Comments from readers is an important part of most blogs out there, and our own is no exception. We still run the default WordPress comment functionality but have been thinking for a while now about installing some kind of third-party comment system.
But which system should we go for?
We investigated the Top 100 Technorati list to see what some of the biggest blogs in the world are using and here’s what we found.
Disqus the dominating third-party comment system
As we went through the blogs in the list it was quickly evident that most sites choose to run some sort of self-developed comment system or one that is native to the publishing system used (like WordPress’ own comment system). Most of these fall into the “other” category in the chart below.
But in the competition between third-party comment systems – the main ones being Disqus, Facebook Comments, IntenseDebate, and Livefyre – Disqus is in a commanding lead.
The exact numbers are as follows:
|Comment system||Number of blogs|
|No comment system||4|
We could perhaps argue whether some things should be included in the “other” category or not. For example, AOL seems to use its own comment system on at least some of its sites. Similarly, Gawker has its own system, which is in place on all its blogs, and it seems to have been a success. In our numbers, both AOL and Gawker sites are in “other.”
Comment system controversy
Few sites have been public about their choice of comment system, but there are some exceptions.
Early in 2011, TechCrunch switched to Facebook Comments and concluded that it has “silenced the trolls.” And although Facebook seems to be working fine for them, we’re concerned about the single login (you can only comment if you have a Facebook account) and that the comments are not saved into WordPress.
And whichever third-party comment system we choose, it is just that, a third-party system. That means it’s more code to load and more things that can go wrong.
Especially Disqus, perhaps due to its commanding position, has been accused of causing performance issues on sites, particularly in terms of pages being slow to load.
Help us out
This all leads to the question of which comment system we should choose.
We find the built-in WordPress comment system increasingly inflexible and frustrating to work with. Clearly, we need something that allows for better spam management, comment moderation, and all around quicker and smoother workflow.
After trying many third-party comment systems and reading comparisons of features, we’re still looking for your advice.
So help us out guys, give us your input on what comment system we should go with for our blogs. And perhaps we should cast our net wider and look at something like Realtidbits, InstaComment, Pluck, or others.
You can of course use the comments below but you can also ping us on Twitter.