Let us get into learning how to manage WordPress comments by getting a better understanding of how they work. To get things started, let's take a look at the basics of comment moderation. Comment moderation allows you to prevent comments from showing on your website until you approve them.

WordPress runs a number of tests on each new comment before posting it to your blog. If a comment fails one of these tests, it is not displayed immediately on the site but is placed in a queue for moderation, the process of manual approval or deletion to manage WordPress comments is done by the blog's administrator.

Setting to manage WordPress comments

You can control which comments get held for moderation under Settings → Discussion.

If you would like every comment to be held for moderation, check the An administrator must approve the comment option, listed under Before a comment appears.

If you would like to send suspicious comments to the moderation queue, while letting innocent comments through, you will need to specify a set of rules for determining which comments are suspicious. These rules are specified on the Settings → Discussion > Comment Moderation.

The first option is to hold comments for moderation if they contain an unusually large number of hyperlinks. Most normal comments contain at most one or two links while spam comments often have a large number. Look at your own comments and set this to a value that makes sense for your audience.

The second option is to specify a set of moderation keys which, if present in any part of the comment, will cause it to be held for moderation. These keys are specified one per line in the large text area, which is blank by default. Moderation keys can include Spam Words, swear words, IP addresses, and Regular Expressions.

When you add a new moderation key, it's a good idea to test its validity by checking previous comments. Simply use the link entitled Check past comments against moderation list, which is located underneath the text box containing moderation keys. This asks WordPress to check previous comments and tell you which ones would be flagged for moderation under your new set of keys.

The box marked Comment blacklist works in exactly the same way as the comment moderation box, except that comments that match these words will be deleted immediately and without notification. So be careful! Genuine comments could be deleted without you ever knowing they were there.

Process to manage WordPress comments

Once you have Discussion settings in place, now you can start managing comments. On your Dashboard, go to Comments from the left navigation menu. Once there, you will see three columns, Author, Comment and In Response To. Each column will provide you will specific information about each comment.

If you want to manage a single comment, hover over the comment with your mouse and you will see options in each column. Check the Author column to see more details about the commenter. In the Comment column, you will find the date it was submitted, the actual comment and options to: Approve, Reply, Quick Edit, Edit, Spam or Trash. The column for In Response To allow you to see the post name and the number of comments on the post.

For bulk comment management, you can check the little box above the first comment. It will allow you to select all of the comments on the page so that you can edit them all at the same time. Then in the drop-down box above the comments, choose “Bulk Actions”.  Your can move the comments to Trash by clicking the “Apply” button. You will also be able to delete comments.

Now that you have learned how to manage WordPress comments, it would be great if you shared a comment to let us know how this post helped you.

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