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Best Blog Commenting Systems & Platforms

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Best Blog Commenting Systems & Platforms

Today we’re going to talk about blog comments and why they’re an effective tool for engaging blog readers and developing relationships. A couple of months back, I decided to shift from using WordPress’ native system to manage my blogs comments to a 3rd-party system.

For me, there were several of reasons:

  1. Spam: The 3rd-party systems have often proved to be better at combating spam comments.
  2. Integration: It integrates seamlessly with your WordPress site’s design (and on other platforms too). As a web designer, I enjoy getting my hands dirty with coding, but WordPress’ native comment template can get a bit tricky when you’re designing for nested comments, author comments, etc. So, I decided to take a load off and let a 3rd-party system handle it.
  3. Helps Foster Discussion: WordPress comments when left untouched do nothing in the way of getting blog commenters to come back after you’ve replied to their comment (you need a plugin for that). However, these 3rd-party blog comment systems help you foster good conversations, discussions, and interactions right on your blog. Rather than having to opt-in, most users are sent an email when the author replies (or can manage it in their own accounts).
  4. Managing All Comments: What I love about blog comment systems is that it gives you the ability to manage comments and interactions on your blog, but also gives you the ability to manage and review comments you’ve left on other blogs, as well as see responses left for you by that blog’s author. Now that’s convenience!
  5. Easy Blog Integration: Typically, these commenting systems integrate into the blog fairly easily. As a WordPress user, it was especially helpful that they came with plugins. Basically what happens is the commenting system will attach and skin itself over top of wherever your have installed your comments template on your WordPress single post page (or any other page). This is very easy and convenient!

I’m sure there are more benefits, but those are the ones that have struck me as incredibly positive. So without further adieu, here are the best blog comment systems according to me…

The Ones I’ve Tried

#1. DISQUS

DISQUS LogoDISQUS is my top pick and is the preferred comments platform here on the Agent SEO blog. You can see it in action below. There are several things that I like about it and a few things that I don’t.

The good:

  • Flexible options for management of comments, comment moderation, comments template appearance, and access control.
  • Great notification system that lets authors know when a comment is left, and also lets a commenter know when the author has responded to their comment via email. This keeps the conversation going.
  • Easy ability to import and export new & old WordPress comments.
  • My personal favorite: Integration with social media and the display of reactions and trackbacks in the comments (see below). This helps me know who is sharing my blog post on Twitter, etc. and is especially useful if they forget to include my username (which means I wouldn’t see it in my mentions feed on Twitter).
  • The community profiles feature allows you to moderate comments on your blog and manage your own comments and interactions on other blogs all in one basic dashboard.
  • Very good at combating spam, and also gives you the ability to whitelist or blacklist certain users, as well as word filtering.

The bad:

  • When I originally installed it, it blew up and rendered invalid any scripts outside of the comments template having to do with comment count – for instance the counts underneath post titles or next to popular posts. After much digging, I found that hey have a script that you have to install to correct this comment count issue – it then shows comments and reactions. However, if you’re not familiar with code, then this will be a huge issue.

All in all, my experience with DISQUS has been good and I would recommend it to anyone as my blog comment system of choice. Here is the link to the WordPress DISQUS Comment System plugin.

#2. Intense Debate

Intense Debate LogoIntense Debate is another blog comment system that I’ve had experience with. It is very similar to DISQUS and has some good features and some bad features. It was originally my comment system of choice until I decided to switch to DISQUS.

The good:

  • I actually preferred Intense Debate’s design over that of DISQUS. That’s my inner designer speaking and is very subjective, so take it for what it’s worth.
  • Intense Debate also has a very good email notification system.
  • It does a good job of combating spam and gives you a lot of options for comment moderation and management.
  • I like their idea of ‘Reputation Points’ and ‘Comment Voting’ which helps your blog’s commenters build up their reputation by submitting quality comments.
  • They do have some social media integration, although I don’t quite think it is to the level of DISQUS’ product.
  • It was fairly easy to import & export old WordPress comments.

