What Is the Best Commenting System for My Blog?

blog comments featured image

Blog commentary about blog comments. It doesn’t get more meta than this folks.

What blog commenting system should you use? Should you use a third-party system at all? What are the pros and cons of blog commenting systems?

These questions have been a hot topic of discussion for as long as I’ve been blogging. And it doesn’t help that the options are ever evolving in the realm of blog comments.

tl;dr > If you run a self-hosted WordPress blog, I believe nothing is better than the native commenting system. Period.

But I’ll also say that there are a few really great systems out there with benefits that native WordPress comments do not have. So let me break down the pros and cons as I’ve seen them.

Third Party Commenting Systems

Third party commenting systems are generally created to answer very specific needs. I’m going to try to break down these third-party systems into two categories:  General Commenting Systems and Social Commenting Systems.

General Commenting Systems

Just for the sake of simplicity (and lack of a better term) what I’m referring to as a general commenting system is a system that is not tied to a specific social network. These are the most popular non-social-network-specific commenting systems.


Jetpack WordPress Plugin Home Page

The Jetpack plugin’s own commenting system which can add a number of useful functions to your WordPress comments. The primary benefit is that users can log in with their WordPress.com, Twitter or Facebook credentials.


Disqus commenting system home page

Probably the most popular commenting system, Disqus has a lot of useful features. Real-time commenting, promoted content, centralized management via a central dashboard, and more.

There’s also a number of great moderator tools that allow you to highlight certain comments, ‘Like’ comments, and follow users Disqus profiles (like mine).


Livefyre commenting system home page

Out of all the commenting platforms, Livefyre is probably my favorite. The biggest sell is that users can comment using their Twitter or Facebook profiles. Users also have the option to post the comment to a social network as well as @mention people on either network when leaving the comment.

Like Disqus, it also focuses on real-time conversation.

One additional feature is the ability to see how many people are “listening” to the conversation. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but it’s one more piece of potential social proof.

There are many other great features but these, to me, seem to be the biggest selling points.

Intense Debate

Intense Debate comments home page

One of the commenting platforms I’ve been seeing less of is Intense Debate. It’s similar to Disqus but seems to have fewer capabilities. Generally, it feels a lot less polished than the previous two.

Some great features it does have are:

  • Ability to reply by email for both moderators and commenters.
  • Reputation points & comment voting.
  • Blacklisting commenters.
  • RSS comments integration.

Pound for pound, this is definitely not the best option but it’s certainly not the worst.

Cons to General Commenting Systems

Despite the unique benefits of each system I’ve found a handful of disadvantages or “cons”:

  • One more login/profile to remember and maintain. People have enough logins and digital profiles to maintain. These third-party systems, for the most part, add that layer of complexity whereas with WordPress native you just need your name, website (optional), email address and your comment. You decide right then and there what you want those to be and it will probably be auto-filled next time you visit the site.
  • Poor (or at lest disjointed) user experience. Most of these systems have little to no customization ability. This means that it’s very likely that the commenting system will look different from the rest of your website design.
  • One more plugin to keep updated. Anyone who’s been on self-hosted WordPress for a while knows that keeping all your plugins, themes and even WordPress itself updated can be kind of a pain. And not to mention, you never know if an update of one plugin is going to break another plugin.
  • Generally more headache. Added variables means added potential things that can go wrong.

For me, none of these systems benefits have managed to outweigh the cons.

Social Commenting Systems

Google+ and Facebook commenting systems

There are only two primary social networks that offer their own commenting systems: Facebook and Google+.

No need to break both of them down individually, the idea is pretty straight forward. You replace commenting on your blog with one of these commenting systems and users comments are posted to that network.

Users have the option of just leaving a comment without sharing but either way, all comments displayed underneath your blog post in a typical comment fashion.

