I want to be able to style the comments section to work with the theme I am building. I do not have a comments.php file in the website however when I include:

<?php if ( comments_open() || get_comments_number() ) :


I get a full comments section under my post, being able to add and view comments and commenters info. I thought that when I include the above if statement it was supposed to pull the info from the comments.php file that included all of my html with it.

I now don't know where to view the CSS that is attached to the comment form, except in the Google 'Inspect' section for developers, so that I can alter it.

I looked in the twentynineteen theme and it has my code as well as a very complicated comments.php file. I can't claim to fully understand the comments.php file but I'm confused about how I am getting an output of a comment form and its replies without having to have a comments.php file.

What am I missing? Can someone help clear this up for me?

1 Answer 1


If in the root of the folder of your theme there is no file "comments.php". Than comments_template () include the file from the path "/wp-includes/theme-compat/comments.php".
To make changes in that file you can copy "comments.php" from this folder to the root of your theme. And then change as you like.

  • Ah that clears it up. Thank you :)
    – Niall
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 18:38
  • Wordpress has a fallback comments template integrated in it's core (since it is "blogsystem"). When there is no comment template, wp will use this as a default fallback. Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 18:43
  • I have added both the comment.php and comment-template.php to my root folder and attempted to make changes to the form, such as changing the submit button value, in the comment-template.php but my changes are not working. Any idea why? Sldo the comment_form() is the only function that shows the html that is added in, comment_template() does not.
    – Niall
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 20:06
  • @Niall You can change this form through its arguments. Also you can use actions and filters hooks, check there and this
    – Rimarx
    Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 9:47

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