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How to Remove Website URL Field from WordPress Comment Form

Last updated on by
Elegant Themes
How to Remove Website URL Field from WordPress Comment Form

A lot of WordPress comment spam is generated by automated bots. You can block spam comments using honeypot or use other plugins and tools to combat comment spam, but the trickier part is to discourage people from submitting spam comments. Doesn’t make sense huh? Why would someone manually submit a spam comment? How does removing the website URL field from comment form help? In this article, we will show you how to remove the website URL field from WordPress comment form. We will also explain why people submit spam comments manually, and how does removing the URL field from the comment form helps.

Why Do People Submit SPAM Comments?

The answer to that question is SEO. Have you ever had users like “Best WordPress Themes”, “Make Money Online”, or “MyBlogName” commenting on your site? Yeah that’s pretty weird isn’t it. Let us explain. By default WordPress comment form has three field (name, email, and website or URL). When displaying the comments, WordPress automatically hyperlinks the name of the commenter with the website URL they provided. This provides a huge incentive for blackhat SEO guys, or newbie bloggers who don’t know any better to SPAM your site.

For example: when our founder, Syed Balkhi, comments on other sites, he uses his name. On most sites, then Syed Balkhi would be hyperlinked to WPBeginner. But if he wanted to manipulate search engine rankings and get better rankings for specific keywords like WordPress Tutorials, WordPress Video Tutorials, etc, then he would use those instead of his name. Obviously he knows better, so he doesn’t do that. But a lot of people do not have any morals and are willing to do anything to get better search engine rankings (including spamming).

This is why we require users to put their real name in the comments. But asking nicely doesn’t really work with spammers. This is why we have removed the URL field altogether from our WordPress comment form. By doing this, we have greatly decreased the number of spam comments on our site. Users who are going to comment on your site to add value will comment regardless. If someone stops commenting on your site because they are not getting a backlink, then you really have to question their intention of commenting in the first place.

How to Remove Website URL Field from WordPress Comment Form

First you need to install and activate Disable / Hide Comment URL plugin. Once activated, this plugin will remove comment author URL (website) field from your WordPress comment form.

UR (Website) field removed from WordPress Comments Form

Some of you might want to remove author URL from comments template so that the author names are not linked to their websites. To do that you need to install and activate Disable Comment Author Links plugin. Upon activation this plugin will remove comment author URL in your WordPress theme’s comments template. All approved comments will have author names, but they will not be linked to their websites. This will discourage users who just want to comment so that they could leave their website links.

We hope you find this article useful, and hopefully this will decrease spam comments on your site. How do you deal with manually submitted spam comments on your site? What are your thoughts on removing the website URL field? Let us know by commenting below.


Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress lovers led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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Comments

  1. yellowans says:

    hello guys
    very interesting topic helped me a lot. here is my issue I deactivacted name, email and url, from my comments. now my comment section is just that comments, nothing else shows.
    however the comment for still shows a space for name email and url, the url box I canceled and is not displaying anymore thanks to a plugin,
    my question, which plugin (not really a fan of css) can I use to rid of name and mail on the comment entry form thank you and regards :)
    website theme twenty thriteen

  2. Farhan Shah says:

    I had used a plugin “stop spam comments” for stopping spam comments. but after few week felt that I have reduced website hit on my website. my question is that comments has been stopped but why reduced website hits?
    Please tell me should I remove this “Stop Spam Comments” plugin and install this plugin “Disable / Hide Comment URL”?

    regards

  3. Ciprian C. says:

    Why not just CSS?

    p.comment-form-url {height: 0 !important;overflow: hidden !important;}

    not the best solution but it works for me.

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      It will only make the URL field invisible, spam bots will still be able to use the URL field so it doesn’t serve the purpose.

      • Chris Mayell says:

        I can corroborate that CSS changes will not suffice.
        I was hoping that a simple display:none trick might work. But the messages keep coming.

        I’m going to install the plugin you mentioned now.
        Thanks to the author for the good suggestion & helpful article.

  4. hassan Gul says:

    thanx.it’s realy help me out.

  5. Colin Crawford says:

    Perhaps the major search engines should look into this as well. These backlinks are getting out of hand, just like when we added keywords to the meta keywords tag. That was abused and now these backlinks are getting abused.

    I use a plugin called Disable Comments throughout some of my websites so no one can leave any. So far it has worked but the other websites receive on a daily basis quite a number. Reading through them, there is many adverts with lots of links, people saying how insightful your website is. For one I do not or have ever heard anyone say insightful so straight into the Spam bin.

    I don’t think the amount of backlinks should influence your rankings as they can be too easy to get. I went after a web design job and the owner wanted to do some Off page SEO and wanted the successful applicant to be able to get at least 2000 backlinks for that website. Well I didn’t get the job and glad, probably spend the day leaving insightful comments on other peoples websites.

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Hey Colin,

      Comments definitely encourage conversations like this one here. But yes, spammers are ruining it for the webmasters. Getting rid of the link feature has definitely helped reduce spam comments on the site.

  6. Damien says:

    Any way to remove the comment url from comments when using Jetpack?

    • Editorial Staff says:

      If the above plugin doesn’t work, then you would have to dissect the Jetpack code (that’s the only other alternative).

  7. Jenny says:

    Wondering if you could address a couple of concerns? For the plug-in “Disable / Hide Comment URL”
    1. is only compatible to 3.2.1.
    2. the last update was 2011-9-2 (really old)

    • Editorial Staff says:

      If you look at the code of this plugin, it is very simple, and it works. You can take the code and dump it in your functions.php file…

      function disable_comment_url($fields) { 
          unset($fields['url']);
          return $fields;
      }
      add_filter('comment_form_default_fields','disable_comment_url');
      

      So in short, no this plugin is compatible with recent versions. The author just didn’t update the plugin because it simply works. Why update when it is not broken?

