One of my customers recently emailed me about a problem he’s having on his WordPress blog.  Visitors to his site are unable to leave comments.  He wanted to know what was causing the problem and how to fix it.

There are two types of settings that deal with commenting, site-wide settings and individual post settings.

WordPress Site-Wide Comment Settings

To see the site-wide comment settings log into your WordPress dashboard.  Then hover over Settings and select Discussion.  There are a bunch of comment settings, but the likely suspects in this case are at the top of the screen.  Here’s how the discussion settings are set for one of my sites:

The most likely suspect is the “allow people to post comments on new articles.”  That needs to be checked.

WordPress Post Specific Comment Settings

The site-wide comment settings can be overridden by settings on individual posts.  To see these settings log into your dashboard.  Then edit an individual post.  Below the post editor you should see a box that looks like this:

If you don’t see the Discussion area then look at the top, right of the dashboard and click on Screen Options.

WordPress Screen Options

Next  you’ll see a box with different options for what will show on your dashboard.  (Some of the options depend on what plugins you have installed.  So your choices will probably be a little different.)  Select Discussion so that you can change the discussion settings.

Screen Options 3

Conclusion – WordPress Comment Settings

Like most WordPress issues, the problems are easy to deal with once you know where to look.  Most commenting issues can be resolved by checking the comment settings in these two areas.


  1. MD


    Hello. Ive done the two things explained above and people still cant comment on my posts :/ whats wrong?

    • Marsha Perry


      Sorry my suggestions didn’t work for you. I’d have to look at your site to see what the problem is.

  2. Cathy


    Hi, I can’t post a comment on Cheeserland.com which is hosted by wordpress. I am using an iphone to do it and the comment box is at the bottom of the web page together with fields for name, email and website. But everytime I click the “post comment” button, it shows a 403 error msg. Are there any restrictions on commenting on this particular website? I do not have a wordpress account.

    • Marsha Perry


      Hi Cathy, You’d need to talk to the website owners about this issue.

  3. Christina


    Thank you for the help! My issue was post specific – I didn’t have discussion selected under screen options. So simple, but was driving me crazy!

  4. Josee


    The WordPress blog I am wanting to leave a comment on says ‘you must be logged in to post a comment’. I don’t have a WordPress account, and there are no other options available for commenting. Should I just email her for help or am I missing something obvious?

    • Marsha Perry


      Yes, just email the website owner. Some people are so averse to getting spam comments that the make it hard to leave comments at all.

  5. Sheila Tagaro


    Very helpful, I’ve had a recurring problem like this on my blog. Turns out, though, there was a check on the box that would only allow commenters WHO HAVE A PREVIOUSLY APPROVED COMMENT, wth right? haha Didn’t even know it was there.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *