When you launch a blog, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the decisions. You need a name, a domain, a host, a design, a content strategy and sixteen social media channels (only a slight exaggeration!), plus four other ways of promoting your content and driving traffic… it’s exhausting!
We don’t mean to add anything else to your plate, but when was the last time you thought about reader comments? Comments on your blog posts can be a huge form of social proof, and if you have a poorly designed commenting platform with bad features, it can really impact your comments.
Here are several of the most popular commenting platforms you can choose from, and some pros and cons of each. Let us know in the comments which one you want to use.
Option #1: WordPress Default Commenting
As we advise travel bloggers to use WordPress on their sites, this is by far the most popular commenting platform bloggers use. It’s certainly easy: it comes built right into your site, and has several good defaults already set up.
Pros of using WordPress comments:
- It’s already installed – no tech knowledge required.
- It might be well designed to match your theme design.
Cons of WordPress Commenting:
- There is no pagination option. If you receive 10, 20, or ever 100 comments, your page can get really long.
- Each comment has a unique avatar, which can slow your site load time.
- It may or may not be mobile friendly.
- It may or may not be well-designed to match your theme – and most people ignore the design of their comments even though it does affect the reader’s likelihood of commenting.
Option #2: CommentLuv
CommentLuv is a common commenting platform for bloggers whose readers are fellow bloggers. This is because it includes a handy feature that lets commenters tag a recent post from their domain. That’s great for them – but is it great for you and your blog?
Pros of using CommentLuv:
- It’s another popular, familiar commenting interface. Most readers will have no problem using it.
- If your readers have their own websites, they’ll love getting to include a link. This may even make them more likely to comment.
Cons of using CommentLuv:
- The design can be finicky, and may not play nice with your current theme.
- CommentLuv defaults to using ‘dofollow’ links. While this can be turned off, it means that you’re automatically endorsing those links from your own site. That can lead to spammy backlinks and hurt your domain authority.
Option #3: Disqus
Disqus is another popular commenting platform, and one that many bloggers end up using to control spam and moderate their comments more effectively. There are some misconceptions about Disqus too, which may be why you’re not using it already.
Pros of using Disqus:
- It does not require registration. Many people think it does, but you can turn this setting off.
- Comments and pages load fast; it’s designed to only load a certain number of comments, making your page load faster.
- Disqus backs up your comments to WordPress, meaning you control the data.
- Everyone is familiar with the worlds most popular commenting system.
- Disqus shows the top voted comments on top. You can also embed media like photos into comments.
Cons of using Disqus:
- If you leave login required for readers, this may discourage them from commenting in the first place.
- There are limited design options available to customize Disqus to match your site design.
Option #4: Social Media Commenting Plugins
Almost everyone is always logged into Facebook, Google+, or both. This can make it an appealing choice for managing comments on your blog. There are also some important considerations to keep in mind, especially regarding data security.
Pros of using Social Media comments:
- As already mentioned, login is required – but almost every reader you have is probably already logged in.
- It provides social proof through these channels, and can help your SEO in some cases.
Cons of using Social Media comments:
- The data (comments and people who leave them) belongs to the social media platform – not you. It’s up to you how much it’s important that you control the data of your comments.
- Design customization is limited; your comment box is going to match the social media platform, instead of your own design.
Option #5: No Comments
Another option is always to turn off comments for specific or all of your posts. This may make sense in certain cases, such as if you’re writing about controversial topics, or you just don’t want to go through the work of moderating spam comments.
Which Commenting Platform is Best for You?
To help you easily compare between commenting platforms, here’s a table you can use to compare features.
||Ease of Installation
||Pagination of Comments
||Ease of Moderation
What do you think? Which commenting platform do you use and why?
Note: This post was originally published January 23, 2014 by Michael Tieso. It was updated February 6, 2017 by Valerie Stimac.