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In this WordPress video tutorial we cover WordPress’ “discussion” settings and demonstrate varios comment moderation techniques as well as spam reduction techniques. Also, these settings allow customization of WordPress’ gravatars.

WordPress Tutorial Transcript

Hello and welcome to LifeGuard. In this video, we cover the Discussion Settings. You can find this page in the sidebar under “Settings”.

Keep in mind that some of the options within Settings are very powerful and could potentially break your website if you adjust them carelessly. Make sure you are careful and know what you’re doing before changing anything.

Default article settings
“Default article settings” gives you three options. The first two are regarding the pings and trackbacks. The first sets whether your blog will inform other blogs that they have been mentioned. The second enables or disables the same from other blogs to you.

The third setting is the default global settings for comments. You can uncheck this if you want comments to be disabled by default.

Other comment settings
“Other comment settings” include the requirement for commenters to fill out a valid name and email. If this option is turned off, visitors will be allowed to leave anonymous comments.

If the second checkbox is checked, then only logged in WordPress users can leave comments. By default it’s off which allows anyone to leave a comment.

You can set the comments to close on an article after a set time. Right now, if checked, the comments will be closed on articles that are older than 14 days. You can adjust this to be any number of days that you like.

Nested comments will be indented when one commenter replies to another. Some themes may not be able to properly handle a high comment nesting count, so it’s recommended to limit this depth to 3 levels. You can enable this option at any time, however enabling it will have no effect on comments that have already been made. The changes will only be reflected on new comments.

If you have lots of comments, you can separate them into pages. Set the number of comments per page, and set the default starting page. It can either start with “last” (which are the most recent comments) or “first” if you want visitors to start at the beginning of the comments.

You can sort comments with the older or first at the top, or with the newer or latest comments at the top.

Before a comment appears
Comments can be set to always be approved by an Administrator before being posted, however it’s recommended to leave just the second box checked which lets commenters who have already had a previous comment approved be able to post comments immediately.

Comment Moderation
Comments with several links will be held for approval to prevent spam. You can set this number to be higher if you want, however it’s recommended to leave it at 2.

You can use this box to filter comments with a list of keywords. Any comment that contains any of the keywords in this box will be held for moderation.

Comment Blacklist
Comment Blacklist is similar, except instead of being held for moderation, any comments that contain the keyboards in the blacklist box will be marked as spam and will not be displayed.

WordPress uses Gravtars for pictures in comments. When a visitor enters their email to post a comment, WordPress checks to see if that email is associated with a account. If it is, it will display the avatar next to the commenter’s name. You can turn off avatars if you don’t want them.

Gravatar allows users to display avatars suitable for specific audiences. If you wish to allow Gravatars rated beyond G, you can adjust these settings.

If the commenter does not have an avatar, you can specify a default image to be displayed next to the commenter’s name. There are several options available. You could also select “Blank” if you like.

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