The convenience and functionality of the commenting system affects the involvement of the audience and the number of comments on the site. In this article you will find reviews of the best external commenting systems that will help you choose the best solution.
The convenience and functionality of the commenting system affects the involvement of the audience and the number of comments on the site. In this article you will find reviews of the best external commenting systems that will help you choose the best solution.
- What alternative commenting systems can be used on the site
- Disqus commenting system
- How to install Disqus on the site
- Disqus Commenting System Settings
- Disqus Disadvantages
- Cackle commenting service
- How to install cackle on site
- How to set up a Cackle commenting system
- Disadvantages of the Cackle System
- HyperComments system
- How to install and configure HyperComments
- Disadvantages of HyperComments
- IntenseDebate commenting system
- How to install and configure IntenseDebate
- Disadvantages of the IntenseDebate system
- Tolstoy comments
- How to install Tolstoy comments on the site
- Disadvantages of Tolstoy comments
- Alternatives to universal systems
- What commenting system to choose
Why do we need external commenting systems
To discuss publishing on a WordPress site with a standard commenting system and standard settings, you will have to manually enter your name and email address. The same problem exists in regular systems for discussions of other popular engines. Because of this, you lose a lot of comments, because users do not want to spend efforts on authorization.
Third-party commenting services provide the following features:
- Convenience of authorization to participate in the discussion. Here you need to find a balance between the desire of the user as soon as possible to leave a comment and the need to obtain information about the commentator from the owner of the resource.
- Involving the audience in the discussion. Third-party services notify users of new comments.
- Keeping comments. Third-party systems store user comments on their servers. This saves disk space and reduces the load on the server of the site owner.
- Ability to rate comments.
- Ability to recommend comments.
- Expanded audience coverage through the automatic publication of comments in user profiles on social networks.
- The ability to embed visual content in comments.
Below you will find reviews of the most convenient external commenting systems.
What alternative commenting systems can be used on the site
Website owners are available paid and free commenting services. The mini-reviews have general information about each system, as well as instructions for installing and configuring on sites managed by WordPress.
Disqus commenting system
Disqus is the most popular third-party commenting system. According to the creators, with its help, users write 50 million comments on sites every month.
The service combines the features of a social network and forum. It allows users to comment on publications directly on sites. You can continue the discussion on the Disqus site without visiting the resource where the material is published.
Users can log in using their Facebook, Twitter and Google accounts. Visitors can also create a separate account on the Disqus website. The system supports the following functions:
- Notify users about new comments.
- The ability to upload comments to the visual content.
- Display on the website block "Recent Comments".
- Opportunity to recommend discussion to subscribers on Disqus, as well as to share the discussion or individual comments on Twitter or Facebook.
- Subscribe to new comments without participating in the discussion.
- Monetizing a resource with the help of natural advertising. Currently, this feature is available only for English-language sites. Disqus itself notifies the appropriate resources about the possibility of monetization.
Due to its popularity, Disqus can be considered a benchmark or starting point for evaluating other external commenting systems.
How to install Disqus on the site
After registering or logging in with a social profile, in the Settings menu, select the Add Disqus to Site option.
On the site settings page, specify the name of the resource and select the URL on the Disqus platform. Use the drop-down menu to determine the category to which your site belongs. Click Next.
In the next step, select a plan. The following options are available:
- Base. Free plan for any sites, advertising is displayed in the commenting system. Disqus shares advertising revenue only with sites that meet the internal criteria of the platform.
- Plus. Subscription price - $ 9 per month. The plan allows you to turn off advertising. For non-commercial sites, personal blogs that do not show ads, Plan Plus can be connected for free. The number of views should not exceed 50,000 per day.
- Pro. The cost is 89 dollars per month, the number of page views is no more than 150,000 per day. In professional terms, there is additional functionality: advanced analytics, priority support, and enhanced moderation capabilities.
For very large sites with more than 150,000 page views per day, the price is set individually.
That is, as of mid-2018, Disqus cannot be called a free commenting system. For conditionally free plan will have to pay shows of someone else's advertising on the site. Really free commenting system can be used only on small non-commercial sites. You cannot even display AdSense ads on these sites.
On the next page, the system informs you that you can monetize your site using Disqus. The feature is available for resources in English. Click the button marked in the illustration to confirm that you are familiar with this feature of the system.
