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How to Display the Total Number of Comments in WordPress

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Do you want to display the total number of comments on your WordPress site?

Comments are one of the most significant ways users engage with your blog content. By showing off the total comment count, you can encourage more people to join the conversation.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily display the total number of comments on your WordPress website.

How to display total number of comments in WordPress

Why Display the Total Number of Comments in WordPress?

Displaying the total number of comments in WordPress can encourage new users to leave comments on your WordPress posts. It’s like telling them, “Other people are reacting to this blog post. You should, too!”

Showing the total number of comments is also a form of social proof, as it means that you have an active comment section.

By default, WordPress will display the comment count for individual posts like so:

The default WordPress comment count display

However, it doesn’t show the total number of comments that a website has received. You may want to do this on your homepage or sidebar to get more people to leave comments.

With that being said, let’s see how you can display the total number of comments on your WordPress website. Simply use the quick links below to jump straight to the method you want to use:

Method 1: Display WordPress Comment Count Using a Plugin (Easy)

The easiest way to show an accurate comment count is by using Simple Blog Stats. This plugin shows the total number of approved comments and comments in moderation. However, it doesn’t include pings and trackbacks in its count.

Many websites turn off trackbacks and pingbacks in an attempt to block spam comments in WordPress, so this may not be a big problem for your website.

However, if you want to include trackbacks and pings in your total comment count, then we recommend using method 2 instead.

To get started with this method, you will need to install and activate the Simple Blog Stats plugin. If you need help, then please see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you can see all the plugin’s shortcodes by going to the Settings » Simple Blog Stats page.

The Simple Blog Stats WordPress plugin

Here, simply click to expand the ‘Shortcodes’ section.

You will now see all the shortcodes you can use to show different stats like the total number of comments, registered users, number of posts, categories, and more.

How to show the total number of comments in WordPress

To show the total count of all approved comments on your WordPress blog, simply use the following shortcode: [sbs_approved]

If you want to show the total number of approved comments plus comments that are still in the WordPress comment moderation queue, then you can use [sbs_comments] instead.

For more information about using shortcodes, check out our article on how to add shortcodes in WordPress.

Displaying Total Comment Count in a Post or Page

When you have the shortcode you want to use, simply go to the page or post where you want to show the total number of comments.

Here, click on the ‘+’ button to add a new block. You can now start typing ‘Shortcode’ and select the right block when it appears.

Add Shortcode Block to a WordPress Page

Next, simply paste the shortcode into the block.

You can add any text you want to display before or after the shortcode.

Paste Shortcode to the Shortcode Block

Another option is to use the shortcode inside a paragraph block.

Simply add the shortcode where you want to show the total comment count.

Paragraph block with comment count shortcode inside it

Using the paragraph block also allows you to style the total comment count using the standard text formatting settings. For example, you might make it bold or italic or change the text color.

When you are finished, click on the ‘Publish’ or ‘Update’ button to save your changes. You can now visit your website to see the comment count live.

Comment count displayed in a WordPress post

Displaying Total Comment Count in a Sidebar Widget

You can also add the total comment count shortcode to a sidebar or similar section. This is an easy way to display the comment count across your entire WordPress website, as you can see in the following image.

How to display the total WordPress comment count in a sidebar

To add the comment count to a sidebar or similar section, go to Appearance » Widgets.

Here, you will see a list of all the available widget areas. For example, in the following image, we are using the ThemeIsle Hestia Pro theme, which has multiple widget-ready areas, including the sidebar, header, and footer.

Adding the total comment count to a widget-ready area

The widget-ready areas are defined by your WordPress theme, so you may see something different depending on the theme you are using.

Now, click on the blue ‘+’ button and type in ‘Paragraph.’ When the Paragraph widget shows up, drag it to the area where you want to show the comment count.

Adding the comment count shortcode to a WordPress widget

You can then paste the [sbs_approved] shortcode into the widget and type in any text you want to show before or after the total comment count.

When you’re finished, click on ‘Update’ to store your changes.

Creating a total comment count widget

Now, if you visit your website, you’ll see the total comment count widget in action.

Note: If you’re using a block-based theme, then you can add the shortcode to a WordPress page, pattern, or template using the WordPress full site editor. Read our beginner’s guide to WordPress full site editing for more information.

Method 2: Display Comment Count Using Code (Most Accurate)

If you want to include pingbacks and trackbacks in the total comment count, then you will need to add custom code to your website.

