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How to Paginate Comments in WordPress (Step by Step)

Do you want to learn how to paginate comments in WordPress?

Having a lot of comments means that your users are engaged with your content. However, showing all of these comments on a single page can slow your website down.

In this article, we’ll show you how to speed up your post loading times by paginating comments in WordPress.

Paginate comments in WordPress

Why You Should Paginate Comments in WordPress

Have you noticed that your blog posts with a lot of comments load slower than other posts?

Showing a large number of comments on a single page will increase the server load, which may add to your average page load time.

Posts with a lot of comments may even exhaust the server’s memory and cause your visitors to see the white screen of death.

This is a bad user experience, but it’s also terrible for your WordPress SEO. Search engines like Google use WordPress speed and performance as a ranking factor, so all of those comments may be affecting where your content appears in the search engine results.

Comment pagination reduces server load by splitting comments into multiple pages. This can improve your page load speeds and the visitor experience.

Comment pagination can also maintain the keyword density of your articles. This is because comments add a lot of content to your posts, and they don’t always include your target keyword. This will affect your keyword to content ratio.

At this ratio decreases, it’s less likely that the search engines will index your post for the right keywords. With that in mind, let’s see how you can 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 the Settings » Discussions page.

Changing your WordPress discussion settings

Here, find ‘Break comments into pages’ and check the box next to it.

You can now type in the number of comments you want to show on each page.

Adding comment pagination to your WordPress website

You can also change whether the oldest or newest comment page will be displayed first, using the ‘first/last page displayed by default’ dropdown menu.

After that, you can change whether each page will show the oldest or newest comments first, using the ‘Comments should be displayed with the….’ dropdown menu.

When you’re happy with how the pagination is setup, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on ‘Save Changes.’

Now if you visit a post that has lots of comments, you should see the pagination in action.

WordPress Comments Pagination in WPBeginner

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

Just be aware that comment pagination can negatively impact your SEO if it’s not used correctly. The problem is that WordPress may generate URLs for each new page of comments, which the search engines see as spammy duplicate content.

The good news is that you can easily fix this problem using the AIOSEO plugin. It’s the best WordPress SEO and it also points search engines to the canonical URL of your article, so you don’t get hit with SEO penalties.

For help getting started with this powerful SEO tool, please see our guide on how to setup All in One SEO for WordPress correctly.

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 or see our list of proven ways to make money online blogging with WordPress.

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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?

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