Advanced commenting systems for WordPress

WordPress has a perfectly adequate commenting system built-in. But it can quickly grow unwieldy and commenting can take up a lot of system resources if you run a high-volume site.

That’s why alternative commenting systems such as Disqus (recently integrated on WDD) and Intense Debate have been developed.

They handle your comments for you, making it easier to moderate and manage comments, and to view analytics related to blog comments.

Below we’ve taken a look at five major commenting systems available for WordPress (all are also available for other platforms).

We’ve also covered a few interesting alternative commenting systems and methods that you might want to look into.

 

Disqus

Disqus is one of the most popular commenting systems out there, with more than 200 million users. It’s used by sites like CNN, TechCrunch, Engadget, and IGN, among others. It can be integrated with WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Drupal and other CMSs.

The Disqus Core Platform is free (and will remain so). If you need additional features, like analytics, realtime updating, moderation reports, the advanced theme editor, partner API access, or dedicated servers for high-volume sites, Plus, Professional, and VIP plans are available (for $19/month, $199/month, or starting at $999/month, respectively).

Features

  • Realtime comments
  • Mobile commenting
  • Notification and reply system
  • Inline media embedding
  • Social integration, including liking and sharing
  • Community profiles
  • Moderation tools, including blacklists and whitelists
  • Import and export tools
  • Customizable themes

 

Intense Debate

Intense Debate, developed by Automattic, is used by sites like Dumb Little Man and Laughing Squid, and can be integrated with WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, TypePad, or any other site or CMS. Because it’s built by Automattic, you can sign up with your existing WordPress.com account.

Features

  • Comment threading
  • Commenter profiles
  • Plugins API
  • Moderation/blacklisting
  • Reply-By-Email, including moderation by email
  • Works with OpenID
  • Comment voting and reputation points
  • Twitter and Facebook Connect integration

 

Echo

Echo is an enterprise-level Javascript commenting system. It’s used by sites like NyMag.com and the Washington Post. It can be integrated into any site that supports Javascript (including WordPress, Tumblr, and other CMSs and blogging platforms). Case studies can be viewed on their website. No information on pricing is available on their site.

Features

  • Enterprise-level system, designed to handle large traffic and engagement spikes
  • Real-time comments
  • White label
  • Fully customizable in terms of look, feel, and even behavior
  • Support for social media sign-ons
  • Full analytics
  • Support for pre-moderation and post-moderation, user bans, and more
  • Can be integrated on any site with Javascript

 

coComment

coComment is a cross between a social network and a commenting system. Integrating coComment is simple, and there are a couple of options available (one self-hosted, and one integrated with the “CoCo Bar”).

Features

  • Customizable themes
  • Pre-defined skins
  • Moderation and spam-prevention options, including Captcha
  • Video commenting support
  • Users can track their comments across any site using coComment

 

Livefyre

LiveFyre is a real-time commenting system built around the “social web”. Your readers can access their entire social network right from your site, and take advantage of social networking features from within your content. It’s used by NewsGrange, FYI Living, The Sociable, Spin Sucks, and thousands of other sites.

Features

  • Live commenting
  • Intelligent moderation tools, including ban and white-lists and community flagging
  • User ratings and comment voting
  • Nested replies
  • The ability to tag friends on social networks within comments
  • Social sharing and social media syncing
  • Single sign-on
  • Mobile-specific interface

 

Facebook Comments

In March, Facebook launched a new commenting system that can be integrated into any site. Users on your site can post comments using their Facebook identity, meaning the vast majority of people would be commenting under their real identity. There are a number of pros and cons to this system. (TechCrunch also has a good overview of the pros and cons.)

Pros

  • Visitors are signed-in automatically if they’re logged into Facebook
  • The use of real identities means less trolling
  • Comments are automatically posted to the person’s Facebook account, which means more exposure for your content

Cons

  • Replies to your newsfeed items by your friends are automatically posted to the originating site (which might be good for site owners, but bad for users)
  • Must have a Facebook account to use (there’s no support for Google IDs or Twitter, though you could run FB Comments in conjunction with regular WordPress comments)
  • No back-ups means getting your comments out of Facebook if you want to switch commenting systems at a later date is tricky.

Resources for integrating Facebook comments

There are some great tutorials and plugins for getting Facebook comments up and running on your blog. Here are a couple:

Facebook Comments for WordPress – Also works with Yahoo! accounts. Comment box can be styled to match your site’s theme. Upcoming features will include a backup method.

How to add the New Facebook Comment System to WordPress Blog – A brief tutorial for adding the Comment System without plugins.

 

More interesting comment systems

CommentLuv is a simple WordPress or Blogger plugin that rewards your commenters by adding a titled link to their most recent blog post or tweet at the end of their comment (based on their site URL). Commenters can also sign up for CommentLuv and include even more links in their profiles.

Digress.it is a WP plugin that let’s users leave paragraph-level comment threads in the margins of a page. It makes it easier to comment on specifics within a blog post (especially a longer post).

MCEngine (“The micro-comment engine”) let’s users leave comments on paragraph and smaller blocks of content in your blog posts. It’s built on jQuery, with a comment form that slides in and out of view. It’s perfect for leaving corrections or clarifications on blog posts, or for annotating longer documents.


