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Remove the Comments Name Field with WordPress functions.php

If you’ve ever wondered about the implications of choosing to remove the Comments Name field from your WordPress website, this article is meant for you. While seemingly a small detail, this decision can have surprising effects on user engagement, privacy concerns, and the overall commenting experience on your site.

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The Pros of Removing the Comments Name Field

Anonymity and Engagement

Removing the Comments Name field can be an effective strategy for promoting anonymity. Some individuals feel more at ease sharing their views when their identities are not tied to their comments. This level of anonymity can foster an environment that encourages higher rates of engagement and more robust discussions.

Privacy Considerations

In today’s digital world, user privacy is a significant concern. Without the field, you could boost users’ confidence about their personal data safety. This decision might assure your visitors that their names are not being logged or utilized in any way, creating an atmosphere of trust.

When you remove the Name field from the Comments section, there will be an “Anonymous” string instead of a name in each comment.

This action means that you don’t need to state in the Privacy Policy that you gather your users’ names since you do not, and there is no such field in the Comments section.

Spammers often leave their URL or domain in the Name field. When you remove the Name field from Comments, they will not be able to do that, and other users will not be able to fall to their bate in case you do not see that. However, the Akismet Anti-Spam plugin works well in these cases and will not allow such comments.

Streamlining the Commenting Process

Without the field, you effectively simplify the commenting process. Users may appreciate the reduced amount of information required and, thus, could be more likely to contribute to the discussions.

The Cons of Removing the Comments Name Field

User Accountability

A Name field in your comments section adds a layer of user accountability. When names are attached to comments, individuals may think twice before leaving spam or inappropriate content. However, nothing stops them from using fake names.

Building a Community

Community building is an essential aspect of running a successful blog or website. Recognizing familiar names in the comments section can help foster community and personal interaction among your users. Thus, removing the Comments Name field could potentially impact these community-building efforts.

The Decision

Before you decide to remove the Comments Name field, carefully consider your website’s goals and the type of user interaction you want to promote. When changing your site’s structure, remember to update your privacy policy and terms of service to reflect these changes. Tailoring your website to your audience’s needs and preferences is crucial for fostering an engaged, active community.

Recommendation to Remove the WordPress Name Comment Field

After considering the various benefits and drawbacks, we prefer to remove the Comments Name field from our WordPress site. Encouraging user engagement through anonymity, enhancing privacy, and simplifying the commenting process are compelling reasons. While accountability and community building are essential, there are other effective ways to promote these aspects without requiring a name field, such as through careful moderation with Akismet spam filtering and fostering interactions through reply comments.

In addition, since you don’t gather the user’s Name, you can remove it from the Privacy policy and other policies.

How to Remove WordPress Name Comments Field through functions.php of the Child Theme

For those who decide to remove the field from their WordPress site, here’s a simple guide to help you do that. This method involves modifying the functions.php file of your child theme.

Login to your WordPress Dashboard.
Your child theme must be active.
On the left side menu bar, hover over [Appearance], then click on [Theme File Editor].
In the right panel, select “functions.php”.
Find the end of the file with the “?>” string.
Before that string, make at least three empty lines and paste the code:

// Disable Name in comments. 60 is the priority of execution.
add_filter( 'comment_form_default_fields', 'remove_comment_fields', 60 );
function remove_comment_fields( $fields ) {
    return $fields;

This function checks if the ‘author’ (Name) field is set, and if so, the function unsets (or removes) the field.

Click [Update File].
Clear all the caches in case you use them.

If your site already has several comments, you must manually remove the Name / Author field from your database using the Database Manager. Back up the database before doing so.

Removing Email and Website Fields

You can also remove the Email and Website fields from the comments section with our guides: How to Remove the Email Field from Comments Section in WordPress through functions.php, and How to Remove the Website/URL Field from Comments Section in WordPress through functions.php.

There is also an option to remove all the input fields (Name, Email, and Website) from the Comments Section in WordPress with a single function using functions.php.

The current article is "6.11. Remove the Name Field" of our Complete SEO Guide Box.
Previous Article: 6.10. Adding Yoast Breadcrumbs. Next Article: 6.12. Remove the Email Field


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