Recently I changed my blog’s comment system several times to find a more suitable one. I tried the most popular WordPress commenting systems including Disqus, IntenseDebate, LiveFyre, Facebook Comments Social Plugin and the WordPress default commenting system. In fact I have tried all these commenting systems to check the effectiveness for a period of few weeks on few of my blogs and websites. The idea was to find the comment system that is more open , easy to maintain and socially effective. Each one of these commenting systems has its own advantages and disadvantages. The key points considered for the comparison includes Social Integration, Spam Filter, Usability, SEO, WordPress Comment Sync, Speed and Layout.
Here are my findings considering the above points. The findings are based on the data collected during a short period of activity.
WordPress Default Comment System
But it is very difficult to make the default commenting system more socially oriented. You can achieve a certain level of perfection by using many different plugins. But this is not an ideal approach because the more the number of plugins used the more heavy your website or blog becomes.
The comment synchronization between IntenseDebate and WordPress is a positive point. All comments submitted in IntenseDebate are synced back to your WordPress comment system. This is an automatic process and you don’t have to do anything manually.
IntenseDebate is from Automattic, the company which owns WordPress.
Plugins like CoomentLuv are supported by IntenseDebate and helps you to show some love towards your readers.
Disqus is one of the widely used comment system for websites and blogs. It offers better social integration compared to IntenseDebate. Both offers comments synchronization between WordPress. Disqus supports Facebook, Twitter, OpenID and Yahoo. The Disqus WordPress plugin makes comments indexable by search engines.
It provides a much more professional looking user interface for comments. Auto-sync (backup) of comments with Disqus and WordPress database is a good feature of Disqus. Disqus offers spam filtering, blacklists and whitelists support. Aggregated comments and social mentions is a positive feature of disqus.
LiveFyre is another popular comment system. Livefyre is a real-time comment solution that centralizes conversations from around the social web back to your content, while encouraging live engagement between users on your site. The social sync feature of pulling Facebook & Twitter comments into your content in real-time is a special feature of this comment system. Commenter’s can tag Facebook or Twitter friends in comments.
But the disadvantage of LiveFyre is that the comments are stored in LiveFyre and you may not be able to sync with your WordPress database. HTML tags are not allowed in comments and LiveFyre disallows the private conversation through email.
Facebook Comments Social Plugin
Facebook Comments Social Plugin has its own advantages. This is the best plugin for people who targets Facebook reference traffic. Comments are easily shared with friends or with people who like your Page on Facebook. If a user leaves the “Post to Facebook” box checked when he posts a comment, a story appears on her friends’ News Feed. This indicates that the user had made a comment on your website, which will also link back to your site. The mobile version will automatically show up when a mobile device user agent is detected.
But as far as comment synchronization between the Facebook and WordPress are concerned the Facebook Comments Social Plugin doesn’t provide a mechanism to achieve this.
If you are a WordPress user, then a comment systems that support synchronization scores over the other services. This is because if you change the service in future you will not lose the comments from your readers. Also the comments should get indexed by search engines. It is important to have social integration because that allows users to comment and share using their social profiles. This is also important for your website to get quality backlinks. Speed and usability are other important aspects while choosing a comment system for your WordPress site or blog.