Besides disabling comments altogether, you can also get more control over comments by adjusting things in the Settings > Discussing panel.
Let’s have a quick look through the options available:
- Requiring moderator to approve the comment before it is published: this is not only catches bots and spam, but also helps to prevent a comment from appearing right away on the frontend of your site. It will appear on your dashboard in the comments queue where you’ll have to deal with it.
- Blacklisting IP addresses, usernames or emails: blacklist known offenders, and even a partial match to the list will be blocked. You can also add a bit of code to .htaccess to block known malicious IPs.
- Requiring the user to register: Can bring down both spam and the volumn of comments
- Approving comment authors: Save time by approving comment authors. Subsequent comments will pass through easily.
- Closing comments on older articles: Specify the number of days after which comments will be stopped. Spammers generally target older posts, so closing comments will cut down on spam.
- Limiting links: this can thwart spammers who like to leave as many link as possible with their comment.
- Be notified when you receive comments: If you keep yourself abreast with new comments, you can act swiftly on unwanted ones.
Smaller websites can control comments simply by adjusting settings in WordPress or using a simple plugin. Setting the manual WordPress settings aside, you can also use plugins to make the job easier and give you a more “managed” control over comments, so to speak.
Overall, welcoming comments or disabling them – it’s more of an individual preference, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of comments on your blog. In next post, we’ll show you how to enhance the default comments section with some helpful WordPress comments plugin.