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How to Style the WordPress Comment Form (Ultimate Guide)

Do you want to change the style of the WordPress comment form on your website?

Comments play an important role in building user engagement on a website. A good-looking user-friendly comment form encourages users to participate in the discussion.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily style the WordPress comment form to boost engagement on your website.

Styling WordPress comment form

Before Getting Started

WordPress themes control the appearance of your website. Each WordPress theme comes with several files including template files, functions file, JavaScripts, and stylesheets.

Stylesheets contain the CSS rules for all elements used by your WordPress theme. You can add your own custom CSS to override your theme’s style rules.

If you haven’t done this before, then see our article on how to add custom CSS in WordPress for beginners.

Apart from CSS, you may also need to add some functions to modify the default appearance of your WordPress comment form. If you haven’t done this before, then please see our article on how to copy and paste code in WordPress.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to style the WordPress comment form.

Since this is a fairly comprehensive guide, we have created a table of content for easy navigation:

Styling WordPress Comment Form Using SeedProd Theme Builder

This method requires SeedProd which is the best WordPress page and theme builder plugin on the market.

It is recommended for beginners with no coding experience. However, the downside of this method is that it will replace your existing WordPress theme with a custom theme.

First, you need to install and activate the SeedProd plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Note: You’ll need at least the PRO plan to access the theme builder feature.

Upon activation, you’ll need to create templates for your custom WordPress theme. SeedProd allows you to easily generate these templates using one of their built-in themes.

For detailed instructions, see our tutorial on how to create a custom WordPress theme without coding.

Once you have generated your theme templates, you need to edit Single Post template.

Edit the single post template

This will load the single post preview in the SeedProd theme builder interface. You’ll notice the comment form block at the bottom of the preview.

Edit your comment form in SeedProd

Simply click on the comment form and you will see its properties in the left panel.

From here, you can add a comment note or privacy policy, you can also switch to the Advanced tab to edit comment form style without writing any CSS code.

Advance styling options for comment form in SeedProd

Once you are finished, don’t forget to click on the Save button to publish your changes.

SeedProd makes it super easy to change the style of any element on your website without writing code.

However, it is a theme builder and you may already be using a WordPress theme that you like. In that case, the following tips will help you manually change comment form styles in WordPress.

Changing Comment Form Style in WordPress

Inside most WordPress themes there is a template called comments.php. This file is used to display comments and comment forms on your blog posts. The WordPress comment form is generated by using the function: <?php comment_form(); ?>.

By default, this function generates your comment form with three text fields (Name, Email, and Website), a textarea field for the comment text, a checkbox for GDPR compliance, and the submit button.

You can easily modify each of these fields by simply tweaking the default CSS classes. Below is a list of the default CSS classes that WordPress adds to each comment form.

#respond { }
#reply-title { }
#cancel-comment-reply-link { }
#commentform { }
#author { }
#email { }
#url { }
#comment
#submit
.comment-notes { }
.required { }
.comment-form-author { }
.comment-form-email { }
.comment-form-url { }
.comment-form-comment { }
.comment-form-cookies-consent { }
.form-allowed-tags { }
.form-submit

By simply tweaking these CSS classes, you can completely change the look and feel of your WordPress comment form.

Let’s go ahead and try to change a few things, so you can get a good idea on how this works.

First, we will start by highlighting the active form field. Highlighting the currently active field makes your form more accessible for people with special needs, and it also makes your comment form look nicer on smaller devices.

#respond {
background: #fbfbfb;
padding:0 10px 0 10px;
}

/* Highlight active form field */

#respond input[type=text], textarea {
  -webkit-transition: all 0.30s ease-in-out;
  -moz-transition: all 0.30s ease-in-out;
  -ms-transition: all 0.30s ease-in-out;
  -o-transition: all 0.30s ease-in-out;
  outline: none;
  padding: 3px 0px 3px 3px;
  margin: 5px 1px 3px 0px;
  border: 1px solid #DDDDDD;
}

#respond input[type=text]:focus,
input[type=email]:focus,
input[type=url]:focus,
textarea:focus {
box-shadow: 0 0 5px rgba(81, 203, 238, 1);
margin: 5px 1px 3px 0px;
border: 2px solid rgba(81, 203, 238, 1);
}

This is how our form looked like in the WordPress Twenty Sixteen theme after the changes:

Highlight active comment form field

Using these classes, you can change the behavior of how text appears inside input boxes. We will go ahead and change the text style of the author name and the URL fields.

