5 Plugins That Improve The WordPress Comments System

5 Plugins That Improve The WordPress Comments System

If you’ve ever gone through the process of creating a simple blog you’ll be familiar with the WordPress comments system.

The default comments system built into WordPress is very basic but usually fine for startup bloggers. However, you will find it lacking if you want to give your readers any advanced functionality or try to improve their commenting experience in any way.

In order to allow your readers a number of methods to comment on your blog posts and pages you are going to have to use plugins to improve upon the default functionality. Thankfully, comment plugins have come a long way in the last few years. Not only do you have the option of using threaded commenting, you can now login with social media accounts and take advantage of a great deal of constantly improving features.

Let’s take a look at five plugins that will elevate you above the default comments system. These plugins will vastly improve the commenting experience and take your site to a whole new level of reader engagement.

1. Jetpack By WordPress

jetpack

Jetpack is practically considered the default comments system these days. The multi-functional plugin created by Automattic does far more than improve the commenting aspects of your website, though that is a major feature of the plugin.

Jetpack allows your readers to connect to your website and leave a comment in multiple ways. Whether that is by using the default WordPress comments, connecting to WordPress.com, or by logging into Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.

Not only does it allow for a more social connection, you are also given the ability to use threaded comments for more organized commenter discussions, as well as having the functionality to notify people whenever a new comment is added to the thread. Because this comment system is part of Jetpack it is constantly being expanded and improved by the Automattic team.

Jetpack is one of the most popular plugins installed on WordPress sites because of the additional features it has. With Automattic continually improving Jetpack it is worth installing on your website, even if you decide to use another plugin to maintain your comments.

Download Jetpack from WordPress.org

2. Disqus Comment System

Disqus

Disqus is one on the most widely used comment systems in the blogosphere. It isn’t tied exclusively to WordPress and so one user account can be used for blogs on any system that has Disqus installed. This means that rather than control the comments within the WordPress installation and adding to your database, Disqus uses its own servers to manage the user login and comment management.

In what is fast becoming a standard feature list for plugins of this type, the Disqus plugin allows for threaded comments, notifications of new comments in the thread, subscription options for comments and inbuilt spam and malware filters.

Disqus is a community-focused plugin. Users carry a record of every comment they make on their account and can be followed by other Disqus users. This let’s them engage with them not just on your site, but on any site they leave a comment.

Download Disqus from WordPress.org

3. Intense Debate

Intense Debate

Intense Debate is another plugin system developed by Automattic. It allows your users to create rich profiles and build reputations based on their comments.

The key aspect of Intense Debate is the user reputation and comment voting system. User reputation is developed by readers as they take part in the comments discussion and have their entries rated by others. This feature allows your readers to build their own followers on your site and develop a community where they are acknowledged for quality comments on your blog.

It integrates various anti-spam and malware filters in order to ensure that your comment area remains free from junk comments. It also includes blacklists and enhanced moderation options to try to streamline that difficult process.

Intense Debate also allows for various social interactions, such as connection to Twitter, Facebook as well as fully integrating with the Gravatar service. As with the others you can use comment threading to keep control of your comment section.

It comes with the ability to receive updated notifications and RSS tracking of the comment section. You are also given the useful option of being able to post to and moderate your comments with the Reply-by-Email function built into the software.

Download Intense Debate from WordPress.org

4. Facebook Comments

facebook

While not multi-functional, Facebook Comments’ singular focus ensures a deep integration with the daddy of social networks. This means that each user commenting on your website is a real person — anonymity is not an option available to them.

This has the drawback in that the person must have a Facebook account and be happy to use it in order to comment on your site. Not everyone is happy with this type of integration so it may result in people who would have commented avoiding doing so on your site.

It has been implemented by several extremely large sites to cut down on the comment spam they receive and appears to have worked simply because comments are tied to the Facebook account of a real person.

The plugin changes your comment system on WordPress to match the standard comment structure found on your Facebook wall. It also allows you to post any comment you make to your Facebook wall, bringing your friends into the discussion and increasing the possible user engagement.

The Facebook Comments plugin is very useful for those who don’t want to have to manage every aspect of their site. It is ideal for those who still want to have a great looking and robust comment section without most of the overheads associated with the standard moderation.

