WordPress Comment Systems Comparison: Facts and Findings

by Binu George on March 3, 2012

in Wordpress Tips


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.add a comment

WordPress Default Comment System

Perhaps the best commenting system in terms of SEO and speed. If you use the default comment features of WordPress, there is no third party dependency. The comments are always loaded from your WordPress database and will always get indexed by search engines. But to make it more effective in terms of social media, usability and spam filter you may need to use many different plugins. For example to make your comments spam free you may need to use Akismet. To make it bit more structured you need plugins such as WordPress Thread Comment, Highlight Author Comments etc. Also the WordPress default commenting system does not use JavaScript to render the comments. The WordPress PHP component renders the comments and is a part of server response. So the comments and the comment form will be available even for users with JavaScript disabled browsers.
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 IntenseDebate

IntenseDebate is one of the most popular website commenting system which offers integrated API services to most of the social media services. That means you can comment using your social profiles. Currently it offers Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and OpenId integration. The layout also decent and user friendly. Users can comment without using any social profiles also.Intensedebate wordpress comment systemIntenseDebate uses JavaScript to render the comment widget on web page. That means the comments will not get indexed by search engines. This will have negative impact on your SEO efforts. Also if the user has a JavaScript disabled browser then the comments will not be visible. But if you are using the WordPress Plugin of IntenseDebate then there is a difference. The WordPress comments template is still used to output the comments from your WordPress installation and they are overridden by IntenseDebate JavaScript.
This means that even if the JavaScript is disabled, the default comment system of WordPress will be available. Another point to note here is that the links of IntenseDebate comments are “dofollow”. But since IntenseDebate is written in JavaScript, this isn’t an issue as we said because it will not get indexed.
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

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.disqus wordpress comment system

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

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. Livefyre wordpress comment system

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

, the author of Globinch.com, is a technology blogger and software architect. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+, Facebook. If you enjoyed reading the above article please consider sharing it.
  • shzad1

    I have integrated facebook comment system at my site http://psdpoint.com and it giving me almost 20% visitors from facebook because when someone add a comment, it also added in his profile and shared with his friends.

  • http://www.dbateam.com.au/ Shawn@Database Patches

    Earlier this week,  there was sheet that showed the benefits of using ExpressionEngine versus WordPress. Well, apparently there is. .

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