For those who are like me, who are interested in growing your blog especially if you use Blogger or Wordpress. At one point some of you may be considering a new comment system in your blogging days. So for those of you who eventually come to that point, you may find this post to be helpful.
WHY I WANTED A NEW COMMENT SYSTEM
I am on blogger, and lets face it, it is widely known Blogger doesn't have a very friendly comment system. In fact it ranks in last place in most surveys. It's also not very beneficial to the blogger, and many people hate using it to leave a comment. It also does not promote viewer and blogger interaction at all. However, if its all you have, its better than nothing and depending on your blogging needs, it might be great for you.
I used Intense Debate (Comment Luv) for a year and loved it. But when Google announced only blogs with mobile sites would be picked up on search engine searches, that meant the end of me using Intense Debate, because it is not mobile friendly or mobile compatible.
It's true I want to continue to grow my blog, and to do that I need a good comment system, one that promotes engagement and user activity and one that increases your search engine rankings and SEO. But I also want one that has good support and will do all you want it to do to make my life easier.
So, I have been investigating new systems.
THE MAIN THINGS I WANTED IN A NEW COMMENT SYSTEM
1. Comments directly on the post.
2. The ability for me to respond to a comment, and the commentor receive an email with my reply.
3. Easy to use for both me and the user.
4. Easy to install.
5. Installation without loosing all my past comments.
So the search went on, and there are lots and lots to choose from!
After time I narrowed it down to two: Disqus and Livefyre.
They both have their pro's and con's and they both are similar in some ways.
(I will say, I did consider the Facebook comment system. But after a while felt it would detour any who are not on Facebook from commenting, and not everyone wants their friends to know what they are saying on blogs. I tried it a few years ago, and found this to be fairly true.)
I WENT WITH DISQUS AND LET ME EXPLAIN WHY
* Its apparently the most popular blog comment system on the market. However, I have noticed it may not be with running and healthy living blogs. (Maybe it just hasn't caught on yet:)
* I was able to keep all my old comments, and the biggest surprise. I got back all my old comments I lost when I removed Intense Debate, can't tell you how happy that made me!
* When I reply to a comment, it automatically sends the visitor an email with my response. Which has been fun to interact with my visitors more and increase conversation.
* The comment system is right in each post, as is the reply. Which helps with SEO and increasing my post word count. (If you are unfamiliar how comments can work to your advantage read the post I wrote last week, HERE.)
* It allows users to login using several methods, email, Twitter, Google, Facebook... most user preferred methods. The great thing is if they are on any of these methods all they have to do is click on the little bubble once and it should automatically know them going forward and not require additional logins.
* It is free to use, for all the functions I will need it for right now.
* It has a great spam blocker. Which is huge for me, as on a normal day I will get 20-40 spam comments attempting to come through.
* Super easy import/export for all other comments. Additionally, you own the rights to all your comments. (FYI, not all comment systems do this.)
* It installed in less than a minute, and everything was exported only a few minutes after that.
Like all comment systems, nothing is perfect.
A FEW THINGS I WISH IT HAD, BUT DOESN'T
* Unlike Comment Luv, it will not give me a link to the visitors last post. Which for non bloggers this is fine, but with other bloggers that is one feature I wish it had.
* When I did the merge, it jumbled a few of my replies and comments from past posts so it was hard to tell which went with which. Since it no longer does that with future comments, I don't see it being any bit of a problem going forward.
* It does require a login.
Like all comment systems, you have to hope that your users will like it. While it does require a user to login in some form, rather than just leave an anonymous comment. My hope is that it will not detour comments. But that is why you try things out on trial basis and experiment.
* I notice it has a slower page load speed. However, it usually is caught up after a few seconds, which most posts take more than a few to read anyway. So I don't see this being a huge problem.
* I recently discovered that some servers with big blocking systems won't allow it to pop up.
* If the user has a profile set up, it's easy for me to figure out who they are and how to find their blog. But not everyone has a profile set up with this comment system (I don't blame them.) So sometimes it requires a bit of searching right now as I get to know some of my commentors by a different name on who they are.
* I noticed last week that it's working perfectly with all my posts. But my previous pages I have created for some reason it isn't syncing with them. This may just be my user error, I am still looking into that part.
It may have other flaws, but so far nothing else has come to my attention, yet... Feel free (and please do) let me know your thoughts on anything. Truthfully, the main way I will know what works and doesn't is if my wonderful followers let me know!
Like I said, I am trying it out for 1-2 months, to see how things go and to see how I continue to like it, and if others do or if the login requirement becomes too much of a pain for people to want to use.
So what are your thoughts? What is your favorite comment system?
Or have you ever even considered looking for a new comment system?
Do you use or like Disqus?