About the WordPress “Comments” Section

We all recall the famous Jerry Seinfeld joke opener, “What’s the deal with WordPress Comments?” but very few of us realize that today, I’m here to walk you through this oft neglected section of the WP Admin interface. Let’s get started, shall we?

To begin our journey, let’s put one foot in the deep end and click on Comments in our main WordPress navigation.

You’ll be presented with a screen listing the most recent 10 or so comments, as well as a variety of ways to navigate all of the comments on your site.

You can use the All, Pending, Approved, SPAM, and Trash links to show only those types of comments. A quick summary of what all of those terms mean.

Umm, you know…like “all as in everything”. Well, everything except Trashed comments.
These are comments which WordPress has held for moderation and are awaiting your approval or denial. Pending comments are not visible on the front end of your website. To modify how WordPress determines whether a comment should be held for moderation or posted immediately, go to Settings > Discussion in the main navigation.
These are the a-okay, live on the front end and approved comments.
The Akismet plugin I’ve installed for you (and which comes with WordPress by default) is pretty good at knowing what comments are SPAM and which aren’t. But of course, it’s not perfect. You can review any comments here in case some are actually real and present (if not dangerous!)
These are comments that you’ve deleted. They can be restored from this page.

The Bulk Actions dropdown allows you to perform actions on all comments that you’ve checked the box to the left of. So you could mass mark items as spam or approve them, etc.

The two comment types are comments, which are user created comments that have an author and all, and pings, which are lame and I don’t implement them on most sites anyway. Essentially, they’re a link with a short excerpt back to any other website which has linked to the post or page the comment is associated with.

If you hover over the URL of a website next to a commenter’s image, you can see a preview of their website. This can help with determining if the user is a Spammer or not, without you needing to go to their actual website.

If you hover over the comment text itself, you’ll be given a variety of options.

Approve / Unapprove
Approve a comment in moderation or unapprove (ahem, me believes the word is disapprove) one previously approved.
You can respond directly to a specific comment, and your response will appear directly below theirs (in most cases), instead of just at the end of the list of comments which is the default behavior.
Quick Edit
Allows you to make a few small changes to the comment.
Go to a more robust editing screen with more options.
Get details about why the comment was marked as SPAM or when it was approved, etc.
Relegate the comment, and likely commenter, to the abyss known as a SPAM folder.
Send the comment over to Oscar the Grouch’s place.

There’s really not a whole lot more to it! Happy online social interactions!

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