Comments provide the visitors with a platform to communicate with the website owner and express their views on the blog content. Comments help the bloggers build a relationship with the readers which in turn results in better user engagement. So why would anyone want to disable comments on their WordPress blog?
The main reason for disabling comments in our WordPress blog would be the issue of spam. The site owners need much time to moderate the comments which seem to be a waste of their fruitful time. Many large players in the industry like CNN has moved their comment system completely to social media platforms like Facebook. This helps the organization to keep their content clean and free from spammy comments. Also, social media platforms like Facebook has its own filtering mechanism in place to regulate spam comments.
How does WordPress manage comments?
WordPress has a built-in comment management system that adds a comment section to each of our posts. Visitors can fill in their details such as name, email address, website, etc and provide their comments.
We can view all these comments under the Comments section in the admin panel.
There are also a number of free plugins like Akismet Anti Spam and Anti Spam Bee that helps us to deal with automated spam comments from bots. These plugins do an excellent job in filtering out the legitimate comments from the spam ones.
In spite of the availability of such awesome plugins if a blogger decides to turn off comments on the blog there are some easy methods to achieve this. Let us now see five different methods to disable comments on our WordPress blog.
Option1: Disable comments for new posts/pages via admin
For disabling comments we have to go to Settings > Discussion section.
Here we have to uncheck the two checkboxes highlighted in the below image.
Click the Save Changes button at the bottom to confirm our change
This option will ensure that the comment section is disabled for all our new posts and pages. The already existing posts will have comments section enabled and users will be able to comment on these posts.
Option2: Disable comments for existing posts/pages via admin
The below step will disable comments for the specific posts and pages but all new posts will have comment feature enabled. Go to Discussion menu in the Edit Post section.
Uncheck the checkbox Allow Comments and click the Update button. This will disable comments section for this specific post. The main drawback of this method is that we have to manually edit every post/page and uncheck this checkbox for removing the comment feature.
Option3: Disable comments for new/existing posts/pages via code
This method is a bit advanced and requires some basic understanding of the PHP code. Let us add the following line of code to the functions.php file in our child theme.
add_filter( 'comments_open', '__return_false', 10, 2 );
We can easily do this file modification by using tools like FileZilla or CyberDuck.Once this code snippet is added and the functions.php file is updated we can see that the post comments section is disabled for all existing posts and pages. Now we can also create a new post to verify that the comment section is unavailable. This code snippet does not delete existing comments.
Option4: Disable comments for posts older than a specific number of days
WordPress has a built-in feature to disable comments on posts after a specific number of days. For enabling this go to Settings > Discussion section.
Here we have a checkbox Automatically close comments on articles older than _ days. Check this checkbox and enter the number of days as 1. Click the Save Changes button at the bottom. The comments will be disabled for all posts (not pages) that are older than 1 day.
Option5: Disable comments via the plugin
Here we have options to disable comments everywhere on our WordPress blog. Check this radio button and click the Save Changes button at the bottom. This option will disable comments for all posts and pages both existing as well as a new.
Note: None of the above-mentioned options will delete the existing comments from our blog. These methods will only disable the comments section for existing as well as new posts/pages. I have already covered in detail about bulk delete of comments from our blog. Refer to this guide if your objective is to remove all the existing comments from the WordPress system.