Cons to Social Commenting Systems

In comparison to the General Commenting Systems, I’ve found even more disadvantages to using Social Commenting Systems:

  • By limiting to one specific network you immediately alienate people. For example, seeing Facebook comments on a blog will instantly give Google+ enthusiasts a bad taste in their mouth. Likewise, Google+ haters will see Google+ comments and probably write a false news article about how your site is a ghost town.
  • Similarly to the above, you cut off anyone who doesn’t have a profile on that specific network. For example, those who have ditched Facebook wouldn’t be able to comment on a blog that only has Facebook commenting. Same with those who don’t have a Google+ account if you use Google+ commenting.
  • Comments are owned by the social network, not you. Since it’s their system, they own the content created on that system. If the system disappears, guess what happens to the comments? You guessed it— straight up Houdini’d!
  • Commenters don’t get to link to their website or blog. One of the big blog commenting motivators is to gain a little exposure for your own website or blog. That’s why native commenting systems generally give you the ability to add your website link to your name in your comment.
  • API changes could cause conflicts and kill your commenting. Similar to when a network disappears, what happens when they change something in the API that conflicts with your website? Your entire website could be affected and it’s completely out of your control.
  • Usability and user experience (again). Because you don’t control the commenting system you can’t match it to your website and generally have little control over any design aspects. It will look exactly as the social network wants it to look without regard to your own site’s aesthetic. That may not be a problem for most, but when it comes to responsive websites and how these systems work on mobile devices these systems generally are really ugly and can ruin the responsive design.

These are some serious cons to think through, and depending on the type of website or blog you’re running there could be many more cons then I’ve listed here.

Hybrid Commenting Systems

This post, though I’ve been writing it for a couple of years, was inspired by Danny Brown’s recent post, Introducing Hybrid Commenting, and the ensuing discussion on Google+. Danny has taken a new approach to his own commenting and decided on a hybrid model using two plugins: Inline Comments and Google+ comments.

Inline Comments utilizes the native WordPress comments system but adds the ability for people to add their comments to the side of any paragraph, exactly like on Medium. Being that I’ve loved this feature on Medium, I investigated right away.

I was a bit disappointed.

Three deal-breaker issues I found with Inline Comments are:

  • Potential theme/plugin conflicts could lead to the page reloading when a comment is submitted. Now the plugin is supposed to submit the comment without a page reload, but as seen on Danny’s blog, this isn’t the case. If the reader was not done reading yet, this can be frustrating.
  • People comment before reading the full story. Using this type of comment system increases the chance that someone will comment on a paragraph not knowing that what they’re commenting on may be addressed later in the blog post. My comments to Danny on his blog post were a prime example.
  • The conversation becomes highly fragmented. Because people are commenting wherever they like within the piece, one would have to open up ever thread, one-by-one, to take part in the full conversation. This to me is the worst part— the conversation becomes more fragmented than ever.

WordPress Native Commenting

Quite simply, the reason I choose to have native WordPress native commenting on every single site that I own is for simplicity and control of the experience.

I spend a lot of time crafting a beautiful reading experience for my readers. Presentation of every page and paragraph matters to me. I also care very much about how much mental energy a reader is using to interact with my blog.

To me, adding any of the commenting systems above adds a layer of complexity to the commenting experience. Nothing is quite as simple as Name, Email, Comment. You don’t have to remember which email to use, which password, or where your comment is going to end up. You control every aspect of the experience and are not relying on anyone else.

The Verdict: Do What’s Best for Your Audience

At the end of the day nobody can tell you the right thing to do for your audience. You know your goals and you (should) know what your audience needs.

If you’re catering to a mostly Google+ audience, Google+ commenting absolutely works best. Likewise for Facebook.

If you don’t mind a user experience that is a bit disjointed from the rest of your site but want to give your readers the widest possible options when it comes to their comment— one of the other systems may be right.

For me and my house, we use WordPress native.

What about you?

Did I miss any pros/cons that you think are important? Go ahead and leave a comment about my comments about blog comments below (WordPress native of course).

Dustin W. Stout Avatar

94 responses to “What Is the Best Commenting System for My Blog?”

  1. Miracle Avatar

    so which did you choose?

  2. alike Avatar


  3. Vaibhav Avatar

    Really interesting article with the cons. Thanks.

  4. Vaibhav Sharma Avatar
    Vaibhav Sharma

    Thankyou For Such a Nice Information I kept searching for a comment system for my blog.

    Your work helps me out in deciding the best one for me.

  5. paytocc Avatar

    Thanks for shearing this informative article with us 🙂

  6. Anderson Avatar

    This is very helpfull for me.

  7. Priyanka Avatar

    Have you tried Vuukle. It’s so much more than just commenting.

  8. beautymonstersusa Avatar

    Thanks for sharing with us !!!

  9. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Oh, yea… I feel like I’ve seen a system that had something like that before. I can’t remember what it was called though. Have you searched for one?

  10. Derek Cullen Avatar

    Great article, Dustin.

