Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Choosing a Comment System

If you follow my blog, you probably have noticed over the past few weeks a new comment system.  To be honest, a lot of thought and tons of research went into picking a new one!



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?








16 comments :

  1. I've been using Intense Debate and love it but I hadn't heard about the Google thing! That's kind of a game changer so I might have to look into this too. It's great that you were able to keep your old comments. This post really helps.

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  2. I loved Intense Debate it was nearly perfect for what I wanted. If it would work on a mobile site I never would have left them. I looked into it they were bought by a different company who at this time has no intentions of making it work for blogger mobile. I do like Disqus my biggest fear is it will detour people from using it because of the login. But so far I haven't seen much difference:)

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  3. this all gives me anxiety ... haha... I worked for hours trying to get disqus installed. but I'm also a moron at this stuff

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  4. Thanks for all of this info! I've seen Disqus on a few running blogs, but not many. I'm going to let you play with it a while before I switch over. LOL. On blogger, I'm so tempted to just reply to everyone's email instead of on my own blog. At least that way commenters know I've replied. And seriously, who comes back to the blog to read the replies? But I can't seem to make that switch. I guess I still feel the replies need to be shown on the blog itself.

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  5. Oh no! I can tell you how to do it in like a minute. You know the code they give you? Just take that code and copy it.
    Then go into your blogger layout settings. On your side bar when you go in to add new things. Add an HTML box, and then copy and paste the code right there.
    Save it, and leave it as the layout box near the top. That is literally it!
    Then you go in after and merge your previous comments, it's just a few clicks of a mouse on the moderation section.
    If you ever want to try it again, and need any help just reach out, more than happy to!

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  6. I've heard Disqus is a good one, and have seen it on a number of blogs. :] I hatehatehate the ones that make me go back to the blog just to read the replies. ._. (I sincerely hope mine isn't that way--I thinkkk I have it set so that the reader can choose to the comment in the email reply when it comes back? I sincerely hope so, or I'm gonna have to change up my commenting system too!)

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  7. Interesting! I do like the option of having the back link to the commenter's blog as I think that encourages others to post a comment. I do like getting an email back with a comment response. Captcha is the worst and I hate it. Glad you found something that works for you!

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  8. Me too. I love to see what bloggers reply but I rarely have time for a 2nd visit to see.
    Yours is great, I think you use comment luv. I don't think it emails me a response but I think yours has the option you can select to do it. If I click on that comment reply button you mentioned if I remember in the past it sent me a notice each time someone else left a comment in addition to your response.

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  9. Thats the one drawback to this new one. I really wish it did that for me!
    Its just been impossible to find one on the blogger platform that does both. But the same comment system you use works wonderfully with WordPress and ither self hosted platforms. Otherwise I would still be using the same one:)
    But I agree Captcha is the worst, I dislike it so much thats why any link ups I do I require them to turn it off!

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  10. It definitely hasn't! But a large majority of healthy living blogs arebon Wordpress and they really don't have to use a different one if they don't want. Blogger is great in many ways but the comment system options are not as easy to pick from. I do hope this one ends up working well, I'd like to not have to begin the search again in a few months:)

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  11. I use Disqus and like it! Haven't had any problems and love that it emails the person that commented my reply back to their comment.

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  12. I like the Disqus. I use the Comment Luv one but I didn't realize it wasn't compatible with mobile! Good to know! And glad you veered away from the Facebook one, I hate that one! I don't need all my friends reading what I'm commenting!

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  13. I totally agree with the visitors last post for Disqus, I really wish it had that feature. Hopefully they integrate it in the future.
    I stuck with it, because it's easy to use and it's excellent for spam.

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  14. That is actually one of the main reasons I like it too! You and one other blogger, I paid attention to a while to see how it worked with your blogs. You don't even know it, but you actually behind the scenes helped me pick this one, LOL

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  15. Actually Comment Luv is only not compatible on Blogger with Mobile. I am pretty sure you're not on blogger that is why yours works!
    Oh ya, I didn't like the idea of the Facebook one, it just gets a little to way into personal using that.

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  16. I would love it if they added that feature too! I have thought about emailing them and just see if they respond. I know they are always working on improvements, that was another thing I liked about them! But you are right, they are great with spam!

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