Download Facebook Comments from WordPress.org

5. Comments Evolved

Comments Evolved

Comments Evolved has grown from an old Google+ comments plugin into something much greater. Rather than simply being a way to use Google+ to comment on your blog now, it allows you to integrate with WordPress.com, Facebook and Disqus.

As with the others of this type, this plugin offers a great deal of user flexibility. Each commenting account type is displayed in its own tab, which may be the only real drawback of this plugin. It would be useful to have each comment displayed in one single thread and allowed the user to contribute to that thread regardless of their login method.

It is a great and lightweight plugin and is ideal if you want to keep the comment threads separated by login method. If you prefer having the options to login with various services, but combine all of the comments into a single point, then this may not be the plugin for you.

Download Comments Evolved from WordPress.org

Conclusion

There are a number of plugins out there to enhance your comment system, though these five are by far the most impressive. Most of them will give your readers multiple connection options and each plugin handles those connections in slightly different ways.

You may decide to open up your comments to allow multiple methods of connection, or lock it down to a single option. Whichever method you choose, one of these plugins will be able to offer you exactly what you’re looking for and will dramatically improve the experience for your readers.

Have you used any of these comment systems on your blog? Which one is your favorite and why? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Tom Ewer
Tom Ewer is the founder of Beginner Blogging, a site that offers free in-depth tutorials for beginner bloggers.
Tom Ewer
This article has 96 comments
  1. Pramod says:

    Hi mate !
    I’ve initially used Commentluv plugin for my blog and as the spam on my blog grew day by day ..i removed commentluv and started using disqus and am happy with it.

    1. AJ Clarke | WPExplorer says:

      I’m not a huge fan of Commentluv…it’s pretty much black hat seo also. Disqus is great! I also like the jetpack comment form it works well for removing spam comments.

      Admin
      1. Emily says:

        I like the Jetpack comment too. Have try many and now back to basic. Work great! :)

      2. Greg Martinez says:

        Yeah, we also used Commentluv and switched over to Jetpack. Much easier for people to leave comments.

  2. Tony Nguyen says:

    Hi, Tom Ewer!
    I love this post. Really informative and useful for me, a newbie in online business. I am considering some of these plugins to improve my comment system. This article helps me so much. After reading your post, I think I have ideas. Thanks for sharing this post. Hope to read more helpful information from you. Great job!

  3. tony nguyen says:

    Tom Ewer, I like this post. I think you are a professional blogger. I will follow you to learn how to create amazing websites to atrract more visitors. i will check out these 5 plugins that improve the wordpress comments system. thank for your sharing

  4. Zubair says:

    I have decided to use jetpack as my commenting tool. I like and it is very good. Thank you for sharing this post.

  5. Marios of Infolific.com says:

    JetPack seems so bloated to me, but I do like how comments are done. I wish the comment system was available as a separate plugin. I also like what the NYTimes does with their user and editor selected comments.

    1. Dave @ UnconventionalMarketing.com says:

      Mario, do a search for “Slim Jetpack.” It is as the name suggests… a slimmed down version jetpack that gets rid of the most annoying problems with it like the bloat, the connection to wordpress.org, the “all modules on” issue etc. It’s fantastic.

  6. Marios of Infolific says:

    Dave: Thanks for the tip! I had no idea there was an alternate version. Found it and I’m installing it now!

  7. Glenn Younger says:

    Tom, thanks for this post – very helpful. And Dave@Unconventional…, thanks for telling me there is a ‘slim jetpack’. What I was using just wasn’t working so I’m shopping.

    1. Glenn Younger says:

      Tom, I’m adding an update to my comment of yesterday. I installed Slim Jetpack and was very happy. It has an easy, easy interface and it looks good BUT it doesn’t offer the Facebook like button unless you are hosted by wordpress.com. I posted in a forum in the hopes of finding a workaround solution to how to include a FB like button, however it looks like I’m back in the shopping mode. If you ever do another article that includes Jetpack in it, maybe you want to make mention that of someone is considering the slim version, it’s missing that one key element? Just a thought…

  8. kagtha says:

    Yeah thank you for adding this! Not enough time to look through Jetpack features, one quick search and I found exactly what I was looking for. Would be cool to have a way to rate comments to bring them to the top but not required. Thanks for the article.