The bad:

  • When I originally started using Intense Debate, it did an odd thing. It installed some sort of page reload script that caused my webpage to reload itself about every 30 seconds. This was not good for usability, and their customer service team was unable to help me figure out why that was happening. I’m sure that bug has been worked out, but it wasn’t when I made the switch.
  • I liked the social media integration including reactions on DISQUS much more than those on Intense Debate.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think Intense Debate is a fantastic blog comments platform. However, I still think DISQUS has a bit more to offer in terms of functionality, management, ease-of-integration, and social media characteristics. Here is the link to the The IntenseDebate WordPress Plugin.

The Ones I Haven’t Tried

Here are a few blog comment systems that I’ve seen and heard good things about but haven’t tried out for myself.

#3. LiveFyre

LiveFyre LogoLiveFyre is another real-time blog comments system similar to DISQUS and Intense Debate. Although I haven’t personally used it, from what I’ve seen it is probably most similar to Intense Debate in terms of functionality.

You can see it live in action on Lewis Howes’ blog.

You can learn how to install on your WordPress blog by following the instructions on LiveFyre’s Quick Install page. Just a note, there are some features of this system that are free and some that are paid.

#4. Echo Commenting (Used to be “SezWho”)

LiveFyre LogoThe old commenting system SezWho has since been taken over by Echo, who has repurposed their commenting system and released it to the public under the Echo Commenting name.

From what I can tell, it definitely looks a lot more slick in terms of functionality and design that the old SezWho blog comment system. However, I haven’t tried it out so I wouldn’t know. You can see it live on the Washington Post’s website.

All-in-all it looks like a solid system, although I won’t go as far as to put my stamp of approval on it just yet. Also, it doesn’t appear to be free.

So now I’d like to ask you to share your thoughts on the above blog comment systems, tell me your likes and dislikes of each, and even introduce a blog comment system that I haven’t listed here. Thanks and have a great day!

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Jacob Stoops

About the Author

is an SEO professional living in Columbus, Ohio and working for Rosetta Marketing. He's been working in the SEO industry since 2006, and has been blogging since 2009. Learn more about , a Columbus, Ohio SEO Expert.

Comments & Social Reactions

  • http://ibusinessprofessional.com video marketing

    I liiiiiiiiiike disqus platform, thanks the info

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  • http://twitter.com/ArveyColumbus Cheri Allbritton

    I can only speak from a blog commentor’s point of view. Definitely Disqus! I don’t think I’ve come across Live Debate or Echo but I have recently encountered LiveFyre and I didn’t find it to be commentor friendly. So maybe if you didn’t want to foster comments or conversation, that’s would be the one to use.nnI also have to say I felt like I was back in college again with your opening line…you kind of made my day! ;-)

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    • Anonymous

      Haha. Yeah, I guess it does sound like a grumpy-old professor doesn’t it. I’ll try to avoid starting my articles off as if I’m about to give a lecture in the future ;-)

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  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    Nice post dude. I use discuss and it’s pretty cool, but LiveFyre has definitely peaked my interest. Gini Dietrich uses it over and SpinSucks where I’m a regular commentor. What I like about it lies in that delivery of emails that indicate when other users comment. Instead of just a basic ping, LiveFyre pulls in others comments to the message giving you context to the discussion. nnI think it’s a good move and Gini averages between 80-120 comments per post. That’s the result of a lot of different things she does, but I think LiveFyre’s system contributes to those numbers.

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    • Anonymous

      Damn thats a lot of comments. Yeah, I like the discussion-starting ability of all these comment systems. Funny thing is that of everyone I’ve seen who uses LiveFyre vs those who use DISQUS – I’ve noticed that the LiveFyre people don’t respond to my comments typically. However, that could just be the user and not the system.

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  • http://www.eastsidechiro.net Active Release Guy

    Jacob, great read as always. I have a new site being designed, and it is not a wordpress site. I would like to incorporate blogging into my site for providing information, but would also like it to help drive traffic to my site. Is there one format that’s better than another for this purpose? I realize that a WordPress blog takes time and work to incorporate properly and have it look like another page of an existing site, but is the extra work worth the payoff? Or would you recommend going in another direction. The idea of incorporating a blog is totally new to me so I want to make sure I don’t do a lot of work and go in the wrong direction.nnThanks!!!

