9 Blog Commenting Services — their Pros and Cons

Blog commenting systems CAPTCHA

Can you read this?

If you’re a blogger, then you use a blog commenting service. I personally use CommentLuv Premium. I like introducing my readers to new bloggers. CommentLuv displays the commenter’s last blog post with a link back to the visitor’s website. It’s a nice perk.

But there quite a few services to choose from and I’ve listed them with their Pros and Cons in the table below.

Whichever service you choose, please do not install the dreaded CAPTCHA, an anti-spam plugin that requires the visitor to type in undecipherable words and letters in order to leave a comment. You will discourage people from commenting if they make a mistake on their first try. Can you read the required words and letters in the above image? I thought not.

The Pros and Cons

I was surprised at how many comment systems there are. I’ve included the pros and cons as I understand them. Please correct me if I’ve left anything out and let me know if there are services that I’ve missed.

NameProsCons
CommentLuvEncourages comments because users get a link back to their latest blog post. Title of post shows up under their comment. Can enable no-follow or do-follow for link. Anti-spam and ReplyMe features.Potential for bad links If do-follow enabled.
DisqusAdded step of signing in or using social media account to log in cuts down on spam. Mobile friendly. Keeps an archive of the comments you’d made using Disqus. Comments synced to your database. Social media integrationSome people are discouraged from leaving a comment because of the extra step. Does not give a link back to user’s website. From Disqus: “While the current Disqus embed works on mobile, note that we’re actively developing a version that’s made specifically for touch/mobile screens.”
Comments Evolved (formerly Google+ comments for WordPress)Aggregates these commenting systems: G+ Comments, Facebook, Disqus, WordPress Comments, and Trackbacks. User can comment through your own commenting system.Not enough known about user experience to recommend.
Google+ CommentsComment system for Blogger. Comments also appear simultaneously on your Google+ account and your WordPress blog. Opportunity for comments to go viral and generate social signals to Google and potentially improve your ranking. Good choice if your strategy is to engage in conversations within the network. Potential to increase comments and engagement.Lives on Google+s site. Don’t get notifications of new comments. Gets a lot of spam. Not everyone has a Google+ account. Not everyone wants Google to have access to their information and they don’t want to feel forced to use the Google+ commenting system.
Facebook CommentsAn advantage if the huge Facebook membership is the audience you want to reach. Comments can go viral within the network. Increases member engagement.Google disregards social signals from Facebook comments. Facebook “Likes” have no effect on Google search rankings. Forces people to use Facebook to comment.
LivefyreSimilar to Disqus. Comments synced to your database.Potential for a lot of spam. “Like” feature enables commenter to link to user’s site with a “do-follow” link.
Vicomi  Introduced in 2012. Ability to express emotions as well as text.Not professional looking with use of smiley faces
WordPress commenting systemBuilt into WordPress.WordPress lacks important features such as social media integration (ability to comment through your social media accounts). Also suffers badly from spam, which is why every download of WordPress comes packaged with Askimet, the anti-spam plugin.
WordPress.org Jetpack Made by WordPress developers. Many useful features that enable you to deactivate other plugins. Social media integration. Ability to add a Twitter feed. Built-in mobile responsive design. Will ping new posts to social networks.All the features, if activated, may slow down load time. Requires WordPress.com account. Cannot write directly to subscribers.

What blog commenting service to you use? Why do you prefer that service over others that are available?

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Comments

  1. Believe it or not I, kind of, use a combination you don’t mention. IntenseDebate + CommentLuv. Unusual one that no longer exists, actually. What I’m trying to say is at the moment you can neither add CommentLuv to IntenseDebate nor get rid of CommentLuv from IntenseDebate.

    • Catarina — I guess that’s why I didn’t include IntenseDebate because I didn’t know about it. I just looked at the plugin and it hasn’t been updated in a couple of years. Strange that you can’t uncouple IntenseDebate from CommentLuv.

  2. Hi Jeannette. I use Disqus, primarily because when I started out with WordPress the functionality of Disqus and Commentluv on other people’s sites impressed me and what I was able to discover about the pros and cons of each seemed like more or less a wash so it was pretty well a coin toss decision

    • Paul — I think the big advantage to CommentLuv is that you get a link back to your website. Disqus simply archives your comment along with all your other Disqus comments, which I don’t personally find very useful.

  3. Thanks for this. I have had spam problems before, and ended up using the captcha system. Will use your information to re-tool my interface! Thanks again.