Choose the platform on which your site runs. If there is no ready-made solution, use the universal code.
The system will offer you instructions for installing the Disqus plugin for WordPress. Act like this:
- In the WP console, select the "Plugins - Add New" menu.
- In the "Search plugins" field, enter the Disqus query.
- Install and activate the plugin.
- On the installed plugins page in the Disqus Comment System line, select the Configure menu.
- The system will offer to update the database. Accept the offer.
- Enter the access data for the Disqus profile.
- Select the site where you install the commenting system.
- Export comments to Disqus that users left before installing the system. To do this, go to the plugin settings menu. In the Import and Export section, click the Export Comments button.
You have installed the plugin and connected the commenting system to the site. Users can now discuss your publications. And you need to pay attention to the service settings.
Disqus Commenting System Settings
Go to the community options menu on the Disqus website. On the Settings tab in the General section, specify the URL of the site. Make sure that the option Enable recommendations for your site is checked. Select a comment interface language. Save the changes.
In the Community section, in the Moderator Badge Text field, select the text that will be displayed next to the name of users with moderator rights. Use the drop-down menu to select how comments are displayed. The following options are available: new on top, old on top and top on top.
If necessary, allow comments to be posted to anonymous users. Please note that such commentators do not receive notification of updates to the discussion. This reduces their involvement. In addition, the ability to leave comments anonymously may attract trolls and spammers to the site.
Check the box next to the option Links in Comments. In this case, the system will automatically send any comments with links to the moderation. Make sure that the option Media Attachments is checked. This permission to post comments in the image and video.
Check the box next to the two options in the Flagged Comments section. So you allow users to notify moderators about unwanted comments. Also, after the number of marks specified using the drop-down menu, the system will hide a suspicious comment before the moderator reviews the complaint. Save the changes.
In the Community Account on the Community tab, you can follow the number of comments and likes and dislikes, assign moderators, import and export comments. Please note that exporting comments to Disqus allows you to create a backup copy of the file with comments. This feature cannot be used to transfer user-generated content to an alternate commenting system.
Pay attention to the Word Filter feature. In the corresponding menu, you can add stop words, using which the system sends a comment to the Spam folder.
The Moderate Comments menu displays all comments. Please note, comments on the check are in the Pending folder. They are not displayed on the site if they are not approved by the moderator. On the Spam and Deleted tabs, you can view spam messages and deleted comments.Useful tip: You can quickly approve or delete a comment using email. To do this, it is enough to respond to an email with a notification about a new message on the site. To approve a comment, specify Approve in the reply; in order to delete or send to the spam folder, specify Delete and Spam, respectively.
The most popular external commenting system has several drawbacks. Here are the most important ones:
- Disqus does not support user authorization using the Vkontakte profile. This is a serious drawback for Russian-language projects.
- Visitors who do not have a Facebook, Twitter or Google+ account will have to register on Disqus to participate in the discussion. This stops many users from participating in discussions. In particular, several Askusers assessors, on the evaluation of the Texterra blog, noted that it was inconvenient to comment on publications through Disqus.
- According to some reports, Disqus reduces the involvement of the audience. For example, in the summer of 2015, the CMS WordPress blog WPBeginner abandoned Disqus because of complaints from readers. After that, the number of comments increased by 304%.
- Unclear situation with the indexing of comments. Search engines index them intermittently. For example, comments left two months ago to one of the publications on the Texterra blog are still unique. Comments written a year ago are indexed, but as a source, the Text.ru system shows Disqus.com, not Texterra.ru.
- The absence of a free tariff for commercial sites.
Popularity and functionality have turned Disqus into a reference external commenting system. Its advantages and disadvantages can be used when evaluating alternative services.
Cackle commenting service
Cackle is a paid solution. It seems that the developers took into account the disadvantages of Disqus and the peculiarities of the Russian-language projects. Due to this, the system has received important advantages: indexation of comments by search engines and the possibility of authorization through accounts in networks popular in runet. About other features of the system below.
How to install cackle on site
After registering and confirming your account, the system will offer to create a new widget. Enter the URL of the site and the name of the widget and click "Continue."
The system will offer a universal widget code or code for popular CMS. Select the desired option.
