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How to Highlight Author’s Comments in WordPress

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Do you want to highlight the author’s comments in WordPress posts on your website?

Highlighting the author’s comments in your WordPress blog can help you build engagement. Users are more likely to leave a comment when they see the author is actively participating in the discussion.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily highlight the author’s comments in WordPress to boost engagement.

Highting comments by an author in WordPress blog posts

Why Highlight Author’s Comments in WordPress?

Comments are a great way to build user engagement on your website. If you want to get more comments on your articles, then you can encourage that by actively participating in the discussions.

For a new WordPress blog, you can easily reply to comments and take part in discussions with your readers. If you run a multi-author blog, then you can encourage authors to help with the comment moderation as well.

However, most WordPress themes don’t distinguish between comments and they are listed using the same style.

Regular comments layout with no author highlighting

A casual reader may scroll through the comments, not realizing the additional content contributed by the author in the discussion.

Highlighting author’s comments helps you remedy that and makes the author’s comments stand out and be more noticeable.

The ultimate goal here is to encourage new users to join in the comments and ultimately subscribe to your newsletter or become a customer.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily highlight author comments in WordPress.

Highlighting Comment Author in WordPress

The easiest way to highlight comments by post author is by adding custom CSS to your WordPress theme. This allows you to easily add the code needed and see a live preview of how it would look on your website without saving it.

First, you need to visit Appearance » Customize in WordPress admin area. This will launch the WordPress theme customizer interface. You’ll notice a bunch of options in a column on your left and a live preview of your website.

Theme customizer in WordPress

From here, you need to click on the ‘Additional CSS’ tab. This will open a text area where you’ll be adding the custom CSS.

Additional CSS tab

However, you would want to see how the custom CSS will look when applied. To do that, you need to navigate to a blog post that contains comments by a post author.

Viewing comments in Theme Customizer

Scroll down to the comments section and then add the following custom CSS in the Custom CSS box on the left.

.bypostauthor { 
background-color: #e7f8fb;

You’ll immediately notice the author comment change matching the custom CSS you entered.

Author's comment highlighted with a different background color

So how does this all work?

You see WordPress adds some default CSS classes to different areas of your website. These CSS classes are there regardless of which WordPress theme you are using.

In this sample code, we have used the .bypostauthor CSS class which is added to all comments added by a post author.

Let’s add some more CSS styles to make it even more prominent. Here is a sample code that adds a small ‘Author’ label to the comments by the post author and a border around the author’s avatar image.

.bypostauthor:before { 
.bypostauthor .avatar {
border:1px dotted #FF1100;

This is how it looked on our test website.

Comment author highlighted with the Author label

Highlighting Comments by User Role in WordPress

Now, many WordPress blogs have team members responsible for answering comments. Popular websites may have post author, administrator, and moderators all answering comments to boost user engagement.

How do you highlight a comment added by a staff member that is not the actual author of the post?

There is an easy hack to achieve that. However, it requires you to add custom code to your WordPress website. If you haven’t done this before, then see our article on how to paste snippets from the web into WordPress.

First, you need to add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file or in a code snippets plugin:

if ( ! class_exists( 'WPB_Comment_Author_Role_Label' ) ) :
class WPB_Comment_Author_Role_Label {
public function __construct() {
add_filter( 'get_comment_author', array( $this, 'wpb_get_comment_author_role' ), 10, 3 );
add_filter( 'get_comment_author_link', array( $this, 'wpb_comment_author_role' ) );
// Get comment author role 
function wpb_get_comment_author_role($author, $comment_id, $comment) { 
$authoremail = get_comment_author_email( $comment); 
// Check if user is registered
if (email_exists($authoremail)) {
$commet_user_role = get_user_by( 'email', $authoremail );
$comment_user_role = $commet_user_role->roles[0];
// HTML output to add next to comment author name
$this->comment_user_role = ' <span class="comment-author-label comment-author-label-'.$comment_user_role.'">' . ucfirst($comment_user_role) . '</span>';
} else { 
$this->comment_user_role = '';
return $author;
// Display comment author                   
function wpb_comment_author_role($author) { 
return $author .= $this->comment_user_role; 
new WPB_Comment_Author_Role_Label;

Instead of editing your theme’s functions.php file, we recommend adding this code with WPCode. This code snippets plugin makes it safe and easy to add custom code in WordPress.

To get started, you need to install and activate the free WPCode plugin. If you need help, see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once the plugin is activated, go to head to Code Snippets » Add Snippet from your WordPress dashboard.

Then, hover your mouse over the ‘Add Your Custom Code (New Snippet)’ option and click the ‘Use snippet’ button.

Add a new custom code snippet in WPCode

Next, add a title for your snippet, paste the code from above into the ‘Code Preview’ box, and select ‘PHP Snippet’ as the code type from the dropdown menu.

Paste snippet into the WPCode plugin

After that, simply toggle the switch from ‘Inactive’ to ‘Active’ and click the ‘Save Snippet’ button at the top of the page.

Activate and save your custom code snippet

This code simply adds the user role label next to the comment author’s name. This is how it would look without any custom styling.

User role labels added to comments

Let’s make it a little prettier by adding some custom CSS. Go to Appearance » Customize page and switch to the Additional CSS tab.

After that, you can use the following CSS to style the user role label in the comments.

.comment-author-label {
    padding: 5px;
    font-size: 14px;
    border-radius: 3px;
.comment-author-label-editor {  
.comment-author-label-author {
.comment-author-label-contributor {
.comment-author-label-subscriber {
.comment-author-label-administrator { 

This is how it looked on our test site. Feel free to modify the code to match your theme’s colors and style.

User role highlighted

For more details, you may want to read our article on how to add user role labels to WordPress comments.

We hope this article helped you learn how to highlight author comments in WordPress. Want to see how users interact with your website? See our tutorial on how to track user engagement in WordPress and how to add web push notification on your WordPress site to grow your traffic.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

21 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
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  2. Rafael says

    Not work for me :(

    I use custom theme with comments.php from twenty Twenty Thirteen.

    Where can I add more CSS classes ?

  3. Haina says

    Hi! Whenever somenone leaves a comment on my website, the author name appears in gray. How can I change that do black? Also, a “permalink” word is always bellow the date and time of the comment . How can I get rid of that? Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks.

  4. Peter Huan says

    I tried to it but i could not. I was added to my theme opition by myself.
    May be i was changed “div”…
    Thank you for topic.

  5. Fahad says

    There is a problem with changing the background if the auther is the creator of the comment and someone else replied, since the nested reply will also have the same highlighted background!

  6. deven says

    Nice post … but is there any plugin for doing the same ( there are some but 2-3 yers old ) looking for a new one with more customize options.

    • Editorial Staff says

      Yes, it is possible to assign different color comments for registered users. The class would look like .comment-author-username. Replace username with the author’s username.


  7. Ahmad Raza says

    I followed the way you described but i have not found <li id=”comment-“> template in my comments.php
    Any solution?

  8. Keith Davis says

    Useful tip.
    When I read post comments, I tend to read the author’s comments on the assumption that what he says carries more authority.
    I’m OK with the CSS but never sure about the php.
    You may have enticed me to start messing with the php!

  9. janghuan says

    In my wordpress version,I just need to add a exist class that the wordpress generates.It’s “comment-author-admin”.Maybe the class “bypostauthor” that wordpress generates also does work.

    • Editorial Staff says

      You can probably add a comma and add more user IDs, but it will show all editor’s comment in highlighted version, so yes it will be a fail if you look at it that way.


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