Your average commenting system has evolved quite a bit over the years, but sadly many blogs are still stuck in the dark ages. While blog comments aren’t a measure of success, that doesn’t mean you should not encourage them. Platforms like WordPress come with commenting ready to rock, and you are probably very familiar with the setup. Someone enters their name, email, website address and then says whatever they want to say. Depending on your theme, the comment form can be designed differently, but the functionality still remains the same.
Using the built-in commenting system is totally fine, and tends to get the job done. However, I feel you can do better with a more advanced setup like Livefyre or Disqus, and here’s why:
This can be chopped up to a matter of personal opinion, but the reality is that many basic comment forms are not lookers. Functionality is of utmost importance, but design should also be considered. To be honest, I am not a fan of the commenting system currently in place here on Blog Herald, but hey, that’s not my call. Setups from Livefyre or Disqus are very clean and simple, and they automatically adjust to the fonts or colors of your blog.
Multiple Login Options
Now, not everyone is a fan of having to login in order to comment. It can be a serious annoyance, and potentially lose you many comments. However, social login is growing with 52 percent of users preferring Facebook. Instead of filling out some details, in a couple clicks you can be ready to comment, and some people enjoy that. And if you don’t, you can still comment the old fashioned way.
Comments Load In Real-Time
One downside of a traditional commenting system is that when someone leaves a comment, you have to refresh the page in order to see it. With Disqus and especially Livefyre, comments appear on the screen as they are posted. This gives your comment section more of a live chat feel, and can boost interaction.
Social Media Integration
Social networks have benefited blogs in a number of ways, the biggest being a great way to share your content, helping it to be seen. In October 2011, Livefyre rolled out “SocialSync” which automatically pulls in public posts from Twitter and Facebook around a specific blog post. People can also tag others from Facebook or Twitter within comments which will then let that person know they were mentioned, helping to drive more people to your post.
Built-In Spam Protection
Akismet is every WordPress user’s best friend, and can help keep spammers from overloading your posts. Both Disqus and Livefyre have spam protection built-in, and from my experience, does a pretty good job. Anything suspicious is simply added to your spam folder, and if a comment requires moderation, you can view it under the Comments dashboard.
Customization can be a good thing, and Livefyre allows commenters to bold, italicize or underline text, and also list bullet points. It’s a great way of breaking up the monotony that typically comes with blog comments, and helps readers to better get their points across. Time and time again, it’s been shown that we tend to skim over content, and are gravitated towards bold text or headings. While the rich text feature could definitely be overused, I think it’s a great addition.
What commenting system do you use and prefer?
Mike Stenger is a writer with a love of all things technology.