  8. Gautam Doddamani says:

    i guess we already had a long conversation about this a long time back…i think since you got rid of livefyre…yea i agree this helps get rid of spam users and keep legit comments comin’! real nice plugins…wil check ‘em out! :)

    Cheers,
    Gautam

  9. Shalu Sharma says:

    Nice article and I can understand why people want to remove it but can’t you use the right plugins to moderate and control spam? Thanks for the tutorial, if I do decide to then I know where to look for it.

  10. Cliff Beneventi says:

    Thanks for the article. Reducing or eliminating spam is a critical part of comment management. Akismet does a great job for my clients, but uses URL’s to determine if a comment is spam. This plugin would then render Akismet less effectual. Also, the user can simply insert a URL in the comment itself, can they not? Lastly, I thought that the bulk of spam comments were generated by bots, which would still populate the comment field, even in the absence of a URL field.

  11. Zimbrul says:

    What crosses my mind right now is this “being WPBeginner, o e of the solid sites out there providing quality WordPress tutorials and advice, you can afford to not show the author link on your comment form”. In fact this will dicourage many to comment unless they really have something to say.
    I only comment on articles that interest me and never said just “oh, great article, I’ll bookmark it, fantastic piece of writing”.

    • Elliott Richmond says:

      Agreed, if someone is making the effort to comment on an article the least you can do is credit them with a link! After all it’s about the community right? I noticed this on WPB a while ago and it put me right off commenting full stop! Not that I comment for the backlink because it’s a nofollow anyway but because if any other commenters what to check me out they can.

      • Zimbrul says:

        Yes, this is the idea of the author website field. But, as I said, I do mot comment here at wpbeginner for backlinks or for make myself known. I use WP Beginner website to get answers and to implement new te tehniques on sites I develop.
        I only comment to topics I can “technically” comment, that’s it.

      • Editorial Staff says:

        Elliot, first of all I’m sorry to hear that you have stopped commenting on WPBeginner just because we decided to get rid of the URL field. While your initial intentions weren’t to get backlinks, but your decision to stop commenting after we get rid of the field only emphasize the point.

        If you do not think that a community is worth contributing to just because you are not getting a backlink/promotional value, then I don’t think that you value the community enough.

        We have had internal communications about establishing a proper registration system for regular users on WPBeginner. This would allow us to unlock certain perks (i.e backlinks to all of your new and previous comments after you hit comment count marker X). But again, I feel odd because I’m offering incentives for users to comment which is favoring quantity over quality.

        I will probably have this added as one of the questions in our annual survey for the WPBeginner audience.

        • Elliott Richmond says:

          Not “stop commenting” or “stopped commenting” just “put off” ^_^
          On the contrary I do value the community and I hope that I do offer value back to the community (albiet in a very small way compared to others) and I find your tone a little insulting to be honest!
          I believe that there are other contributors who I would certainly like to find out more about but seeing as you have denied a link back to their site where I can find out about “the community” it kind of defeats the object wouldn’t you agree? Fortunately I do recognised some of the contributors who I do value, Pippin being one of them but, if I’d like to find out about others then I have no chance right?

        • Editorial Staff says:

          I won’t argue semantics of stop commenting or “commenting full stop”. Nonetheless, I see your point of finding user’s information and following up with them elsewhere. One thing that can be done perhaps is hyperlink all gravatar images with the user’s gravatar profile? Would you say that is a good solution?

          Always love hearing user feedback. This is why I will be adding this in the user survey that we are planning on sending out.

          -Syed

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Zimbrul, first of all, I really appreciate you as a user. I have your gravatar memorized because I know you are one of our regular users. This technique is not to discourage users like yourself because you add relevant and useful conversation to the articles like this comment of yours.

      It is also one of the reasons why our site automatically approves your comment :) But you are among the exception. I can personally tell you that this is a big issue specially if you are running a tech related tutorial blog.

      SmashingMagazine has the same thing. They did this long time ago, way before WPBeginner. Reason was the same. I as a user appreciated their decision of getting rid of URLs because then I could engage in meaningful conversations with real people (not those drop by’s who might add controversial comment just to get a backlink and never check back).

      -Syed

      • Zimbrul says:

        Syed, your kind words means more than a backlink for me, don’t you guys agree? For me the words of appreciation from one of the most respected figures in WordPress community means a lot and as I said I come here not for the backlink but for problem solving most of the time. Sometimes I need advice sometimes I can contribute.

  12. Alan Hughes says:

    Or you could just delete that line of code from the comments.php file.

  13. Umer Rock says:

    Really nice plugin, but can we do this without plugin? Please make a tutorial how we can use plugins without installing or activating, because lots of css & scripts files decrease blog seo. :-(

    • Pippin says:

      There is literally zero difference in terms of the site performance or maintenance with this being a plugin or coded into your theme. It’s actually much better to be done as a plugin for a variety of reasons.

    • Editorial Staff says:

      As Pippin explained if you look at the plugin’s code… it really doesn’t make a difference in performance.

  14. Navjot Singh says:

    Tried the plugin you mentioned but it didn’t work because it relies on the function get_comment_author_link which is no longer used in modern theme’s comment forms. This works though: disable-hide-comment-url.

  15. Adnan Shahid says:

    A very good and useful article, I am also facing this situation on my blog i.e. lot of spam comments. Thanks for writing this article

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