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The commenting system in WordPress is really quite nice. We're going to be looking at enabling comments for our individual blog post articles in our theme. So we just looked at styling an individual article for our theme, but at the bottom of it the article just ends. So that's where we're going to want to enable our comments and get that system going. I have our theme open here as a TextMate project. In the single.php file is the theme file that controls what this page looks like.
You can see on this line here that the comments_template is commented out. That's what these two slashes are here. So if I just remove that from here and save it and reload this page, that's instantly going to enable the commenting functionality of our site. So all the sudden there is this Leave Reply thing. So that's what the comment form looks like. It asks for your name. It asks for your email. It asks for your website. You can type a comment in the box and Submit Comment to show a comment. This also would have shown comments that have already been posted on this blog post, if there were any, and there isn't.There does exist one though in that blog post that comes when you install WordPress, the very first post Hello world! comes with a default comment.
So you can see it here. Mr. WordPress is telling us Hi, this is a comment. So you can see on this blog post, here is the content of the post, here are all the comments that have been left so far, and here is the comment form below it. We enable all of that just by this one little line, this comments_template and we can use that anywhere else that we want. If we wanted our pages to have comments, we just put this line there. Really easy that way. Now it's a modular piece in that basically, what this says just like sidebar, and footer, and header it says go get comments.php and put that code there.
So all the stuff is coming from this file here. So it does some tests. There is different things that can happen in WordPress related to comments that this needs to test for. If you decide that comments are closed for this post, then it won't show this, things like that. If you decide that this post is password protected, it needs to know to not show the comments for that as well. So that's some of the logic that's going on here. You may not need to touch this file at all. In fact we're going to be doing very little with this. We just need to know how to style this stuff and just kind of basically what's going on in here.
A really nice feature of the blank theme that we used to start this project, and now that's going to be available in exercise files here under the BLANK-Theme. If you don't have access to the exercise files for this course, you can download this BLANK-Theme as the free exercise file from the course page. Now, there is a style.css file in this BLANK-Theme. We're going to open it up and remember there is very little CSS styling in here, but one really cool feature of this BLANK-Theme is that it comes with all this base styling right here.
Everything that starts with ol.commentlist and ordered list with a class of commentlist is deal specifically with WordPress comments and specifically threaded comments. So I can just go ahead and copy all of the styling and open the style.css file from our own theme and just paste that in here somewhere. Now that's going to deal with styling of these comments. So if I hit save and reload, you're going to see some changes with this comment list. Now it's styled like this. Not a huge difference, but what's cool is that it's enabled for threaded comments.
So if we were to leave a reply here, now this is also a good point is that it's asking for our name, and address, and website, and stuff. If we log in WP admin, it's going to ask us for a username and password, because we're not logged in at the moment. Go back to our blog post page that we're just looking at and down to the bottom. Notice it's going to ask us for our name, address, and website anymore, because we're logged in and it already knows that information about us. So if I type "This is a comment" and post it, it will get posted as another comment.
See it has a little bit different of a background color. That's all coming from the CSS that we just copied and pasted. Replies are ready to go. So if I click Reply, notice how that works. I can click Cancel to get out this reply. It moves this comment form within this comment to visually represent that we're replying to this comment. So "This is a reply" and Submit Comment, and notice it gets this new styling now where this reply comment is kind of buried within this other comment. All that styling that visually represents this is coming from this CSS over here.
So it's just a nice base to work from, rather than having to figure out how to write all that stuff from scratch originally. You can adjust things. Notice how there is some margin involved here and that's not quite lined up. We can go ahead and make adjustments to the CSS, just remove the margin from that outer wrap and kind of get things lining up a little better. We could add some bottom margin to kick it away from Leave A Reply and give it a little more breathing room there, but it's a nice feature of the blank theme and we already have comments styling ready to go and comments enabled for our theme.
There is a few settings that we should look at in regards to Discussion. We have this box checked right here that says C"moment author must fill out name and e-mail." That's making those two fields required. So you can't submit an anonymous comment. If you wanted to allow anonymous comments, you could leave that unchecked. There is also things in here about requiring users to be registered. There is things about An administrator must always approve comments. If you don't want to allow any talents until you literally approve the,m and this bit about threaded comments.
So how deep do you want to allow that threading to work. So read through these discussion settings and make sure that your comments are set up just how you want them to be.
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