Disabling comments in WordPress is surprisingly confusing and can be quite frustrating.
There are some built-in tools, but you will likely need to install a new plugin to disable comments in WordPress.
In this post, I’ll cover three methods for turning off comments, and provide step-by-step instructions for each method.
Let’s cover each of these methods now.
If you’re tired of getting comment notifications, you might like our tutorial on turning off new comment notifications.
UPDATE: Here’s a video tutorial I did on this subject using the updated Gutenberg post editor:
1. Disable comments on all new posts
WordPress has a built-in option to disable comments everywhere on your site.
Navigate to the Discussion Settings menu (Settings > Discussion), and you’ll see the following option:
Uncheck that box and save your changes to disable comments site-wide.
There’s a catch
This option only disables comments for new posts you publish. It doesn’t retroactively disable comments on existing posts.
If you want to turn off comments for an existing post or page, follow this next method.
2. Disable comments on an existing post
If you want to disable the comments on a specific post, start by visiting the Posts menu.
Select the post you want and scroll to the bottom of the page. You’ll see this option below the editor:
Uncheck both boxes like the screenshot above and the comment form will no longer display. If you don’t see the Discussion box below the editor, scroll to the top of the page and click on the Screen Options tab at the top:
Then check off the Discussion checkbox to display the Discussion box below the editor where you can disable the comments.
This works well if you only want to turn off the comments on one post or only have a few posts.
While you can use WordPress’ built-in bulk editing tools to disable comments on a large number of posts at once, there is an even easier method available.
3. Disable comments on all posts
The best way to disable comments on every post or page on your site is with the Disable Comments plugin.
See for yourself just how easy this plugin is to use:
It adds one settings menu pictured above where you can turn off comments everywhere or for specific post types. If you wanted to remove the comment form from every post, you would check the Posts box and then click Save Changes.
Cleanup spam comments
Are you disabling comments because of spam?
You might want to consider adding an anti-spam plugin to your site instead of disabling comments entirely. It’s actually pretty easy to stop comment spam.
Also, there’s a way you can mass delete pending comments in under a minute, so that doesn’t need to eat up an afternoon.
No more comments
WordPress doesn’t have a simple option built-in for disabling comments on every post, but that’s no problem. There’s always a plugin available for missing features like this.
Between these three methods, you have great control over how visitors can comment on your site.
If this post is missing something, let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!