How to manage comments in WordPress

WordPress comments, also called discussions, allow your site visitors to interact with you and other readers. You can control who can comment and allow or disallow comments on specific posts and pages. You can also require that comments be approved by a site administrator before they’re published. This is called comment moderation. For more information about setting up WordPress comments, see How to adjust the discussion settings in WordPress in the HostPapa knowledge base.

Working with comments in the WordPress dashboard

Log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to Comments.

Filtering comments

All comments for all posts are displayed on the Comments screen. If you have a lot of comments, it’s helpful to filter them so only a subset are displayed. You can filter by a combination of comment status and comment type.

Comment statuses:

  • All – Display every comment with any status.
  • Pending – Display comments waiting to be approved before being published.
  • Spam – Display comments that have been marked as spam.
  • Trash – Display comments that have been deleted.

Comment types:

  • Comments – Display reader comments.
  • Pings – Display pingbacks from other sites that link to your post.

Managing comments

You can manage comments with the following actions:

  • Approve / Unapprove – Click Approve to publish comments that are pending. If a comment is already approved, you can click Unapprove to change its status to pending and remove it from the post.
  • Reply – Write and publish a response to the comment.
  • Quick Edit – Make simple formatting and text changes to the comment.
  • Edit – Make formatting, text, status, or date changes to the comment.
  • Spam – Mark the comment as spam and remove it from the post.
  • Trash – Mark the comment as trash and delete it from the post.

Using bulk actions

You can approve / unapprove, mark as spam, or trash multiple comments at one time by applying bulk actions. Select the comments you want to manage and select the action in the Bulk Action dropdown list. Click Apply.

Deleting comments in the WordPress database

If you have a very large number of comments that you want to delete, it may be easier and faster to delete them directly from the WordPress MySQL database using phpMyAdmin. We recommend that you make a backup of your WordPress database before you begin. For information about how to back up the database, see How to back up a MySQL database in the HostPapa knowledge base.

Log in to your HostPapa Dashboard and click My cPanel or My WordPress. In the Databases section, click phpMyAdmin.

How to change file permissions in WordPress

In the panel on the left side of the screen, click your WordPress database. By default, your WordPress database is named [username]_wp[xx], where [username] is your cPanel username and [xx] is a two-digit number. If you imported your database from another WordPress installation or chose a different database name during setup, the name may be different. In our example, the database name is z1sth873_wp37.

You now see a list of database tables. The table that contains comments ends with _comments. In our example, it’s called wpwj_comments. Click the comments table.

In the table, click the comment_post_ID column heading to sort by post ID.

Select the individual comments you want to delete, or click Check all to select all comments, then click Delete. When prompted to confirm, click Yes.

When you’ve finished deleting comments, close phpMyAdmin and open your site in a browser to confirm that the comments have been deleted.

More information

For more information, see How to adjust discussion settings in WordPress and How to change comment notification settings in WordPress in the HostPapa WordPress knowledge base.

If you have any questions or need help, you can always contact HostPapa Support by opening a support ticket. Details about how to open a support ticket are here.

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