WordPress Comment Moderation

A new comment was posted on my WordPress website

What does this mean?  What do you do?

If you are new to having a website with WordPress and have just received your first comment moderation notification, then let me explain what this all means, and how to deal with it.

Introduction

Your website may allow for visitors to post comments.  Your website can be configured to allow comments to be posted on static “Pages” like your About page or Contact page; or on blog like “Posts”.  Some websites may have their blog working for them but it may not be called a blog on their website – instead it may be presented as news or announcements or the like.  Either way, you can choose to allow comments to be posted on any Page or Post of your website, as you like.

And if you received an email from your website asking you to “Please moderate..” a comment on your WordPress website, then you have this feature enabled.

Optional Settings

You can control the settings for your website globally (ie. for all comments that are enabled) by logging into your website admin area and going to “Settings” then “Discussion”.  There you specify if you want comments enabled on your website and how they behave, such as if they require approval or not before being added to your website.  For most of my clients, I set this up to always require approval before posting a comment.  Primarily this prevents spam, and secondarily is convenient if you want the option to post a reply to their comment at the same time their comment is posted on your website.

What is Spam?

Spam comes in many forms, but basically it is content attempted to be added to your website with the purpose of serving the person who adds it, rather than contributing to the website they are commenting to.  The hope of the spammer is that their comments will be added to your website, and if so, they may return to add more spam that has more specific use to them, such as links to their website or to a client of theirs for SEO purposes.  As I said, spam comes in many forms, but this gives you enough of a frame of reference to spot it and deal with it.

How to spot it?  Here are some examples:

  • I do not even understand how I ended up right here, but I
    assumed this post was once great. I do not recognise who you’re but certainly you are going to a famous blogger when you aren’t already.
  • It’s imperative that more poelpe make this exact point.
  • Surge protectors should use metal oxide varistors so that it can protect your home appliance. (This website has nothing to do with surge protectors.)
  • what a great article that is really informative and innovative informed with new updates. its was really valuable. thank you very much (with a link to some website added here).
  • from time to time people don’t understand how much time and efforts it takes to  work out such an excellent article. But I do! And I treasureyour efforts!
  • the amount of blogs on the internet is increasing, and they’re about lots of subjects. in the middle of so many of them, is your blog which i found to be very useful for efforts (with a link added here to some website)

You get the idea.  What to look for are comments that have no specific relevance or connection to what they are commenting on.

You can learn more about comment spam here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Comment_Spam

What do I do?

The email you receive requesting moderation will provide:

  1. a link to the page or post on your website where the comment was made,
  2. along with details about the comment such as author and comment content
  3.  convenient links to “Approve it”, “Trash it”, or “Spam it”,
  4. and a link to moderate all outstanding comments if you have a few built up.

If it is obviously spam, then Spam it.  If you are not sure but don’t want it published on your site, then Trash it.  If you want it on your site, then Approve it.

Who Receives WordPress Comment Notification or Moderation Emails?

This question is so common and poorly documented that it needed its own post on this blog, Who Receives WordPress Comment Notification or Moderation Emails?

Why do I want comments on my website

There are lots of reasons. Some of which are:

  • To allow your community to extend and further contribute to the content you put on your website, offering more value to your original content.
  • To learn from readers what they find valuable or not from your website content.
  • To foster a relationship with your users where you can have a conversation with them about your content.
  • To increase the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of your website by increasing the volume of relevant content on your website pages and posts.
  • I am sure there are many more not mentioned.

Did you find this post useful?  Do you have any comments or questions to share?  Feel free to post a comment of your own.

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