What is the best commenting system to use on a blog?

Dials? Facebook? Google+? Livefyre? WordPress? Or a system of your own? Know the pros of each one and find out which is the best for your blog!

There are several commenting systems to use on a blog, from platform natives, such as WordPress, to systems that can be integrated into the blog, such as Discus and Facebook. To know which one will be the best for your blog, it is necessary to explore the advantages that each system has.

Comments are a very important part of the overall design of a blog. If you manage one, you’ve probably already wondered which system, plugin or platform is best.

Dials? Facebook? Livefyre? WordPress? Or a system of your own? Which one to use?

In this post, Blue World City will explore the relevance that comments have for a blog and what advantages each of the systems mentioned above have.

What is the role of comments on a blog and why you should enable them

Imagine if it were not possible for us to comment on any website. If that option simply didn’t exist, what would your internet experience be like?

The same thought exercise applies to social media: what if we only had the option to like or share what others write, but without giving our opinion, or constructive criticism, or weaving a compliment? Anyway, without any interaction!

It would be a little different, right? Not only would our browsing experience change, our lives would also change.

A few decades ago, when communication was completely offline, we could only interact in the media with other people by sending letters to newspapers and magazines, or by calling television programs.

In other words, this willingness to interact and respond to the content we absorb is an inherent part of human behavior. The development of online and social media has only enhanced this natural behavior that we have.

So, if you own a blog, or if you are the admin or editor of your company’s blog, you need to know that leaving this channel open is the fastest way to interact with your reader.

Rarely a user, when they come across a post on a blog that does not have active comments, will send you an email to talk about it. And if you write about any topic without wanting this interaction with your reader, why write? Why talk to yourself if there is an opportunity for this exchange of information as well as free feedback?

Which system to use?

Basically, there are two comment systems that stand out from the rest today. We are talking about Disqus, which is what we use here on the Resultados Digitais blog and Facebook Comments.

However, despite the wide popularity that these two options enjoy, there are other alternatives that can also be used.

Below, let’s explore the advantages that each comment system has:

1 – WordPress

This system obviously only works if you have a WordPress blog. We won’t go into detail about the other content management systems as WordPress is by far the most popular on the web today, including what we use here.

In fact, the advantages of a native system are all very similar, with little variation. So, the pros below might work for blogs hosted on Tumblr or Blogspot, for example.

WordPress has a default commenting system, which is free, easy to use, fully integrated, and can be customized almost infinitely through other plugins.

Pros:

  • Control filter: With automatic anti-spam filtering and moderation settings, you can set your own preferences regarding how the site will filter content. It is possible to filter users, keywords or IP addresses, for example;
  • Anonymity control: You can decide if the user needs to comment with their e-mail, name or prior registration. Or leave it free, allowing anonymous comments;
  • Moderation control: You can decide if comments should be moderated or if they will be published immediately after user posts. And customize it according to the user level, if you are already registered or if you are commenting for the first time, for example;
  • No barriers: WordPress’ own system does not require registration of other accounts for the user to comment. It doesn’t need to integrate your account with Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. However, by requiring registration or email confirmation before commenting, the user may be reluctant.

How to install: It is the native system of WordPress, just activate the comments in the options. The same goes for other CMS’s.

2 – Dials

Disqus is the commenting platform we use on our blog. It is a system that has become increasingly popular on several websites due to its ease of use, customization power, and integration with several other accounts.

Pros:

  • Social Integration: Disqus has excellent integration with social media. You can comment using a Facebook, Twitter, Google account or creating your own, if applicable. Another interesting detail is that you can @mention other users to bring them into the conversation, much like Twitter;
  • User profiles: Every user who creates a record on Disqus or who joins an existing account gains a profile. In this profile you have access to all the comments you’ve made, which comments you voted positively or negatively on, and other data;
  • Control Panel: As an administrator, you can make a number of customizations such as spam control, blacklisting, and comment moderation;
  • Related posts: You can activate the recommended stories option at the bottom of the comments box. This is a way to encourage your users to read other comments from other posts on your blog;
  • Do everything by email: If you leave comments in the moderated option, you can accept or deny them all by email. Just adjust the notifications and with simple responses like “approve,” you can manage the comments without having to enter the panel.

How to install: Just go to https://disqus.com/admin/install/ and choose which platform you want to integrate Disqus on. You can enter HTML code manually or download plugins for WordPress, Blogger, Joomla, Drupal, Tumblr and other platforms.

3 – Livefyre

Livefyre is very similar to Disqus, being a very popular system as well. That’s why the pros are similar too. It is the system used by Mashable, for example.

Pros:

  • Flexible login options: You can comment using Facebook, Twitter or creating your own Livefyre account;
  • Social Integration: When logged into Livefyre, you can also use @mentions to integrate other users into the conversation. Furthermore, it is possible to share these comments on social media;
  • Control Panel: Administrators can track the activity of users who comment and know who is actively participating in conversations.

How to install: At http://www.livefyre.com/install/ you can find all the instructions to integrate your blog with Livefyre.

4 – Facebook

The most popular social network in the world has a comment system that is also very popular. You’ve probably already visited a website where comments were all integrated with Facebook. The reason? Most people not only have a Facebook account but also frequently surf the internet with the social network logged in, which facilitates interaction.

Pros:

  • Real people: When someone comments using their own Facebook profile, generally that person is more careful with what they write, as they are linking the comment directly to their image. This prevents, in part, spam and personal offenses. Yes, there are still fakes on Facebook, but they are very punctual profiles that are usually reported quickly;
  • No barriers: As stated above, almost everyone has Facebook. Furthermore, not needing to log in, integrate an account or a new registration can quantitatively influence the number of comments;
  • Increased traffic from Facebook: When you integrate Facebook into your comments, the post is more likely to be shared on that particular network. That’s because the person can check the option “Publish also on Facebook” and share the comment on their timeline.

How to avoid spammers and maintain a high level of comments?

For all goods there are evils. And in relation to comments on the internet, two evils stand out: spam and offenses.

To avoid spam in your comments you must activate some filters. And in that respect, non-social comments stand out, as you can block comments that have URLs, block specific words, blacklist users, etc.

In order not to have offensive comments, such as destructive criticisms, the work is a little longer. The level of comments on your blog may be related to the audience you’ve built.

It’s true that once your site is ranked on Google, there’s no way to understand exactly how this new user who just read your post behaves. If your site is public, anyone can access it. However, if you have already established yourself in the market and have a base of quality followers (and they keep coming back!), the chances of constructive discussions taking place are much greater.

After so many options, how do you decide?

It’s not so simple to hit the hammer and say: “this system is the best!”. It all depends on variables like layout, purpose, audience and niche. It’s common for some sites to work better with Facebook comments while others work better with Disqus or others work better with a native system.

At Resultados Digitais, we chose Disqus because it has a dashboard that is easy to use and customize, in addition to allowing login from several different social networks (and not just one).

Ideally, you should analyze your audience first. If your traffic is mostly from Facebook, it might be an advantage to use this comment system on your blog. If there is a variety of traffic channels, the ideal can be a more hybrid system, like the others mentioned.