To use the Cackle system on a WordPress site, install the Cackle plugin. In the WordPress console, select the "Comments - Cackle Settings" menu. Copy generated keys to the API and site ID from the Cackle admin panel. Paste them into the appropriate fields in the plugin's settings menu in WordPress. Activate the widget.
Export existing comments to the Cackle system. Synchronize the widget with the WordPress database.
You have activated the Cackle comment system with basic settings. Now users can log in to discuss publications using accounts on popular networks, including Facebook, Twitter, VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Google+ and others. Also, visitors to the site can rate the publication, subscribe to comments, share the entire discussion or a single comment, evaluate the messages of other users.By the way:
The Cackle comment form interface is very similar to the Disqus interface. Users familiar with Disqus will simply use Cackle.
Please note that the system supports cross-posting of Vkontakte messages. This feature is enabled by default. On the one hand, this may contribute to an increase in audience coverage. On the other hand, users may be annoyed by the publication of messages in their profile without asking.
How to set up a Cackle commenting system
To use all the features of the service, pay attention to the settings. In the Cackle admin panel, select the appropriate menu. On the "General" tab, pay attention to the "Delete comments" item. You can disable this feature or allow it within a few minutes after publication. Also in the general settings, you can select the text of the moderator icon and change the order of the social services icons through which you can log in.
In the advanced settings, pay attention to the following items:
- Enable pre-moderation of comments containing links.
- Uncheck the box next to the Guest Comments field. Anonymous comments do not encourage user involvement and trust in the resource.
- Uncheck the box next to "Crossposting". In this case, the system will not automatically post comments on social networks.
Change the rest of the settings to your liking or keep the default option.
On the tab "Appearance" note the item "Pagination". Pagination worsens usability comments. To solve the problem, use the drop-down menu, select "Select" and specify a large value in the "Maximum number of comments per page" field.
On the Captcha tab, you can connect the reCAPTCHA service from Google, and on the Spam Protection tab, you can connect the Akismet antispam service.
You can moderate comments in the WordPress console or in the admin panel on the Cackle website. You can also install a mini moderation widget. With it, you can moderate comments directly on the site.
Disadvantages of the Cackle System
Cackle - paid service. This is its main disadvantage compared to Disqus. The cost of use on one site is 200 rubles per month. Is it worth spending money to authorize users through Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki? This is the main question, the answer to which the owner of a particular site must make a decision.
Another disadvantage of the service is the obviousness of the possibility of participation in discussions for users who do not have profiles in social networks. If you disable the ability to leave anonymous comments, the system will prompt the reader to log in via the social network. Alternatively, the user can register on the Cackle website. But for this, he must find the icon marked in the illustration.
HyperComments is a paid commenting system that supports authorization using profiles in popular networks in runet. Three tariffs are available to users:
- Personal. It costs 24 dollars a year, can be used on one site. Supports up to 500 thousand widget downloads per month.
- Professional. Three sites, $ 120 per year, up to 2 million downloads of the widget per month.
- Enterprise. 480 dollars a year, as many sites as you like, up to 6 million widget downloads per month.
In addition to authorization through Vkontakte, HyperComments has other important advantages. This is a hypercomment feature that allows you to select a piece of text and discuss it. Also, commentators can share quotes with their subscribers. More information about the capabilities of the system further.
How to install and configure HyperComments
After logging in with the Google profile, the system will prompt you to enter the site URL and choose a platform If you want to use the paid rate, you will have to enter billing information.
Press "Next". The system will redirect you to the HyperComments plug-in page in the WordPress directory. Install and activate the plugin. In the site console, select the "Comments - HyperComments" menu and log in using your Google account. On the settings page, select the Settings tab. Import existing comments into the system.
The rest of the basic settings can not be changed. Advanced settings are available on the Comments tab in the corresponding menu.
In the "General" section, enable notifications to the administrator and moderators about posting a new comment. If necessary, turn on the pre-moderation of all comments.
In the "Structure" section, if necessary, uncheck the box next to the "Allow comments from guests" field. In this case, users can send a message only after authorization through a social network. If you allow aggressive ways to increase coverage, enable cross-posting messages.
In the "Quotes" section, turn on the corresponding widget. Он позволяет пользователям выделять отрывок текста и делиться им с подписчиками в социальных сетях.
