How to Change “Leave a Reply” Text on Worpress Reply Form

WordPress themes come with a comment form at the bottom of posts, asking visitors to “Leave a Reply.” You may want to change the wording of “Leave a Reply” because it’s boring. This is very easy to change without a plugin (no plugin! But see below this section if you prefer to do it with a plugin.). Here are 3 different ways to change the comment reply form text.

1. For a Site-Wide Change

This method will change the reply text for all comment reply forms in your entire site.

Paste the following code into the functions.php file of your WordPress theme, after making the changes described below the code:

//change text to leave a reply on comment form
function isa_comment_reform ($arg) {
$arg['title_reply'] = __('Leave a Comment:');
return $arg;

Make the following changes to the code above:
On line 3, replace ‘Leave a Comment:’ with the phrase of your choice. It can be whatever your want, such as ‘Pour Out Your Soul:’ or ‘Drop Some Fighting Words:’. Important: you must leave the single quotes around the phrase. Leave the rest of the code intact. Copy the entire code and paste it into functions.php. Make sure it’s inside the proper php tags. Done.

2. To Change The Reply Form On Only 1 Comments Template File

You may prefer to change only 1 comment reply form on only 1 comments template file. This may be the case if you have several “comments template” files (in addition to comments.php) across your site for different purposes. Open up the comments template file in question. This change will only affect the reply form for this comments template file. Find the following code in the file:


and replace it with:

comment_form(array('title_reply' => 'Your Custom Reply Text'));

Be sure to replace ‘Your Custom Reply Text’ above with your own custom text. Done. See below for an alternate method.

3. Change the Reply Form Text With a Plugin Instead

You may prefer to change the “Leave a Reply” text on the WordPress reply form with a plugin instead. Using a plugin means that this change not disappear when you upgrade your theme. Even if you change your theme entirely to a new theme, this change on your reply form will stay intact. Here are the steps to do it with a plugin:

Step 1 – Create the plugin file

Create a new php file with only this code inside it:

Plugin Name: Change Comment Reply Form Text
Description: Change the text on the Comment Reply Form from "Leave a Reply" to your own custom text.

function isa_comment_reform ($arg) {
$arg['title_reply'] = __('Leave a Comment:'); // replace 'Leave a Comment' to your own text
return $arg;

On line 8 of the code above, replace ‘Leave a Comment’ with your own custom text. Save the file with the filename:
change-reply-text.php .

Step 2 – Upload the plugin

Upload the file to this directory on your server:

You can upload it via FTP. If you don’t have access to doing it that way, there is another way. First zip the plugin file, then upload it from the WordPress admin ‘Plugins’ area. To do it this way, go to “Plugins”, “Add New”, then click “Upload.”

Step 3 – Activate the Plugin

Once you’ve uploaded the plugin file, you’ll see it your list of Installed Plugins. Find it in your list of Installed Plugins by the name of “Change Comment Reply Form Text.” Click “Activate” to activate it.

Done. Now that you’ve made this change with a plugin, the change will remain intact as long as the plugin is activated. Upgrading or changing your theme should not affect this change.

See more:

We've 17 Responses

    • May 25th, 2012 at 11:15 am

      Yes, theme upgrades override changes made through your functions.php file. Also, if you change your theme to a new theme, the change will disappear. So this method of adding code to your functions.php file is not the best way to make certain changes. You would have to keep adding the code to your functions file after every upgrade. However, I’ve updated this page to include the “Plugin method” of making this change. With the Plugin method, the change will NOT disappear with any theme upgrades or changes. Even if you install new themes, this change will stay intact with the Plugin method. See the updated article above for steps.

      • October 25th, 2013 at 10:25 pm

        @icute: make a child theme, include functions.php–no overwrite when theme updates.

        @Isabel: thanks, this is the first thing I’ve found that works–after trying innumerable similar paste-ins. NOW I’m trying to differentiate between text when there are no comments yet (‘start a conversation’) and when there are comments (‘join the conversation’).

  1. August 31st, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Thank you so much! i was trying to modify that line on comments.php file but i did not find it, so this solution (adding the wide change code) it worked just perfect! thank u so much!

  2. July 4th, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing Isabel! I’ve used a couple of your functions and they do the job perfectly.

  3. July 24th, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Thank you so much! I was attempting to modify this line on comments.php file but I didn’t find that, so this alternative (including the broad alter code) it worked just perfect! Thank u!

  4. August 10th, 2017 at 12:04 am

    Thank you for the plugin code and instructions. It went without a hitch, and this is the first time i ever actually made a plugin …. I’ve changed it to “Add Your Comment” …. thank you again

  5. December 30th, 2017 at 4:11 am

    Hi Isabel,
    Sorry for a stupid question…
    Do I need a special software to produce a php-file like you describe above, or do I just make this in a text editor?

    // Tony