The phenomenon of running an effective blog or website is one that requires the invaluable input of your readers to achieve success. Feedback through comments can go a long way towards building an engaged community around your content, creating valuable conversations, and even boosting your SEO. Sadly, some WordPress themes and setups do not automatically display comments, and this could discourage interaction from your audience. In this article, we’ll examine various ways to show comments in WordPress, empowering you to create connections with your readers.
Step 1: Theme Settings
The starting point is examining your theme settings. Depending on what theme you have, there may be specific parameters controlling comment display or whether they show at all, and here’s how to view them:
1. Enter your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Appearance, and then Customize.
2. Look out for a segment reading “Comments” or something to that extent.
3. Find out whether the “Enable Comments” option is selected.
If your theme does not contain an in-built comment system, you can use WordPress’ default system.
Step 2: Enable Comments in Specific Posts and Pages
In situations where your theme has enabled comments, but you’re not seeing any on your posts or pages, it’s likely they’re disabled on a per-post basis. To activate comments on individual posts and pages, here’s what to do:
1. Edit the post or page and find the “Discussion” section.
2. If no “Discussion” exists, click “Screen Options” in the top-right corner and ensure it is checked.
3. Click “Allow Comments” to enable comments on that specific page or post.
4. Click “Update” to save your changes.
Note that some themes may not contain a “Discussion” area in the post editor; in such cases, you can enable comments for specific posts by navigating to the “Posts” or “Pages” section of your dashboard and clicking “Quick Edit.”
Step 3: Use Plugins to Add Comments
Where your current theme does not support comments, or you desire extra control over the function and appearance of your comments system, you can use plugins. These are some popular comment plugins for WordPress:
1. Disqus: widely-used comment systems providing threaded comments, social media integration, and analytics.
2. Jetpack Comments: If Jetpack is already active on your site, enabling Jetpack Comments can add a simple comment system to your posts and pages.
3. wpDiscuz: a free plugin providing AJAX-powered comment systems with benefits such as nested comments, social login, and anti-spam protection.
4. CommentLuv: encourages commenters to leave a link to their other blog or website by automatically adding a “Recent Posts” section to their comments.
To set up a comment plugin, navigate through Plugins > Add New on your WordPress dashboard, locate the plugin by name, and click “Install Now.” Once installed, activate the plugin, and follow any steps contained within the plugin’s documentation.
Step 4: Customize Your Comment System
To modify your comments system to fit your brand and preferences, consider the following customization options:
1. Adjust comment form fields: Using WordPress’ default comment system, you can add, remove, or adjust the fields that display in the comment form. To do this, navigate to Settings > Discussion, then the “Comment Form” section, where you can check or uncheck boxes to show or hide fields such as “Name” and “Email.”
2. Change comment appearance: Some themes and plugins allow modifying the appearance of comments by adding colors or altering the font. This can be achieved through CSS, while certain plugins offer settings to customize comment styles.
3. Enable threaded comments: Threaded comments create an avenue for commenters to respond to other comments and establish a discussion thread. Enabling threaded commenting in WordPress involves navigating to Settings > Discussion and checking the “Enable threaded (nested) comments” checkbox.
By enabling comments, you’ll create an engaged and thriving community and receive valuable feedback from your readers. Whether using your theme’s built-in comment system or a third-party plugin, ensure comments are enabled and displayed in a manner that’s audience-friendly and on-brand. Follow the above steps to foster a flourishing community around your content.