    I would really love to have a commenting system with points for my content marketing blog so that I could reward interaction with something.

    Thanks for the run down!


  11. Jake Jones Avatar

    Awesome article Dustin! I am glad you posted it on twitter or I never would have found it. I have been toying with the idea of removing Disqus (not that I get a ton of comments yet). It just feels weird not having control over everything on my site.

  12. Jack Simpson Avatar
    Jack Simpson

    Hey Dustin, thanks for such a nice thought on commenting for your niche website. I do prefer CommentLUV and it helps to increase traffic and rank, Disqus is not adding my comments as spam even though i’m not doing any kinda bad activities.

  13. Twan Avatar

    Great article

  14. Abdulhalim Avatar

    Thank you, Dustin,

    Great post, recently I checked lots of online commenting system, my main issue with them is, all of them are left-to-right! …

  15. Abiola Oyeniyi Avatar
    Abiola Oyeniyi

    Until I installed google captcha on my site I always get tonnes of spam comments. At first I thought it was humans, until I realized comments on my site dropped by 95%.

  16. Eric Avatar

    I’d just like to point out (because I’ve been following the debate about whether we should kill the comment system or not) that both Michael Hayatt and CopyBlogger (a site he references in that article about killing comments) both have comments enabled (June 2017).

    I honestly haven’t come across many websites who say they’re killing the comment system and who actually stay that way for very long.

    There’s still value in having a comment system. And the fact that I’m able to share my thoughts on this very topic through your website illustrates that point exactly 🙂

  17. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Best of luck Russell!

  18. Russell Ballestrini Avatar

    Hey Dustin, just reaching out to tell you about Remarkbox (https://www.remarkbox.com) an offering I’m launching to compete in the “General Third Party” market. I believe my service is notable and unique in that users do not need to create an account or remember yet another password to use the service. It feels almost exactly like a normal WordPress comment form.

    I wrote the service because I migrated my personal blog from WordPress to Pelican and I really missed the WordPress style setup.

    Please take a look, I think you will like it.

  19. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    So really this is good for the commenters, not necessarily the blogger who uses CommentLuv. The problem with it for the blogger is that you then have to highly moderate who you allow to comment on your blog. Many low-quality do-follow backlinks from your site is not good for that bloggers SEO. It also attracts a lot more spam comments as people will actively look for sites with CommentLuv installed and comment there just for the do-follow link. So not only is it harming your site’s SEO but it’s attracting the type of commenters that are of no value to the blogger. I’m definitely not for CommentLuv.

  20. Ashley Jones Avatar

    Commentluv plugin is really helpful because it provides do follow link which means getting more backlinks will place our site top on the search engines. Anyway thank your from heart for sharing such informative article with us.

  21. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Never heard of it. Looks interesting.

  22. Magali Avatar

    Hi Dustin,

    Really interesting post. I think JetPack isn’t a bad option. But the others are terrible !
    Facebook steal your traffic, Disqus sell your data and LiveFyre is no longer maintain.
    I’m surprised you didn’t talk about GraphComment.com that is, in my opinion the best comment system on the market.

  23. Jeanne Avatar

    No. It’s built on the Craft platform.

  24. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Is your website built on WordPress?

  25. Jeanne Avatar

    That’s part of my question. Can i use a WordPress plugin for comments on my website? Here’s a link to our blog http://tectorius.com/blog.

  26. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Why not just use WordPress?

  27. Jeanne Avatar

    I’m looking for a comment platform to use similar to WordPress where you only need the name, email, etc. No logging in required for an existing account such as Disqus and do not want them to login using social media. Can I use WordPress plugin on another site? If not, any other suggestions?

  28. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Oh yea, Blogger.com comments are terrible. Disqus is definitely the better option.

  29. Fav Avatar

    I agree with the author on the native comments for wordpress.

    however, I blog on blogger.com and their native system is not really good.

    thankfully, disqus offers a syncing method and on-the-fly install of their comment system. 🙂

  30. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Thanks for chiming in Patrick! Your system looks interesting, but far too complicated for me personally. For the commenter, simplicity means less friction in engaging. For the website owner (myself) simplicity means more brainpower to focus on the few things I want to do really well.

    But for those who have the capacity, I don’t see why your system would be a bad idea.

