Yesterday, I wrote about the pros and cons of adding comments to your WordPress site.
Today, I thought we’d take a look at some of the plugins and solutions you can use for comments.
The first three solutions/plugins are actual comment systems. The following three can be used to supercharge your WordPress native comments.
First, there is the obvious choice of using the built in WordPress comment system.
To use these, simply navigate to dashboard > settings > discussion. From there, you can turn on comments and set several settings for them.
It used to be that WordPress comments had users fill out their name, email, and website prior to writing a comment. This is now changed in WordPress 4.4 and the comment section now comes first.
I like the basic WordPress comments because they are really easy to use. Users don’t have to be required to register to write a comment (although you can set it up that way). I think that prevents less of a barrier of entry to your site. Any user can leave a comment.
If you do make users register to leave a comment, you can then turn them into email subscribers by exporting that list and importing it into a mailing list service like Mailchimp.
Disqus is “a blog comment hosting service for web sites and online communities that uses a networked platform. The company’s platform includes various features, such as social integration, social networking, user profiles, spam and moderation tools, analytics, email notifications, and mobile commenting” -Wikipedia
Whereas commenters on your site may not be notified of responses to their comments, and thus they may not ever return to your site, Disqus makes it so that each comment section is really more of a conversation on a social network. The conversation can be viewed on the Disqus site, in a user’s profile, or on other sites when a reader looks at their disqus feed. You also can become friends with other disqus commenters and see the other sites they are commenting on. All of this makes Disqus my second favorite WordPress comment solution.
It also is pretty easy to use Disqus. Just install the plugin, setup an account, and your ready to go.
It maybe is a bit more of a barrier to entry to your comment board for users with Disqus, as they need to either have a disqus account (which disqus does have a lot of users and gets 144 million views per month) or they can login with social media.
Going forward, Disqus also can help your site get traffic if your users are grouping and sharing your posts on Disqus.
They also have an advertising platform where sites that get a lot of traffic can show related posts on their sites which then will earn them profits if users click those posts.
I should mention Disqus does not hold the comments on your website in a database. That could be a pro or a con, depending on your site and situation.
Everyone has a Facebook account, right?
If you use Facebook comments, anyone with an account can comment. Those comments then can be seen on social media and you can connect with commenters on Facebook.
The social aspect of the Facebook plugin is pretty great. However, I feel that using Facebook for comments really makes a lot of users hold back from commenting as they don’t want comments public on their Facebook page where all their friends and family can see them. Sites that have switched from regular comments to Facebook comments have seen huge drop offs in number of comments, although each comment does bring in some percentage of traffic from Facebook.
An example of this is ESPN. They used to have hundreds of comments on each post. They then changed to Facebook comments and now typically only get a few comments per post. Perhaps this is better for them, as those comments may bring in Facebook traffic and it is fewer comments to keep track of, but the lack of conversation in the comment section on each post has really been a turn off for many readers.
Reward your readers by automatically placing a link to their last blog post at the end of their comment. Encourage a community and discover new posts.
CommentLuv is really a plugin to encourage users to lead comments in exchange for a link on your site. Those are dofollow links (now a pro feature only) that both give the commenter an SEO advantage and could get them web traffic. I know I’ve click on a lot of those links in comments.
Not only are you encouraging more comments with this plugin, but you also are targetting web masters as people to get comments from. That might lead to some good networking and perhaps you can get some links from them down the road.
New interactive, AJAX realtime comment system. Designed to supercharge WordPress native comments. Super fast and responsive with dozens of features.
wpDiscuz basically turns WordPress native comments into a Disqus like platform. Unlike Disqus, wpDiscuz holds the comments on your website in a database, which is something some users want. I also like the design of the plugin. They used to struggle with speed issues, but it has gotten a lot better recently.
Basically, if you want to comment on any part of the content, you can.
That is what inLine Comments allows you to do on your WordPress site.
While I really like this plugin, I’ve found that it just doesn’t work on a lot of themes and they no longer support Disqus. Still, if you are running a minimalist style blog, this might be a really cool option.
So there you have it. This post includes some of my favorite WordPress comment solutions and plugins. I hope this post gave you some ideas!