...engage users on your site, with a good WordPress comments plugin
If you’ve ever blogged on WordPress, you’ll be familiar with the WordPress comments system. This is available by default but there are many alternative WordPress comments plugins which you can use on your blog.
In this post today on CollectiveRay, we’ll make a head to head comparison between each commenting plugin you can use on your blog and learn what the differences between them are. Of course, that will allow you to decide which system would be appropriate for your blog. If you're interested in more tips, check out our full listing here.
One of the most important things you can do to improve your website's engagement, besides a great theme like Divi or Avada, is to choose an engaging commenting framework.
Before we proceed to discussing WP comments you can use, here is a selection of popular themes you may want to use on your site:
Default WordPress Comments
The default WordPress commenting system allows you to submit comments using your Gravatar account. You’re not required to log in to it whenever you submit your thoughts on a WP website or blog.
If you haven’t created a profile on Gravatar, you can still discuss with others as a guest user. In these cases, no profile picture will be shown next to your message.
With that said, the default WordPress comments system is not only the option for a blog and you shouldn’t necessarily stick to it. As the WP platform is flexible, you can integrate any type of commenting system on your blog whether it be Facebook comments, Google+ comments, Disqus comments or any other WordPress plugin used to create a commenting platform.
Jetpack is an all-in-one plugin for self-hosted websites that gives you the features of WordPress.com platform. It has many features like visitor stats, security services, commenting system and so on. Even though it offers a lot of different benefits to you blog, the best thing is that you’re not forced to implement every feature of it on your blog. You can only activate what you needed by adding its specific modules.
Now that you know what Jetpack is all about, let’s take a look at its comments module and how it can benefit your blog readers.
Jetpack allows your readers to comment either as a guest, or they can choose to use their WordPress.com, Facebook, Twitter or Google+ account.
If you’re looking to integrate multiple social media commenting capabilities on your blog, Jetpack can be the right choice for you. It’s been tried and tested. It’s owned by Automattic (the company behind WP.com) and you’ll get plenty of additional benefits like spam control. All in all, the easiest choice for implementing a WordPress comments plugin.
If your readers would like to log in to their social accounts while commenting, all they need to do is to click on the social icons. When the comment is submitted, it will look like the default WordPress comment linking to their social profiles.
You can download the Jetpack plugin here.
To activate the commenting feature after installing the plugin, go to Jetpack>> Settings on your WordPress dashboard and click activate buttons next to the comments module.
We would also suggest you opt for one of the paid plans of Jetpack, starting at only €3.50/month, giving you such stuff as automated daily website backups, brute force attack and antispam, a CDN to make your website faster, lazy loading of images and plenty of other great features to improve your website's offering.
2. Disqus as your WordPress comments plugin
Disqus is one of the most widely used commenting systems in the blogosphere. Since it’s not tied to any specific platform like WordPress, a single user account can be used to comment on any website regardless of the CMS. Of course, this makes it an easy choice for you if you want to disable the default system and use an external provider.
In fact, we use Disqus on this web design blog although it runs on the Joomla platform, not on WordPress. If you’re looking to use a third-party commenting service on your blog, Disqus might be the right option for you.
There are a lot of benefits of using Disqus.
One of the main benefits is that it can help increase site performance. How does it help increase site performance and scalability?
However, a lot of bloggers hate Disqus’s new monetization strategy of using sponsored images or articles between the actual comments. If you don’t like displaying ads on your site, you can still opt-out from displaying them.
Some bloggers like Syed Balkhi have found that Disqus has reduced their comment engagement on his WPBeginner.com blog. Since WPBeginner is focused on publishing WordPress related news and tutorials, the reason for the low engagement rate might be that their users are so engaged with the default WordPress commenting system.
Anyhow, if you have a lot of engagement and people commenting on your blog, you might want to test using Disqus on your blog and learn how well it performs in terms of loading time and the comment engagement rate.
For us, the reason for choosing Disqus for our commenting system is the fact that it’s become extremely popular to use Disqus so it is trusted. Also, since a lot of people have a single account on Disqus, you are less likely to get spam or messages with links. Many people want to keep their reputation clean, so you’re unlikely to get a lot of comment spam.
Many times you’ll also be able to tweak the WordPress comments template used to show the content, to give it the look and feel of your website.
Here is a video walkthrough of how to add Disqus comments to your blog:
3. Facebook comment system
Integrating Facebook comments on your blog can be a great deal for you especially if Facebook and social media traffic is one of the main traffic sources for your blog.
Popular blogs likeTechCrunch.com use Facebook for commenting. Here are a few reasons why integrating WordPress Facebook comments could be ideal for your blog.
- It encourages engagement: Unlike the Jetpack plugin, if your users are already logged in to Facebook, they aren’t required to log in again to their account for commenting. This can encourage your readers to comment since it is convenient for them.
- It reduces comment spam: No matter what commenting system you’re using on your blog, your blog isn’t 100% safe from comment spamming. The best thing about Facebook messages is that it cut down the amount of the comment spam you’ll receive on your blog as it doesn’t allow anonymous commenting. However, beware of those link spammers who use fake account to spread their spammy links.
- It can increase traffic: Facebook commenting for your WordPress blog also provide an option for users to publish their comments on their Facebook wall, which are likely to drive more traffic to your blog.
- It encourages return visits: If you reply to a specific comment, the user will be notified when they use Facebook. This encourages them to return to your blog.
Best of all, you shouldn’t necessarily solely integrate Facebook comments on your blog. You can use it along with other commenting system.
We run various blogs and many of them are using Facebook as their commenting system.
One downside of Facebook is that you won’t be able to adjust the WordPress comments css, because Facebook strictly enforce their CSS to maintain the Facebook look and feel across the web.
Download WordPress Facebook comments plugin
4. Google+ comments for WordPress
Integrating WordPress Google+ comments to your blog has the same set of features of integrating Facebook commenting.
Google+ comments can be a great option for your blog especially if you’re highly active on Google+ and are already engaging with your blog readers on Google+ as well.
Although you can find a lot of Google+ commenting plugins on WordPress official plugin directory, Comments Evolved plugin simply stands out of the crowd.
In fact, Comment Evolved isn’t just limited to Google+ comments; you can use it on your blog if you would prefer using all-in-one commenting capability on your WordPress blog.
With its beautiful tabbed features, you can display comments from Google+, Facebook, Disqus and WordPress - so it’s a very good choice for us as your WordPress comments plugin. If you’re looking to integrate all of them into your blog, Comment Evolved might be the right option for you. Only demerit of this plugin is that it won’t show you the submitted comments altogether in a view. Instead it separates the comments in a tabbed view.
Download Comments Evolved
What is your favorite WordPress comments plugin? Do you like to test any of the above plugins on your blog? We do believe these are the best WordPress comments plugins, but feel free to share your thoughts with us.