  31. Patrick Avatar

    Hey Dustin thanks for the article. I can’t argue against your WP comments conclusion based on the desire to keep it simple. But not everyone wants just basic commenting features or if they don’t understand what they are missing then . Here are some features that I think would be insightful for your readers that can only be found in BurnZone commenting (http://theburn-zone.com)

    BurnZone is a general commenting system matching Disqus and Livefyre with almost every feature. If you want higher engagement from your users or are just starting to engage with your audience BurnZone provides the only lever available to speed that process along with “Competitions”. Every positive interaction (commenting, replying, answering a question, sharing etc…) is quantified in BurnZone allowing users to earn reputation points and a chance to win a competition during a specified time period. A prize can be attached to the competition providing extra incentive to participate frequently in the community.

    Also all of the reputation points are grouped into categories which then allow a site admin to create custom badges that users can earn. You can have badges for the top overall contributors, top new contributors, top sharers, and top question responders. This creates a stronger identity and attachment to the community.

    BurnZone also provides an additional way for you to monetize your community through a premium users program where users reward each other for positively participating in the community.

    If you want your audience to engage with each other outside of an article and start to make that transition to a community BurnZone provides a Forum solution that integrates both the article commenting with separate Forum threads created. This can provide a reason for users to come back to your site even when there isn’t a new article.

    There is a content discovery widget which allows users to see other top articles and top forum threads which increases page views per visit and time spent on your site.

    I could go on… but I think it is worth checking out in situations where you want more than the basic. I am a co founder at BurnZone. Feel free to email me patrick at theburn-zone.com

  32. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    It’s probably easiest to go to the specific plugin documentation to see exactly how they work.

  33. Alison Moore Smith Avatar

    Thank you.

    So are you saying that the commenter has to comment ON your blog and IN the specific social media commenting section for this to work? In other words, blog tools cannot “pull in” comments that were made specifically in social media?

    Hopefully I’m being clear. Just to be sure:

    If a post is shared or liked on Facebook, my social share count plugin can find and count each of those likes/shares. But if someone LINKS to my post on Facebook and people comment on that link, there is no way to pull those native Facebook (as opposed to on-blog Facebook commenting system ) comments TO the blog and display them there?

    Does my question make sense?

  34. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Hi Alison! I try to respond no matter how old the blog post is. 😀

    It’s complicated how it actually works but both the Google+ and Facebook commenting systems essentially turn shares of the post into comments. So if someone comments in the Google+ comments section of your blog it can either be just a static comment on the blog OR they can select to share their comment on Google+ where it will show as a link post. It’s pretty similar with Facebook commenting as well. Very complicated, and you don’t get to take the comments with you if you decide to switch to another commenting system.

  35. Alison Moore Smith Avatar

    Glad to see you are still responding to this very helpful post, Dustin.

    I’ve been blogging for 12.5 years and STILL searching for the perfect commenting system.

    I’ve seen a couple of people here reference how using Facebook/Google+ comments will pull the conversation FROM those social media sites TO the blog. Can you give me some idea how this works? (I’ve searched and can’t find the info.)

    For example, if *I* share a post on Google+ and it returns the comments from G+ to my blog, what happens if someone ELSE shares the post (or if I REshare it later)? Same for Facebook? It would be nice to keep the conversations all in one place, but not sure how this works.

    Any feedback appreciated!

  36. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    I use Jetpack as well. However I do not recommend the mobile theme because it doesn’t actually make your site mobile responsive, all it does is adds an alternate theme for mobile viewers which you have no control over. So any customization you’ve done on your theme will be lost on mobile. Plus I’m not really sure if it passes Google’s mobile responsive test which means it could harm your SEO.

    The best thing to do is get a WordPress theme that is built to be mobile responsive out of the box.

  37. Daniel Keith Avatar
    Daniel Keith

    Hi there,
    Great post indeed.
    I like the Jetpack. It is a multitalented plug-in. The reason I like it, it has commenting system, can make a website mobile responsive , and many other customizing options. You may say it your professional assitant for WordPress.

  38. Ryan Avatar

    Yes that’s true, depends on your hosting provider. A dedicated server shouldn’t have any issues!

  39. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Good question Ryan. I haven’t ever noticed comments dragging down performance, but I’ve always had a hosting setup that is a bit more than “needed”. I currently have a Dedicated Server through Certified Hosting so that should never be a problem for me. Have you seen issue with that happening? I would imagine it would take quite a high volume of comments to accomplish what you’re saying.

