Add Comments section to articles

To enable Comments in your knowledge base:

  1. Go to Settings > Comments
  2. Select the checkbox next to Enable comments to "Allow people to comment on articles."Settings > Comments screen
  3. Restrict commenters sets who can physically comment on your knowledge base; restrict visibility sets who can see those comments. See Comment restrictions and permissions for more detail on each option.
  4. By default, all comments are set to require approval before they'll be displayed. If you'd prefer all comments be automatically approved (and displayed) as soon as they've been submitted, check the box next to Auto Approve.
  5. Comments are automatically shown in the Comments reporting dashboard. If you'd also like to send email notifications to particular address(es) when comments are submitted, check the box next to Email Notifications and add the email addresses you'd like to send to in the Email Recipients list.
    • You can also choose to adjust the Email Reply To and Email From fields so that they aren't coming from Knowledge Support (
  6. Email notifications of new comments will default to an Email Frequency of Every new comment. You can also opt for Hourly, Daily, and Weekly digests.
  7. Optional: You can customize all the text shown in the Comments section, including:
    1. The comment box Placeholder 
    2. The Change user icon option
    3. The Submit button label
    4. The Submit feedback text shown after someone has clicked the submit button
  8. Click Save. 

Now that you've enabled comments, you'll need to add them to your knowledge base. While you can add them anywhere, we recommend adding them either into the Article footer or the Right Column (if you're using it).

To add to the footer:

  1. Go to Settings > Style.
  2. Below the preview window, click on Custom HTML and select Article from the dropdown.
  3. Click the Select a Merge Code dropdown, find the Widget Merge Codes section, and select Articles Comments.
  4. Click to put your cursor where you want to add the comments section (in the hg-article-footer is a great place!) and click the Insert button to add the merge code. (You can always move the merge code around in the HTML to get it exactly where you want.)
    Gif showing how to select and insert the Comments Template merge code into Article Custom HTML
  5. Click Save.
  6. Your comments section is now live!

Pro Tip: Adding comments into the right column is a similar process, but you may want to create a separate right-col-panel div to add it into--it depends on how your right column is laid out!

Comment restrictions and permissions

You can choose who can comment on articles and who can view those comments. The two main groups are everyone and only logged in readers and users.

Restrict commenters sets who can physically comment on your articles. When checked, only users and readers who are logged in to your knowledge base are allowed to leave comments. Readers or users who are not logged in won't be able to submit comments. 

Restrict visibility sets who can view comments. When this box is checked, only users and readers who are logged in to your knowledge base will be able to view comments. People not logged in will not see comments at all.

Comment security

Comments have some built-in security measures to prevent issues such as spam, abusive comments, or private information from being posted for all to see. Public commenters must pass the robot test. By default, all comments go into a moderation queue for approval; only approved comments are shown.

SPAM, reCAPTCHA, or the Robot Test

Spam is mostly a concern with comments on publicly accessible knowledge bases. To combat spam, we've added reCAPTCHA when folks who are not logged in comment. Most of your commenters will be able to comment by clicking a box confirming they are, in fact, not a robot. If reCAPTCHA notices anything fishy, the commenter will have to perform an additional task that robots would have a difficult time performing but are fairly straightforward for humans.

  Sample comments field that a public reader would see--note the "I'm not a robot" on the right

Logged in readers and users will not see reCAPTCHA.

If you're using a KnowledgeOwl subdomain (such as, reCAPTCHA is handled as part of our domain. If you're using a private domain, you'll need to configure reCAPTCHA for your domain.

View comments pending approval

There are two ways you'll know about new comments:

  • You'll see a callout number next to the Reporting menu option, as well as that callout number next to the Comments option in the Reporting dropdown.
  • If you've enabled email notifications for comments in Settings > Comments, the email address(es) you've added will receive an email.

Only approved comments will show in your knowledge base.

Commenter icons / images / avatars

Comments include not only the name of the commenter but also an image. This is the default image and the image that will appear for public comments:
Sample user comment field with a user icon

Sample comment field with no user icon added

Logged in users and readers can customize this image:

  1. When commenting, by clicking the Update image link (this text is customizable, so it might say something different in your knowledge base!)
  2. For users, by clicking on Your Account in the upper right and either
    • Selecting My Account to update your own image, or
    • Selecting Users, clicking on the user whose image you want to update, and updating their user profile
      Update the user's picture/icon
  3. Users can also add images for readers by going to My Account > Readers, clicking on the Reader account, and updating the image in the reader's profile.
    Update the reader's picture/icon

Notice images showing up on their own?

If you see images appear before you upload them, don't panic! We are using Gravatar to display avatars for users and readers who have set up a Gravatar in the past.

Limit the max characters allowed in comments

Are your readers writing their own version of War and Peace in your comments?

We really hope you aren't getting comments like this...but it's possible

Comments can be useful, but if you're finding that people are sending inappropriately long comments, limiting them to a set number of characters can help encourage them to shorten things up.

We have a script you can adapt to limit the total number of characters for the comments and show commenters how many characters they have remaining.

To add this character limit to your comments:

  1. Go to Settings > Style.
  2. Below the preview pane, click on Custom HTML  and select Article from the dropdown.
  3. Copy the script below and paste it into the bottom of the Custom HTML:
        //Set character limit on comments
        var maxchars = '300'; //Change this number to change the character limit
        $('.hg-comment-post textarea').before('<div class="text-right"><span id="remain">'+maxchars+'</span> characters remaining</div>');
        $('.hg-comment-post textarea').keyup(function () {
             var tlength = $(this).val().length;
             $(this).val($(this).val().substring(0, maxchars));
             var tlength = $(this).val().length;
             remain = maxchars - parseInt(tlength);
  4. In row 4, change the number set for var maxchars to the number of characters you want to use. Be sure it stays in 'single quotes'.
  5. Save.

Readers will be shown the maximum character count and it will count down as they type. They will not be able to type more than the allowed characters. It even works with copy and paste.

We've added the code to this page so you can see it in action. We set a limit of 140 characters so if you can't tweet it, it won't fit in a comment!