WordPress: Automatically close comments on articles older than 28 days


WordPress is Automatically closing comments on articles older than 28 days.

All my websites allow people to comment on any post, no matter how old the post is. At least they should do, but it sometimes goes wrong.


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In the WordPress settings there is an option to change that to stop people from leaving comments after a selected number of days, the default is 28 days.

It is located under the discussion settings, in the section “Other Comment Settings” and titled “Automatically close comments on articles older than 28 days”. (the 28 number is changeable).

My original setting was to leave it set at 28 days but not tick it, so the option is NOT activated. That has allowed all my posts to receive comments. That is vitally important on one site that gets regular comments on posts a few years old.

During the last couple of months something has changed, and I noticed that people no longer had the option to leave comments, and on checking this option, I noticed it had suddenly appeared as ticked, and therefore activated. No one could leave comments on posts older than 28 days.

I unticked that box to fix it, assuming I must have stuffed up at some stage and ticked it by accident. But it happened again, without me doing anything.


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On TWO of the FIVE sites that I have, the default setting of no comment after 28 days has automatically reset 3 times in one week. All five are hosted on the same shared host

I keep resetting the option back to allow comments, and even changed it to 9999 days on all five sites.  Three have remained at unticked and 9999 days for over a week, but two sites have defaulted back to being ticked and 28 days, three times in the last week or so.

This is the setting it defaults to

I keep changing it to this, which is how I have it set on three other sites, that have been OK for at least one week.

Timeline of changes:

  • 11pm 31st March 2018: I noticed 2 of 5 sites had defaulted back to being ticked, and I had to change them again.
  • 10am 3rd April 2018: I noticed the same 2 sites had defaulted again, and I changed them again.
  • 9am 5th April 2018: The same 2 sites had defaulted, and again, I changed them.

3 of my sites haven’t changed during this period.  I have a feeling that one of those three did change once before, but I cannot be sure.


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17 thoughts on “WordPress: Automatically close comments on articles older than 28 days”

  1. Just an Update.

    The problem seemed to go away quite some months ago, all on its own.

    I have seen no more of these issues for ages.

  2. Most likely your host is doing it. Is your host owned by Endurance Group?

    I manage around 150+ sites, and I have the same problem. Almost all of my sites are hosted on Bluehost, and some on Bluehost VPS, iWeb. Sites hosted on VPS and iWeb don’t have this problem.

    They probably do it to reduce server load, so they can host more sites on same server and end up making more money.

  3. 20th Feb 2019
    All six sites defaulted back to “Automatically close comments on articles older than 28 days”, yet again.

    They were set at “Automatically close comments on articles older than 9999 days”, with that option ticked.

    If other than 28 is set, it will default back to 28,
    AND
    if it is NOTt ticked, it will default back to being ticked.

  4. 15th Feb 2019
    All six sites defaulted back to “Automatically close comments on articles older than 28 days”, yet again.

    My change, on 7th Feb, to ‘Automatically close comments on articles older than 3650 days’, did not stop this defaulting back to 28 days.

    The issue of Jetpack updates has appeared again, as all my sites also showed: ‘You have version 7.0 installed. Update to 7.0.1’.

  5. 7th Feb 2019
    All six sites defaulted back to “Automatically close comments on articles older than 28 days”

    The removal of Jetpack appears to have had no effect.

    Back to the drawing board..

    However, all six sites also showed a plugin update needed: Jetpack: You have version 6.9 installed. Update to 7.0.

    I hadn’t deleted Jetpack, just deactivated it.

    I have now set all sites to: ‘Automatically close comments on articles older than 3650 days’. ie: 10 years. Will see what happens next.

  6. 31 January 2019

    All 6 of my websites defaulted back to:
    Automatically close comments on articles older than 28 days

    This happened overnight 30th Jan to 31st Jan 2019

    I deactivated the plugin jetpack on one site, abcdiamond.com, on 31 Jan 2019

    Will see if this has any affect.