  40. Ryan Avatar

    The built-in WordPress commenting system does look the best in my opinion.
    What about the increase in size of your WordPress database though? (since all the comments need to go into your site database and adds extra bloat there)

  41. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    I can feel your frustration coming through in that comment Laura! lol And I feel the same way!

  42. Laura Avatar

    I stick with the WordPress commenting because I’ve had all the frustration of trying to comment on other sites which don’t use it. I think Disqus is only popular because no one knows how many comments they don’t get. It is the worst system to me as a commenter. I have endless frustration trying to login with it. So, I just send comments via Twitter, or don’t comment at all, and avoid the hassle of blog comment systems.

    The most frustrating sites are those which use too much auto moderation: asking for registration and then still using word verification after that. The silly thing is how often these sites have limited traffic and no comments at all. These are the people who complain about not getting comments, of course.

  43. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Like I said previously– it’s a bit too complex for my taste. Thank you though.

  44. Olexiy Avatar

    Thanks, Dustin.
    It will be awesome! How can I assist you? Maybe you’re interested in demo? I can send you a free license to test our plugin. Please mail me at fedorov@deco.agency

  45. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Share away Danny! I trust your judgment– and would like to hear what you have to say anyways! 😀

  46. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Looks really interesting Olexiy. A bit too complex for my tastes, but I can see where it might be very useful for some audiences!

  47. Olexiy Avatar

    Hi Dustin!
    Thanks for the reviews

    We have recently launched a premium-plugin for comments.
    It has all the best features from the 3rd party commenting systems, but it’s a plugin that builds an advanced experience on top of the native WordPress commenting system. So you can customize it.

    Here is the demo: https://decomments.com/demo

  48. Danny Brown Avatar

    Agreed, Dustin. For me, the beauty of comments (and the interaction between others) is what truly makes a blog special, and lifts it over other forms of media.

  49. Danny Brown Avatar

    Hi Bruce,

    Great point about the different strengths, “weaknesses”, etc., of the various systems.

    Can I ask a quick question – do you prefer increased engagement on a post (comments and discussions) or increased traffic to a site? If it’s the former, I’d love to give you a look at a solution (with Dustin’s permission, of course) that I’m working with at the moment.

    Let me know (and Dustin, please let me know if it’s “not cool” to share the details here, and I can maybe email you to forward?).


  50. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Is it a matter of not wanting to do the work of filling it out, or wanting to comment anonymously? If it’s the former then WordPress native should auto-fill the next time you go to comment, so the work is only done once (or until the cache resets). If it’s the latter then my perspective is that if someone wants to comment anonymously, I don’t want them commenting– what’s the point? If you’re comments aren’t a way of building a community/relationship then there’s no use to me.

  51. ia Avatar

    I never leave comments, with the exception of right now, on the native comment system, because I don’t WANT to fill in my info, I just want to leave a comment. You may want to rethink this.

  52. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Awesome Bruce! Let me know which direction you end up going!

  53. Bruce Maples Avatar

    Thanks for the article, AND the comments! I am researching various systems, and appreciate hearing various experiences and opinions.

    Right now, the most appealing feature of Livefyre is their ability to integrate comments from my FB pages back to the posts on my WP sites, thus giving me a somewhat-integrated comment infrastructure.

    However, I’ve also read a number of persons who said their traffic went up when they went with Disqus, because of the “community” features of the Disqus system.

    Having the ability to comment with only a name and email are critical, I think, so whichever system I use will have to support that.

    As you can tell, I am really torn between the various options. Since I have multiple sites, I may try a different one on each and then blog about my experiences!

    Thanks again for the article. I may post back once I decide!

  54. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    I agree that Disqus presents an obstacle in commenting. It’s like asking people to sign up for yet another social network when all they want to do is leave a comment.

  55. Pedro Avatar

    Hi Dustin, thanks for a very thought-provoking post! I am currently experimenting to find what works best for my blog. In fact, I used Disqus until earlier today when I changed to CommentLuv, essentially because I am hoping that enabling a link to the commenter’s last blog post will encourage more people to leave comments. I am also thinking that requiring my readers to open an account with Disqus before they can make a comment might actually be a ‘commenting obstacle’!

  56. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    I’m so glad you stopped to visit Kim! And even more glad you found this post thought provoking!

