Change basic settings of comment options

First thing I always do when installing a fresh Wordpress is switching off the discussion options. It should defailt to “off” (non active) if you ask me. Because novice users don’t do this, resulting in loads of spam to their sites as well as heavy traffic. If people want to use it, they are well capable of switching them on later on.


Read-only archive: https://petitions.classicpress.net/posts/35/change-basic-settings-of-comment-options

Author: Rudy Brinkman

Vote count: 38

Status: Pull Request (scheduled for 1.5.0)

Tags:

  • request-modify-feature
  • difficulty-easy

Comments

1 Like

New link to duplicate petition: Comments off by default, even on posts

2 Likes

I would very much like to see this disabled on a new install. It has always seemed odd to me that the default is to have comments turned on, when this is something that increasingly fewer people want to use, and is a feature that is so open to abuse.

There is also this issue I only discovered last year and found very surprising. How many users would know about this?

I believe comments feature will eventually be moved into a core plugin. No timeline on that though.

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I have been getting the occasional mysterious spam comment, even though I always disable comments throughout my whole site. Took me a while to track down, but I have just discovered that a visitor can comment on a media item . Huh??? I never knew this was even possible.

There are commonly used plugins that redirect a media attachment page to the media file itself. I can’t say which plugins (I’m using my phone and can’t check my site), but I remember seeing this option on settings. Perhaps it’s Shield Security, or Slim SEO, or any SEO plugin.

I haven’t actually seen this feature in action, but maybe this will stop spammers from commenting on media items, since they are redirected to the media file itself.

I am going to keep pushing on this one. It had 38 votes on the old system + 15 more on the duplicate post, and is a constant annoyance for me (and I suspect many others).

As far as I can tell, the database is built with the default options found in schema.php. This line looks like it sets the default comment status to open.

comment-status

Is it just a matter of changing this to ‘closed’? If it is that simple I can have a PR done in no time. Are there any other implications?

4 Likes

What if there were one more question on the installation page, asking for whether comments should be on or off by default?

I think as blog software, having comments on by default is a good choice. If CP is not blog software, like WP is, then a different default may be appropriate.

=== Just for speculation ===
The design choice way back when, to use a table column to hold the comment status, was maybe not the best choice. If the comment status was in post_meta, then it could be assumed to be a global default if it was not present. That default could then change without having to change each individual post. It could also be filtered for each post type. This is why the Discussion settings are so confusing. The one section only applies to new posts, because of how it is stored, but the section on changing it based on time could work either way. You might be able to introduce a new value, like ‘default’, to put into the existing column, and then some logic to get the default (filtered for post type). This would be for leaving the column rather than moving it to post_meta. But there are import/export tools and lots of existing plugins affecting comments that might make it difficult to make either of these design changes.

Yes, this is the main point. I think both WP and CP stopped being simply “blog software” a long time ago. So, what do people think would be the percentage of new sites wanting to have comments enabled. No way to know of course, but I reckon it would be a very low number… 5% or 10%?

That would be a lot more work than changing a variable. :wink: When ClassicPress was getting started, I rewrote the installation screens to trim them down. It was messy in there.

I agree with @ozfiddler on this. WordPress started as blogging software that some people wanted (and tried) to use as a CMS. Now, it’s a CMS that some people use for blogging. I have no idea the stats on it, but, I’d bet more sites than not have commenting disabled. When you visit a WP/CP site, you don’t land on the blog and have a link to the “rest of the site” – you land on the site, and there’s a link to the blog (if any.) I think that points to it being a CMS rather than blog software.

That said, I don’t have a strong feeling about it either way.

1 Like

And even the ones who do use it only for blogging don’t necessarily have comments enabled. It’s not compulsory on a blog. The whole comment thing is a dead end now. Everyone knows it’s just a spam magnet.

Well, the default home page is the latest posts. Perhaps this should be tied together, since the two defaults go together.

I don’t really like calling it a CMS, since it doesn’t help much with managing content like real CMSs do. It really is blog software or maybe website publisher.

1 Like

And also worth mentioning that we no longer have Akismet as an included plugin. So we are enabling comments by default but not providing any way to deal with the mountains of spam this will generate.

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It was this argument that finally teased a vote out of me on this.

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Same.

2 Likes

I think that millions of people would disagree with this statement. I come from WordPress/com, and for sure, comments are not a dead-end thing there, because it’s an essential feature for building a community.

I agree. Having tried out a few other CMSs, I say that WP/CP is still more of a blogging software than a real CMS. I wouldn’t recommend it for a website that has many pages, because that will be very hard to manage.

Just to be clear, we are not talking about removing comments entirely. Just that if you do want comments you have to put one tick in one box. That’s it.

This whole debate is a red herring for 2 reasons.

  1. blog != comments - you can have a blog with or without comments. A lot of people just write stuff without necessarily inviting comments.
  2. comments != blog - I now have 2 sites where I am getting spam comments. Neither is a blog. One is e-commerce and one is a business site, no posts only pages. I made the mistake of importing images while I had comments enabled so now I have thousands of images in the media library that are open to comments. I had to add a code snippet to block this.To me this is a stupidity of design on the same level as Gutenberg.
2 Likes

If you will notice, I just reacted to the statements I quoted. I’m not arguing for or against your petition.

Of course, I know that you’re not talking about removing comments entirely, but saying that comments are a dead-end thing as an argument for your petition is a hasty generalization.

And as to what I said about CP being more than a blogging tool than a real CMS, I simply agreed with what joyously said, and I meant WP/CP’s design, function, usability, etc compared to other CMSs. I was not talking about blogging or comments at all.

1 Like