Unreplied Comments in WordPress

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Dealing with comments. What a mess! I’ve been quite busy lately so I hadn’t had too much time to reply to each and every comment on my blog, but I’d really love too, seriously! The problem however is that there were times when I replied to somebody, and times when I hadn’t and now with this mess in my comments admin it’s impossible to find out ones I haven’t replied to.

Comments: Such a mess!

I was looking for a plugin but haven’t found anything good enough. Even hosted commenting services like Disqus and Livefyre seem to lack that. Ideally I’d like to work with comments like with e-mail — read them, mark as unread, flag, assign to somebody, etc. So I quickly drafted an SQL query that gave me a list of IDs of comments that have not been replied to excluding my own:

SELECT t1.comment_ID FROM wp_comments AS t1
    LEFT JOIN wp_comments AS t2 ON t2.comment_parent = t1.comment_ID
    WHERE t2.comment_ID IS NULL
    AND t1.user_id = 0
    AND (t1.comment_approved = '0' OR t1.comment_approved = '1')
    ORDER BY t1.comment_date_gmt;

I was shocked by the amount of rows it returned so I switched the “disable commenting on posts older than 14 days” checkbox to make sure that doesn’t happen again. You can always reach me on Twitter or e-mail, right? ;)

I’d love to see this as a beginning for a new WordPress plugin that would implement some goodies for handling comments, or maybe as a tip to the hosted commenting services to create new features. In any case, I’m now stuck with over a thousand comments I have to go through.

About the author

Konstantin Kovshenin

WordPress Core Contributor, ex-Automattician, public speaker and consultant, enjoying life in Moscow. I blog about tech, WordPress and DevOps.


  • A plugin that checked once a day for comments that were older than two days that you hadn't replied yet could certainly be handy. Though there are likely some comments that you will never reply to, so having a way to indicating that would become a requirement pretty quick.

    • Joseph agree! There could be an "Ignore" button that would set a comment meta, but I mostly love the idea of flagging or assigning posts, especially on multi-author websites. Just like assigning tweets in CoTweet :) Thanks for your comment!