  57. Kim Matheson Avatar
    Kim Matheson

    Hi Dustin, I stumbled upon your site via Social Media Examiner. I actually like your take on commenting systems. Interesting point regarding comments on social platforms and the clear fact they own them not you. I have been using Disque, but I like the idea of the old formula where if someone takes the time to read your content and leave a comment a link to there website is beneficial for both. Thanks for creating a different view point on comments. I hadn’t really given it a lot of consideration before. Kind regards Kim 🙂

  58. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    I agree– on certain types of blog, commenting can be the life blood. So what is your favorite commenting system to encounter then Katharine?

  59. Katharine Avatar

    Commenting is, in my opinion, one of the joys of blogging, both for the owner and for the visitors. We call this SOCIAL media, after all, right? Why would anyone want to make commenting difficult for the commenter! If I’ve decided commenting is just too plebeian, it won’t be long before I’m crying a river, right?
    I do not comment on some sites I truly love and desire to comment on, because the comment window is impossible to navigate. I am sad, not mad, but totally do have to walk away from the discourse because of choices in the comment area that leave me scratching my head in wonder.
    I always, then, assume the owner has a lot to learn or something, which degrades him or her in my opinion, even if I love the content.

  60. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    I’ve never had to deal with a site that has thousands of legitimate comments per day. Here on dustinstout.com I deal with over 1k spam comments per day, but only a handful of legitimate ones.

  61. Katrina Moody Avatar
    Katrina Moody

    I much prefer default WordPress comments, mostly because it’s fun to style and incorporate site design within them, but also because they generally just work. I have used Comment Luv in the past and while I love it, I don’t love the amount of spam that seems to come with it 🙁

    I’d love your take on sites that have lots of commenting going on, though. I’ve suggested to a couple clients for them to go move their commenting to Disqus because they were having thousands of comments a day sometimes and the load it was placing on their server was crazy. Moving the commenting off to Disqus allowed them to reduce server load, increase spam control, and overall enjoy their commenting more.

    Have you had to deal with that kind of extreme?

  62. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Yea, agreed. But I thought that the deactivated modules don’t add extra bloat. I could be wrong on that though. I don’t notice it on mine.

  63. Danny Brown Avatar

    Jetpack is too bloated. Why would I want to install 20 plugins just to use a comment system? 😉

  64. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Looks interesting Danny! Still too much clutter for me. Another plugin, more settings to play with, another thing to keep updated, another potential conflict source. If you use Jetpack, it does ajax comment submission. Have you looked into that?

  65. Danny Brown Avatar

    So just wanted to jump back in with another reco. 🙂

    Since Inline Comments and my theme currently have a compatibility glitch, I’ve switched off and Inline Comments and G+ Comments, and reverted to native WordPress. However…

    It’s not just the vanilla WordPress comments. I’m trying out a new plugin called wpDiscuz, that is an Ajax-powered complement to native comments. It only requires name and email, is very lightweight, and very customizable.

    Highly recommend checking it out. 🙂


  66. Haydn Symons Avatar
    Haydn Symons

    A great blog post Dustin, loved the multiple pro’s and con’s for the different commenting systems, it’s always a tricky topic.

    I personally use Disqus for my blog, as I find it the best for replying, following others and looks pretty professional.

    I would say the big advantage of this commenting system is the fact that the user doesn’t have to type in your details every time – it’s quick and easy.

    I certainly agree that you should choose a commenting system that’s right for your audience – a great tip there!

    Thanks Dustin, I’ll be sure to share this on Twitter!

  67. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Glad you liked it Rob! Keep the disadvantages in mind. If there’s one piece of advice that I would emphasize to anyone starting a new blog it’s to leave out all the fluff (commenting systems included). Last thing you need is more things to distract from creating content. Take it for what it’s worth!

  68. Rob Newman Avatar
    Rob Newman

    Great post, Dustin.
    I am in the process of launching a blog – I really hadn’t thought about differing commenting systems. Thanks for the info!

    I never heard of Livefyre before and i think I’ll give it a try.

    Cheers, and keep up the great content!

  69. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Yep, I gave it a try on another blog today and I was able to change the link. Then I went hunting on my WordPress.com account to see where I could change that link that is auto-populated. Had to change it in two locations.

  70. UaMV Avatar

    Oops. Actually, it is the Website option under the Account Details section on that same admin page.

