Turn off Comments?
In what version are we going to address the single most confusing aspect of WordPress – How to turn off comments for posts and pages?
Unless you are a expert, this problem comes up every time a neophyte sets up a website using WordPress. It is very confusing. I’m guessing that the majority of new WordPress sites are NOT blogs. Yet this is not the default.
I’ve seen this question raised so many times it defies the laws of logic that it hasn’t been addressed by now.
I’m sorry but what’s so difficult about unchecking “Allow people to post comments on new articles” in Settings -> Discussion?
it is NOT just “allow people to post comments…”
further down on the new 3.8 “NEW POST” screen are two blocks that are turned off by DEFAULT…:
W H A T ???
nobody told me I had to add another step to make a post and then let people add comments…
Took me several hours of digging, disabling plugins, repairing DB, updating, BOY HOWDY
and all along it was a new “feature” at the bottom of the NEW POST page…
Oh well, FEDUDE above might be happy
further down on the new 3.8 “NEW POST” screen are two blocks that are turned off by DEFAULT
They are off by default because you have turned them off in Settings -> Discussion
Let me quote a comment in a support forum by the head of one of the leading WordPress theme developers Weaver):
“Please see xxx for discussion about the comments options. That whole issue is not theme related. It is a terrible interface choice by WordPress. It is #1 support question because of how difficult WordPress has made it to hide comments.”
This is a basic usability issue. Seasoned developers cannot see it, but believe me most new users of WordPress have a difficult time because this is so poorly designed.
If “Divas” can’t see it, then maybe it’s time to conduct a little usability study with the “typical” WordPress user.
When I switched my blog over to be a real website, with a new theme, I had a devil of a time figuring out how to turn off comments. It took quite a few hours of poking around and digging to finally turn them off. It wasn’t a simple matter of turning it on/off either, there were a series of steps involved and if you started in the wrong place in the sequence there was no way to know that you had to start over, it just seemed like it didn’t work at all. Very, very frustrating experience. I realize it might be theme related, but still.
I’ll add my voice to fedude’s. It’s incredibly frustrating to deal with this issue over, and over, and over again. It’s one of several areas in which it appears WordPress can’t seem to let go of its blog roots while proudly crowing about driving 17% of the web (or whatever it is today). Folks, you’ve grown out of that phase. You’re a CMS now. Act like it.
I couldn’t agree more with Fedude. There are many technical ways of getting rid of the comments, but at user’s level the discussion setting panel or the general implementation (which is a badly adapted inheritance of previous versions) fails to be useful to general users. It’s even more frustrating and borderline ironic how there is a link that promises: ‘Turn comments on/off’ that takes you to a page filled with options about notifications and moderations of comments. This is sadly , in my view, bad implementation of usability and a lot could be improved.
To turn off comments for existing post go to Quick Edit (not Edit) for the post and uncheck Allow Comments.
I agree this is a useability issue. Most of us lurking over the forums here and using WordPress for a while are used to its intricacies but for new users, it can be difficult to figure this out. Good thing is the WordPress devs monitor this space closely and (if there is a bug open about this) will probably work in fixing this.
When I developed software for a major company, we had a psychiatrist on staff who did nothing but perform usability tests on our products. They would bring in typical customers and they would be asked to perform typical functions. As a developer it was a real eye opener. Functions I thought were perfect caused huge usability problems for users. It was baffling to me.
Sometimes you are just too close to see it.
I’d like to respectfully suggest that how comments are handled in WordPress is one of those usability issues that you should address.
I feel the same. In my opinion it’s an example of bad UX.
I created a ticket in the Ideas section – please vote:
That’s been proposed many times, it’s something we’re working on in core: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/27111
So .. don’t think we don’t know 🙂 It just has other issues and impacts to consider too!
“I’d like to respectfully suggest that how comments are handled in WordPress is one of those usability issues that you should address.”
I would agree with you here. Comment handling on WordPress is based on the concept of accept all, refuse few, default to wide open. Perhaps 10 years ago this was an acceptable way to run websites, but the current internet world does not work as well with that. Sometimes it’s not just being too close to the forest to see the trees, but rather also being a tree lover and not considering the other options.
Any change that allows comments to be disabled should also include actively denying connections to wp-comments.php where possible, perhaps by added to the root htaccess to redirect people to 127.0.0.1 or similar. A similar “deny access” process could be created for non-apache systems (similar to how permalinks are handled). That would go a long way to lowering useless server load for sites that do not desire comments.
thanks for your comment Ipstenu.
I believe your discussion goes deeper into “commenting” issue and solution will require some serious changes to DB and core, while my proposition is a quick fix that won’t affect the core but will improve user experience.
I’d really suggest just a bit of usability testing with some “normal” users. For example: give a range of “typical” WP users a task to turn off the comments when starting a blog and after running a blog for a year.
It’s the rare engineer who can design effective UX. Testing is simple.
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