Written exclusively for WDD by Cameron Chapman.

What’s your favorite WordPress commenting system or plugin? Let us know in the comments!

0 shares
  • http://superdit.com aditia

    facebook commenting system must be hated by some people who looking for a backlink to his site

    • http://FatWalr.us/ Luke Coburn

      This is an excellent point. Many bloggers will get involved in intelligent conversation on your blog because they know that they will get a link back to their own blog. When the link takes you to Facebook, it becomes much less appealing.

      • http://twitter.com/raena raena

        You should be commenting because you have something to say, not because you’re in it for the SEO.

      • http://FatWalr.us/ Luke Coburn

        “Should” and “would” are very different things. We “should” take all our extra money and give it to the poor. We don’t. And we don’t because human beings will always be inclined to think of themselves first and others second. If a commenting platform gives people the ability to get their names out there while simultaneously benefiting the conversation, people will be more inclined to get involved.

        Good commenting systems recognize this. That’s why a true commenting system backlinks people to their own blogs, while Facebook backlinks people to Facebook. They’re both backlinking. Facebook wants to appeal to Facebook users because they want links back to themselves because they are a business and they want to make money. The commenting system wants to appeal to the blogger because they want to become more popular because they want to land larger clients because they are a business and they want to make money. That’s just how it works.

      • http://superdit.com aditia

        yup agree with you, facebook business may seems like yahoo, to keep people on their site as long as possible

    • http://ibusinessprofessional.com video marketing

      Yes @aditia….. you’r right good point.

    • http://adsenseactive.com/ web marketing

      Yeah…excellent point.

    • http://itrafficgeneration.com Internet business

      Suck the facebook commenting.

  • http://twitter.com/AmazingWebDesig Amazing Web Design

    Great post, never thought of using another commenting system with WordPress, maybe try this next time i have a big wordpress project :) Thanks

  • http://technologyquestions.com/blog LPH

    LiveFyre is a fantastic real time commenting system that should be in your list.

    • Walter

      Thanks for suggesting this one, we’ve added it to the post.

  • http://FatWalr.us/ Luke Coburn

    You really should include @livefyre:twitter in your list. I wrote a blog post on this topic a few days ago, and multiple members of their support team came to talk about their product in my (Disqus-driven) comment section. They have amazing customer service, and they beat Disqus to the punch at integrating social media into commenting. Not to mention, their current implementation is much less buggy and more all-inclusive of a user’s social networks than that of Disqus. I would implement LiveFyre way before IntenseDebate or Facebook’s commenting platforms.

    Note: I’m not a LiveFyre fan-boy…I (currently) use Disqus on my blog. I do, however, really respect the LiveFyre team and think that they are pushing the “big boys” (Disqus, etc) to enhance their products.

    • http://www.jennalanger.com/ Jenna Langer

      Thanks for mentioning us Luke. Livefyre is a real-time comment system built from the ground up for the social web. What are you looking for when you choose a comment system for your blog? We can get into feature lists, but the real question is what are you trying to do in the comments? We think people should be able to have real-time, social and intelligent conversations on any piece of content, which is why we have built Livefyre to facilitative that type of human interaction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1198522160 Jimmy Mackin

    @themlsapp:twitter interesting post

  • Anonymous

    This is a good post. I am just starting my blog up and have been interested to see the different comment systems for WordPress. I think I am going to go with Discus.

    • http://myibusinessguru.com business online

      That’s great to hear @haydenhancock:disqus Thanks for dropping by.

  • http://twitter.com/DesignNewz Design-Newz

    Thanks for the article. I didn’t think of the server load savings that comments can take up on a large blog. Disqus looks perfect for one of my blogs. I’m curious too why LiveFyre wasn’t included.

  • http://www.pushpinderbagga.com/ Pushpinder Bagga

    I personally feel that comments add to the SEO of the article… and using javascript and iframed comments which are not invisible to google could if not harm but surely limit the SEO scope of the page/website.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bratu-Sebastian/1406714477 Bratu Sebastian

    This is a great article! I was thinking about Disqus for my upcoming tutorial blog, but I am now going to use IntenseDebate or Facebook comments.

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    Great man! Such an awesome stuff you have posted here. I appreciate this precious stuff. Keep sharing and updating your blog.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ascaniomiguel Miguel Ascanio Pozanco

    Me gusta disqus

  • http://magnusthornblad.se Magnus Thörnblad

     You’re mentioning CommentLuv, and you’re mentioning IntenseDebate, so I just want to add that there’s a plugin in IntenseDebate so that you can integrate CommentLuv in it. So if you love CommentLuv, but miss some features, try IntenseDebate WITH CommentLuv :)

  • Anonymous

     Actually, I’ve been reading about Disqus and I think I will use it. I just loved the way IntenseDebate has all that social sharing inside. Interesting comparison you have done on your website!

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  • http://www.zoompsd.com ZOOMPSD Blogging and Design

    i have a plan to install livefyre, looks good embed with my blog, thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.jennalanger.com/ Jenna Langer

      Sweet :) Looking forward to checking out your site more, I love photoshop tutorials and I need to learn more WordPress hacks. Let us know if you have any questions about Livefyre!

  • http://www.y8zone.com Y8

    All in all I’m loving Disqus although as all other things imperfect this too has its tiny bugs….