WordPress Article Tutorial: How to Moderate Comments

Whether your website is just starting up or you’ve had if for months, years, or even just planning on one soon, you’re going to quickly realize that comments are pretty standard. This is especially true as your website earns more viewers and users. Sometimes those comments are helpful, sometimes they’re bothersome, sometimes they’re spam, and others they’re downright bad. Luckily, WordPress has some great ways to moderate your comments!

First, create some basic rules.

The first thing you need to do before even moderating the majority of your comments is to make a simple list of rules. For instance, if the comment is off topic, you may want to delete it. Does it have bad words? Misinformation? Spam? It’s up to you to decide what you will allow on your website and what you won’t. It’s important for you to stick to these rules because, inevitably, you’ll get people asking “well, why was my comment deleted?”. Keep those rules close and enforce them often.

Keep an eye out for:

  • Spam — This can come in a variety of different ways. There can be traditional spam where someone posts the same comment over and over. This can be an accident sometimes or it can be on purpose. If it’s clearly on purpose, you may do well banning the user or IP. You can also have spam that’s just off topic. It’s up to you how you deal with that one.
  • Bots — Bots tend to come in a few different varieties as well. Sometimes they’ll be spam like seen above, but often they’ll be more advanced. You’ll find some bots to actually copy parts of sentences and say they liked that part or others that really seem like a real comment… until they mention a “similar product” that might help. Be very wary of these.
  • Bot emails/usernames — These are similar to bots but actually much craftier. Rather than having a product name or link in the comment itself, they’ll hide it in their username or email address. Always take a peek at these before you go letting comments through, as comments might seem real but might also direct traffic away from your own website.
  • Illegal or Terms of Service violations — You probably won’t find many of these but in general, you don’t really want comments threatening harm or going against anything in your terms of service.

To moderate comments:

WordPress has an easy tool for moderation. Simply log into your admin panel and on the left side, click “Comments”. You can read through your comments here and for bulk actions, simply click the empty box on a comment and select what you want to do with it. You can trash them, mark it as spam, approve them, or just leave them for a later date.

There’s also plug-ins and other tools for automatic or easier moderation, but just keep in mind that some plug-ins can be heavy for your website and slow it down or even be unsafe, so do your research before purchasing!