These days, we have a ton of different comment systems to choose from for our WordPress powered blogs. We have Livefyre. We have Disqus. We have social media commenting systems such as Facebook and Google+ comments. And of course, we have WordPress’ native, default comment system. The two most popular of these being Disqus, and WordPress comments. But which is the best one for your blog? You may be surprised!
1. What Kind Of Audience Do You Have?
First and foremost, you have to determine what kind of audience you have. This will be largely based on your website’s niche. Where is your traffic coming from? Disqus is largely based on social networking to leave comments. This means that users with Facebook, Twitter, or Google accounts can leave comments by using that, and avoid typing in their things such as email address and name. If this would apply to most of your audience, than great. Disqus would be easier for them.
If your website is not social based, or you simply don’t know, WordPress’ native comment system is slightly easier to use. All the user has to worry about is typing in their name and email – not that hard. It’s also a bit easier to recognize the designated area for commenting – when I had Disqus next to an email opt-in form, readers couldn’t tell where they were supposed to leave a comment at. So what happened? A significant decrease in comments as soon as Disqus was added.
2. Disqus Vs WordPress Comments – Features
Disqus wins the battle for number of features. Disqus allows updating in real time – this means that you can see when someone is writing a reply to you, and comments can update without the page being refreshed. This makes having live conversations happen much more easily in Disqus. Not only can you tag other commenters, but the replies are also threaded, meaning it’s easier to follow a conversation. (WordPress now has this feature as well).
Conversations are made even easier with the addition of media uploading. Not only can you embed YouTube videos, but users also have the option to upload images.
Finally, users can vote on comments. This ensures that high quality comments are up towards the top of the comments list, and low ones get pushed down to the bottom. Users also have the option to report spam comments to a moderator, should you miss them.
3. Disqus Vs WordPress Comments For SEO And Traffic
Many webmasters hesitated to use Disqus because they believed the Disqus comments were not indexed by Google. While this used to be the case, it is no longer true. Googlebot has gotten smarter, learning how to crawl and index more advanced scripts, which has been confirmed by Matt Cutts on Twitter.
But there’s more to SEO for a comment system than just whether or not the content gets indexed.
As we well know, page load time has an effect on SEO. This is because Google likes websites with a faster page load time, because it provides a better experience for their users. Because of this, it’s important to take your comment system’s effect on load time into account. It’s generally true that Disqus takes a longer time to load than WordPress’ native comment system. Although this difference is not too significant, it all adds up.
But did you know Disqus can actually bring traffic to your website as well? When someone comments on your website with Disqus enabled, this activity is left on their profile. So when they go and comment on another website, if their profile gets viewed, people can see that they also commented on your website. A link to your website is placed on their profile, and it links directly to the article they commented on. Kind of cool, huh? Another blog of mine that uses Disqus, has actually received hundreds of visits just by this. It’s like free advertising!
4. Disqus Vs WordPress Comments – Conclusion
In the end, it’s up to you as a webmaster to decide which comment system would be better for your audience. Your audience should always come first, so whatever works for them is the most important. The great thing about Disqus however, is that you can add it and remove it without losing any comments. So if you’ve been thinking about giving Disqus a try, go ahead and just do it. Only then will you be able to see if it works out better for you than whatever comment system you’re using now. Don’t like it? Simply remove it, and it’s like it was never there. After all, you could end up loving it.