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Why Is WordPress Eating Comments?

Wordpress logo surrounded by rainbow cloud

The title of this post is very much a rhetorical question, because I have no idea. Rory of A Guy Called Bloke wrote about this earlier this week in I Am Textless, and I decided to chime in with my own two cents about WordPress behaving badly.

Can’t comment at all

This has happened on a few occasions. People have told me they can’t comment on my blog at all. It seems to be a temporary thing, and I’ve never been able to figure out any rhyme or reason to it. I’m able to leave comments, and so are some other people, so it isn’t an across the board thing.

A few times there have been issues with plugins I’m using, but when that’s been the case, I’ve also been unable to comment on my posts.

Can comment on the site but not the Reader

I’ve come across this the odd time before, and I had assumed that it might have been something to do with self-hosted blogs. However, on Rory’s post that I mentioned, we had a whole conversation where I could only reply if I did it on his site rather than through the Reader.

Paying more to get more problems

The WP business and e-commerce plans use a different commenting form than other WP plans. I don’t know what exactly the difference is, but it has pros and cons. The upside is wayyyyyyyy less spam. I guess something about it isn’t bot-friendly, so the comments I get are from individuals stopping by rather than mass-spamming bots.

The downside is that people have more problems leaving comments on business/ecommerce plan blogs than on other WordPress plans. I’m not sure if anyone knows why this happens, but only to some people some of the time; I certainly don’t.

Third-party cookies/cross-site tracking

If you’re unable to like or comment on someone’s site, but can comment fine in the WP Reader, it may be that your browser settings are to blame.

If you’re using Safari, go to “Preferences” in the “Safari” menu, then the “Privacy” tab. “Prevent cross-site tracking” needs to be unchecked.

In Chrome, go to “Preferences” under the “Chrome” menu, then scroll down to the “Privacy and security settings” and click on “Site Settings” then “Cookies and site data”. “Block third-party cookies” has to be turned off.

I’m not sure of details for other browsers, but it would be the same kind of thing.

Getting randomly signed out

This issue has only cropped up quite recently. Unlike the browser settings issue, this problem can occur when you’re anywhere in WordPress, including the Reader or editing your site. It might ask you to sign in, even though you’re already signed in, and the two minutes later, it might ask you to sign in again, just for fun. This isn’t so much a commenting issue, but I thought I’d throw it in just for fun because it’s annoying.

Oh happiness engineers…

I’ve decided not to contact the happiness engineers anymore unless absolutely necessary, because I was just getting too agitated with them. I’m one of the few people who’s okay with the block editor… when it works. But it’s ridiculously buggy, despite being around for quite a while. I think WordPress needs to hire some people to just blog like a normal person and let them know what the bugs are. And then they actually need to fix them. It shouldn’t be rocket science.

Are there any WordPress gremlins that have been driving you bonkers lately?

Blogging resources from Mental Health @ Home: A New Blogger's guide to WordPress and Up Your Blogging Game

For more on blogging, check out the New Blogger’s Guide to WordPress and the Up Your Blogging Game page.

61 thoughts on “Why Is WordPress Eating Comments?”

  1. I have given up with WP because there are no Happiness Engineers.
    No blogging for me here, than posts already scheduled and me coming back to just comment in my favourite blogs.
    My joy on WP is only the commenting side of things.

  2. Oh my yes. Often I’ll leave a comment on someone’s blog, and the comment will disappear but show up several minutes later. Or I’ll be stricken down by the sign-in problem you described, or I’ll be unable to “like” a comment left on my blog unless or until I’ve commented in response (which I do anyway, but still…) And my notifications are inconsistent, but I suspect I need to go into the settings and tackle that issue on my own. Otherwise it’s all good, and in somewhat related news, I’ve fully adjusted to the block editor by using the classic block, and then the plus signs quit showing up and irritating me to death, and if I want to get rid of the only one on the screen, if I press enter several times, it goes down offscreen. So problem solved, except that I need to learn how to do photo blocks so I can add text descriptions to photos, but it’s on my to-do list and I just haven’t gotten there yet.

  3. 🤔 For some strange reason, the people with paid domains on WordPress.com tend to have a lot of technical issues (That in itself is no encouragement to upgrade).

    In regards to comments, my guess is that they are handled by a separate server and they probably get lost when the Happiness Engineers are doing upgrades.

    Once upon a time, Grammarly worked with the Block Editor; today it does not.

    2020 is probably the worst year for WordPress.com.

    I would not get angry with anyone if they chose to migrate their blog to WordPress.org.

  4. Thanks for writing this. I’ve been having problems leaving comments on certain blogs. I just assumed it was some combo of Chrome extensions causing issues, but I couldn’t be bothered to troubleshoot.

  5. I am getting increasingly frustrated with not being allowed to leave comments on your blog. It’s the only one it’s happening for right now and I’m attempting this through the main site rather than my app. We’ll see if it gets to you!

  6. Thanks for the tips my friend! Yes, I struggle at times finding no rhyme or reason for certain technical glitches on WP. I’m going to try your suggestions 😊

  7. I’ve had issues with WP comments lately – being asked to sign in on each blog I visit with my email address when previously I’d be logged in anyway. I’m not sure if there’s been some sort up update or whatever but it’s certainly driving me mad! x

  8. WordPress is becoming such a pain..
    it took me days to leave comments requesting re-blogs. sometimes u keep posting and they just don’t show.
    And i don’t know how suddenly some people get unfollowed by my blog. i have to keep checking now and follow them again.
    it used to be so much easier.

    and dont even get me started on editor..

