Why I Chose the Plain Jane WordPress Comment System Over Others

May 11, 2012   //   by Kristi Hines   //   blogging, SEO Blog  //  25 Comments

There are a lot of options when it comes choosing a comment system for your self-hosted WordPress blog. So when people ask me what I suggest, I always say that I go for the basic WordPress comment system that comes with your blog upon installation. Here are some questions I always ask people to consider before choosing a third-party comment system.

1. How will your site speed be affected?

Pingdom did a great study on the WordPress comment system’s load time vs. four popular third-party systems: Livefyre, IntenseDebate, Disqus, and Facebook. Here are their results.

Third Party WordPress Comment System Speed Testing

Is the time difference significant? In most cases, not really. But what you have to consider is that if you want a speedy site, you need to optimize everything possible. 1,000 milliseconds here and there can add up to a lot when you consider all of your other plugins, banners, widgets, and images.

2. Who will own your comment author’s data?

When you comment on the basic WordPress comment system, you enter your name, email address, and a comment. That information goes into the WordPress database which the blog owner can backup and export at will. Most third-party comment systems will put the same comment data into your WordPress database. Before you install a third-party comment system, you should be sure that you will still be able to get this information into your database so you can retain ownership of your comments if you decide to remove the comment system at a later date. Speaking of which…

3. What will happen to your comments if you switch systems?

For most people, migrating from a third-party comment system back to WordPress is pretty simple. For others, I have seen some “interesting” things happen. Things like the comments from one post somehow duplicated themselves onto other posts and had to be manually deleted. Also, I saw a customized WordPress theme that was built around the third-party comment system. When the blog owner removed it, they lost the formatting and threading of all of their comments. So along with the question of who owns your comment data, you have find out what will happen to your blog if you choose a third-party comment system and change your mind.

4. How easy will it be for your visitors to comment?

As a tech savvy person, you might forget about how people who are new to the blogosphere will feel about comment systems that require logins. Anyone can understand name, email, website (optional), and comment. Some might get lost in the signup process for a third-party comment system and never get around to actually leaving a comment on your blog.

5. Is it spam you are worried about?

Third-party comment systems boast about spam control and advanced community management features. Registration supposedly cuts down on spammers, right? Not necessarily. Comment spammers can figure their way around any system. Allowing them to register for a comment system means that they get the green light on blogs that allow registered users’ comments to post automatically.

Need more reasons?

If these aren’t good enough arguments to keep you on the base WordPress comment system, then there are two more things to consider.

  • CommentLuv Plugin – A great way to encourage comments and get to know comment authors by seeing their latest blog posts. You can even encourage social sharing with CommentLuv premium!
  • Aweber Plugin – If you use Aweber as your mailing list program, you can install this plugin which will add a simple checkbox to your comment form. This makes it easy for comment authors to also subscribe to your mailing list.

If you own a self-hosted WordPress blog, what comment system do you use and why? How do you feel about the others?

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Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Don't miss her Web Domination Review on Kikolani. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

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  • Jannet Y. says:

    I also love plain jane rather than other comment system. What irks you the most when doing a comment? For me, it’s when I have to wait for it to load before I could start writing. Nice post!

    Thanks for sharing!

    -Jannet

  • Laura says:

    Thanks for sharing this post.. What I like in plane jane comment system is the easy steps to do it.

  • Pete Goumas says:

    Thanks Kristi for sharing your reasons to prefer plain jane wordpress comment system. I also heard many good points about it but I haven’t try it yet and it is in my consideration.

  • Gerald Weber
    Twitter:
    says:

    I will give you one great reason.

    I was using disqus and decided to go back to my native comments and and somehow disqus added all of my comments 2 times. Some glitch I guess. I had to go back and manually delete duplicate comments for like 2 years.

    I think I probably still have some old posts with duplicate comments. What a fiasco that was.

  • Charles
    Twitter:
    says:

    A really nice confirmation of knowing I’m right in what I’m already saying to others when they suggest using a 3rd paty commenting system. Speed is important but what most people don’t ever consider is how critical it is for you to to own all of your data.

  • I also use the default comment system because it is simple and it works.No need to make things difficult for your blog visitors.I don´t have a spam problem because I moderate all comments.Thanks for the information Kristi!

  • Brian
    Twitter:
    says:

    I tried Disqus because I saw some bloggers I really admire using their system. But recently, I’ve been getting so much spam that I just deleted it. I went back to the WP comment system and added WP spam free plugin to help cut down on spam.

