A Quickie Explanation of Comment Approval in WordPress

In the comments on my iPad 2: First Impressions post, several of you noted that you were bewildered as to why you always have to approve my comments and you don’t usually have to approve any others. I do know that those of you who’ve experienced this issue are on WordPress; that said, without the ability to see your Discussion Settings in WordPress, I can’t be exactly sure what the reasons are, but I suspect it is my comment signature, which I code as follows:

<a href=”http://www.gritandglamour.com”>www.gritandglamour.com</a>
<a href=”http://twitter.com/gritandglamour”>@gritandglamour</a>

Why is your comment system holding only my comments?

It’s this simple: I embed links in my comment signature that link to my blog and my Twitter profile. So depending on your Discussion Settings, WordPress is probably just doing its job by flagging my comment because it thinks it’s spam, based on the number of links in the comment. This may be why other legit comments are being relegated to spurgatory, as I call it.

How can you fix this?

  1. Log into WordPress. (WordPress.org or WordPress.com)
  2. Scroll down to Settings on the left side of your Dashboard.
  3. Click Discussion.
  4. While you’re in there, look at all your settings to ensure they are set as you wish. If they’re good, then the problem lies in the number you have set in the Comment Moderation section.
  5. To make it easier on you (and bloggers who embed a URL or two in their comment signatures), change the number in Comment Moderation to 3 or 4. That should fix the issue.
  6. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

Use Comment Moderation and Comment Blacklist for better spam control.

Remember that for even better spam control, you should enter obviously spam-related words (e.g. escort, oem, viagra, plus all those nasty p*rn-related words) and spam IP addresses or URLs to your Comment Blacklist to automatically exterminate them.

Add words that are often part of spam (e.g., insurance, prescriptions, video, movie, movies, download, mortgage, massage), but could be used in a non-spam manner to the Comment Moderation field so you have a chance to approve if they are not spam.

To learn more about comment management, read the WordPress support page for Discussion Settings.


  1. Hi Vahni, great breakdown, yet again. I haven`t had that problem, but I have been trying to figure out how to leave hyperlinks in my signature, so thanks for showing how you do it 🙂 Also, thank you so much for your comment yesterday, have been thinking about you a lot. Will email you privately, just to say hi 🙂

    xx Anika

  2. V!! It’s funny that you posted this because I was wondering why your comments and Kristy’s were holding up, so I looked the other day and realized the same thing you just posted about! I adjusted my settings earlier this week to ensure that you, Kristy and anyone else with 4 links or less would be able to get through without moderation.

    As always, you’re on top of it! 🙂


  3. Thanks so much for this information. I have had so much spam lately, it’s been making me crazy. I just changed my settings and added words on the blacklist. You just saved me a lot of time and aggravation ! 🙂

  4. that explains why my blog always withheld Kristy Elena’s comments…she includes hyperlinks too!!
    I go check my settings asap!
    And its a good opportunity to introduce myself, as your blog is the first I visited when I joined IFB! I am Anna from Athens, Greece and I was delighted when I found out you’r Greek too!!
    Keep up the good work!

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