Posted by: kurtsh | September 28, 2010

HOWTO: Disable comments across migrated posts from Spaces to WordPress.com

imageI disallow comments on my blog.  Call me anti-social but “socializing” or “providing feedback” is not what this blog is for.  It exists solely as a conduit to communicate information to my Financial Services customers in Southern California.  If some other people get value out of it… so be it, but I’ve found that I simply don’t have the bandwidth to “answer questions” or “plz help meee” queries.

MIGRATING FROM SPACES TO WORDPRESS… ENABLES COMMENTS
This blog has existed for 6 years and has close to 3000 posts on it.  When WordPress migrated all of the Spaces blog content to this new platform, it ENABLED COMMENTS on all 3000 blog posts.

So when you look up how to disable comments across all 3000, this is what I get:

To enable or disable comments for posts and pages already published, you must open each one for editing, find the Discussion module, make sure the “Allow Comments” options are set appropriately, and save your changes.(http://en.support.wordpress.com/enable-disable-comments/)

CRAP.  I am NOT gonna manually edit 3000 comments one-at-a-time.  But I sure as heck don’t want random folk posting comments either.  Especially these douchebag spammers advertising their ‘Gold Farming services’ or their ‘Laptop Battery eStore’.

A WORKAROUND:  BULK EDIT COMMENTS
The same page has two key areas of instructions:

Bulk Edit Comments

There is not a way to turn comments on or off for all published posts and pages in a blog at once. However, you can use the bulk edit feature to change multiple posts/pages at a time.

  1. Go to the Posts page in your blog dashboard.
  2. Select the posts you would like to modify or check the box next to ‘Post’ at the top to select all posts on that page.
  3. Select Edit from the Bulk Actions drop down menu.
  4. Click the Apply button.
  5. Change the options for Comments and Pings to Allow or Do not allow.
  6. Click the Update Posts button.

Automatically Close Comments
It is also possible to turn comments off automatically after a certain number of days. To do that, go to the Settings > Discussion page and look for Other comment settings on the left. Check the box next to the following option, fill in the number of days, and save.

  • Automatically close comments on articles older than __ days.

(http://en.support.wordpress.com/enable-disable-comments/)

CONCLUSION
Right now, the EASIEST way to disable comments seems to be to set the “Automatically close comments on articles older than __ days” field to 1.  However I don’t know if that will work – nor did I want to wait for 24 hours to see if this worked.

Instead what I did was a Bulk Edit, meaning that I had to view and select multiple posts in the the Posts page of the blog dashboard.  If you have a large number of posts that you want to simultaneously edit, you need to be able to view them on a single page.  So the key is:

  • Go to “view # of posts per page” setting under “Screen Settings”.  Set this number to 200.  (I found that 500 & 1000 didn’t work with this process, whereas 200 worked fine.)
  • Select ALL posts by checking the box next to the word “Title”.
    (Wait until the page completely resolves before clicking this checkbox)
  • Click the “Bulk Actions” drop down box and select “Edit” then click the Apply button.
  • Select the comments drop down box and select “Do not allow” then click the “Update” button. 
    NOTE:  THIS MAY RESULT IN A DNS ERROR OR A “CANNOT DISPLAY WEBPAGE” ERROR.  Simply refresh the page (press F5) and the bulk edit instruction will be issued.
  • Go to the next page of posts and repeat the above process until you’ve applied it to every post.

Because of the volume of posts that I have (3000) I had to do this process 15 times.  But it worked.  Every post now has “comments disabled”.


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