In our last blog post, we gave an overview of third party commenting systems. If you do take your commenting system to the next level, you will then need to actually pick a third party commenting system. Just as your business is unique, so are the commenting systems, so it is important to choose one that best fits your needs. Here we have outlined a list of the most commonly used third party commenting systems and the benefits of each.
Facebook is unique in that it can be your only form of commenting system or it can work with another third party commenting system, such as Disqus, LiveFyre, or IntenseDebate. It is no wonder that other third party commenting systems have integrated with Facebook – its usability and visibility are almost unparalleled. Because of Facebook’s popularity, logging in and commenting is a breeze for most, and it allows commenters to post your blog directly to their timeline.
Despite being so popular, there are some definite drawbacks to choosing Facebook as your third party commenting system. If your commenters do not use Facebook, it prevents them from interacting on your blog. Furthermore, customization and backlinks are limited and there is a complete lack of SEO. Another downside is that all your comments are stored on Facebook, leaving you with no backup. If you are looking to take baby steps towards a third party commenting system, Facebook might be a viable option, but will not be the top choice for your tech-savvy web designer.
Disqus is by far the most popular third party commenting system. It is compatible with all major blogs, and commenters can log on with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or their own Disqus account. Disqus also allows you to tag people in comments using any of the social media logins, which helps increase the visibility of your blog.
Disqus is the most popular third party commenting system because it is considered the easiest to use by both bloggers and commenters alike. Unlike most third party commenting systems, Disqus allows you to customize the comment portion of your website, and even more importantly, it gives you statistics about your audience including posting history and demographic information. Disqus is also great in the fact that it is SEO friendly, an aspect that other commenting systems are still working on. Run of the mill (but very necessary) features with Disqus include spam control and the option to follow comments and users, making it a more friendly commenting community.
IntenseDebate is the middle man of third party commenting systems. It is not as new as LiveFyre, but it is also not as widely used as Disqus. It lacks many of the analytical tools Disqus has and, unlike Disque, it does not increase your SEO. Despite these things, it does allow bloggers to customize many aspects of their commenting system, which has been one of the main reasons for its popularity. For example, if you want to enable comment voting, but do not want anyone to downvote a comment, you can simply turn off that feature. Or if you would prefer to be the only one that moderates spam on your website, you can turn off the “Report” button on your comment section.
One of the biggest benefits to using IntenseDebate is that it is owned by the same company as WordPress, so you can be sure usability between the two sites is of utmost importance to the big guys upstairs. Because compatibility between the two companies is so important, you are actually able to try IntenseDebate free with your WordPress login before you take the plunge and purchase a subscription to a third party commenting system.
LiveFyre is without a doubt the new kid on the block when it comes to third party commenting systems. Some bloggers have given it a chance because of their frustration with both Disqus and IntenseDebate. Because it is one of the newer commenting systems, the only major blogging sites it supports are Tumblr and WordPress. Compatibility for Blogger is currently in the works, but there is no say to when it will be up and running. Luckily, commenters can sign in with Facebook, Twitter, or a LinkedIn Account, so you still have a chance of great visibility on social media even with a less popular commenting system. You can also be sure that your name will be out on the world wide web with its SEO content.
One of the main benefits people notice about LiveFyre is how user friendly it is. Similar to Facebook likes and Google’s +1s, users on LiveFyre can rate other user’s comments. They can also follow the comments and see who is currently commenting online, which proves helpful especially if you are looking for a fyre-y debate.
Choose the Commenting System Best for You
While there are certainly more popular commenting systems, there is no wrong commenting systems. As you’ve read above, each has its own benefits and setbacks. Do you have a particular commenting system you like to use? Has something caused you to change your choice of commenting system? Let us know.