Which Commenting Platform Should You Use?

| | Optimization

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.

An example of a standard WordPress commenting form.

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?

Here is an example of how Disqus allows commenters to choose their own link to include with the comment.

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.

An example of the Disqus comment box, when a user is logged in.

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.

The interface to leave a comment via Facebook.

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.

Commenting Platform Ease of Installation Fast Loading Pagination of Comments Ease of Moderation Design Flexibility
WordPress Yes Yes No Yes Maybe
CommentLuv Yes Yes Maybe Yes Maybe
Disqus Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe
Social Media Maybe Maybe Yes Maybe No

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.


Recent Comments

  • I honestly never thought about what my form looked like our thought I had an option. Good info. Mind you I be never had more than 15 comments….lol

  • We use Disqus on the Tortuga blog for several of the reasons you mentioned. I like that we can switch systems without losing comments and that comments are displayed by quality/popularity, not time.

    • I write a small food blog on vegan and gluten free recipes. We used Disqus for years but were really fed up with all the spam!!!
      just recently switched to heyoya (they do both voice and text comments) and anyway its great option if you are sick of advertising

      • Great tip, Amanda! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • At the moment I am using the plain old wordpress commenting platform. I have used Disqus and Commentluv and they are also good. The ones I don’t like are where you are required to fill in a captcha code, especially when they produce unreadable codes. Let a plugin like akismet sort out the spammers.

  • that a nice little article but frankly i must say using the old comment box is way better as you can choose which comment to accept or which one to trash and there wont be many unnecessary comment from spammers whereas having comment commentluv and so on its just an attraction for all the spammers and useless comment.

    • Not sure I understand. All commenting systems allow you to monitor comments the same exact way. You can remove any comment you want, make it so you have to approve it, etc. CommentLuv does not replace your WordPress commenting either, it’s only an add-on to your existing WordPress commenting platform. Also I receive by far less spam using Disqus because there’s no incentive for “links” within the author than with WordPress or CommentLuv.

  • Great post. I agree with you, comment luv doesnt seem to be a great alternative. It feel a little bit too spammy. Anyways thanks for this tip!

  • Great post. I agree with you, comment luv doesnt seem to be a great alternative. It feel a little bit too spammy. Anyways thanks for this tip!

  • I believe comments are important to bring some interactivity to a blog. My blog is based in wordpress.com and so I use their system. For me is efficient and I can control everything… of course, if I had hundreds of comments per day it would be harder, but so far is ok. PedroL

  • this post is worth while. if i am able to enter as a travel blogger it is joy for me to wrote with out much effort along with my professional travels.

Comment