There is probably more than a bit of frustration when you are researching which comment system you should use for your blog, only to find out that there are dozens to choose from. It is tempting to just not worry about it, or put it off and continue using the default comment system (which is horrendous in my opinion). So what is one to do? For free, but feature rich commenting systems for WordPress, there are three main options you should consider. Disqus, CommentLuv and JetPack Comments are some of the most popular (free) commenting systems for WordPress blogs.
Which one’s the best though? They all have their pros and cons, I will detail them and give you my recommendation as to which one is “best”, but in the end it’s your preference which will determine which plugin you should turn to.
Disqus vs CommentLuv vs JetPack
Disqus is probably the most popular commenting plugin. I’ve personally used this option on several blogs and I can tell you it’s a pretty solid choice with a few irks that I would rather not have to deal with (more on that in a minute). First what’s so great about Disqus? Well if you are looking for pure features, Disqus is the winner. The new version of Disqus works in realtime, which is great since now you don’t have to constantly refresh the page to see all of the new comments.
People can also share comments on Twitter and Facebook, favorite discussions and sort comments by newest, oldest, or highest rated. It’s also very easy to sign in and comment with either a Disqus account, or a Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ account which helps boost your reader engagement. You can even follow other Disqus commenters, all of this makes Disqus more of a community than ‘just’ a commenting system.
One other thing Disqus has going for it is that fact that plenty of big websites are using it. I’m not talking about popular blogging websites, but giants like CNN and IGN. If websites like those are using Disqus it has to be pretty good right?
While Disqus is an excellent commenting system for bloggers, it is also a slight weight on your website. Sometimes it takes a long time for the Disqus comment section to load, though the official website claims that it does not impact loading time that much. There is conflicting info on this though, Pingdom concludes that Disqus isn’t that significant of a lag on your website (Facebook comments are), while other bloggers note that dropping Disqus and adopting another commenting system helped uptick their page speed a bit.
Advantages to Using Disqus:
- Acts more like a community than a commenting system.
- Boosts reader engagement.
- Realtime comments.
- Easily sign in with your social media profile.
- Able to share comments and favorite discussions.
Disadvantages to Using Disqus:
- Might slightly negatively affect site speed.
CommentLuv is an extremely popular commenting plugin that is designed to encourage readers to leave a comment. What makes CommentLuv unique is that it enables people who leave a comment on your website to have a link to their latest blog post left underneath their comment.
This is a huge encouragement to get people to comment on your blog. While, at face value this may seem like a great thing, I was always suspicious about this feature. Unlike Disqus, you literally see no big blogs or websites using this commenting system. If it is so great then why are none of the top websites using it?
Well doing research into this plugin I realized that larger websites/blogs understand that they are wanting genuine comments from their readers, not hit-and-run “great post” comments left by people who just want a link back to their own site. Now it’s true that plugins like Akismet can clean up most of the spam, but it won’t help you against those hit-and-run, two word commenters who have nothing of value to leave on your website.
I guarantee that using CommentLuv on your blog will get old very fast, especially after you get enough of those non-engaged spammers leaving ridiculous and vague comments on your website because they think a comment link is the same thing as a page link (hint: comment links have been dead for a while).
Advantages to Using CommentLuv
- Boosts reader engagement.
- Leaves link to latest blog post.
Disadvantages to Using CommentLuv
- Encourages Spam and hit-and-run commenters.
JetPack Comments are a simple yet effective commenting system that is a great option to turn to in order to get rid of the default (and crappy) WordPress comments. Unlike with the default, JetPack allows your visitors to sign in and comment using one of their social media profiles.
It also gives readers the option of notifying them via email of new posts and new comments, supports threaded comments and has spam protection. In addition, JetPack Comments come pre-bundled in the JetPack plugin so there is no need to install another plugin to get it up and running on your blog. And as you can see above, JetPack is sleek and simple.
The downside is that it is not as feature packed as Disqus – no comment voting, no sharing comments via Facebook/Twitter, no option to favorite discussions, etc.
Advantages to Using JetPack Comments:
- Simple to install.
- Easy for others to leave comments.
- Readers can subscriber to posts and comments via email.
Disadvantages to Using JetPack Comments:
- Heavily lacking in features when compared to Disqus.
So Which Commenting System is Better?
There is no “best” option, only what you think would be better for your blog/website. If you are looking for the most feature rich plugin, then Disqus wins hands down. If you want a simple but effective commenting system then JetPack is probably your best bet. And while I have nothing against CommentLuv and know that some bloggers love it, I hate spam and useless comments (“great post”) that contribute nothing to the actual discussion so would never install it on one of my blogs.
Again, it’s all about preference. If you don’t mind the occasional (or not so occasional) useless comment, then CommentLuv may work for your. If you are wanting features and nothing more, than Disqus is probably what you should resort to. And finally, if you want a simple plugin then you should probably give JetPack Comments a try. If you want my recommendation, then I believe either JetPack Comments (what I use for this blog) or Disqus are the best option, mostly because neither of these options will attract spam.