Often, tutorials will ask you to add custom code snippets to the theme’s functions.php file. However, we don’t recommend this method, as even a small mistake in your code could cause a number of common WordPress errors or even break your site entirely.

That’s why we recommend using WPCode. It allows you to add custom code in WordPress without editing any core WordPress theme files.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the free WPCode plugin on your website. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Code Snippets » Add Snippet.

How to show the total comment count using code

Here, you will see all the ready-made snippets that you can add to your site using WPCode. This includes code that allows you to deactivate the comment section, disable attachment pages, upload SVG files, disable automatic updates, and more.

To create your own snippet, hover your mouse over ‘Add Your Custom Code,’ and then click the ‘Use snippet’ button underneath.

Showing the most accurate WordPress comment count using WPCode

To start, enter a title for the custom code snippet. This is just for your reference, so it can be anything that helps you identify the snippet, like ‘Total Comment Count Display.’

Once you’ve done that, open the ‘Code Type’ dropdown and choose the ‘PHP Snippet’ option.

Creating a custom code to display the total comment count using WPCode

Then, paste the following snippet into the ‘Code Preview’ editor:

// Get the total comment count for the entire site
$total_comments = wp_count_comments()->total_comments;

// Output HTML for displaying the comment count
<div class="comment-count-container">
        <!-- Display the text "Total Comments". Feel free to adjust the text -->
        Total Comments:
        <!-- Display the actual comment count using the esc_html function to sanitize the output -->
        <span class="comment-count"><?php echo esc_html($total_comments); ?></span>

Below the code box, you’ll see some insertion options: Auto Insert and Shortcode. With ‘Auto Insert,’ you can make the code run automatically on all your pages and posts.

But in this case, we recommend using the ‘Shortcode’ option so that you can display the comment count on specific pages or sections that matter the most, like your homepage or sidebar.

Choosing the Shortcode method in WPCode

Once you’ve selected that method, you’ll be asked to save the snippet first.

Go ahead and scroll to the top of the screen and click on the ‘Inactive’ toggle so it shows ‘Active.’ Then, click ‘Save Snippet.’

Activate and save your custom code snippet

You should now see the shortcode that you can use in your pages, posts, or other widget-ready areas.

If you use a premium version of WPCode, you can also create a custom shortcode name to make the shortcode more memorable.

Just make sure to click the ‘Update’ button above so that the plugin knows you’ll be using that new shortcode name instead of the ID-based one.

Creating a custom shortcode in WPCode

Like the previous method, you can insert the shortcode in any part of your website.

Here’s what the output of the shortcode looks like on our test site:

Example of the custom total comment display code output made with WPCode

Here are other articles you can check out to improve your comments with WPCode:

Bonus Tip: Use Thrive Comments to Boost Comment Engagement

Want to take your comment section to the next level and encourage even more interaction? Consider using a powerful comment plugin like Thrive Comments.

Thrive Comments goes beyond simply displaying comments. It allows you to gamify your comment section by enabling features like likes and dislikes. This lets your readers express their opinions and highlight valuable comments, fostering a more engaging discussion.

Like or dislike comments in WordPress

Thrive Comments also lets you curate your comment section effectively. You can easily feature comments that add value to the conversation, while discreetly burying comments that might be irrelevant or unproductive.

Additionally, Thrive Comments lets you set up a comment redirect action, which means you can automatically send users to a specific page (like a related post) or sign up for your email subscription.

This is a great way to keep them engaged with your content and explore other relevant parts of your website.

To learn more about the plugin, check out our Thrive Themes review.

We hope this tutorial has helped you learn how to display the total number of comments in WordPress. You may also want to see our list of the best WordPress comment plugins and our guide on ways to get more comments in WordPress.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

7 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
    You can get more details about the contest from here.
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  2. Dennis Muthomi says

    Thanks for this. I have a quick SILLY question:

    WPBeginner is one of the most popular WordPress resources on internet, I’m curious what WPBeginner’s total comment count stands at currently?
    It would be interesting to know the total number of comments you’ve received since originally being founded by Syed Balkhi back in 2009.
    I am sure it is astronomical right? :-)

  3. Jiří Vaněk says

    Thanks for the PHP snippet. I will definitely like to use it on my site. I appreciate that, in addition to the possibilities using plugins, you also take the time to write PHP code, which is much more valuable to me in order to save server memory.

  4. Henry Obilor says

    Thanks for this simple hack, can I show this just at the beginning of every post automatically?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If you set up a widget area you certainly could automatically add it to the start of all of your posts


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