    Between 18 Nov and 31 Jan, I had to disable all plugins on all sites to rectify a different sitewide problem, and ended up with a major change in active plugins on all sites.

    This somehow resulted in my site brisbanebayside also being affected by the “Automatically close comments” problem.

    These were the 22 active plugins before the latest change:
    AdRotate
    Advanced Excerpt
    Akismet Anti-Spam
    Another WordPress Classifieds Plugin (AWPCP)
    Child Theme Configurator
    Jetpack by WordPress.com
    List category posts
    List Pages Shortcode
    Official StatCounter Plugin
    PayPal Donations
    Post Type Switcher
    Pretty Links
    Smart Ads
    Top 10
    UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore
    WP Easy Paypal Payment Accept
    WP External Links
    WP Simple Paypal Shopping cart
    WP Super Cache
    Wp-Insert
    WP125
    Yoast SEO

    This is now down to 21 after deactivating jetpack

  7. Same again on 18 Nov 2018

    5 of my 6 sites reverted back to closing comments on articles older than 28 days.
    1 of them had no change (Brisbane-Bayside)

    It happened exactly the same as it did on 26th October 2018.

  8. 26th October 2018
    5 of my 6 sites reverted back to closing comments on articles older than 28 days.
    1 of them had no change (Brisbane-Bayside)

  9. 20th October 2018
    4 of my 6 sites reverted back to closing comments on articles older than 28 days.
    2 of them had no change

    One of the ones that reverted back was a new site only 1 month old. with these plugins:

    Akismet Anti-Spam Version 4.0.8
    All-in-One WP Migration Version 6.77
    Another WordPress Classifieds Plugin (AWPCP) Version 3.9.1
    Bluehost Version 1.3.4
    Child Theme Configurator Version 2.3.0.4
    GA Google Analytics Version 2018082
    iQ Block Country Version 1.2.0
    Jetpack by WordPress.com Version 6.6.1
    Limit Posts Version 2.0.2
    List category posts Version 0.79
    OptinMonster API Version 1.5.1
    Post Type Switcher Version 3.1.0
    UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore Version 1.15.2
    WP All Export Version 1.2.1
    WP All Import Version 3.4.9
    WPForms Lite Version 1.4.9

  10. 1st September 2018 – Automatically closed comments on articles older than 28 days, on one of my 5 sites.

    abcdiamond.com.au comments changed to “turned off after 28 days.” 1st September. AdRotate plugin update needed.

    brisbanebayside.com is OK. No plugin updates needed. Last reset was before August

    in-philippines.com is OK. No plugin updates needed. Last reset at 21 Aug

    britzinoz.com is OK. Plugins needed updating: Advanced Ads, Gutenberg. Last reset at 21 Aug
    abcdiamond.com is OK. Plugins needed updating: AdRotate, GA Google Analytics and WP ALL Export. Last reset at 21 Aug

  11. The same thing is happening to me, and I’m on JustHost which I believe is related to BlueHost. Have you discovered anything new since this update? I am starting to monitor plugin updates to see if that is resetting something.

  12. It just happened again, on three of my sites.

    I did some plugin updates, and then noticed one site lost comments on Saturday with two others that I noticed today .

    I am not sure which plugins were updated.

  13. Found this when googling. My site has the same problem. I keep noticing comments are closed. I reset the setting to allow comments. A few days later, it flicks back again. I’m on Bluehost. I have 25 plugins (please don’t judge) so troubleshooting this will not be easy because it’s so random.

    1. Mine seems to be fixed now, or at least it hasn’t happened for a while.

      I did get Bluehost to scan for malware on my hosting account, following a different issue. Maybe it was fixed then.

      I still don’t know the issue though.

  14. The two sites affected both have different Themes.

    They do however have a common link with TWO plugins being on both, but not being on the other three sites.

    These Plugins are:
    Simple Lightbox – Version 2.6.0
    User Submitted Posts – Version 20180323

    I am deactivating “User Submitted Posts – Version 20180323” to try to see if it changes anything

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