    I also disliked my inability to reply to comments easily. It just wasn’t worth it. Sometimes I’d be logged in to Disqus, sometimes not. Occasionally, I replied as anonymous when I didn’t want to do that.

    The only thing I might add is commentluv plugin in the future.

  • biobank says:

    Speed is crucial but what most people don’t ever consider is how critical it’s for you to to own all of your data.I was using disqus and decided to go back to my native comments and and somehow disqus added all of my comments 2 times…

  • Ray says:

    I like the traditional WordPress commenting system. I never really saw the need to switch to another or what they point of doing so would be. Plus I don’t need a headache if something went wrong or didn’t work out right. Now that I see the load speed stats I am even more likely to keep using the regular WordPress comment system.

  • Jim Jenks says:

    Some great points. I’ll be looking into using the plain jane comment system rather than installing something else. I never thought that the simple one WordPress provides would be better in the long run, thanks.

  • Richa says:

    Hi Kristi

    Well explained reasons of using plain jane word press comment system. The best thing about the system is that it involves easy steps. With this system commenting is an easy task.

  • Abhishek says:

    I have used the wordpress comment system but never liked it. CommentLuv Plugin is way better and offers a lot of features which the wordpress comment system lacks..

  • You are using commentLuv, and I am impressed with the feature it offers. I checked their website looks like it’s for wordpress only and i have custom cms.

  • “Comment spammers can figure their way around any system.” How true–that’s why they’re spammers in the first place. It doesn’t do any good to go fancy when it has to ROI.

  • Dipa says:

    I was not even aware of so many choices in commenting. Thanks for the information. I will definitely check out these options .

  • biobank says:

    The plain jane wordpress comment system is definitely very important because its speed is very good.

  • [...] Why I Chose the Plain Jane WordPress Comment System Over Others - Kristi Hines delivers an informative and direct argument for using the WordPress comment system. [...]

  • Kain Tietzel
    Twitter:
    says:

    For a moment there I was about to google “plain jane wordpress comment plugin” before the coffee kicked in an noticed the error of my ways.

    We’ve been using disqus after we had so much spam with the default comment system but it loads soooo slowly and I think it’s a barrier to entry for people to comment on. For some reason it also breaks the comment numbering on our posts so articles that many disqus comments display as “no comments” on our posts. :(

    Thanks for the great stats. I’ll be making the switch back methinks.

  • MaAnna says:

    Kristi, I always enjoy your informative posts because you back up what you say with real-world data. I’ve used plain ole WP comments since day one and don’t plan to add anything to them or switch to any 3rd party. My #1 reason for this is because I teach non-geeks, meaning that a lot of folks who follow my site are just starting out and are likely not web savvy. I want to offer a zero barrier to them sharing comments.

    I also resisted using Comment Luv for the same reason that so many folks are dropping it now, because as spam filters get better, spammers are making even higher targets of dofollow blog comment opportunities.

    I’m also finding that my regular readers prefer to leave their comments on the social media site where they first found the post and more conversations are happening there than on my site. Finding that is true of a lot of folks, regardless of the commenting systems they use to try to integrate their blog comments with their preferred social media platform.

    So, I’m sticking with plain ole everything when it comes to comments.

  • [...] I’m not much of a gimmick chaser and like to keep things simple, which is why I’m 100% in agreement with this post from Kristi Hines on Why I Chose the Plain Jane WordPress Comment System Over Others. [...]

  • Tauseef Alam
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Kristi

    I prefer to install CommentLuv plugin on existing plain jane WP comment system. It makes more sense to me. You got less spams and more social sharing fot your posts.

  • leo says:

    Agree on plain jane comment system, I tried livefyre and the new disqus 2.0 but always had problem syncronizing comments, although admittedly the old plain jane wordpress comment system do have limitation.

    I’m looking for these features to be integrated or as an alternatives;
    - Sticky comments
    - Vote up/down

  • Jamy Hoster
    Twitter:
    says:

    Well this is a great post as I have come to know a thing that you can not stop spammer with any tool :) but what a bot can do this much I did not think every about this.

  • I’ve been using Disqus on my site for a few years, but I’m going to migrate back to WordPress native commenting for most of the reasons you listed here – especially the load times. Every time I do a site performance test, the Disqus elements take up at least 30% of my total load time. WordPress commenting has also gotten better since I first went to Disqus, and at this point is actually easier to manage than Disqus comments.