The most interesting part of the comment stream is the way it threads comments—
it orders the comments that visitors post in reply to other comments. When new
visitors read your post and join the conversation, they have two options: They can
reply directly to your post by scrolling to the “Leave a Reply” section at the bottom
of the page, or they can reply to one of the existing comments by clicking the Reply
button (or link) next to the comment.
When a guest comments on another comment, WordPress puts the reply underneath
the original note, indented slightly to show the relationship. Figure 8-8 shows
how one of the standard WordPress themes (in this case, Twenty Thirteen) handles
TIP WordPress has a handy shortcut that lets you, the site owner, join a conversation straight from the
dashboard. When reviewing a comment on the Dashboard→Comments page, click the Reply link, fill in some
text, and then click the Reply button (or “Reply and Approve” if you’re responding to a comment you haven’t
If several people reply to the same comment, WordPress arranges the replies underneath
the comment and indents them, either from oldest to newest (the standard)
or newest to oldest (if you changed the discussion settings as described in the Tip
at the top of this page).
Comment replies can go several layers deep.
WordPress allows this replying-to-replies madness to continue only so far; once you
get five levels of comments, it no longer displays the Reply button. This prevents
the conversation from becoming dizzyingly self-referential, and it stops the everincreasing
indenting from messing with your site’s layout. However, you can reduce
or increase this cap (the maximum is 10 levels) by choosing Settings→Discussion,
finding the setting “Enable threaded (nested) comments 5 levels deep,” and then
picking a different number. Or turn off the checkmark for this setting to switch
threaded comments off altogether, which keeps your conversations super-simple,
but looks more than a bit old-fashioned.