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How to Disable HTML in WordPress Comments

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How to Disable HTML in WordPress Comments

By default, WordPress allows certain HTML tags within the comments such as <a> <em> <strong> etc. If you notice a lot of SPAM comments also contain these tags. Most SPAM comments are made by bots and scripts, which are using HTML tags. If you simply disable HTML from your WordPress comments, it can prevent a lot of SPAM. In this tutorial we will show you how you can disable HTML tags in your WordPress comments.

This tutorial will only disable active HTML tags. So someone can still post something like:


And it will show up, but the tags will not be functional. So if someone uses the strong tag, it won’t bold the text. Besides not many SPAM bots have time to do this because this way takes up a lot of time and it is not beneficial for them.

All you have to do is simply open your functions.php and add the following code:

    // This will occur when the comment is posted
    function plc_comment_post( $incoming_comment ) {

    // convert everything in a comment to display literally
    $incoming_comment['comment_content'] = htmlspecialchars($incoming_comment['comment_content']);

    // the one exception is single quotes, which cannot be #039; because WordPress marks it as spam
    $incoming_comment['comment_content'] = str_replace( "'", '&apos;', $incoming_comment['comment_content'] );

    return( $incoming_comment );

    // This will occur before a comment is displayed
    function plc_comment_display( $comment_to_display ) {

    // Put the single quotes back in
    $comment_to_display = str_replace( '&apos;', "'", $comment_to_display );

    return $comment_to_display;

If you don’t want to manually add this code yourself, then the original author also offers a plugin that you can download. Simply install and activate Peter’s Literal Comments plugin.

The reason why this way is better is because it does not require you to change the core files. If you want to edit your core files then you may go to wp-includes/kses.php and edit the codes there. (This is not Recommended, but it is here for the sake of knowledge. (WP Codex for more details)

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

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  • anshu

    there are lots of commnts on my every blog post … how to disable HTML hyperlink so that i can prevent my blog post from spam

  • falvarez

    I think that something is missing. You should add your function plc_comment_display() to the filter stack like this:

    add_filter(‘comment_text’, ‘plc_comment_display’);


  • johnroypaul

    Brilliant article thanks! Seems to work perfectly well with the latest versions of wordpress as well (3.3) Made the code a lot cleaner as mentioned and seems to have made life easier when trying to implement the comments form into side areas ect. (Had a nightmare with previous use of the normal code)

  • wordpress hosting

    The more mature you are, the harder at risk you are for getting something undesirable happen to you while overseas. Thanks for revealing your suggestions on this blog.You have good grapes on wordpress thanks for making my problem so easy .

  • Kamal

    Great, by this way one can ensure that nobody drops links in the comment box. I really hate to see people doing that unnecessarily.

  • shoaib hussain

    Nice piece of code,but if you happen to use thesis like I am,only needs to check a radio button and the html code vanishes.

    • Editorial Staff

      Yes you are right, but we are not supporting Thesis on this site because it is not compatible with the GPL License.

  • Cruz3N

    Its confused me Bro, but i make some simple plugin that allow you to replace with &gt ;

    Plugin Name: Filter Comments
    Plugin URI:
    Description: Plugin sederhana untuk melakukan filterisasi terhadap komentar dan mencegah user menginput tag – tag HTML
    Author: Cruz3N
    Author URI:
    Version: 1.0

    function my_function ($text) {
    $text = str_replace('’, ‘&gt ;’, $text);
    return $text;

    add_filter(‘comment_text’, ‘my_function’);

    You can modification that better… Hope usefull

    Download here

    And this is my ugly blog :p

    Best Regard

  • Infographiste

    Thank you for the useful tuto and easy to follow. I’ve found another one explaining how to disable HTML but was to hard and badly explained, anyway thanks again and have a great week end :)

  • michelle

    this great and should help to block out loads of spam :) thanks

  • Blogger Pemula

    Thanks for the Great Tips.
    Is it affecting commentluv plugin?

    • Editorial Staff

      Haven’t tried yet, but don’t think it should.

  • Ms. Freeman

    This will be of great help from those spam bots that try to leave comments with twenty or so links…LOL:) Thanks

  • Jad Limcaco

    Thanks! Didn’t know how to do this before.