  9. Franck Maury says:

    Great Article
    Are you using Jetpack Comment on your blog ?
    Thks

  10. Andy says:

    Many thanks for this post. I was on the fence with what option to go for but the Jetpack option seems so simple and easy to use, I think I will give it a try.

  11. Haydrion (@Haydrion) says:

    I have used Jetpack only for the comments, there is no standalone plugin with Jetpack comments only, also the slim version of Jetpack has no comments. I love disqus too but the fact that you have to create a profile on disqus is not a big plus thing, many people will go away.

    For me I have at this moment no idea what to use for a comment plugin. Jetpack has a sharing plugin which one is standalone so I will use that one for sharing. The full package from Jetpack has to much things that I will never use + the stats are a big not done thing, and it slows your site as well.

    Now you have also Google comments, well not everyone has Google or Facebook or Twitter, but the social logins are to protect you from comments from people who are Trolls. Of course there are many Trolls on Social Media, but the fact of Social Media logins are that people think Twice to place crap on your website, they must login with their private connected social media profile.

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      I personally use JetPack comments on this site, what I do is disable all the other modules I’m not using. For example if you disable Stats then it won’t slow you down because the function is not going to fire up on the site. There was some bugs in older versions of jetpack but now if you disable one of the ad-dons then you won’t have to worry about your site slowing down. JetPack comments really helps keep SPAM to about 0 on this site and is really easy to use for people, so I still recommend it ;)

      Admin
  12. Sarath Uch says:

    Thanks for this nice tips. I’ve been using Disqus for long period of time, and I love its plugin. I’ve never tried with Jetpack, but as I surfed on the Internet, most people complain about the spams often coming, which I rarely see the spam in my Disqus.

  13. Vasant Sakpal says:

    Hi Tom,
    Very useful post, I had install jetpack comments but giving error while submitting comments, So I leave it and tried Sisqus, It awesome bro. Thanks for sharing this informative post.

  14. Aldo Wink says:

    Thanks for the comparison. I have Comments Evolved working now, but seems development has been dead for last 12 months. If I switch to Jetpack will comments migrate along?

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      I’m not sure how Comments Evolved works, but JetPack only changes the comment submission form and ads a subscribe to comments field. The actual comments and comment output is untouched by JetPack.

      Admin
  15. Hugh Dixon says:

    Thank you so much for this article and the comments! I was thinking of using CommentsLuv or Disqus but now I am going to try out Jetpack. It works well on this site.

  16. Mohammed Saimon says:

    Very nice post. Thanks Tom.
    I have also used CommentLuv but somehow I have found it not ideal for my blog. Now I think jetpack will be the best option to go.

  17. Septian Aji Sanjaya says:

    Thanks for your post, but I try jetpack, I can sync for my account wordpress. I dont know about that, but now I use Comments Evolved.

      1. Arup Ghosh says:

        Commentluv can’t be called a full featured comment system it only enhances the native system to attract more comments, mostly spams.

  18. Allie W. says:

    Do you mind sharing what comment plugin you’re using for your blog now? I think it looks really nice and would love to tinker around with it.

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      I use Jetpack for the comment form, but the output of the comments (the design) I created specifically for my site and it’s part of the my theme.

      Admin
  19. BollywoodTales (@bollywoodtales) says:

    I agree that commenting using facebook is ideal to judge the identity of the person. I personally recommend that.

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      I use JetPack for the comment form, the comment output is standard WP output with a custom callback.

      Admin
  20. Resham Panth says:

    I used jetpack comments but doesn’t work well with phones! so, switching back to default!!

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      I wasn’t aware of that issue, thanks for the heads up I will look into it because we also use JetPack comments.

      Admin
  21. Siraj.M says:

    Jetpack is most effective and better than from other :) Now am thinking to move on jetpack with my blog.

  22. Abhishek Raj says:

    Hi Tom, After reading your post and scrolling through the comments, I’m now more inclined to use Jetpack comments on my blog. I’ve been a Disqus fan and have been using it for several years now. IMO, Disqus is the best comment system. But the only thing that hurts me is its slow loading and mandatory sign ups to let readers drop their comments.
    Thanks for this post! Bookmarked :)

  23. Brett Hooper says:

    Thanks for the nice sharing. I am going to use Jetpack By WordPress. Its looks like nice and cool.

