Moderation Required: How to Moderate Comments on your WordPress Website

As with any online content where feedback is allowed, moderation is required.  This is especially true when feedback is visible to the public.  Users can berate others, swear at them, post malicious links, or any number of things.  Bots can also be a problem with your comment section as they try to get people to their sites (usually to scam them).  Moderation might sound like a long and arduous process, but in reality it can be made very easy even for websites with thousands or hundreds of thousands of users.  Okay, maybe hundreds of thousands might not be that easy, but it’ll at least be easy to understand!

Log into your Admin Panel and change some settings.

The first thing you need to do to start moderating your website is to log into your admin panel.  There are a few settings here that can make your life a little easier.  For starters, in the settings menu you’ll find a “Discussions” tab.  Click it and find the “other comment options” tab next.  There you’ll be able to decide whether members and nonmembers can comment.  You can even use these settings to determine whether an admin/moderator must first approve the comment before it appears.

Another way you can help with moderation is by going through the email settings and choosing to receive an email whenever a post gets a comment.

These settings can help stop spammers from commenting on your site as well as allowing only approved comments onto it.  Be warned, though — a big site with many members would likely suffer from many comments coming in each day to be moderated.

Directly Moderate from your Dashboard.

On the “Comments” section of your dashboard, you’ll find all comments awaiting approval and all already approved.  By hovering over comments you can decide various things like:

  • Approve/Unapprove
  • Reply
  • Edit
  • Spam
  • And trash

These options are quite self-explanatory and can be used to censor posts, combat spam, and respond to your users with ease.

At the top of your screen, you’ll also find some easy ways to filter which messages you want to see.  For instance, if you only want to see messages that have not yet been approved, click the “Pending” option.  Another helpful option here is the “Bulk Actions” menu.  Simply choose an option and click the checkbox next to each message you want to either approve, unapprove, spam, or delete.

Lastly, consider a plugin.

Personally, I prefer to save plugins for when I absolutely need them but that’s entirely up to you!  If your site is big or you simply don’t have time for moderating it on your own, it may be time to look into a plugin.  There are several on the market already, but just remember that a plugin is not perfect and comments will likely still need some human moderation.