By default, all WordPress posts and pages support comments. Just below your post or page you will see “Leave a Reply” and some boxes to enter information. You can pick and choose which content allows comments, on a post-by-post or page-by-page basis. You can turn off comments for an individual post or page. Click Screen Options at the top of the Dashboard when working with posts or pages and be sure Discussion is checked.
At the very bottom of your post or page you will see the Discussion Box as shown here in the picture.
If your site is mostly comment-free, you may not want to use the Discussion box for each post. You can set the default site-wide for every new post and page to be comment-free. In the Dashboard, choose Settings -> Discussion and then turn off the check marks next to “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)” and “Allow people to post comments on new articles”. Save your changes. All new posts and pages will be comment-free but you can still add back comments by clicking “Allow comments” in the Discussion box for that post or page.
Do you want to be able to approve each comment before it goes live on the site? This is called moderation. This is safer but it slows down the pace of the discussion. Remove moderation and you open yourself up to spam, but you can counter that with a plugin called Akismet. Again, go to Dashboard -> Settings -> Discussion and click the check box for “Comment must be manually approved”. Many sites don’t use moderation because their main purpose is to have conversations. If you are running a business and your site is mainly for promoting your services, you will probably want to moderate comments.
There are four pieces of information, by default, that WordPress collects in the comment section. If you change the settings, it would be different. The email and name are required. The website address is not required. WordPress shows this text “Your email address will not be published.” WordPress will not catch users making up imaginary email addresses but it will prevent them from random characters that don’t make sense as an email address. WordPress will not send the commenter an email. It will however contact the Gravitar service and display a tiny picture if the commenter is registered. If the commenter includes a website address, the commenter’s name will be turned into a link to that website.
Moderating from the Dashboard
From your browser, in your Dashboard, click Comments. You can choose Spam, Approve or Trash. If you choose Spam, WordPress will get a report and will help intercept the spammer from spamming other sites.
If you are allowing comments, it is recommended to use Akismet, although you don’t have to.