Leaving Work Behind

10 Reasons Why I Am Going Back To The WordPress Comments System

Written by Tom Ewer on May 10, 2012. 47 Comments

10 Reasons Why I Am Going Back To The WordPress Comments SystemFor those of you who read my rather recent post entitled 10 Reasons I Have Switched To Livefyre, you might consider me rather impulsive. But the fact of the matter is, after having considered my options, I honestly believe that the standard WordPress comments system is the best solution for my blog.

There is no doubting the quality of what Livefyre has to offer. And their customer service is astonishing (almost good enough to make me keep using their system as a matter of principle). But it just doesn’t quite click with me.

I am going to start this post by addressing each of the 10 reasons I originally switched, and explaining the individual reasonings behind my change of heart. Then I’m going to give you an overview as to why I am delighted to be moving back to the standard WordPress comments system.

10 Reasons Livefyre Isn’t For Me

I should make something clear up front – this post isn’t intended to be a damning indictment of Livefyre. Quite the opposite in fact – I would recommend it to people with complimentary requirements, and will happily rave all day about how awesome the guys at Livefyre are. This is just an overview of why it doesn’t suit my needs.

If you haven’t yet read my original Livefyre post, you may want to do so before you proceed, in order to give the following some context.

1. Comments Consolidation

Livefyre has a feature that sounds pretty badass in principle – it can pull related content from your Facebook and Twitter accounts directly into the comments stream. In reality, it wasn’t quite as awesome as I thought.

The algorithm that chooses what tweets and Facebook comments should be included seems rather faulty to me. Check out this comment stream from a recent post:

Comments Consolidation

Not exactly a fascinating exchange, is it?

To be honest, I think this feature is overly ambitious – it would take near-human levels of reasoning to determine what items should and shouldn’t be included, and even then, it would be a subjective decision. Livefyre themselves admitted that integrating only the “correct” items is “a tough nut to crack”. That nut is yet to be cracked, in my opinion.

2. Tagging

This is a great feature, but not one that I will miss. In fact, I haven’t actually used it. You can achieve the same result by simply tweeting someone a link to the post or specific comment location, so it’s not like this feature is performing miracles.

3. Real Time Commenting

Again, I consider this a great feature, but just not something that encourages me to stay with Livefyre. It belongs in the “nice to have, but not game-changing” category.

In my conversation with Jeremy, who works for Livefyre, he was quick to point out that the real time commenting system is not for all blogs:

We think it adds another dimension to conversation that, at any point you could have a static conversation turn into a live chat. Or, you can host live discussions for a second screen experience from everything from award shows to sports events. If you’re using Livefyre as purely a comment catcher, and that’s it, you may not appreciate the real-time nature of it as much as…sites who are always hosting live discussions. It’s vital to their community dynamic.

Fair points, but whilst real time commenting may be vital for some bloggers, it certainly isn’t for me.

4. Notifications

I miss the Comment Reply Notification plugin, and am looking forward to being reunited with it. It just worked, and I didn’t have to second-guess whether or not commenters were being informed of replies. I am still not entirely sure how the notification system works across different login types and so on – it’s all just a bit too complicated.

5. Multiple Sign In Options

I actually see this feature as a big detractor. With the standard WordPress comments system, you enter your name and an email address and you’re on your way. You know exactly what information you are sharing with the blog.

With Livefyre, they want you to hand over access to a social media account, or create a whole new Livefyre account if you are unwilling. I am pretty sure this is considered too onerous by some. I want commenting on my blog to be as easy and straightforward as possible, and I think that the WordPress system is just that.

6. Post Promotion

This is an easy one – you can replicate this feature with a plugin such as Comment Luv. It is not a selling point that is unique to Livefyre, and therefore doesn’t compel me to stay.

7. Comments Sharing

Meh. Just meh.

8. Crawlability

I am still very doubtful as to whether Livefyre’s method of allowing comments to be crawled by search engines is in any way beneficial to rankings, and such a feature is not going to convince me to stay.

9. Spam Protection

Since I implemented Livefyre, a couple of spammy comments have got through, but none have been held back. So whilst this has perhaps been an improvement, it is not compelling enough to convince me to stay.

10. “Awesome” Moderation Features

Well, I was just plain wrong about this. Replying to comments with Livefyre is an absolute nightmare. I made a point of how easy WordPress’ backend comments management feature is to use in a recent ManageWP post – Livefyre by contrast is extremely testing. I can’t wait to get back to my old ways.

In Livefyre’s defense, they are working towards building a better system for full integration with WordPress’ comments management feature, but my understanding is that it is something that is distant on the horizon, rather than just around the corner.