  71. UaMV Avatar

    Did some poking around and the site to which a wordpress.com account links may be customizable. Haven’t tested it out yet, but it seems you can set a primary site by visiting your main wordpress.com site’s dashboard and visiting User > Personal Settings > Primary Blog.

  72. UaMV Avatar

    Interesting. I had not noticed that about linking to a personal site. I’ll have to check it out. If that is still the case, I can see how that would be a strong con.

    I don’t think I’ve encountered many conflicts or issues, but I certainly don’t manage the volume of comments that you do either. I would also hope that some of those bugs have been sorted with further development.

  73. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    I found a lot of issues with Jetpack comments in the beginning. Firstly, when I visit a site and it has them activated I would rather use my own name/email/website but instead when I put them in it requires me to use my WordPress.com account because it’s tied to my email address. Maybe it has changed, but when I did the WordPress.com login the link that it was giving was to my WordPress.com account rather than the blog I wanted it to go to (this one right here). That was enough for me to never comment on a Jetpack comment system again.

    I also had a lot of conflicts when I had Jetpack comments running. I had countless people messaging me saying that they were trying to comment and kept getting errors. So I said good-bye for good to Jetpack comments.

  74. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Thanks for chiming in Daniel! And while my largest audience segment is also on Google+, I’ve witnessed how quickly blog traffic can shift with just a small tweak in strategy. Pinterest users are now visiting my blog more than Google+ users which is totally bonkers! lol

    And yes, whenever you post a poll on Google+ it will always be biased to the most Googley answer. Haha!

  75. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Gene the best advice I could ever give a new blogger when they’re starting out is keep things as simple as possible and just focus on your writing. Once you feel like you’ve got WordPress down and all under control, then start fiddling with things like commenting systems and plugins.

  76. UaMV Avatar

    I’ve become a big fan of Jetpack Comments. The system integrates super well with native comments. Honestly, I’m not thrilled with the need to enter even just my name/email/website every time I make a comment. Jetpack allows a site to maintain a form of native commenting while allowing users an ease of commenting. One click (or none) to identify oneself.

  77. Daniel Futerman Avatar
    Daniel Futerman

    Superb post Dustin.

    After studying this matter for quite a while as well, my personal conclusion (as for today at least) is that I’ve got to concentrate mainly on where most my audience comes from.

    Since at the moment Google+ is by far the leading platform, I use Google+ comments.

    One great thing about G+ comments is that when I share a post on Google+ and it gets comments & shares, they instantly appear also on my blog post. And since my G+ community is rather active, each posts immediately receives several comments and that has a psychological impact on other readers.

    But to be honest, I truly look forward to the day I’ll be able to use the WP commenting system alone. I completely agree with many of the points you made, and above all is the simplicity factor.

    An interesting thing to add to this post would be the data gathered on a poll I run a few days ago on Google Plus – https://plus.google.com/+DanielFuterman/posts/ASFz7PGyexw.

    While I’m not sure how objective the poll actually is (after all it was shared on Google+), it’s interesting to see that Google+ comments got 61% of the votes, while WP coming in second got only 18%.

    Evidently this topic is still open for discussion and debate. But this post does a great job at laying out all the major platforms available today, and concluding which one (or ones) do the best job. Great read Dustin.

  78. Gene Avatar

    I’m still in the infant stages of building what will be my primary blogging platform and every book I’ve read so far strongly suggested Disqus. After reading your post and then Michael Hyatt’s post and see why he’s pulled Disqus, I’m out. If I do leave comments, I’ll either use native or I’ll look at Jetpack and Livefyre. As I am still struggling with design and layout though, this is a down-the-road decision for me, but I’m thankful for this information.

  79. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Thanks Ryan! If I remember correctly, Comment Luv is just an add-on to WordPress Native right?

  80. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Yep, the Google+ enthusiasts love them some Google+ comments. I considered it for a minute, but after testing it out found that it ruined the experience on mobile when used with my theme.

  81. Ryan Biddulph Avatar
    Ryan Biddulph

    Dustin my blogging community LOVES Com Luv 😉 But as you said whatever system vibes with your community you need to go with that. I for one love giving folks some link juice as they can choose one of their recent posts using ComLuv. I also get the spam deluge too; I’ve received one too many i.e. 18,000 comments from a rather lewd series of keywords…..we all have lol.

    But whatever the system do keep it open. Grow your community. I’d add that by going with a Com Luv type system you’re rewarding other bloggers with some link options versus the home blog page option via discuss. Not a good or bad thing really. Just keep on blog commenting to build those bonds and it’s all good.

