The Right System For Blog Comments LiveFyre Vs Disqus Vs Facebook

This post was written by Tom Ewer, a regular contributor for MyWifeQuitHerJob.com.

One could consider commenting to be the best representation of what the blogging movement is all about. They represent the type of interactivity that make blogs what they are — a medium in which the author can publish and the reader can respond.

Just 4% of the Technorati 100 blogs had no comment system as of last year, which should demonstrate just how prevelant blog commenting still is. If one is to accept the importance of comments, one must also consider the comment system that is being used.

Whilst WordPress (my blogging platform of choice) has an excellent inbuilt comment system, any blogger would be remiss not to at least explore the alternatives.

That’s exactly what I did over the last couple of weeks (and before) as I sought out the best comments system for LeavingWorkBehind.com, and in this post I want to reveal my findings.

What’s Out There?

As a WordPress blogger the most popular comment systems are:


While there are other systems available, these four pack leaders essentially represent the three different “types” of systems on the market today, which are essentially distinguished by their respective feature sets. Let’s take a look at each type in turn.

The WordPress Comment System: Clean and Simple

As one might expect with a feature that is packaged with the WordPress core, the standard WordPress comments system is a relatively barebones affair. However, I do not mean this in a derogatory sense — I personally view its simplicity as a plus point.

The comment form is simple and self-explanatory and you get a simple nested interface:



And as the first screenshot above shows (with the little notifications checkbox), the standard WordPress comment system is extendable via plugins. For example, a lot of well known bloggers like to use the CommentLuv plugin which isn’t available with the other commenting solutions.

In any case, WordPress comments are a great starting point for any blogger and arguably a great long term solution.

Livefyre and Disqus: Consolidated Social Solution



If on the other hand you’re a fan of bells and whistles then the above two options may well suit. They are both relatively similar in terms of features and deciding between the two is far less critical than deciding whether or not you want to go with this particular style of comments system.

The advantages of these plugins are the aforementioned features above and beyond that of the WordPress comment system (click here for an overview of Livefyre’s features). More specifically, social interaction is the name of the game, with commenters being able to login via their favorite social media network.

Editor’s Note: The main thing I dislike about 3rd party commenting systems is the loss of control. Basically, once you start using these services they essentially own your comments. And if their servers ever go down so will the commenting on your blog.

Facebook Comments: The Social Behemoth and Anti-Spam Solution

There’s a lot to like about Facebook comments. It integrates directly with commenter’s Facebook accounts and if allowed posts their comments to their own pages. This in turn results in far greater exposure of your posts.

As you can see from the following screenshot, it all looks rather slick and familiar:



News organizations that have implemented Facebook comments have reported a higher quality of discussion and an increase in referral traffic — a double whammy of highly desireable effects. The theory is that because Facebook users have to post their comments alongside their actual name and face, they’re far less likely to engage in trolling and the like.

Which System is Right For You?

Ultimately you have to make the decision as to which comments system is going to best suit your blog.

Editor’s Note: I personally have stayed with WordPress because I like to own my own comments and be in control. As an example, Disqus recently started inserting ads into their commenting javascript. It goes without saying that having ads next to your comments can have a negative impact with your time on site metrics.

Ultimately, it came down to the WordPress comment system (which I was currently using at the time) and Facebook comments. In all honesty I was sorely tempted by Facebook comments. I loved the idea of better quality contents, no spam, and higher referrals. It seemed like the Holy Trinity of blog commenting perfection.

However, in the end I decided to stick with the WordPress comment system for one simple reason — user opinion. I polled my Twitter followers and the overwhelming majority voted against me installing Facebook comments. It seems that a lot of people aren’t comfortable with linking their Facebook profile to your blog and also fear that their comments will make their way onto their Facebook pages without their consent.

I may revisit Facebook comments again soon as I still love it in principle, but for now I will stick with WordPress. What is your weapon of choice?

Photo credit: Mashable

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13 thoughts on “The Right System For Blog Comments LiveFyre Vs Disqus Vs Facebook”

  1. Great article. I’ve never used Livefyre, but I really like Disqus. I went with Disqus because from my perspective it seems to be more prevalent and widely used.

    I understand why people use facebook comments, but I’m not a fan. In fact, I typically won’t comment on any blog using them.

    If I wanted to share about your website on facebook, I would. I don’t need help.

    Thanks for sharing!
    -Jeremy

  2. I don’t like any third party commenting system I’ve seen and I usually don’t bother commenting on blogs that use them. I don’t think it makes sense to force your readers to jump through hoops just to leave a comment.

  3. I am a huge fan of Disqus. Seems to be the most widely used and easiest I’ve used both from user interface but also to track conversations over multilple sites I’ve commented on. Thanks for the insight always good to stop and look at what’s available and be sure what we are doing is right or is it just what we started with. Best wishes, Tim

  4. Hi Tom,

    I’m Meghan, Director of Community at Livefyre. Thanks for including us in your round-up of comment options. I just wanted to clarify that Livefyre does write all comments back to your WP database, so you always have complete control and access to all of your comments.

    We also offer Guest Commenting so that you can allow your readers to comment with the same information required by native WP comments. Livefyre is a real-time widget and you can see new comments as they are being made, and see how many people are live on the page and will hear your comment.

    If you have any questions about Livefyre or want to talk comments, feel free to ping me @meghan_krane.

    Best regards,

    Meghan

  5. Thanks for sharing this post. I may consider implementing the Facebook comments to increase my following and referrals.

  6. Thanks Tom. This was very practical and helpful.

  7. connie says:

    any info about BlogSpot?

  8. You can opt out of advertisements with Disquss. Plus they suggest other posts with comments on them. Like Yet Another Related Post

  9. I learned a lot from your post that I did not know about these alternatives. One question is that I currently have my blog on the wordpress.com format and it seems to work well. Does it make sense to go to a wordpress.org format when my current blog has some popularity? Would I lose my Alexa and other popularity rankings if I were to make a change? Is it even worthwhile to do so if things are going OK?

  10. beverly says:

    Not working. I tried to comment on another post and got a screen that I must log in yet there is not a login link on your site.

  11. W^L+ says:

    I won’t comment (and often stop reading) where Disqus is used. Besides the ads and the dramatically-slower page loading, their login box does not work well with Lastpass or with any kind of common-sense browser security settings. In my view, Disqus is not commenter-friendly.

    Facebook comments still attract trolls and spammers, just like you see on the Facebook site itself. As I told one newspaper employee on GPlus, anyone who believes that “real names” reduce the jerkiness factor has forgotten about junior high school. The jerkiest people you’ve encountered in your entire lifetime were people whose names (and oftimes addresses and telephone numbers and siblings and parents) were known to you. The other thing with FB comments is that the half of the population that does not use FB will not suddenly join FB to leave a comment, so this option is also not commenter-friendly.

    LiveFyre and IntenseDebate do not seem to have the same level of page-slowing that Disqus has, but I honestly do not want to create yet another login just to comment somewhere. I’d be willing to use them if they accept one of my existing accounts as a login credential. Otherwise,

    Native comments (using WordPress or whatever your blog software is) are still the best from a user standpoint.

  12. I would explore other options like Disqus or LiveFyre but the only way I can capture email addresses for mailchimp is the the wordpress app. Anyone know how to do this?

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