The Grass Is Greener…

As soon as I have hit “Publish” on this post, I am going to get the standard WordPress comments system set up again. Here is what I am looking forward to:

What Do YOU Think?

I’d love to get your feedback on this. If you are a blogger, which comments system do you use? Do you think I am right to leave Livefyre and go back to my commenting roots? Let me know in the comments section!

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47 Responses to “10 Reasons Why I Am Going Back To The WordPress Comments System”

  1. Justice Wordlaw IV
    May 10, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Tom,

    I do have to agree with you on these issues. I just went back to ComentLuv with all of my blogs because of these reasons and also for using WP Subscribers too it didn’t have a plugin feature with Livefyre. You’re not the only person that has felt this way when it came to using this plugin. I know that John Chow recently did the same thing with his blog too which he gave a really informative blog post covering that too. Welcome back to the basic but powerful commenting system.

  2. Deacon Bradley
    May 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Interesting points Tom, can’t say I disagree with you. I’ve only ever used Disqus or LiveFyre, but I must say I’m thinking about trying it out. Thanks for linking to your top 5 plugins for the WP commenting system, great starting place for me!

  3. Ruth Zive
    May 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Agree with everything you’ve written. And as a ‘commentator’, I actually hate using Livefyre. It irritates me!

    I have Commentluv Premium plugin, and I LOVE that! It includes GASP (another great plugin) and Comment Reply Notification…and provides LOTS of link love. You should consider!

  4. aaron
    May 11, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Tom

    Out of curiosity, do you really have 10 reasons to switch or you need to brainstorm a bit to fulfill the content needed by the more catchy title?

    • Tom Ewer
      May 11, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      Hi Aaron,

      The post is intended as a direct comparison to the previous post on 10 reasons why I was switching. If you compare them you’ll see the discussed features are one and the same!

      Cheers,

      Tom

  5. Brendan
    May 11, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    THANK YOU. I tried to comment a few other places and just got frustrated without having the standard WP comments system. I love the simplicity of it all.

    Still loving the site and even though I’ve applied to roughly 20 freelance writing jobs and not gotten any responses, I have gotten two jobs for freelance writing with people that I wasn’t even applying with! Funny how those things work out.

  6. Leo
    May 12, 2012 at 2:25 am

    Welcome back Tom’s comments :)

    Wondering if you’ve experimented with the Facebook comments widget Tom? Thoughts on those?

    • Tom Ewer
      May 13, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      I’ve thought about it but it’s a definite no for me. In my honest opinion, the Facebook comments system puts a big fat barrier in front of anyone apart from those who are happy to comment via their Facebook account.

  7. Richard
    May 12, 2012 at 5:02 am

    I think many of these issues wil be solved with the upcoming update to livefyre. I agree that the moderation system could be much better. I’d love to be able to reply to comments from my dashboard. Also, I didn’t like the requirement to sign in to be able to comment, however that was fixed when they allowed anonymous commenting, which is what made up my mind to change over to livefyre.

    All in all, I think they are actively improving their commenting system and I like it a lot.

    • Tom Ewer
      May 13, 2012 at 11:34 pm

      Hi Richard,

      I liked Livefyre – I just prefer WordPress comments system for my own purposes. Although I have to disagree with your argument that many of the issues will be solved with the upcoming update. If I thought that were the case, I would’ve hung on and checked it out, but I really don’t think it is.

      Cheers :)

      Tom

  8. Scott Webb
    May 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I expected you to go back to the WordPress commenting at some point. I’m glad you did too. :)

  9. Jamie Alexander
    May 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Good post. I hope more people feel the same way as you.

    Call me old fashioned, but I absolutely hate things like livefyre/disqus/facebook comment.

    They are just too annoying. I prefer to KISS. Just enter my details like normal and post.

    I do use premium commentluv. I think it blends in nicely with normal comments, and it’s nice for both me and my visitors to use the last posted option.

    Anyway, I just like it simple when it doesn’t need to change.

  10. Kim
    May 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Good choice, i have tried both facebook comments and disqus on a blog of mine. But ended going back to the good’ol wp comments. Mainly because to be certain they get crawled and in the end it was just yet another 3rd party plugin to manage.

  11. Steve@Affiliate Marketing Tips
    May 15, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Tom,

    Glad to have you back in the world of wordpress commenting. I pretty much refuse to comment on livefyre/disqus (unless I am really moved to say something), having to sign in or use my twitter/facebook really bugs me.

    I can certainly see why livefyre is a great fit for some people. But just not for me.

    Welcome back! ;)

    Steve

  12. Jay
    May 16, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I tried using “Facebook for Comments” on my WP blog. Turns out it actually used to slow down my site loading speed. Am back to WP comments, turns out they are easy to edit and do not ask for too much information.