В разделе HyperComments сохраните настройки по умолчанию. Эта функция позволяет комментировать отдельные фрагменты текста.
В разделе "Стереокомментарии" можно включить соответствующую функцию. Она объединяет комментарии в две колонки: сообщения автора и всех пользователей. При необходимости можно добавить в колонку автора логотип компании.
В разделе "Категории" можно создать категории комментариев. Эта функция позволяет пользователю по желанию добавлять свои сообщения в существующие группы.
Недостатки системы HyperComments
Главный недостаток системы - отсутствие бесплатного тарифа.
The service discriminates users who do not have accounts in social networks. If you disable the possibility of anonymous commenting, such visitors will not be able to leave a message.
Another important drawback is that the system by default does not inform users about new comments. This reduces the involvement of the audience.
IntenseDebate commenting system
IntenseDebate is an external commenting system developed by Automattic Inc. One of the main projects of the company is a hosting service for WordPress.com sites. Therefore, IntenseDebate is especially well integrated with CMS WordPress.
IntenseDebate is a free service. Its functionality is not inferior to the reference Disqus. The system provides site owners with the following features:
- User-friendly comment form. To participate in the discussion, the visitor can log in using profiles in social networks. IntenseDebate does not support popular Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki networks in runet.
- Notify users and administrators about the publication of new comments.
- The platform has the features of a social network. Each commentator receives a profile with links to his accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. Profile shows commentator rating. You can follow the comments of other users on third-party sites.
- Crossposting comments on Twitter.
- Automatic integration with the WordPress comment system.
- Stable indexation of comments by search engines.
To take advantage of the system, install it on the site and configure it.
How to install and configure IntenseDebate
After registering in the system, go to the installation page commenting system. Specify the URL of the resource. If you use WordPress, install and activate the IntenseDebate plugin. Log in to the settings page in the WP console.
After authorization, the system will offer to import existing comments. Do it.
In your personal account on the IntenseDebate website, enable notifications when new comments are posted. Switch the language to Russian.
In the Layout menu of the personal account, if necessary, change the appearance of the buttons, the size of user avatars and notifications of new messages. To prevent comment pagination, select the maximum value in the Comments per page field. If necessary, specify the text that will be displayed under the commenting form.
In the Comments menu, enable logging in using Facebook and Twitter. Use the system prompts to create a Facebook application and get an API key. Check the box next to the Enable "Report this comment" button. You enable the "Report comment" button. Select the trackback display option. They can be published with user comments or in a separate area. For most projects, the second option is suitable.Trackbacks - notifications of links to publications on other sites. They help resource managers keep track of publications and refer to them.
If necessary, install additional widgets on the site. The following add-ons are available in the corresponding section of the personal account:
- Comment statistics - shows the number of commentators and posts.
- Latest comments.
- Popular publishing. This widget displays a list of the most discussed posts.
- Active commentators. The add-in displays the ten most active users with a link to their profiles in IntenseDebate.
You can moderate messages in the WordPress console in the Comments menu.
Disadvantages of the IntenseDebate system
The main drawback of IntenseDebate is the lack of integration with networks popular in runet, for example, Vkontakte. To participate in discussions, users will have to log in using their Facebook, Twitter, WordPress.com accounts, register on IntenseDebate, or enter their name and email address.
The developers are positioning Tolstoy comments as a free system for building a community of users of the site. This is not a traditional commenting system, but a chat widget in which readers can communicate. The process of communication is gambled with a system of badges and ratings.
How to install Tolstoy comments on the site
After registering on the platform, the system will offer to insert the widget code on all pages of the site.
If everything is done correctly, a comment widget will appear on the site.
In the control panel on the Tolstoy comments website, configure the widget size. Select the appropriate time to load the widget. The remaining settings can not be changed.
The system allows users to log in via social networks or register via email.
Information about messages is available to the administrator in real time in the moderation section of the personal account. Users see on the site pages a widget indicating the number of comments and a pop-up window with the most rating comments.
Users can rate comments. And for activity, the system assigns badges to commentators.
On each page of the site the widget creates a separate chat. But the list of chats is available to users from any page of the site via the "All chats" link.