#author, #email {
font-family: "Open Sans", "Droid Sans", Arial;
font-style:italic;
color:#1d1d1d;
letter-spacing:.1em;
} 

#url  {
color: #1d1d1d;
font-family: "Luicida Console", "Courier New", "Courier", monospace;
} 

If you take a close look in the screenshot below, the name and email field font is different than the website URL.

Input styles for WordPress comment form

You can also change the style of the WordPress comment form submit button. Instead of using the default submit button, let’s give it some CSS3 gradient and box-shadow.

#submit {
background:-moz-linear-gradient(top, #44c767 5%, #5cbf2a 100%);
background:-webkit-linear-gradient(top, #44c767 5%, #5cbf2a 100%);
background:-o-linear-gradient(top, #44c767 5%, #5cbf2a 100%);
background:-ms-linear-gradient(top, #44c767 5%, #5cbf2a 100%);
background:linear-gradient(to bottom, #44c767 5%, #5cbf2a 100%);
background-color:#44c767;
-moz-border-radius:28px;
-webkit-border-radius:28px;
border-radius:28px;
border:1px solid #18ab29;
display:inline-block;
cursor:pointer;
color:#ffffff;
font-family:Arial;
font-size:17px;
padding:16px 31px;
text-decoration:none;
text-shadow:0px 1px 0px #2f6627;
} 

#submit:hover {
background:-webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, color-stop(0.05, #5cbf2a), color-stop(1, #44c767));
background:-moz-linear-gradient(top, #5cbf2a 5%, #44c767 100%);
background:-webkit-linear-gradient(top, #5cbf2a 5%, #44c767 100%);
background:-o-linear-gradient(top, #5cbf2a 5%, #44c767 100%);
background:-ms-linear-gradient(top, #5cbf2a 5%, #44c767 100%);
background:linear-gradient(to bottom, #5cbf2a 5%, #44c767 100%);
background-color:#5cbf2a;
}
#submit:active {
position:relative;
top:1px;
}
Comment form submit button

Taking WordPress Comment Forms to the Next Level

You might be thinking that was too basic. Well, we have to start there, so everyone can follow along.

You can take your WordPress comment form to the next level by rearranging form fields, adding social login, comment subscriptions, comment guidelines, quicktags, and more.

Add Social Login to WordPress Comments

Let’s start with adding social logins to WordPress comments.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the Super Socializer plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Super Socializer » Social Login and then check the box that says ‘Enable Social Login’.

Check box to enable social login

This brings up the social login options panel. First, click the ‘Advanced Configuration’. tab

Then, make sure the ‘Enable at comment form’ box is checked.

Enable social login on comment form

Next, click the ‘Basic Configuration’ tab. Here, you can choose the social networks you want to add by checking the boxes in the ‘Select Social Networks’ section.

Select social networks for login

Below this, the plugin will require API keys in order to connect with social platforms. Simply click on the ‘Question Mark’ icon to bring up the instructions on how to get this for each platform.

Enter social network API keys

Once you’re done, click the ‘Save Changes’ button to save your social login settings.

You can now visit your website to see the social login buttons above your comment form. 

Social login comment form example

Adding Comment Policy Text Before or After Comment Form

We love all of our users, and we really appreciate them taking a few minutes to leave a comment on our site. However, to create a healthy discussion environment it is important to moderate comments.

To have full transparency, we created a comment policy page, but you can’t just put this link in the footer.

We wanted to have our comment policy be prominent and visible for all users who are leaving a comment. This is why we decided to add the comment policy in our WordPress comment form.

If you want to add a comment policy page, then the first thing you need to do is create a WordPress page and define your comment policy (you can steal ours and modify it to meet your needs).

