Close Comments on Old Posts to Reduce Comment Spam

Posted September 13th, 2012 at 3:04 pm.

Are your old blog posts getting nonsensical or oddly generic comments? Do these comments link to websites that have nothing to do with your post, and everything to do with selling random and perhaps questionable products?

Our WordPress antispam plugin, Akismet, should catch most of these comments, but you can eliminate a large source of them by closing comments on your old posts and pages. Feel free to leave comments open if you expect discussion to continue, but you can help reduce spam and the number of comment moderation emails you get by closing comments on posts where they are no longer needed. Many pages also do not need comments open at all, since pages aren’t always a logical place for discussion.

For more on moderating comments and identifying comment spam, please see “Moderating Comments and Spam in WordPress.”

 To close comments on a single post:

Go to Posts->All Posts

Click “Quick Edit” and uncheck “Allow Comments

Click “Update

WordPress posts screen with "allow comments" option circled

To close comments on all new posts:

WordPress has a setting to close comments on all posts after a given number of days. This is a great way to automatically close comments on posts after discussion is likely to have ended. However, it only affects posts you make after changing the setting, so other solutions are available below if you have a lot of existing posts to close comments on.

To close comments on posts after 14 (or a number you choose) of days:

Go to Settings->Discussion

Check the box for “Automatically close comments on articles older than __ days” and be sure to set the number of days you want (14 is the default).

Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click “Save Changes.”

screen capture of Discussion Settings with option to close comments on old posts circled


 To Close Comments on Many Old Posts:

If you have many old posts to close comments on, we recommend contacting Web Services via , as we have an automated way of doing it in the WordPress database. Please don’t spend your time clicking checkboxes on tens or hundreds of posts!

More Ways to Manage Comments and Other Features:

(recommended for experienced WordPress users) If you need to turn comments on and off on posts frequently, or need more efficient ways to manage categories, tags, post dates, etc., try the Admin Management Xtended plugin. It has the following features:  “toggling post/page visibility inline, changing page order with drag’n’drop, inline category management, inline tag management, changing publication date inline, changing post slug inline, toggling comment status open/closed, hide draft posts, change media order, change media description inline, toggling link visibility, changing link categories”

To activate the Plugin, go to Plugins, locate “ Admin Management Xtended” in the list, and click “Activate“.

Your All Posts screen will then have additional post management options– the option to toggle comments on and off is circled in the screenshot below.

screenshot of Admin Management Xtended plugin features








Filed under: WordPress Blogs Tags: by Juliana Perry

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