    Thanks for the comprehensive breakdown!


  82. Danny Brown (@DannyBrown) Avatar

    No worries, mate – I’m actually going to try on a staging site, as well as earlier versions of the plugin, and see if the same issue happens.

    Cheers again!

  83. Danny Brown (@DannyBrown) Avatar

    I don’t think I’ll ever close comments off – they’re too valuable. The issue (as I read it, from the sites that have done it) is control, and less comments.

    So offer the option where people are commenting most (G+ Comments, for example, or Facebook). I just feel the reasons being used for switching off comments are (for the most part) not really accurate.

    Hey ho. 🙂

  84. Danny Brown (@DannyBrown) Avatar

    “No harm, no foul – to heck with you, Facebook user!!” 😉

    I guess the same could be true of any system, mate. Blogger users light loathe native WordPress (especially now they’re on the G+ Comments route); Livefyre might hate Disqus (and vice versa); G+ users might hate Facebook comments.

    It’s a no-win situation, I feel. I know my own decision was based on analytics and user behaviour, which showed G+ as an ever-growing contributor to my blog. I added the Inline Comments option as that was simple (like Dustin mentions, you just need name and email), and it also offers more context to the content. Will see how it goes. 🙂

  85. Wade Harman Avatar

    I prefer the Google+ comments. As you said it alienates the Facebook user, however, I’ve long since left that platform anyway, so no harm no foul.

  86. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Haha! Yes I agree. I just found out yesterday that Michael Hyatt closed commenting on his blog. After reading that, it was one more nudge for me doing the same. Jury is still out though.

  87. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Awesome– glad to have provided some clarity and keep your life simpler Carrie-Anne. 😀

  88. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Thank you for clarifying the page reload Danny! I hadn’t gotten to test it out on any other site, so my only experience was on yours. I’ve updated the post to clarify that.

  89. Danny Brown (@DannyBrown) Avatar

    Very true, mate – the rise of social conversations, for one, has meant a shift to multiple platforms. Now, I think the social proof comes down to the buzz away from the post itself – shares, group or social channel discussions, even email recommendations.

    Ah, to be a metrics guy in the digital age. 🙂

  90. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Me too Mark! I really see a trend moving away from blog comments in general. It used to be that blog comments was a measure of “success” but I don’t find that to be true any more.

  91. Carrie-Anne Foster Avatar
    Carrie-Anne Foster

    For some time, I’ve wondered if I should change my commenting system.

    After reading your article, Dustin, I’m finally comfortable with leaving my commenting system as is.

    Thanks for such a detailed post and a run through of the pros and cons of different systems!

  92. Mark-John Clifford Avatar
    Mark-John Clifford


    Even though I get little comments on my blog, I enjoy the native WordPress commenting system just for the ease of use and updating.

  93. Danny Brown (@DannyBrown) Avatar

    Hi Dustin,

    Great overview (no surprise there, then), and appreciate the shout to my own post and the subsequent discussion around it. It’s definitely the beauty of being a blogger, the option to experiment and see what works over time.

    A couple of things re. the Inline Comments plugin.

    1. The reload / jump-to-top-of-page glitch is something that happens on some themes. The demo site the developer runs, as well as a couple of other places I’ve seen the plugin used on, doesn’t have that issue – the comment is posted, Ajax scripting refreshes the page but the reader doesn’t move. I actually disabled all plugins except Inline and WP Ajaxify Comments (which handles the smooth refresh that’s meant to happen), and same issue. I’ve reached out to the theme developer to see if he can shed any light.

    2. Fragmentation can occur, but I think you can get that with even native WordPress after the post, if the commenting is set up for a certain amount of depth for threaded comments (set the depth wrong, and you need to start a new one, or reply to an older one, and then all sorts of craziness starts!). I’ll definitely be looking at Crazy Egg heat maps, to see where I might get drop off points with the new system. I’m also using the beta version of Filament Insights, that gives interest levels and how far down the post someone goes before dropping off – hopefully, this will also shed light on any fragmentation and people commenting then leaving before finishing the post.

    It’s definitely a work in progress, and if the glitches aren’t fixable because of theme choice, then I’ll probably stop using (and maybe look at Livefyre Sidenotes, though that created issues on earlier versions).

    Again, great post and looking forward to seeing what everyone else has to say. 🙂

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