The default WordPress comment section is useful for basic interaction on your website. This feature allows users, guests, and anonymous users to comment without needing a social media account. However, customizing the comments feature is surprisingly difficult. This is because it is almost always uniform across all WordPress websites.
In order to change the comments section, edit the code manually in the comments.php file. To edit the code use file transfer protocol (FTP) or the WordPress File Editor. I recommend only using this method on a local install (and to have made proper backups).
Easy Method to Change the “Leave a Reply” Text
Follow the following steps using the WP-Admin panel.
- Log into WordPress.
- Open the “Appearance” section on the menu on the left-hand side and click editor.
- Click the comments file (it should read as comments.php).
- If you are on Windows hit Control F to search for “Leave a Reply.” Hit enter to search.
- Locate the line that reads as the following: “<?php comment_form_title( __(‘Leave a Reply’.” Some themes might have slightly different code wrapped around it, but you want to find the form_title with the Leave A Reply text.
- Edit the title to whatever you wish.
- Click update and the settings will be saved.
- Reload your website in order to verify the changes were made.
Harder Method to Change the “Leave a Reply” Text (I recommend this!)
This is the recommended way of changing the text, but it is harder. To do this correctly, do the following:
- Create a child theme.
- Add the new file to the child theme. It prevents the file from being erased in future theme updates.
Pro Tip: Do not edit code on a live website with the WordPress Editor. If an error is made, it could cause your website to go down.
If you are not experienced in using PHP, I highly recommend contacting your theme’s author or hiring a developer such as myself.