Just the other day I went through a lot of trouble trying to restore the comments template on a client’s website. My guy had previously installed the disable comments WordPress plugin on his WordPress site and after a while, he had an issue with comments not displaying after deactivating the disable comments plugin. If you are familiar with this plugin you know very well that it’s one of the most efficient WordPress plugins for disabling comments sitewide.
The only issue that most people don’t know about it, is that if configured in wrongly, the plugin can actually replace your Theme’s comments template with a blank one. Basically, this is how most WordPress no comments plugins remove comments from WordPress blogs.
To actively remove comments from posts these plugins alter or possibly remove your theme’s comments template and in its place add a blank template so that it looks like the comments box has been removed completely.
There is no reason for panic because this effect can be counteracted by disabling the comments plugin. However, in the case of this particular plugin, things could get a little bit more serious because even after deactivating and even deleting it, the plugin’s effect on your theme’s comments template still lingers.
Developer’s Advice on WordPress disable comments Plugin
I personally tried to reach out to the plugin’s developer, who goes by the name – Samir Shah but to my disappointment, I wasn’t able to get to him. After several futile attempts to reach him, I began doing a little research from his Github repository as well as the documentation he had provided on how to disable comments globally on WordPress websites.
And guess what I found, Samir has categorically advised on how to configure the plugin correctly. First, the plugin’s developer recommends that you should never install the plugin if you only want to turn off comments for selected posts or pages. Either way, WordPress actually provides for this operation. So there’s no need to install the plugin if you only want to deactivate comments on selected posts.
Secondly, if you suspect that your Theme might have a conflict with the disable comments plugin, its good that you
“Define DISABLE_COMMENTS_REMOVE_COMMENTS_TEMPLATE and set it to false to prevent the plugin from replacing the theme’s comment template with an empty one.”
Some themes in the WordPress Theme Directory such as Appointway, Willingness, Metlux, Metro Magazine, Elite Press, Regalway and fGreen might have an issue or two with this plugin, that is if you activate the Persistent mode.
What is Persistent Mode
Persistent Mode is when you disable comments everywhere using the plugin. Today the setting is no longer known as Persistent Mode in the Disable comments plugin but it was changed to two toggles, Everywhere and On certain posts as shown below.
Here is what the plugin’s developer, Samir Shah had to say in the WordPress forum regarding the mode issue.
“First of all, you should not use this mode if you only want to disable comments temporarily. Please don’t ignore the warnings that the plugin gives you when you enable this option! If however, you do use persistent mode and then decide you want to enable comments, it’s not difficult to do it.”
Now here’s what you should do if you realize that comments are not displaying even after disabling the plugin:
How to correctly re-enable comments after uninstalling the Disable comments Plugin
There are two ways to go about this. Either of them should work if one of them fails. In my client’s case, the second method failed but the first one worked like a baby.
Method 1: Bulk Edit posts
After deactivating and deleting the plugin, go to your posts page (where all your posts are listed). Now what we are going to be doing here is bulk editing the posts so that we restore the comments template in all of them. From the Posts Screen, check all the boxes next to all the posts you want to edit (or check the “select all” checkbox which is next to “Title”). Now go to the “Bulk Actions” drop-down toggle and click “Edit”, and then click Apply. In the bulk edit window that appears, check the box labeled comment status and click Update.
Method 2: Selective Editing of posts
The second way to solve the comments not displaying after deactivating disable comments plugin is to edit each post individually and restore the comments template in the post individually. To do this, go to an individual post from your WordPress post editing page. Open the “Screen options” section at the top right corner of your window.
Check the Discussion box to re-enable comments for that particular post. In some WordPress themes, you will see both a discussion box and a comment box. Just check both boxes and also go to the bottom of the post to see if there are checkboxes that allow you to activate discussion and pingbacks. I, however, recommend using method 1 if you are not sure of what you are doing.