Bloggers love comments. It makes all of our writing and hard work worthwhile. What’s the best way to get those comments though? Awesome content and calls to action are great for inspiring readers to leave comments, but the commenting system you choose can impact the comments you receive as well. As a blogger you have many options, so how do you choose the right one?
First decide what your needs are. They will probably look something like this:
- Must have options to deal with spam comments.
- Must be able to delete and manage inappropriate comments and commenters.
- Must be easy to use and maintain.
- Must be easy for commenters to use.
The easiest option for your blog is to use the native comment option that’s provided with your blogging platform. This means if you are on Blogger use Blogger comments, if you are on WordPress use WordPress comments. These commenting systems aren’t perfect, but you can improve them by fixing two common annoyances. Here’s how…
I personally hate blogger comments. I don’t have a Blogger account that I use and really don’t want to use my Gmail account for it. I’d much rather have my name linked to my site. Depending on how the comments are set up that’s not always an option. However, it can be! Blogger users you can make them more appealing to those of us non-Blogger people by just changing one setting for your comments. You can enable the Name/URL option for visitors to leave a comment. To do this just go to Settings > Posts and Comments and change the comment settings to Anyone.
WordPress comments are straightforward and you can use any account with them. Just enter the required information. However, it’s not so great for follow-up comment notifications. You can enable this by going installing the Jetpack plugin then going to Settings > Discussion in your Dashboard and enabling the “Follow Comments” option. This doesn’t give individual notifications, but commenters who select this option will get all responses to that particular post sent to them, including follow-up responses to their own comments.
If you are using WordPress’ native comments you should also be using Akismet. It’s a plugin that will prevent spam messages from being posted in your comments. It really is a must have. It works great and saves you lots of time reading through spam comments and manually dealing with them.
CommentLuv is also an excellent addition to improve your WordPress comments. It’s a plugin that lets commenters share their latest post along with their comments. It’s a nice incentive to reward your commenters. It also has a paid option which gives you even more comment options!
Third Party Comment Systems
You don’t have to be relegated to the commenting system that’s native to your blogging platform. There are third-party options out there! The drawbacks of these are that your commenters may have to sign up for another account with the commenting service if they don’t already have one and you can have issues migrating old comments over to the new system.
Disqus is one of the most popular, if not the most popular third-party commenting system around. It works with both Blogger and WordPress. It does require an account sign up but you can do it through social media log ins to make the process easier. It also offers useful features like up and down votes, and comment reply notifications.
Facebook and Google+ Comments
There is the option to use social media network powered commenting systems. This is great if you know your user base uses this social network. However, not all your visitors may use either Facebook or Google+ or want those accounts visible to the public, and therefore may decline to comment if that is their only option.
There are many more third-party commenting systems. They all have benefits and drawbacks, one of the biggest drawbacks is the need for account creation. When selecting a commenting system it should be flexible enough to adapt to the needs of your readers as well as your own. A commenting system should be easy to use and get started with for all of your visitors. Selecting a comment system that is not widely used or does not offer alternative ways to leave comments without signing up for an account or using any one particular social media network can deter commenters.
Ultimately choosing the right commenting system for you and your blog will come down to your own tastes and those of your audience. Choose a commenting system that gives you the tools you need to manage it as well as making it easy for your visitors to comment.
What commenting system do you use and prefer? Let’s talk comments in the comments!