I'm using the comments_template() function to echo out my comments template in the sidebar of each post. This is a requirement of the project.

It has been requested that I only echo out the three most recent comments in the sidebar for each post.

I've searched high and wide for a solution here and can't find anything.

Is there a function I can pop into my functions.php file to echo out only the most three recent comments for each post?

If it could include some jquery to add a "read more" link that opens up the rest of the comments that would be great, but it's not essential.

3 Answers 3


There is one more way to achieve this, without overriding files, using functions.php.
Add following code in functions.php file.

add_filter('wp_list_comments_args', 'override_args', 10, 1);

function override_args($args)
   $args = array(
                 'style'       => 'ol',
                 'short_ping'  => true,
                 'avatar_size' => 56,
                 'per_page' => '3'
   return $args;

If you want to display only recent comments on posts without using a plugin, use the following code in your theme's template file:

<?php global $wpdb;

$sql = "SELECT DISTINCT ID, post_title, post_password, comment_ID, 
comment_post_ID, comment_author, comment_date_gmt, comment_approved, 
SUBSTRING(comment_content,1,50) // NUMBER OF CHARACTERS
AS com_excerpt FROM $wpdb->comments 
LEFT OUTER JOIN $wpdb->posts 
ON ($wpdb->comments.comment_post_ID = $wpdb->posts.ID) 
WHERE comment_approved = '1' 
AND comment_type = '' 
AND post_password = '' 
ORDER BY comment_date_gmt 

$comments = $wpdb->get_results($sql);
$output   = $pre_HTML;
$output  .= "\n<ul>";

foreach ($comments as $comment) {
    $output .= "\n<li>"."<a href=\"" . get_permalink($comment->ID) . 
    "#comment-" . $comment->comment_ID . "\" title=\"on " . 
    $comment->post_title . "\">" .strip_tags($comment->comment_author) 
    .":<br/><div>" . strip_tags($comment->com_excerpt) 
$output .= "\n</ul>";
$output .= $post_HTML;

echo $output;

Since you are using comments_template() function to display comments, it internally calls comments.php file of your theme.

In comments.php file, you should have a function wp_list_comments() with some parameters. You have to add one more parameter per_page in that function, as follows :

wp_list_comments( array(
                       'style'       => 'ol',
                       'short_ping'  => true,
                       'avatar_size' => 56,
                       'per_page' => '3'
  • Thanks for response. Unfortunately I can't use the method of overriding files in my child theme as it's a premium genesis child theme and will at some point in the future have an update applied to it. Is there any way I can achieve the above in the funtions.php file (which I'm using a plugin for)?
    – Connor
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 6:20
  • Please see second answer, and see if that works for you. Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 6:36
  • But both answers are correct. Thus I wrote answers differently. Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 6:46

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