Blog Comments - Best 3rd Party Solution?

Disqus vs JS-Kit/Echo vs Blogger vs IntenseDebate

Before setting up my first blog I spent some time looking at the various comments systems that are available for the Blogger Platform.

The default comments that come with Blogger are Ok but they don't allow for some of the more sophisticated Social Media notifications that are becoming more and more popular.

These items are:

- Capturing Reactions from various Social Media such as Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed etc etc and placing these comments and reactions back into the Original Post so you can see at a glance who is talking about your content.

- Moderation - Moderation is very important in this increasingly spammy age. I need a powerful spam engine like Akismet to filter out 99% of all spam before it reaches me.

- User Self-Moderation: - I also want to be alerted of any content that whilst not being spam is considered unnecessary or offensive. I want the readers of the blog to be able to "flag" any bad comments.

- Building a Community - One thing I looked for at the larger well establish blogs like TechCrunch, Mashable, EndGadget, Lifehacker etc was that of building a community and to showcase regular commentators in the form of popular commentators as well as having a "reputation" factor so other, new readers of the blog can see how well respected another commentator is.

- Speed of Loading and Reliability - This is very important as I want the blog to be fast loading so that readers can access both the content and comments immediately without any noticeable delay.

- Support - Pretty self-explanatory. If I have a problem I want to get it fixed.

With all these in mind there were only 3 real choices for me.

Disqus
JS-Kit/Echo
Intense Debate

Based on all my criteria the easy winner in nearly all the criteria was Disqus. It has great Moderation, allows me to reply to a comment via email so that I don't have to visit the site. I can moderate via email as well and it has Akismet built in. It also has a nice gadget to display Popular Post, Top Commentators, and Recent Comments.

Also searching through Twitter and Forums, it also seems to have the fewest issues. A quick look at the JS-Kit offering (which is also the only one that charges) it appears on the surface to be the most powerful, but a little digging around and a look at their support site shows a very different story. Lots of users with unresolved issues and a whole post dedicated to the users wanting refunds. Not good PR there. Maybe in a year or two I might revisit JS-Kit/Echo but for now it seems the most buggy, slowest to load and the most complicated of the 3 solutions as well as being the only one that charges.

The other great thing about Disqus is that I can see from my Disqus profile all the comments that I've left on other sites which use the Disqus plugin. This is a pretty cool feature.

They have also recently added the ability to sync comments back to the blogger backend so that if you ever wanted to remove Disqus you can easily do so.

So if you're using Blogger or Wordpress and are looking for a way to spruce up your comments and to build a community I can strongly recommend Disqus. Oh and it was a total breeze to install on my site. Give the comments a test below if you like so that you can see how it works.

What are your experiences with the various comments systems?



Image thanks to 40Tech

18 comments:

  1. I m using Disqus, and getting very good response till now.

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  2. Hey, thanks for the info. Yes, so far I'm very impressed

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  3. I am looking into getting comments for my webcomic site. Your research was exactly what I needed to read to know which way I should go. Thanks!

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  4. I've been Googling all day and I still don't know which system is better for my site; Disqus or Echo? or even maybe Intense Debate.

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  5. from the research that I have done, the comment synching between JS-Kit or IntenseDebate and Wordpress is far better than Disqus. At the moment I don't really have strong opinions either way between IntenseDebate and Disqus.

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  6. Yes HH that's what I've seen on a number of sites that have since moved away from JS-Kit. Hopefully they will fix these issues overtime but for me it's just not ready for primetime yet.

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  7. I only had a quick look at the Skinning ability of JS-Kit but it did seem very unfriendly and requires CSS knowledge. Disqus has a nice simple configuration screen that allows for simple changes.

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  8. voted Disqus and wordpress as I use both depending on my site. I tried Echo but it was too complicated to customise the css and very unintuitive to the end users

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  9. I have been testing Disqus, IntenseDebate and JS-Kit. Right now I have JS-Kit installed, but I have had it for about 12-hours and I don't get tons of traffic, so I am glad to have the 30-day free trial. I think that I would happily use Disqus or IntenseDebate if they offered Google Friend Connect Login. I like playing with CSS so I am going to play with making JS-Kit a little prettier over the weekend.

    Other than that, from the research that I have done, the comment synching between JS-Kit or IntenseDebate and Wordpress is far better than Disqus. At the moment I don't really have strong opinions either way between IntenseDebate and Disqus.

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  10. Hello Ice.

    I was pretty much like you at first, but then using JS-KIT for a time I had so many problems and our users hated it. Too complex. Our comments went way down. I also had a lot of bugs that seemed to take forever to get fixed by the JS team. Since moving to Disqus I've had no issues and none of my commentats have complained :)

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  11. In the short time that I played around with JS-Kit, I started to discover much of what you were talking about. It is always good to get outside input. That, and frankly I probably don't need to spend money on something that I can get for free. So, I am going to move on to IntenseDebate and see how that goes, it has a bunch of features that I like, and free is good!

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  12. I gave up also with JS-KIT. Too slow and so overly complex in terms of install and user interaction. Our users hated it.

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  14. I am having problems with Disqus my friends are allowed to comment but then won't post the comments. With no real way to talk to customer service I am not very happy I feel that Disqus has high -jack my Blogger Blog I feel I have lost control of my own blog can anybody offer any advice

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  15. I've been Googling all day and I still don't know which system is better
    for my site; Disqus or Echo? or even maybe Intense Debate.

    ReplyDelete