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    • Anonymous

      I am a big WordPress fan and am most comfortable with the platform as a blogging tool. I really enjoy the Open Source community as constant technology updates.nnHere are the positives:n- It’s free (except hosting, etc)n- It’s open sourcen- It’s very flexiblen- CMS is easy to usen- Lots of plugins and themesn- Easy to installnnSome of the negatives:n- Not always as secure as it should ben- Sometimes plugins can go out of date and break with new WordPress core upgrades (especially if the author doesn’t keep up with it)n- It’s not terribly easy to get acclimated to if you’re a non-code or design person trying to learn it at first.nnOne thing I’d suggest: If you’re considering whether to have your blog reside on your site as a subdomain (blog.something.com) or in a subdirectory (www.something.com/blog/), I’d choose subdirectory.nnThis way all links you build are attributed to your root domain rather than your subdirectory, and over time you’ll build up more equity.nnIf you’re interested in a more robust, but paid solution – I’d recommend InnoBlogs (www.innoblogs.com) by my friend Tom Williams. Very good software, results-driven, SEO-friendly, and conversion-focused tool that is built on a WordPress core…n

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  • http://www.franklydigital.co.uk Amelia Vargo

    I’d never really thought too much about blog commenting 3rd party systems before… But I do want to take this opportunity to say that I like what you have done here with discuss – I noticed the change… Thought ‘why’s he done that?’ then when I made the first comment (some nonsense, no doubt…), and you kindly responded and I got an email – it was like Ding! ‘Yes… Now I know why hes done that!’ nnIt looks good, and does what you want it to do: fosters relationships. Good move :)

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    • Anonymous

      Thanks Amelia. Yeah, I like it for that reason too! In addition, it is also easier to not have to worry about the design aspect. I tried to do the design of my WordPress comments, but let me tell you it is a real pain in the ass – and I would consider myself fairly experienced in WordPress design so…

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  • http://www.cherrysolutiononline.com/ Cherry Rahtu

    The conclusion is disqus is the best in general because you are using it ;) I tried disqus, commentluv, facebook comment, i ended up with disqus for the reasons you have stated :)

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    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the comment Cherry

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  • http://www.kooldesignmaker.com custom logo design

    I like Disqus system to comment because there are many features that are good like social interaction and handling all the comments from admin panel than any other comments community.nFirst time i heard today about LiveFyre comments community and going to look and hope to work better for me.

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    • Anonymous

      The social interaction and reactions part of this platform is very powerful…

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      • http://www.kooldesignmaker.com custom logo design

        yeah it is right what you said and thanks

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  • http://www.realseocompany.com/ seo company

    Thanks for spending valuable time writing about the nBest Blog Commenting Systems & Platformsn

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  • Anonymous

    I do use DISQUS on this blog. It has its unique advantages and some things I dislike, but all in all its been good to me. Glad you found the others useful as well.

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  • http://www.gazzmic.com Barry Donegan

    Disqus is a pretty widely used platform, so it is a little better on your readers. The more widely used the commenting platform is, the more likely the user already has an account and won’t be discouraged from commenting after having to register for around 5 minutes or so.

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    • Anonymous

      Agreed. Having to take that extra time to register can be a real pain in the ass and may stop people from leaving a comment at all….

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  • fentory ward

    SEO-start a euphemism for our customers do not know what we are talking about, so let blame him more. CMS is a content management system, and all of them have been programmed so that the already optimized for SEO.

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  • http://www.thestrategicinsight.com/ SEO web design services

    Thsi post has helped me a lot to understand the different commenting systems, if you know all about them than you can choose the best one for your blog.

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    • http://www.agent-seo.com Jacob Stoops

      That is correct. Next time please use your actual name or company name when posting a comment. I am easily annoying by blog commenters who try to use their signature links to gain inbound links. Just sayin’

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  • http://www.facebook.com/npwsamarasinghe Nalaka Prasad Wijesiri Samaras

    hello 

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