Disadvantages of Tolstoy comments
The main drawback is the storage of comments on the Tolstoy comments server, and not in the site database. Because of this, custom content is not indexed. Developers are planning to solve this problem in the future.
In discussions on the site Tolstoy comments, users say that the widget slows down sites. On the test site, I did not notice this effect.
Alternatives to universal systems
Instead of universal cross-platform solutions, some site owners set the form for commenting on one social network. Usually this is Facebook or Vkontakte. Some resources have two forms of commenting at once.
To install the Facebook comment form, follow the instructions in the developer section. Instructions for installing the Vkontakte commenting widget can be found in the section for developers. If you are using CMS WordPress, you can add a commenting form using the Vkontakte API plugin. The latter allows you to set up both the Facebook and Vkontakte commenting forms, as well as the default WordPress commenting system.
The main disadvantage of the forms of comments of social networks is the lack of communication opportunities for visitors who use different platforms. For example, if you have installed the Facebook system, Vkontakte users will not be able to leave a message.
Combined forms, for example, created using the Vkontakte API, do not solve the problem. Facebook and Vkontakte users can leave comments on different tabs, but they cannot interact with each other.
Another alternative to Disqus and similar systems is to set up a standard form for commenting the engine. Remember the main advantage of external services: the ability to authorize in one click using profiles in social networks. This problem can certainly be solved with the help of standard tools or extensions for your CMS.
For example, WordPress can be configured so that users can participate in the discussion without any authorization at all. To do this, in the console menu "Settings - Discussions" uncheck the box next to the option "The author must specify the name and Email."
If anonymous comments for your project are unacceptable, alternatively consider the Social Login plugin or a similar solution. For users to receive notifications about new posts, use Subscribe to comments Reloaded.
What commenting system to choose
External commenting systems provide site visitors with a number of advantages, including the ability to authorize in one click using profiles in social networks, subscribing to all comments of selected users, notifications about new messages, the ability to rate comments.
If you have an international project, feel free to install Disqus. The popularity of the service gives him an advantage over analogues. Users will learn the Disqus commenting form, monitor the activity of other system participants, and value their profile reputation.
If you are implementing an international project on WordPress, pay attention to IntenseDebate. This system is not inferior to Disqus in functionality. But it integrates better with the engine. In particular, IntenseDebate stores comments in the site database by default. This ensures their uninterrupted indexing by search engines.
Owners of Russian-speaking projects need to take into account the characteristics of the audience. For example, if the majority of visitors to your site are young people who actively use different social networks and have an idea about Internet technologies, you can use Disqus. Surely most of your users have a Facebook, Twitter or Google+ account.
If the audience of your project is not limited to conditional advanced Internet users and social networks, Disqus does not suit you. It complicates participation in discussions by users of networks popular in runet. Use the alternative: the HyperComments system. In terms of functionality, it even surpasses Disqus.
Russian-language projects will also work with Tolstoy Comments and Cackle paid systems. They provide the ability to log in via social networks, let you follow the discussion through notifications and have user-friendly commenting forms.
Most projects will not fit the form of commenting on social networks. But a serious alternative to external services is the customization of staff commenting systems for popular CMS. For example, with the help of Social Login and Subscribe to Comments Reloaded plugins, you will increase the functionality of the standard WordPress comment form. Users will be able to log in via social profiles and subscribe to updates. And you will provide full control over user content and no problems with indexing comments.
If you have experience using this or that comment system, share your opinion on this issue in the comments. And the following table can be used to compare the properties of external commenting services.
System / Property
One Click Social Authorization
Notification of new comments by default
Search engines indexed intermittently. As sources of comments from the site "Texterra" programs like Advego Plagiatus indicate the site Disqus.com.
Disqus - the standard of socialization of the commenting system. The platform has features of a social network: user profiles, rating system, the ability to follow other users.
Uninterrupted indexation for the Enterprise tariff.
To receive notifications, a user must subscribe.
The developer declares this feature. There are reports of indexing issues on webmasters forums.
Social network systems
Authorization using a profile on the same network
Comments are indexed. But as a source, search engines can define user profiles, not a website.
Socialization works only in one network.
Notifications via social network.
Perhaps if you extend the functionality
A staff system can be partially socialized, for example, to enable authorization through social profiles.
Extending functionality may be required.