  13. Trung Nguyen
    May 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    WP comments system makes readers easier to leave a comment more than any others like Disquis or Livefyre, we just need to leave our info and then click on submit button, that’s it, no need an account.

  14. Julie
    May 16, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I have used Discus and IntenseDebate and now find myself back to good old WordPress again. I think in the end I really like it the best. The other programs I have used have been okay but I always end up missing comments or in the case of Discus, stopped getting comments all together and I could never figure out why.

    • Tom Ewer
      May 16, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      Yep – it was the comments management that really was the deal breaker for me. I love how easy it is to handle comments with the standard WordPress system!

  15. Lan@Fundamental Online Marketing
    May 17, 2012 at 12:59 am

    Aloha Tom, fortunately I stumbled onto your information on SPI, you wrote a lovely informed post there. So here I am, checking out your blog. I must say I heard and seen many bloggers deter away from the original wp comment format and I found it a bit challenging. Where I had to open new accts. just to post and I am sure the blogger probably felt the same, as you expressed it here. As for me, I like to kISS and I set the comments based on my approval before it hits the public view.

    Believe it or not my commentators requested me to add this plugin commentluv, so I did using the free version of comment luv. I’m happy and their happy, that is all that matters. I’m glad I came by. Mahalo, Lani :)

    • Tom Ewer
      May 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      Hello Lani :)

      I am going to take a wild guess and say you are from Hawaii ;) a beautiful place that I hope to visit one day – I have heard great things.

      Thank you for your kind words! Most people seem agreed that the standard WordPress comments system is the way to go, and obviously I agree!

      Cheers,

      Tom

  16. Joe
    May 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I’ve seen a few blogs that give the commenter the choice btwn two systems, say WordPress and Facebook.

    Any thoughts about that?

    • Tom Ewer
      May 17, 2012 at 11:28 pm

      I think in terms of usability and intuitiveness, it’s too much. Whenever possible, keeps things simple. Two different commenting platforms on the same page is not simple!

  17. Sheyi @ Ivblogger.com
    May 20, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I quiet agree with you on the issue of using the WP comment system as it works fine for me and I get to do all I want to do the way i want them done.

    Nice reading your article on SPI – you are going everywhere!

    Sheyi

  18. Bryan
    May 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks for this post. You have shown me a couple plugins that I did not have but will be adding today. Loving the newsletter sign up and comment reply notification, I have been struggling with these two. Thank you.

  19. Shalu Sharma
    May 23, 2012 at 8:07 am

    I also think that wordpress commenting system is the best. Most of the people are used to it and they don’t need to register with Livefyre. Have you considered CommentLuv to reward your commentators? Just a thought.

    • Tom Ewer
      May 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      I have considered it (in fact, I think I used to use it). People already get the backlink, so I think that is reward enough. Plus I don’t really like the idea of overtly encouraging people to comment just to get a link back to their site – I want people to comment because they actually feel compelled to.

  20. James D
    May 31, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I completely agree! I have tried so many different commenting systems for my website and the only one that just works is the WordPress comment system. Its just nice to know that people can leave comments easily and that I will get notified and have all the options I need! Simplicity is best in this case.

  21. Takiyah Noble
    July 25, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    On another one of your posts, I mentioned that I think the whole nature of commenting is a fundamental issue of how much work you think an user should have to put in to contribute to your website.

    And the various platform systems clearly support what our personal choices are as webmasters.

    What is the end goal? Some people want one million tweets and three thousand Facebook shares for the sake of having it… while others would prefer ten commenters who provide great value to their site and could easily forego the Internet Marketing circus out there.

    Don’t you think it’s fair to say that how you are monetizing the Site itself or the business that supports the Site greatly determines how you set up your commenting system?

    Once again, I’m very grateful for your write up, you have given me a new perspective on how to extend the core functionality of the WordPress commenting system to achieve some kind of balance on my Site again.

    I was so sick of comment spammers that I just turned comments off. But, I think I am going to download your favorite plugins a try along with two others (comment email verification and facebook seo comments) and try this “commenting” thing a try again. LOL! =)

    • Tom Ewer
      July 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Interesting thoughts Takiyah. In my opinion, there is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to comments – just preference and opinion.

      Generally speaking, my thoughts are that up and coming blogs should keep the barriers of entry very low when it comes to commenting. Bigger blogs can afford to be more picky.

      Cheers,

      Tom

  22. Elijah
    September 26, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Ah thanks for leading me to this post. Guess I won’t have to implement Livefyre and Disqus on my blog anymore.

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