Settings »Discussion Settings

Discussion Settings in the WP Admin Dashboard

Note: The instructions from this guide are referring to the WP Admin dashboard. You can get to this dashboard by adding /wp-admin to the end of your site’s url (e.g.:

The Discussion Settings are used to control how visitors and other blogs interact with your site. You can find the Discussion Settings under Settings → Discussion in the WP Admin dashboard.

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Default Article Settings

In the Default article settings, there are three options. These settings are defaults for new posts or pages, which can always be changed individually on each article. This first two options deal with pingbacks and trackbacks. The first determines if your blog will send out pings and trackbacks to other blogs when you publish articles. The second determines if your blog will accept pings and trackbacks from other blogs. The third option allows you to enable or disable comments by default.

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Other Comment Settings

Other comment settings has quite a few options, so let’s explain them one at a time.

  1. Comment author must fill out name and e-mail – When this setting is on, anyone leaving a comment will be forced to leave a name and a valid email address. If the setting is off, visitors can leave anonymous comments.
  2. Users must be registered and logged in to comment – If this box is checked, only logged in users will be allowed to leave comments. If it is not checked, any visitor can leave a comment.
  3. Automatically close comments on articles older than __ days – This setting can be used to have comments closed on articles that are X days old. As an example, if you only want articles to accept comments for 30 days you would check the box and type 30 into the text field.
  4. Enable threaded (nested) comments __ levels deep– Turn on this option to allow visitors to reply to other comments inline/nested. When turned on it can allow for better discussions and responses. We suggest using a maximum of 3 levels deep. Anything higher and the theme layouts may not work as expected. Note: Enabling the setting only applies to new comments since existing comments don’t have any threading date. However, disabling this setting applies to all comments.
  5. Break comments into pages with __ comments per page and the __ last page displayed by default – If your posts/pages get a lot of comments, you may want to split the comments into pages. You can choose how many top level comments (nested comments are not counted and will not be split between two pages) to show for each page. You can also choose which page to show by default when a visitor first views the comments.
  6. Comments should be displayed with the __ comments at the top of each page –  This setting allows you to reverse the order of comments. You can display comments in ascending or descending order.

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E-mail Me Whenever

The E-mail me whenever options control when you get notified about new comments. Learn more about email notifications here.

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Before A Comment Appears

Before a comment appears has two different settings. If the first setting is checked, all comments will go into moderation and they will need to be approved by an administrator before appearing on the blog. If the second option is checked, any visitors that have had a comment approved on the blog in the past will get a free pass through approval and only comments from new visitors will go into moderation.

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Comment Moderation

Comment Moderation has a few different options.

  1. Don’t discard spam on old posts – When this option is not checked, comments that Akismet thinks are spam will automatically be deleted for posts published more than 30 days ago. If you want to see all spam comments go into the Akismet spam queue, check this box.
  2. Hold a comment in the queue if it contains __ or more links – A lot of spam comments includes a large number of hyperlinks. The default setting here is 2 but you can make this higher or lower. If you set this to 0, all comments will be held in moderation, which would be the same as checking An administrator must always approve the comment in the previous area.
  3. The large box that is next is an area where you can type in characters to match in comments. You would type in one series of characters per line. If one of those lines match something anywhere in the comment’s content, username, name, URL, e-mail, or IP, the comment will be held in the moderation queue. As an example, if one of the lines contained “go”, any comments with the words “google”, “bongo” and “go” would be held in moderation. Basically if the letter “g” is followed by the letter “o” anywhere in the comment, it will match.

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Comment Blacklist

Comment Blacklist is very similar to the Comment Moderation list, but when something matches here, the comment is deleted and sent to Trash instead of held for moderation.

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Comment Reply Via Email

Turning Comment Reply Via Email on will make it so that you can reply to comments right from the comment notification emails. The “Email me whenever anyone posts a comment” option on this page must be checked for Comment Reply via Email to work. See the Comments Reply by Email help page for more details.

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Follow Comments

Follow Comments will make a checkbox appear below the comment form on your blog. When visitors check the Follow comments checkbox when they submit a comment, they will receive an email notification every time someone else leaves a comment on that post. Follow Comments is on by default. You can turn it off here:

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Follow Blog

Follow Blog will make a checkbox appear below the comment form on your blog, offering your readers a convenient way to follow your blog. Follow Blog is on by default. You can turn it off here:

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This section of the Discussion Settings determines how avatars will be displayed on the blog.

Avatar Display lets you turn avatars on or off for your blog.

The Gravatar Hovercards setting will allow your readers to view other users’ profiles by mousing over their Gravatars.

The Maximum Rating setting is only used when a comment author’s Gravatar is displayed. If you want to limit the maturity level of an avatar, you can change this setting.

Default Avatar can be used to pick a generic logo or a computer-generated avatar for users that don’t have their own custom avatar. If a user comments on your blog but doesn’t have a avatar or an email address associated with Gravatar, this is the avatar that will be shown.

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