After that, you can add the following code in your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function wpbeginner_comment_text_before($arg) {
    $arg['comment_notes_before'] .= '<p class="comment-policy"">We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our <a href="http://www.example.com/comment-policy-page/">comment policy</a>.</p>';
    return $arg;
}

add_filter('comment_form_defaults', 'wpbeginner_comment_text_before');

The above code will replace the default comment form before notes with this text. We have also added a CSS class in the code, so that we can highlight the notice using CSS. Here is the sample CSS we used:

p.comment-policy {
    border: 1px solid #ffd499;
    background-color: #fff4e5;
    border-radius: 5px;
    padding: 10px;
    margin: 10px 0px 10px 0px;
    font-size: small;
    font-style: italic;
}

This is how it looked on our test site:

Comment policy note

If you want to display the link after the comment text area, then use the following code.

function wpbeginner_comment_text_after($arg) {
    $arg['comment_notes_after'] .= '<p class="comment-policy"">We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our <a href="http://www.example.com/comment-policy-page/">comment policy</a>.</p>';
    return $arg;
}

add_filter('comment_form_defaults', 'wpbeginner_comment_text_after');

Don’t forget to change the URL accordingly, so it goes to your comment policy page rather than example.com.

Move Comment Text Field to Bottom

By default, the WordPress comment form displays the comment text area first and then the name, email, and website fields. This change was introduced in WordPress 4.4.

Before that, WordPress websites displayed name, email, and website fields first, and then the comment text box. We felt that our users are used to seeing the comment form in that order, so we still use the old field order on WPBeginner.

If you want to do that, then all you need to do is add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function wpb_move_comment_field_to_bottom( $fields ) {
$comment_field = $fields['comment'];
unset( $fields['comment'] );
$fields['comment'] = $comment_field;
return $fields;
}

add_filter( 'comment_form_fields', 'wpb_move_comment_field_to_bottom');

This code simply moves the comment text area field to the bottom.

Moving comment field to the bottom

Remove Website (URL) Field from WordPress Comment Form

The website field in the comment form attracts a lot of spammers. While removing it won’t stop spammers or even reduce spam comments, it will certainly save you from accidentally approving a comment with bad author website link.

It will also reduce a field from the comment form, making it easier and more user-friendly. For more on this topic, see our article on removing website url field from WordPress comment form

To remove URL field from comment form, simply add the following code to your functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

function wpbeginner_remove_comment_url($arg) {
    $arg['url'] = '';
    return $arg;
}
add_filter('comment_form_default_fields', 'wpbeginner_remove_comment_url');

Remove URL field

Add a Subscribe to Comments Checkbox in WordPress

When users leave a comment on your website, they might want to follow up on that thread to see if someone has replied to their comment. By adding a subscribe to comments checkbox, you enable users to receive instant notifications whenever a new comment appears on the post.

To add this checkbox, the first thing you need to do is install and activate Subscribe to Comments Reloaded plugin. Upon activation, you need to visit StCR » Comment Form page to configure the plugin settings.

For detailed step-by-step instructions, see our article on how to allow users to subscribe to comments in WordPress.

Subscribe to comments checkbox

Add Extra Fields to WordPress Comment Form

Want to add extra fields to your WordPress comment form? For instance, an optional field where users can add their Twitter handle?

Simply install and activate the WordPress Comments Fields plugin. Upon activation, go to the ‘Comments Fields’ page and switch to the ‘Comment Fields’ tab.

Add extra fields to comment form

Simply drag and drop a custom field and give it a title, description, and data name.

Once you are done adding the fields, don’t forget to click on the Save all changes button.

You can now view your comment form to see the custom fields in actions.

Comment form custom fields

The custom fields are then displayed in comment moderation and below the comment content.

Comment extra fields displayed

For more details, see our tutorial on how to add custom fields to the comment form in WordPress.

We hope this article helped you learn how to style WordPress comment form to make it more fun for your users. You may also want to see our tips to get more comments on your WordPress blog posts.

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Reader Interactions

101 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Thank you for guiding us on how to style WordPress form. However I have tried to use almost all the codes, on how to remove the URL field from the comment form but unfortunately, none is working code. Kindly can you give me another code to use

    • If none of our recommendations were able to assist, we would recommend reaching out to the support for your specific theme and they should be able to assist with targeting their specific target for your comments.

      Admin

  2. Hi, nice tutorial ! but i have a problem to find the location of the right .php to modify the post comments, i’m using oceanwp theme with elementor pro, when i go to the functions.php or comments.php i can’t find any of the command lines, i’v tryed to add your code and nothing happens. so i guess it’s somewhere else but where ?

    • If you are using a page builder you would need to reach out to that page builder’s support for how to edit the comment form and what tools are available.

      Admin

    • If your theme is not set up that way you would sadly need to modify the theme’s code to do that. As each theme’s code can be very different we do not have a specific guide on how to do that yet.

      Admin

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