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Allow HTML 5 in WordPress Comments

If you’ve tak­en the time to con­vert The­sis 1.8.5 to HTML 5 or if you’re using a theme that already is HTML 5, you may have won­dered how, if at all, you could allow your vis­i­tors to leave rich com­ments on your posts, marked up in all the rich HTML 5 seman­tic markup they could need. 

First, some basics. If you’re not even sure what tags are allowed for use in your site’s com­ments, then it is like­ly that your theme does­n’t dis­play them along with the com­ment form. This is a quick fix and makes use of the allowed_tags() Word­Press func­tion. Boutros AbiChe­did explains how to dis­play the allowed tags in almost any theme, as well as how to mod­i­fy what tags are allowed.

Fol­low the tuto­r­i­al at that link if you want to put togeth­er a cus­tom list of tags and attrib­ut­es which you want your users to be able to use. How­ev­er, if you want to quick­ly and sim­ply enable tons of HTML 5 tags while also dis­al­low­ing tags which Word­Press by default allows but which are no longer valid markup in HTML 5, con­tin­ue reading.

The process is sim­ple. You’ll want to open your cus­tomiza­tion file — either a cus­tomiza­tions plu­g­in, your the­me’s functions.php, or The­sis 1.8.5’s custom_functions.php file.

Add it to the fol­low­ing block of code, which includes com­ments for just what it caus­es to happen:

 * HTML5 comments
 * as seen on
function brazenly_enhance_allowed_tags() {

	# WordPress' object containing all of the tags & attributes allowed in comments
	global $allowedtags;

	# Array of new tags and attributes to allow
	$newtags = array(
		'aside' => array(),
		'audio' => array(
			'controls' => true,
			'loop' => true,
			'mediagroup' => true,
			'muted' => true,
			'src' => true,
		'details' => array(
			'open' => true,
		'dd' => array(),
		'dfn' => array(),
		'dl' => array(),
		'dt' => array(),
		'figure' => array(),
		'figcaption' => array(),
		'img' => array(
			'alt' => true,
			'src' => true,
			'title' => true,
		'li' => array(),
		'ol' => array(
			'reversed' => true,
			'start' => true,
			'type' => true,
		'param' => array(
			'name' => true,
			'value' => true,
		'pre' => array(),
		'source' => array(
			'media' => true,
			'src' => true,
			'type' => true,
		'small' => array(),
		'sub' => array(),
		'summary' => array(),
		'sup' => array(),
		'time' => array(
			'datetime' => true,
		'track' => array(
			'default' => true,
			'kind' => true,
			'label' => true,
			'src' => true,
			'srclang' => true,
		'ul' => array(),
		'video' => array(
			'controls' => true,
			'height' => true,
			'loop' => true,
			'mediagroup' => true,
			'muted' => true,
			'poster' => true,
			'src' => true,
			'width' => true,

	# Obsolete default tags to remove
	unset( $allowedtags['acronym'] );
	unset( $allowedtags['strike'] );

	# Merge the default tags with the list of new tags
	$allowedtags = array_merge( $allowedtags, $newtags );

	# Sort the array alphabetically
	ksort( $allowedtags );

add_action( 'init', 'brazenly_enhance_allowed_tags' );

As you can see, a good num­ber of tags are added for your users to uti­lize while writ­ing their com­ments. They’ll now have the abil­i­ty to add infor­ma­tive fig­ures to their com­ments, audio and video, lists, and so much more. And you can of course cus­tomize the list of tags to suit your site’s needs.

I tried to be as thor­ough as pos­si­ble in what was added, along with all rel­e­vant attrib­ut­es, but as it’s entire­ly pos­si­ble I’ve missed some, feel free to share sug­ges­tions in the comments.

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Rick Beckman