    • Sue — the problem with Captcha is that it is meant to prevent spam but it also prevents comments!

    • A.K., I like Commentluv, too. By following the links I’ve learned about new bloggers, as well as providing a perk for visitors who care enough to leave a comment.

  4. Jeannette- I use CommentLuv Premium. I wish more sites would use this or Disqus. I don’t think there is anything more frustrating when you go to the trouble of leaving a comment and the site you have been to does leave a reply you have no idea what the reply was unless you go back to the site. Quite frankly I don’t have the time to do that. I wish more would read this post.

    • I agree, Arlene. It would be nice to know a blogger actually responded to your comment which you get with CommentLuv and Disqus. However, you have to click on the reply to see the full reply on Disqus as this service only gives a brief summary of the reply.

  5. Hi Jeannette,
    I prefer CommentLuv for the Pros you listed and because it allows other bloggers the convenience of clicking on another commenter’s link and going there to comment. This is especially great for navigating through a group list.
    Have a nice week!
    Bill

    • Bill — I also find that as I’m scrolling down a lot of comments on a site with CommentLuv that I will click on a title of interest. Most times it’s a blogger I know, but not always, so I’m introduced to someone new. That’s another benefit of CommentLuv for me.

  6. Hi Jeannette; this may be a topic i should have taken up. but i’m going to give you my opinions as a blind user. Before I do that let me thank you for encouraging people not to use Captchas. I’m finding more and more systems don’t have an audio or non video option. My favorite is CommentLuv. I use it on my WordPress blog and am looking into installing it on my Blogger blog. It I like to read what i said and then the reply before deciding if or what to post back. The email notification from Disqus doesn’t give me the whole previous comment either. Google Comments is good but I don’t like Facebook comments as it’s hard to be sure if I left a comment or not. The last time I tried jet pack the installation process wasn’t accessible so I uninstalled it. The main thing for me is does whatever system you use have clear labels that my screen reader can grab. I know graphics are cool, but they need to have a meta description or they all sound alike to people like me. This applies to your sharing buttons as well. Thanks Jeannette for this post and giving me an opportunity to talk to people about comment systems and hopefully save myself some pain. take care, max

    • Max – thanks for your thoughtful comment and chiming with your experiences with commenting services. The bottom line is that the comment system has to make it easy for the visitor to leave a comment. That’s why I dislike Captcha. CommentLuv is simple. You just check the box that you are not a spammer. I, too, am bothered by replies from Disqus because you don’t see your full comment or full reply.

      • Glad to hear I’m not the only one who doesn’t care for the Disqus notification system. Since each system requires a different technique to find where I am supposed to enter what, I wish sites could announce what system they are using when the post loads. 🙂 The other thing I forgot to mention about Disqus is I don’t see a way to change the url of your comments for people like me who have two blogs and may be commenting on different types of sites where one url would be more appropriate than the other. thanks max

        • Max — I may be wrong but I think you can enter a different url when you leave a comment. Disqus may automatically remember your log-in information from previous comments but you can change the url to a different site if you want to.

  7. I used to use the free version of CommentLuv but decided to remove it. I tried a plugin that was supposed to efficiently remove the many dead links it left behind on my site with mixed results. I’ve always used the built-in WordPress system in conjunction with the JetPack plugin. Since I use MailChimp to send my posts, I had to turn off some of the commenting functionality and now I use a plugin that allows users to subscribe to comments. Overall, I’m find with this system since users can still leave a link to their site only without the title of a post being displayed which in a way can make the comments area look a bit untidy. I have a Disqus and Intense Debate account, but the extra step is a bit of a pain. No two people probably use commenting systems in the same way!

  8. I use CommentLuv on my blog. Easy, streamlined, simple and one does not have to sign in anywhere to leave a comment. My web designer recommended it and I have not ever considered anything else. In this department, I say – if it’s not broken, don’t fix it! Great comparison of all the ones from which someone can choose. Thanks for sharing these here.

    • You’re welcome, Laurie. I’m with you. I really like the CommentLuv service for all the reasons I’ve mentioned in my other responses.

  9. I really dislike when a blog only uses Google+ comments. I often will not leave a comment if that is the only option. I find it confusing on my Google+ wall when someone’s comment shows up from a blog upon which they have just commented.

    I use WordPress comments, and you are right, the spam is a pain. But I like having them bundled with WordPress.

    • Leora — I’m a little confused because I know that you use CommentLuv on your site. Wouldn’t that be in place of WordPress comments?

