread can add value to an otherwise boring post. Maybe some readers know the topic better, and their contribution can improve your post. High-quality comments will attract knowledgeable people who will add valuable information, and this is the post you want. Remember, as long as the post exists on your blog, the comments will become part of your blog content.
Why shouldn’t reviews be moderated
- Comment review can be time-consuming. For large websites with a good readership, this can be painful or even impractical (unless you use a third-party comment system).
- Moderately frustrates many real users who want to participate in the discussion.Users usually want to see their comments immediately after clicking postal. What if you are not around to approve it?
- You can use plugins to deal with spam comments. For example, the Akismet plugin that comes with the basic WordPress software can clean up spam very well, provided you have set it up correctly.
Now that you know the reasons for and against moderation, what do you plan to do? My advice is to be modest but smart.
The primaryWordPress comment system itself is decent enough. It allows you to effectively review comments while blocking the vast majority of spam comments.
Default WordPress comment review settings
To set up your blog for review, please visit Settings> Discussion. You can find the default comment settings for WordPress here.
If you want, you can of course leave it as it is, but we recommend that you make some changes.
Limit email notifications
If you log in to your website every day, you may not need to enable comment notifications.
Scroll down to section Email me anytime. This is where you use the basic system to enable or disable comment moderation. It is very simple: if you check the first box, you will receive an email for each comment, and if you check the second box, you will receive an e-mail Mail to comment.
But as mentioned earlier, if you log in to your website, please uncheck both at any time. WordPress adds a counter at the top of the dashboard and next to the comments in the sidebar menu. This is obvious when you want to moderate comments.
Medium First Time Author
An easy way to ease the pain of review is to enable automatic approval for approved comment authors.To enable this setting, go to Settings> Discussion And check Before the comment appears Partial check reads the second box The comment author must have previously approved comments. Uncheck the box above.
If the comment author changes the way they enter the details (name and email), they must be reviewed again.
Just follow the author of the previously approved comment. Some of them already understand the ins and outs of the system and can initially make some high-quality comments, but since they know they will be automatically approved, they are lax about future comments.
Sometimes, you would rather deal with spam comments than quoting spam, so please think carefully before allowing quoting and pingbacks. They really won’t be added to your SEO, because it’s just a notification that another website is linking to you. Turning them off is usually a good idea.
But don’t worry-you can still use SEO tools (such as Moz or ahrefs) to know who is linking to your website. Alternatively, you can set up an RSS feeder to view incoming links.
Filter out obvious spam
You can also use Comment review with Disallowed comment key Option to prevent the posting of obvious spam on your website.
By default, any comment containing more than 2 links will be reviewed. However, if you don’t want any links in the comments, you can set it to 0.
You can also add specific words to automatically keep comments. A blog about WordPress like WPExplorer might want to keep comments about Joomla because it might not be relevant to our content… but it might be. We do have a blog post on how to migrate from Joomla to WordPress, so by holding a comment, the administrator can log in to see if the comment should be approved.
Similarly, you can use Disallowed comment key Mark specific words that are not related to your website and send them to the trash can. Take WPExplorer (a WordPress focused blog) again as an example-words like “hoverboard” or “chrysanthemum” have no meaning in comments to any of our posts.
Comment requests, cookies, etc.
By default, the setting that requires commenters to provide their name and email is selected. However, if you only want to allow subscribers to post comments, you can also require users to log in to your website.
Depending on your location in the world, you should consider enabling the following settings Show comment cookie opt-in checkboxThis will add a GDPR-compliant opt-in to the cookie to be set so that the user’s browser can save their name, email, and website for future comments.
By default, the order of comments is from the first at the top (oldest) to the last at the bottom (newest). However, if you want the latest comments to be displayed at the top, just change the last setting of the order to “update”. This may make sense for websites where readers provide updated content, such as a local restaurant directory with reviews or a blog about the results of medical research.
Turn off comments after a specified time period
There is also an option to turn off comments after a specified number of days, which may be helpful, depending on the nature of your website.
Generally speaking, the reviews are good. You want them, it doesn’t matter whether they arrive all at once or join after newcomers find your posts. They add unique content to your website. In addition, they show search engines that your content is relevant and readers actively participate in your website.
We don’t recommend limiting the time frame of comments without good reason. Most sites should not select this option. But in some cases, this option does make sense. For example, if your post revolves around a promotion that requires reader comments as an entry, you may want to close the comments when the promotion ends.
Use plugins to filter spam comments
Filtering using only the default WordPress options may be difficult to spot spam comments. But with the help of powerful plugins, they are easier to identify even if they are not completely blocked. Here are a selection of plugins you can use to achieve this goal:
The Akismet plugin built into the core WordPress software can help filter comments that look like spam. All you need to do is to activate it, but you must register and set up its API key to start using it. Although it does a good job of preventing spam, it is not foolproof. Some legitimate comments may sometimes be mistaken for spam. Therefore, please check your spam folder regularly for incorrectly flagged comments.
WordPress Zero Spam
As an alternative plugin, WordPress Zero-Spam helps prevent spam automatically without any verification code. Once installed and activated, it will immediately work its magic. No need to set up API.
Allow users to review for you
Finally, another way to stay sane when reviewing comments is to allow certain editors or authors to manage the review. In general, you should only give this permission to the most loyal users. If your blog has quite a lot of authors and authority, and gets a lot of comments, this may be the best way to manage comment moderation.
Loyal community members become trusted users, and you can grant them access to manage other users. You can create a reward system to keep them motivated, such as allowing them to backlink to their own blog or show them on your team page.A plug-in such as User role editor Can be used to seamlessly create this role and add it to your blog. There are many others you can explore.
Always remember that you have complete control over who comments on your posts and what they post. Give this part of your blog the attention it deserves, and your blog will become a trusted authority. Is the comment section of your blog busy? How do you review the author of a comment? Do you have a better idea on how to improve spam filtering without losing your mind? I would love to hear your thoughts!