When you are building a WordPress website from scratch, the settings that you have to change can be overwhelming, especially the discussion settings. In this section alone there are comments settings, articles settings, Avatar settings and more.
Where are the Discussion Settings in the WordPress Dashboard?
2. In the left menu, hover over the settings tab.
3. Choose discussion from the pop out menu.
If you want to open the discussion settings in a new tab, do not click on discussion, right click on it instead to see a menu that will give you an option to open in a new tab. If you cannot see the full WordPress dashboard menu, look for a little arrow on the left, on the minimised menu.
Ok so let’s get to the discussion settings. Below is a video showing how to customise your discussion settings step-by-step and further down the page there is a written tutorial.
Why Are The Discussion Settings So Important?
The discussion settings on your WordPress website are very important because it is your website and other people can take advantage if your guard is let down. There are angry people out there, there are link building spammers, and there are people just scamming to make money. These discussions settings will allow you to be in control of what gets published on your website. This is probably also an important part of WordPress website security.
Video Showing How to Customize Your Discussion Settings Step by Step
Default Article Settings
- Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article. Tick this option if you wish to let other blogs know that you are linking to them. This is a good way to get others to your blog.
- Allow link notifications from other blogs ( pinbacks and trackbacks). This can entice people to link to you if they know they are getting a link in return.
- Allow people to post comments on new articles. I will leave this up to you.
Other Comments Settings
- Comment author must fill out name and e-mail. This is a small security step. You do not want annonamous commenting.
- Users must be registered and logged in to comment. I do not choose this option as most people do not want to login.
- Automatically close comments on articles older than “number” days. Sometimes you need to do this as you will be answering and replying to far too many comments.
- Enable freighted or nested comments “NUMBER”levels deep. I like to have 5 levels deep so you know who is replying to who.
- Break comments into pages with “number”top level comments per page and the “first or last” page is displayed by default. I have done this when the comments on blogs exceed 100 per page.
- Comments should be displayed with the “new or older” comments at the top of each page. I personally like to see the newest comments at the top of the comments, otherwise new comments might get shoved to other pages becasue they are last on the list.
E-mail me whenever
- Anyone posts a comment. I do not check this box as I do not want to be notified of all comments. I go and moderate when the time is right according to my daily blogging routine. I do not need 1000 emails telling me about comments.
- A comment is held for moderation. No I do not need an email for this. If it is in moderation I will see it when I moderate the comments.
Before a comment appears
- An administrator must always approve the comment. Not necessary as there are regular commentors that do not require moderating.
- Comment author must have a previously approved comment. Yes this is true. I believe that we have to get to know who is commenting and make sure their comments are of some value before letting them free.
- Hold a comment in the queue if it contains “number” or more links. I do not like any links in the comment section unless it is a highly relevant resource so I do tick this option.
- When a comment contains any of these words in its content, name, URL, e-mail, or IP, it will be held in the moderation queue. Yes I agree that there are some words that should be stopped from being published. All you have to do is list the trigger words in the box provided.
- When a comment contains any of these words in its content, name, URL, e-mail, or IP, it will be marked as spam. One word or IP per line. It will match inside words, so “press” will match “WordPress”.
Example of a Comment Blacklist
- Avatar display. Tick the box if you want to show avatars on your blog.
- Maximum rating. Choose a rating for your blog. We do not want children seeing the wrong content.
- Default avatar. Choose a default avatar that will show if a person does not have their own avatar.
Save Changes To Your Discussion Settings
These are very detailed settings so make sure you always go to the bottom of the page and press on save changes. Even if you are only half way through your changes, just to be safe.
Can You Use WordPress Discussion Settings To Fight Spam?
One way to fight spam comments by using the WordPress discussion settings is to disable comments altogether. But this action does not promote user interaction and engagement so I would not recommend this. You can however change some settings that will help with spam such as setting the number of url’s allowed in a comment to zero. This will cut out 60% of spam straight up.
You can also send all comments to moderation so they cannot get published unless you approve. there are not that many options to fight spam and that is why people also need a plugin to help. I have tried them all and ended up with Commentluv Premium as it does so much more than take care of spam comments.