  10. Very useful list! I am using WP jetpack and I think it’s good. I was thinking to install Disqus because it let you have more control on the interaction, improving it. I read it’s not multisite compatible (I have this kind of installation), what do you think?

  11. I really got allot out of this. It helped me understand the different options and the pros and con of each. Will it give me pause to make a change? Probably not. 🙂

    What I can say is I’m with Leora, I hate being forced to leave a comment on G+

  12. I use Disqus on my blog… so far I’m quite happy, although I agree not having a link to commenters’ website could be an issue for many. However, as long as the big players (e.g.: Social Media Examiner, Jon Loomer, Amy Porterfield…) use Disqus, I guess everyone else will keep with the flow.

  13. Me too with CommentLuv. Am I reading your analysis right Jeannette? Only CommentLuv offers the back link? That for me wasn’t the biggest benefit of it. Plus their support! They have amaaaazing support.

  14. I was thinking about using commentluv but wasn’t sure until reading this post and the comments. You have just converted me to start using it.

  15. Great comparison! I’ve been using the Akismet plug-in for WordPress, which has worked well enough for me so far. After reading other people’s responses, though, I may look into CommentLuv as my traffic increases.

    When I leave comments on other people’s blogs, I don’t like Captcha, for the reasons you’ve mentioned. Disqus isn’t my favorite, either, because it has made me sign in for yet another account (like I don’t have enough already) and it doesn’t include a URL back to my site. I want to leave thoughtful, intelligent comments on this and other blogs, but I also like leaving that URL so that maybe I’ll get some traffic back. I hope that doesn’t sound selfish, because aren’t we bloggers all out for more traffic? And Disqus doesn’t do that as well as Comment Luv, or even the simple Akismet. So if I switch systems on my blog, I’ll look at CommentLuv and not Disqus.

  16. Hey Jeannette,

    CommentLuv Premium is not a “commenting system”. It’s a plugin used to encourage more comments. WordPress, Disqus, Livefyre, Intense Debate, Google+ comments, etc. are commenting systems.

    I think you’ve done a good job of explaining what each of them are and sharing the pros and cons for each. I know that we all have difference of opinions about what system to use but I prefer good old WordPress myself along with the CommentLuv Premium plugin to encourage more comments. 😉 They work beautifully together.

    Thank you Jeannette and have a wonderful weekend.

    ~Adrienne

    • Thanks for the clarification, Adrienne. You’re quite right. I think of CommentLuv as a commenting system but it’s in fact a plugin.

  17. Hi Jeannette,

    There are many blog commenting systems in the blogosphere.
    Currently i am using WordPress default commenting system. I agree with you on case of CommentLuv, it attracts visitors to our blog.
    Disqus is also good but the irritating thing is that we need to sign in if we want to drop our input.
    Google+ commenting system is not that mush good in my opinion.
    You have explained all the commenting systems in an appropriate manner.

    Great Post Indeed.
    Have a nice weekend.:)

    ~Ravi

    • Thanks for stopping by, Ravi. I just visited your website and I’m impressed with your posts. Left a comment about your how-to on adding a Facebook Like Box.

  18. Great overview Jeannette – is super helpful for someone looking for a commenting solution. I am using the default WordPress commenting system, coupled with jetpack.

    Jetpack allows commenters to subscribe to replies and the reply is visible in the notification email so… It’s a win-win – you can visit the site to read and reply, or just read the reply in your email and move on 🙂

    I don’t like CommentLuv for the spam implications (possibly, greater efforts to maintain your blog free of bad links, in the long run anyway!) – with akismet, WordPress commenting and jetpack, I am very pleased 😀

    • Diana — no doubt you’ve got to be careful to screen the links from people who comment using the CommentLuv plugin. Like others who use it, I now require 10 approved comments before enabling do-follow for the commenter.

    • Thanks, Debra. Lots of choices and things are changing all the time so it’s sometimes hard to keep up.

  19. I’m another Commentluv user and Captcha hater. Even with my glasses on, I can barely read the word or number combos on Captcha. Even if I can read it and I enter the exact characters, it still throws a wobbler and tells me it’s wrong.

    Commentluv is easy peasy and I haven’t experienced the spam implications some of you have. I get the odd few but I think most blogs will get that. I like your 10 approved comments before enabling do-follow for the commenter idea, I might pinch it 😉

    • Thanks, Claire for stopping by. A lot of blogs have eliminated the CAPTCHA that requires typing in numbers or letters and now simply have a box you check declaring you’re not a spammer. Much better.