Allow WordPress Users to Manage Comments On Posts

When you’re publishing with WordPress, you have the option to enable comments on your posts. WordPress has a powers comments system available as a core feature.

You can find the “Comments” screen in the WordPress admin menu. Check out the screenshot below to see where the Comments screen is located.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to manage which users can manage comments on your WordPress publication.

Who Can Approve Comments in WordPress?

There are five different user roles on a normal WordPress site. They all have different levels of access to the “Comments” area.

  1. Subscriber: No ability to access any comments in the WordPress admin area.
  2. Contributor: Can view comments on all posts, but can not moderate any comments.
  3. Author: Can view all comments, but only moderate comments on their posts.
  4. Editor: Can view and moderate all comments.
  5. Administrator: Can view and moderate all comments.

What this means is that a user in the “Subscriber” role” will not be able to see the “Comments” screen at all. In contrast, a user in the “Editor” or “Administrator” role will have full control over all the comments on the site. Take a look at the screenshot below. Users in these two roles will be able to see six links to control comments:

  • Unapprove
  • Reply
  • Quick Edit
  • Edit
  • Spam
  • Trash
Moderation links for WordPress comments

How to Control Access to the Comments Screen

If you want to change comments, you need the PublishPress Capabilities plugin. On the “Capabilities” screen, you will be able to find the capabilities that control comments:

In this image below, you can see three checkboxes for edit_posts, edit_others_posts and edit_published_posts.

In this next screenshot, you can see the moderate_comments capability:

In this final screenshot, I have given all four capabilities to the users in the “Contributor” role.

Comments screen access for Contributor users

Please note: giving users this access will also give them more access on the “Posts” screen. If you take the approach in this guide, you may want to control access to the “Posts” area. Here are some ideas:

If you want more advanced solutions, check out this post: “Can WordPress Authors Moderate Comments on Their Own Posts“?

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