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Your Comment Has Been Moderated – Stay Tuned for Approval

You come across a blog post you really want to comment on. You think out your comment, carefully type it in, check it for misspellings, and, when you are ready, you hit the submit button. The page reloads and…where’s your comment? It’s not there! Did it take it? What happened?

Some people understand that comments, especially any with links, may get moderated. This means a comment is “held” until the blog owner okays it and releases it “to the public”, so to speak. So they just move on.

Others freak and rewrite their comment, often not making the same point as eloquently as they did the first time. They hit submit and…nothing again! Where did it go? In frustration, they often give up.

If you have comments turned on, I think it is important to let the commenter know that their comment has been received. It’s a nice way of saying thank you for commenting, and to let them know it worked. There are several ways to do this.

The easiest method is to edit your WordPress Theme’s comments.php template file and add a bit of text in the comment area that says, “Comments may be moderated. Please do not post your comment a second time.”

<h3 id="respond">Leave a Reply</h3>
<p>Comments may be moderated. If you don't see your comment, please be patient. It may be posted soon. Do not post your comment a second time. Thank you.<br />
The management.</p>

The other method is to have a bit of code that lets your commenter know that their comment has been received and is awaiting moderation and approval.

Your WordPress blog may already have a built-in feature that checks to see if a comment is in moderation and posts a note about it. To test it, log out from your blog and post a comment that includes 5-10 links. That should trigger instant moderation of a comment. If you see an acknowledgment, then it works. If the comment disappears and you don’t see any acknowledgment, then your blog needs a bit of code to make the acknowledgment work.

The code to add to your WordPress Theme comments.php template file has a conditional statement that recognizes when a comment has been posted and let’s the commenter know that the comment is being held for moderation.

The conditional PHP statement asks if the comment is approved. If not, it posts a statement. If it is, the comment appears. It looks like this:

<?php if ($comment->comment_approved == '0') : ?>
<em>Your comment is awaiting moderation.</em>

Your WordPress Theme’s comment template file might have a different layout, but this is how the moderation code is used in the WordPress Default Theme (Kubrick):

<ol class="commentlist">
<?php foreach ($comments as $comment) : ?>
<li class="<?php echo $oddcomment; ?>" id="comment-<?php comment_ID() ?>">
<cite><?php comment_author_link() ?></cite> Says:

<?php if ($comment->comment_approved == '0?) : ?>
<em>Your comment is awaiting moderation.</em>

<?php endif; ?>
<br />
<small class="commentmetadata">
<a href="#comment-<?php comment_ID() ?>" title=""><?php comment_date('F jS, Y') ?> at <?php comment_time() ?></a> <?php edit_comment_link('e',","); ?></small>
<?php comment_text() ?>

You can change the wording. I like:

Your comment has been received. Be patient and as soon as I approve the comment, it will appear here. Thank you.

Next time someone posts a comment on your WordPress blog, if it is moderated they won’t worry about the comment disappearing. They can relax. You’ve just taken away some of the aggravating stress of commenting on blogs.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network


  1. Posted July 26, 2006 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Very useful information, Lorelle. It’s not something I’m all that likely to use, mind you, since I don’t have comments set to moderate (high linkages from unknown commenters is a bit of a different story, of course), but I do use a combination of tools that lets my readers comment with free abandon and no worries about spam attacks. And thus far, all my commenters have been civil to me and to each other, so there’s been no need to institute comment moderation on that front, either. 🙂

    Thanks for the great write-up!

  2. Posted July 26, 2006 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Jim: No matter what your comment moderation levels are, occasionally a comment will get caught. For a variety of reasons, some you can control, others not. I think it’s a great backup, just in case. I have very lax code rules for allowing comments on some of my blogs, and still some get caught and sit there. Then people will post again, thinking it didn’t get through. I’ve found three or four almost duplicated comments as people struggled to get their comment submitted without any indication that they had succeeded the first time.

    Prevention is 9/10ths of the law. Right? 😉

  3. Posted July 26, 2006 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Hey a little off topic but what happened to your “What Do I Do With My New Blog” post. I enjoyed it so much I submitted it to Netscape for others to see, and now its gone. 😦 I hope it comes back

  4. Posted July 26, 2006 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    To protect me against my comments getting lost or never freed from moderation, I use cocomment.

  5. Posted July 26, 2006 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    jtintle: There’s a strange bug on and the post posted three days ahead of schedule, and then went back. I’m awaiting tech support to figure out what happened. Want to scream.

  6. Posted July 26, 2006 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    well I guess in 3 days I will resubmit it back to netscape…

  7. Posted August 6, 2007 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I also maintain several blogs of mine, and have turned this feature on. I hate spam comments.

  8. Posted October 2, 2007 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Great idea! I mentioned spam filtering below the comment box on the post page, but adding a little thank you and an explanation afterwards also makes sense. As does making the input fields wider on blogs that have them. See here for details on why and how –


  9. Posted March 2, 2008 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Quite an old post, but still relevant. I’ve been playing with the idea of turning approval off since Akismet is good at nabbing spam.

  10. Posted August 22, 2008 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    my comment often blacked out by one of the discussant. how to that I am free of their blacking out? thank you. sultan

  11. Posted November 24, 2008 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    how to make the notificaton email be send to the user who has commented the post?

  12. Posted November 24, 2008 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    @ K:

    You want an email notification send to the person whose comment you’ve approved? Check the WordPress Plugin Directory. Not familiar with such Plugins as haven’t had a need. I’m not a fan of approving or moderating comments.

  13. krish
    Posted April 13, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    WordPress ‘comment is awaiting moderation.’ message not appearing when a comment is submitted?

    • Posted April 14, 2011 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Then check your Theme to ensure nothing is wrong or has been changed in the code. Do you have moderation turned on?

  14. Anonymous
    Posted April 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand. I used this exact code, but nothing shows for me when a comment gets moderated.

    • Posted April 13, 2013 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      What code are you referring to? There are several bits in this post and your WordPress Theme may not have the exact same code elements. Check with the Theme author for the correct place to change the moderation response. Thanks.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted December 26, 2015 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand. I used this exact code, but nothing shows for me when a comment gets moderated.

  16. Deepa singh
    Posted September 16, 2016 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    WordPress ‘comment is awaiting moderation.’ message not appearing when a comment is submitted?

  17. Posted October 23, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    OMFG. This is exactly the article which I have been looking for!

    I recently noticed some people commenting the same thing on my posts at different points of time.

    I obviously figured out that it was because they must have come back to that post later on and noticed that their comment is not shown, and thought that due to some bug or something, it was not at all sent.

    I appreciate all the help I got from this article Lorelle! 🙂

    Thank you.

15 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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