Disqus VS LiveFyre: Blog Comment System Shootout

I still prefer what I was first introduced to: Disqus

I like the look, the choices for sharing to Twitter or Facebook (or both, without a multi-step process, just boxes to check or leave unchecked) and

Disqus offers comments login choices that include:

  • name/email
  • Disqus
  • Google
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo
  • OpenID

Multi-network tagging of people and no-code hotlinking of sites and emails is a time-saver (though several other comment systems offer at least the same feature for sites).

My one complaint with Disqus is how in Firefox I often have to open a separate browser to login and then, until I logout, can do anything I like on my own blog and others’ without logging in again. In Google Chrome, Disqus works flawlessly for me.

What I would do to improve Disqus

Disqus is clearly missing obvious features in their control panel (which would save Disqus fans the need to learn .css coding):

  • font and font size
  • links-in-comments controls for link-erasing, link-deadening (link appears, in full URL form, but is not clickable), and for hot-linking of URLs, a choice of dofollow or nofollow
  • along with sharing of blog comments to Facebook and Twitter, it should be clear by now that many would eagerly share their comments to Google Plus; this should have been added as an option by now.

Here’s what I would do to improve Empire Avenue: my article suggesting a scaling of player rewards – based on where we are in the game.

Having debated (but never intensely, mind you) the comment systems favored by blogging friends,

I found Vitaly Tennant‘s Blog Commenting Platforms: The Bad and The Good and learned how similar they have become, in fact.

Recommended for YouWebcast: The Art of Community Development: Turning Brand Awareness Into Sales

On Disqus, Vitaly wrote:

The Good -

  • Lots of login options. You can use just about any of your login credentials (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc). Of course, you can still post comments anonymously if you choose to.
  • Looks nice and clean, the customizeable CSS is a big plus.
  • Community box gives everyone a summary view of the activity and people participating on the site.
  • Fully compatible with mobile websites for commenting while on the go.
  • It’s popular. Lots of websites use it; therefore, many people know what they’re dealing with when they see Disqus logo in the comment section of a blog.
  • Reactions. In addition to showing comments, Disqus also shows a list of who mentioned the blog post on Twitter (which they call a “reaction”).

The Bad -

  • Not as customizable as IntenseDebate. Can’t add any content of your own to the layout.
  • By default, it inherits the blog’s main theme style sheet. Editing CSS for Disqus takes much longer than customizing.
  • All URLs in comments are auto-linked. Disqus creates a hyperlink to all text that ends with a typical suffix ie. “.com”. This is kind of a big issue for some users when their blog deals with scam websites. It is nofollow, but it would be nice to see the hyperlinks disable feature.
  • The Help section is lacking. There just isn’t that much information in their knowledge base, especially for CSS help.”

I replied, filling in a bit more, based upon my 2 years of experience with Disqus

LiveFyre is getting better. For over a year, using the Firefox browser, I could not login on a blog using LiveFyre (had to open other browser, login to my LiveFyre acct, refresh your blog – cumbersome). LiveFyre customer service has atrocious. A clear explanation from me, (OS, browser and version, etc., and still they demanded screenshots). Now it works always in Google Chrome and usually in Firefox. Not a bad choice – now, thus. Even with Firefox, LiveFyre lets me login more easily than Disqus, in fact, but only from weeks ago.

Disqus is my choice, and after I changed the comment font size, I’m happy with it. Vitaly was quite right, I should add: Disqus does not make it easy to edit style points. They are inherited from the blog body by default, as you note – and it does take adding two lines to a Disqus stylesheet to change tthe comment font size.

A couple things I would like to add, which people might wish to want to consider, when shopping for a comment system: like LiveFyre, there is a community, you can follow, comment on connected Disqus users’ blogs, etc. from your own Disqus section of your WordPress Dashboard or through the Disqus site. Also, like LiveFyre, we can tag people, but not with their Facebook handle. On the other hand, with Disqus, we can tag people with Twitter, Google, or Disqus username (so that’s one more than LiveFyre). Pretty much, I can easily find one or more of these fast enough for most people – and faster if they signed in to comment on my blog with Disqus using Twitter, Google or Disqus (rather than by email).

Finally, links are live by default, can be deadened if we like – and even if we allow commenters’ links to be live, we can choose to make them dofollow or nofollow. I’d assume this is true with LiveFyre, not sure.

Lastly, since there is so much talk on the value of commenting on Commentluv and other sites that reward commenters by prompting them to leave a link back to a specific blog post of theirs, perhaps Commentluv frequent-commenters can:

  • Provide some evidence of the SEO benefits of doing so?
  • Are you checking the code for those CommentLuv blogs – to see if they have their comments and the backlink they allow you – set to dofollow or nofollow?
  • As for these links to our blogs that some comments systems allows (Disqus does not), while ALEXA will count those as “links in,” are you certain there is a substantial SEO benefit? Show us the evidence, and we may all learn something. Or, at least have something to IntenseDebate.

For what its worth, I have it from my SEO authority (and Triberr Chief Scientist), Dan Cristo, and SEO thought leader with ten years of professional experience in SEO, that backlinks from blog comments have absolutely no SEO value whatsoever. ”In my experience and with my SEO tests, links from comments, including commentluv, were ineffective in improving rankings. Google has also stated that links from comments are devalued, and several patents indicate that Google sees certain portions of the page as less important than other portions. Comments being a less important part.

I have see websites rank for very competitive terms where a large portion of their backlinks were from comments, but there were many more factors at play. First off, they used blackhat techniques to spam comments. Second, they were generating 20,000 links a month. Third, their site was removed by Google. So it is possible that with 20,000 comment links a month, it may boost rankings until you’re caught, but in any sort of normal commenting tests, they were ineffective and held no value.”

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