  9. Sorry to hear about many of your problems with WordPress. I’ve been using it since 2006 and been through the same and more many times.
    WP is by itself a nice platform, but I’ve always preferred to use it with other hosting providers and with me having control over everything (except the reader, this is the part of WP that is not open for modifications, we can’t do much here).

    When you’re on your own, you can avoid many problems, but you need a skilled person to look after your core files. If you can afford it, I’d recommend you to think about this option.

    If I wouldn’t be so overloaded atm, I’d offer you a direct help, but I’m already taking care of multiple WP sites. I can offer you some specific advice on moving WP elsewhere if it will come to this though. You know where to find me 🙂
    I wish you less trouble in the future. It’s annoying when all you want to do is just use your tool and it doesn’t work like it should.

    1. I like having my site hosted on WP because I don’t want things to have to be my problem if I go self-hosted. WP may be glitchy, but at least I know I can’t break my stie.

  10. Good post Ashley – l have no idea what goes on with WP at times … some days are better than the other days. I have no problem with the engineers although l hate the term Happiness Engineers it reminds me of the Teletubbies – so l just refer to them as engineers now.

    I actually – like you – like the block editor – but there are times when it drives me absolutely bonkers! Some things should not still be glitchy. I also agree with the fact that for something that was beta tested and then supposedly alpha tested before going live – well excuse my French but who the fuck tested it? Were they bloggers or engineers looking at the inside side to life? If they were bloggers were they actual bloggers or newbee bloggers? Because this still feels extremely buggy.

    WP last year admitted to me that many browsers this year following the launch of the Block Editor would experience buggy issues with the new WP. So the glitches we are getting might be more to do with web srowsers than the actual editor – HOWEVER is that is the case – well it shouldn’t be the case. There should be no difference between a paid for and a freebie site with regards the core basics.

    I know some hold the view that WP might even be exercising some discrimination between paid for and non paid for sites, l don’t hold with this theory – but l do hold with the concept that the main glitch seems to be stemming from search engines and web browsers – and also many platforms experience serious issues with Mobile Phones and their Apps – a lot of users utilise their phones when blogging whereas l don’t have a Smart phone or even an Internet connection via phone – whilst l have an iPad l only use it for browsing – l use a desktop pc for everything and the only problems l really encounter are some web browsers are slower.

    Apart from a few of the tech issues l have discussed and of course the course the comments of last week, l don’t really have anything new issue wise although apart from missing comments. I think many people do not check their spam folders enough and also many a time people should look at their settings properly with regards receiving comments.

    Spam wise, l can’t knock the feature with a eCommerce blog, because in June 2019 l was receiving 1200 spam comments a day after l upgraded from premium to ecommerce l don’t get spam. Spam comments are literally 1 maybe every sex weeks and that’s usually from a genuine user. But also l took some advice from one of Renard’s posts and reduced commenting time down to 2 weeks only on posts. I think even Renard still hase his set at 3 weeks commenting. But that certainly reduces bot traffic.

    1. I remember you saying you reduced the commenting time frame. I leave mine open, but still get only the occasional spam here and there. That was definitely a pleasant change compared to before.

      1. Very much so, on that level l will never go back …. and l do recall you saying you leave yours open Ashley, because it’s good to have comments on older posts especially given your genre 🙂

  11. I have had the ‘no comment’ problem since before they fudged things up with that danged new editor. But I only ever had the problem on someone I followed who had a .org or .blog blog. I have to go to the post, and then ‘sign in’ (via filling out some dipsh*t form), and then hope that the comment gets posted. About half the time (I suspect) it does not. I can’t use the WordPress icon or link to comment on those sorts of blogs. I just work around it as best I can and apologize to the blogger if the comment won’t ‘stick’. WordPress has so many problems, but (apparently) they’re still the best blogging platform going. Ai yi yi!!

  12. I had an issue with comments disappearing a couple of weeks ago. It was infuriating. I’d read something, post a response (sometimes a lengthy response) then poof! It would disappear. I have no idea why.

  13. On WordPress Reader some of the links to older posts of mine still don’t work. I’ve been in touch with a “happiness engineer” but she takes eternity to answer each time. We’ve fixed a couple things. Before, you couldn’t even follow my blog but now the button works again.

  14. I don”t believe it is a matter of whether you have a paid site or the free plan.
    I have the free plan, like everyone else I have problems with comments. I thought it was just me. Now I know I am not alone.
    Strange thing is I cannot comment on one site, but I can go to the next one in the reader and have no problems.
    I do not understand coding well enough to move to WordPress.org. I have tried other blogging platforms but WordPress in my opinion is still at the top of the list.

    1. There is actually a difference in the comment form on sites with the business plan compared to sites that are on the premium plan or lower.

      Overall, though, I think I’ve probably had more issues commenting on self-hosted sites, but it’s hard to say, because most of the blogs I follow are on WordPress.com.

  15. Honestly I wonder if the Happiness Engineers bother to READ my fucking help ticket.

    I worked in IT and I know how to troubleshoot. I also write what I’ve tried and try to explain the problem clearly but several times now, they seem to not even have read my bloody ticket TITLE, much less the contents!

    It’s also stupid that you can’t attach screenshots to a ticket. They help a lot.

    1. Someone else hadn’t been able to comment on my site for several days, and then yesterday they were able to again. I have no idea what’s going on with that.

  16. I hope it gets fixed all soon 🙏❤️. I can totally understand you how frustrating it must have been. I had a problem that my post didn’t come up but that’s fortunately fixed and also that nobody could comment.

  17. Just like you and other commenters, I’m unable to leave comments on some blogs (some of the time) and sometimes it says ‘loading’ so I can’t like some blogs, some of the time.

    Yes, I too have a paid for account and have the same problems as other – all of the one you’ve listed above. And I also give up with the happiness engineers.

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