The “Approved”, “Pending”, “Spam”, and “Trash” comments cards are the most basic cards that are displayed on the Comments Dashboard.
The value of these cards depends on the “Time Period” filter at the top of the page, so they are time-sensitive. You can read more information in the related Comments Date Filter article.
Both the icon and the actual number are linked to an appropriately filtered list of all comments on your site. That gives you easy access to either approved, pending, spam, or trashed comments from within your Comments Dashboard.
Approved Comments Card
This card displays the number of comments that are approved and visible to the general public on your site. Anyone can read them and reply to them (if threaded comments are enabled on your site).
This is the main number that defines the popularity of blog posts in terms of readers’ engagements on your site.
Pending Comments Card
The number of pending comments indicates how many comments have not yet gone through the moderation process. These comments are not publicly accessible on your site, and only the site admin and the comment’s author see them.
After the pending comment is approved, this number goes down and the number of the Approved comment goes up. Pending comments can also be permanently deleted or trashed, and in the latter case – the Trashed comments count will increase.
Spam Comments Card
Comments may be marked as spam either manually by the user with
moderate_comments capability, or automatically if certain plugins are installed (like Akismet). Usually, comments are marked as spam when they are unwanted, contain too many external links, or are suspicious – and thus are hidden from the site visitors.
This Spam Comments Card displays this number as combined for both marked manually and automatically.
Permanently deleting spam comments will decrease this number, while trashing – will both decrease the Spam number and will also increase the Trash comments count.
Trash Comments Card
Instead of permanently deleting comments, they can have the Trashed status. This means they are hidden from your site (site visitors do not see them) and are scheduled for deletion in 30 days after being trashed.
So, if you have a big number of trashed comments, the number in this card will decrease over time because WordPress will remove comments one by one each day.