Performancing Metrics

Blog Commenting Systems: Which One Should You Choose?

When it comes to blogging, one decision that many users have to face is whether they should outsource their comments to a third party client or stick with using their de facto commenting system instead.

Bloggers who decide to choose a third party client often have to test out numerous services (both good and bad) before settling upon a quality client that compliments their site.

Although everyone’s choice will vary depending upon the platform that they are using, here are a few basic tips you should consider before installing a commenting client upon your blog.

Is There An Exit Strategy?

Would you choose a blog platform that prevented you from leaving their software or service? If not, then why would you consider doing something similar for your comment section?

Before you sign up with a blog commenting service, the first thing you want to verify is whether you can easily export your comment section just in case you have a falling out with the company.

Most third party commenting  services already provide this option, although you should always verify this yourself (i.e. go over steps on how to exit) before choosing their service.

It’s The Analytics Silly

Just as having analytical stats for your blog is key, so is having commenting system that helps you measure not only traffic, but exactly “who” is commenting upon your blog.

Both Facebook and Disqus provide deep analytical data for their users, which can help you determine not only who your most active readers are, but also which market or demographic is responding to your blog.

Note: There are many third party commenting services that offer analytics as a premium feature (even if the commenting service is free), so make sure you read the fine print before buying the add-on to see what you’re getting.

Social Is Key

While providing a way for users to comment without having to login is great, some readers prefer to sign in with their Twitter, Facebook, etc. social credentials.

Verify that the third party commenting system you are using provides at least 2 ways for readers to sign in and comment upon your blog (although providing more than 3 or 4 methods is always ideal).

Note: It’s always best to have Facebook and Twitter as options (due to their popularity), although allowing other services like WordPress.com and Google is also recommended.

The Passive Aggressive Like Button

No matter how compelling, inspiring or controversial your post might be, most of your readers will probably not comment upon your blog (leaving you with little info about them outside of an IP address).

In order to help increase user engagement, make sure that the third party commenting system has an ability for readers to like a post (whether anonymously or through a login account).

This can help you measure how much the “silent majority” enjoys your content from the shadows, providing greater feedback which can be used to help improve your articles in the future.

Any Other Suggestions?

For those of you who have chosen third party commenting systems, what other advice would you give?

And (out of curiosity) which third party commenting system do you use? And why?

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Comments

  1. Dimitar Tsonev ) says: 3/11/2011

    Other very important thing to consider is the availability for your language. I decided to use Disqus because it expands the native WordPress comments and gives users the ability to use their credentials from other sites. When I started, there was no translation to Bulgarian, which decreased the amount of comments. Later I had to help with the localization to keep my commenters.

    Reply

  2. ahmadhaikal says: 3/13/2011

    i love to use like button. Hehe..

    Reply

  3. Ramona Iftode ) says: 3/13/2011

    I don’t like using any of them. WordPress was created nicely enough to handle all the comments as we wanted to. I don’t like using any third party to handle something I can actually do in the house. This is why I have a newsletter plugin installed too, instead of using aweber and paying 20 bucks just to run something I can have on my site for free. I don’t like making things harder than they should and relying on a third party I have NO CONTROL over is not something I’d gladly do.

    Reply

  4. marko says: 3/14/2011

    WordPress was created nicely enough to handle all the comments as we wanted to.

    Reply

    • Dimitar Tsonev ) says: 3/14/2011

      I can’t agree. The web is evolving, why should the comments and their system remain the same, in his pre-web2.0 status?

      Reply

  5. Jhay ) says: 3/15/2011

    I once tried IntenseDebate. Liked every feature of it, but the performance lags led me to going back to WP’s own commenting system. Then I just used some plugins to allow readers to comment using their social media credentials.

    Maybe future WP versions will add these neat stuff natively, like fold IntenseDebate into WP itself, which I think would be bad for competitors like Disqus. :P

    Reply

  6. Daniel Fotograf Iasi ) says: 3/16/2011

    I tried and tried different plugins, and systems for my website in wordpress. I created my theme and wanted to include the new social commenting features and an as easy way as possible. After testing and testing I choose Disqus but I alo implemented social bookmarking and facebook’s like button. I build myself the theme from ground 0.

    Reply

  7. Rob says: 3/19/2011

    Darnell,

    It is a bit strange that people will only leave comments AFTER others do. Nobody wants to be the first. If I happen across a smaller blog with no comments, I will leave a comment. I might be leaving an encouraging comment to the next Chris Brogan. For myself, I keep writing good posts and taking my chances that if I build it, they will come.

    Live it LOUD!
    Rob

    Reply

  8. Simone ) says: 3/21/2011

    I decided to use IntenseDebate as an Automattic product (so better integration with WP) and works great for my purposes, even if it has a known annoying bug but i hope they will solve soon…
    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/plugin-intensedebate-comments-plugin-intensedebate-broken-or-intended-functionality?replies=4

    Reply

  9. Jerrick ) says: 3/24/2011

    i prefer to put a facebook like there, because a good content not necessaries will leave comment. But they would put a “ike” if they do agree with your content as well. This allow to improve your blog quality which do recognize by SEO. Beside that new facebook like which is equal to share. Once they click on the like it will directly share to their personal post. This auto share would bring lot of benefit for blogger.

    Reply

  10. John says: 3/25/2011

    Yes totally agree twitter, facebook etc.. great way but who has the time to keep up with it all as well as do the normal days work? Only students and housewives have enough time to do that day in day out!

    Reply

  11. Elge Premeau, Internet Marketing Consultant ) says: 5/7/2011

    I’m just starting to research 3rd party commenting systems and this post was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks a ton.

    Reply

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