Beginner's Guide for WordPress / Start your WordPress Blog in minutes

How to Paginate Comments in WordPress (Step by Step)

Have you noticed that your blog posts with a lot of comments load slower than other posts? That’s because loading so many comments increase server load which increases your average page load time.

Having a lot of comments is a good thing because it means that your users are engaged with your content. Your most commented posts are usually the most popular posts on your blog.

However if a lot of comments are slowing down your website, then it can hurt your SEO rankings. That’s when pagination for WordPress comments comes handy.

In this article, we will show you how to paginate comments in WordPress to speed up your post load time. The best part is that it comes as a default feature in WordPress, and it is very easy.

Paginate comments in WordPress

Why You Should Paginate Comments in WordPress

Comment pagination helps you improve your website speed which is an important factor in your website SEO rankings.

Many of our users have reported that sometimes posts with a lot of comments can cause their readers to see white screen of death because it exhausts their server’s memory.

Even when it doesn’t cause ‘white screen of death’, posts with a lot of comments tend to be really really slow.

Comment pagination reduces server load for your most commented posts by splitting comments into multiple pages.

Another reason to paginate your WordPress comments is to maintain the keyword density of your articles. Comments add a lot of content to your post’s page, and they may not always include your target keywords in a sufficient amount.

When keyword ratio to content decreases, search engines fail to index your post for the right keywords.

Comment pagination can also have a negative SEO impact if it is not used correctly. Basically, WordPress generates URLs for each new page of comments. Search engines may consider this as ‘duplicate content’.

This issue can be easily fixed by using the All in One SEO plugin, which points search engines to the canonical URL of your article.

Now that we have discussed the pros and cons of comment pagination, let’s take a look at how to easily paginate comments in WordPress.

Paginating WordPress Comments in Two Steps

The first thing you need to do is login to your WordPress admin area and go to Settings » Discussions page.

Next, look for the ‘Break comments into pages’ option. From here you need to enter the number of comments you want on each page, and how you want to display them.

Break Comments into Pages in WordPress Posts

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your settings.

You can now visit any popular post on your website that has a lot of comments. You will notice the pagination links below the comments.

Depending on your theme’s styling, you will either see numeric pagination or ‘Previous / Next’ comment links.

Here is how comment pagination looks on our article 24 “Must Have” WordPress Plugins.

WordPress Comments Pagination in WPBeginner

Note: Just like comments, you can also paginate WordPress posts by splitting a long post into multiple pages.

We hope that this tutorial helped you paginate comments in WordPress. You might also want to see our guide on how to combat comment spam in WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit – a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

13 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Hey, do you know if you can have comments paginate according to the date of the comments?

    Eg. Comments on page 3 for 28/07, Comments on page 2 for 29/07, Comments on page 1 for 30/07

    • We do not have a recommended method at the moment for that and if you wanted users to have conversations it would normally be best not to separate comments by date.

      Admin

  2. Hi,

    I did follow these steps to split 20 comments per pages but the comment did not break into pages. It still showed all 30 comments in one page.

    Is there any idea why?

    Thank you.

    • You would want to start by clearing your cache and if it’s not a caching issue you would likely need to check with your theme to ensure the theme you’re using does not try to override that setting.

      Admin

  3. As far as I read and I understand paginate comments will create duplicate content.. So it’s not recommended at all to paginate comments.

    • Most SEO plugins set up a canonical link on the paginated comment pages to point to the correct post for search engines.

      Admin

  4. How can we show the new comment to user (which he just added) if we are using W3 total cache?
    The page is cached for 3 hours using browser Cache.

    Do you know of a plugin that probably uses wordpress JSON api to communicate and add comments to wp database.

    • For the method the plugins use, you would want to reach out to the specific plugin. You may want to take a look at WP Rocket for what it sounds like you’re looking for.

      Admin

  5. This setting blew up my comments entirely once the number of comments got large — like over 100. It did not paginate — instead, it STOPPED DISPLAYING the first 100 comments altogether, with no option for the user to go to the page to view older comments. Suddenly, where I had 157 comments on a post (and it SAID 157 Comments up at the top), only 27 were showing. I turned this setting OFF altogether and all my comments came back.

    I’m using WordPress 4.4.2. This is a serious bug.

  6. One negative of WordPress split page comments is what happens when the comments-per-page tipping point is reached? The default, canonical page will end up showing just one comment.

    For instance, let’s say it’s set to show 10 comments per page and there are 21 comments. Well, the default, canonical page that 99.9% of folks visit will only show the 21st comment, while the previous page will hold the other 20. This can be confusing and looks bad. It would be preferable for the primary page to always show the maximum number of comments per page, but WordPress doesn’t make this possible without putting together a complicated class that extends the Walker_Comment class.

    • I have this exact same problem and it’s very frustrating. Like you say, it makes the comments look ridiculous if a post says at the top it has 103 comments, but then the reader scrolls down and sees there are just 3.
      Does anyone know a way around this?

Leave A Reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.