  24. Steve Bichard says:

    I have Jetpack comments but it does not show the social media icons as in your screen capture above. I cant find anything in the settings to allow it.
    Example of post below: frenchclassifiedandproperty.com/2013/11/30/le-bon-coin-in-english/

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      JetPack comments doesn’t appear to be enabled on this site or it’s not compatible with your theme. Also when active you won’t see the social icons if you are logged in, make sure to log out first to see them. Also you have to click on the comment textbox and it toggles down.

      Admin
      1. Steve Bichard says:

        Hi AJ
        I also log out to check settings, and I do have jetpack active, but the social icons still do not toggle down. I will play with a few settings.

  25. Arijit says:

    Really helpful article Tom! I am using Facebook comments.

    Can you please let me know the floating social button plugin you are using?

    I really like the top fixed nature when you scroll down. This is not too ‘obtrusive’ to the user unlike most ‘floating’ social button plugins (e.g. Digg Digg) but still asks for the user likes and shares. This is also minimalist and shows ‘pure’ social buttons so that reader is not distracted and enjoys the reading experience.

    Presently, I am using this http://www.wpbeginner.com/floating-social-bar/

    This is perfect for me but the only problem is it only loads the share counts only when you hover over the buttons. Yours seems to load the counters on page load. Any suggestions would be great! :) :)

    Thanks in advance!

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      Hi there, on WPExplorer.com I actually custom coded the social bar exclusively for my site ;) And I am using the “Sharrre” javascript plugin for the social buttons so they load after the site has loaded. I am pretty sure the floating social bar uses the same script so maybe you just have to tweak it a bit so it doesn’t show it on hover but rather on load.

      Admin
  26. yatin says:

    Thanks for the wonderful post…..
    I want to clarify certain doubts regarding jetpack comments
    Can we have leave a reply option at the beginning because the reader has to scroll down to write the comments
    How you are having author and admin option inside the comments
    can we have thread options in jetpack

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      JetPack only changes the submission form, everything else is still handled by the theme, so yes it’s 100% possible.

      Admin
  27. Clariza Nalam says:

    Nice learning here. Thank you for this list. Have been using disquss but it is too slow loading. Will try jetpack.

  28. Subha says:

    congrats for writing such a great post, shall help many blogger to improve their commenting system.
    thanks for sharing.

  29. Richard Williams says:

    Hey Tom great post I must say that I am true fan of Disqus and jetpack I use them on my WP website awesome plugins. And thank again for writing such a great post .

  30. Chris says:

    Thanks for the comments, guys! Made me switch from Commentluv to Jetpack, too.

  31. vecteurplusanswers says:

    I try to install Jetpack By WordPress but when i go to into Jetpack->setting, I can’t find button active in Jetpack Comments, can u help me please?

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      Have you connected JetPack with WordPress.com? You must do that first.

      Admin
  32. Abdullah Mahmood says:

    Just checking out on your site if any comment left using the jetpack commenting plugin also helps share your content to my newsfeed, if yes, then that’s what’s made my day!

    1. kimanlayn says:

      Dear Clarke, after i install this plugin, i don’t see any option to connect to Jetpack or because it is in Local marchin?

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      JetPack uses the theme’s comment output, the only thing it changes is the actual submission form.

      Admin
    1. AJ Clarke says:

      JetPack uses the theme’s comment design, the only thing JetPack changes is the actual submission form which can’t be tweaked since it is an iframe.

      Admin
  33. Kim An Lay says:

    I used Jetpack comment on my product website now but after i used my facebook account to comment, why it is not show my facebook profile picture, it always show the default avatar of wordpress? Did i miss something?
    I show in here, your website, it work perfect!

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      To be honest I’m not sure what could be wrong, when I tried commenting it pulled up my photo correctly. Maybe try adding a “Gravatar” for the email used for your facebook account.

      Admin
  34. Sagar Desai says:

    Yes! Jetpack commenting plugin is awesome, looking much clean out of all.
    But can I remove wordpress option from all 4 types of logins for comment? If yes then it will definitely suit for my blog.

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      I prefer JetPack because the comments are still saved in your database and also outputted as HTML on the page so it’s better for SEO. Disqus is an iFrame so that content is not part of your site. I like having comments as additional content for search engines, but that is my preference ;)

      Admin

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