Some people have been telling me that I should switch to using the ‘CommentLuv’ comment system. However after taking some time to look at it and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of using it, I came to the conclusion that I was better off not installing CommentLuv!
I recently redesigned the OnlineIncomeTeacher site and when I did so I looked at different ways that I could improve the site. When I told people that I was working on redesigning the site, some people suggested that I install and run the CommentLuv plugin for blog comments. So with their recommendation I started by looking into and researching what benefits CommentLuv would give over the current Disqus system that I was using.
Here is what I thought about each.
CommentLuv vs. Disqus
For anybody that doesn’t know what CommentLuv is, it is a comment plugin that enables people to leave a link to their latest post underneath their comment. If you are an avid commenter, I’m sure that you will have seen this on many sites.
The big draw is this ability to leave a link to your latest post under the comment that you leave. This encourages people to leave a comment as they can promote their latest content.
On face value, this single feature is a great way to encourage more people to comment on a site. As I say, I was currently redesigning the site, so I was seriously considering installing and using this as a way to get more comments on my posts. But no matter how good it seemed, I always had this nagging doubt that wouldn’t go away!
I started to research which other sites were using CommentLuv and I can tell you that there are a lot! The sites that do use it do seem to get more comments on their posts. Again, this all sounds positive. However, when I really thought about it, many of these sites were very similar.
The majority of the sites using it were of the ‘blogging/internet marketing’ niche, which were of small to medium size. This makes sense, as these types of sites are attracting visitors that are website owners themselves and due to their size, want to build up their traffic by encouraging comments.
Interestingly, when I started to look at much larger ‘blogging/internet marketing’ blogs, many were NOT using the CommentLuv plugin. Sites like Problogger, CopyBlogger, Entrepreneur, etc. all did not use CommentLuv. This seemed strange as surely they would be after more traffic and commenters themselves. Why were they not taking advantage of the benefits that CommentLuv were offering?
Well, when you think about it, it all comes back to why websites want comments in the first place! Comments are an important part of any blog. These not only let readers express their opinions about a post and ask questions, but it opens up a communication channel between the readers and blog writer(s).
Many of the large sites realize that they are after genuine comments from people, rather than simply encouraging people to leave a comment in exchange for a link. Most of the time, this will lead to attracting spam comments from people who are only interested in leaving a link. I don’t just mean spam links to dodgy sites, as plugins like Akismet can filter out many of these. Spam links can be viewed as people only leaving a comment to get a link, which tend to be very short of vague about the post itself. Having hundreds of comments on a post may sound good, but if they are all simply “thanks!” or just “great post!” then is it worth it?
You also have to consider that these massive sites spend vast amounts of money researching and developing their websites. If they thought that CommentLuv, or something similar, would genuinely benefit them, they would implement it straight away!
Advantages of CommentLuv
- Link to latest post under comment.
- Encourages site owners to leave comments.
Disadvantages of CommentLuv
- Only really beneficial to other site owners.
- Attracts spam comments.
Disqus is another popular comment system that can be used on your blog. I’ve been using it for a while and I have to say that I’m pretty happy with it.
The big draw of Disqus is that it is a proper professional comment system, with lots of different features. This is all despite the fact that it is free!
Disqus launched a newer version of their system, the aptly named “Disqus 2012” that improved on many of its previous features. One of the major changes was that Disqus now works as a real-time basis. This means that you don’t have to refresh a page to check for new comments. In fact, you can effectively have a conversation within the Disqus comment section, just as you would on Facebook or MSN.
It also has an inbuilt ‘community’ box that displays all your top commentators, as well as other posts with latest comments. This makes it easy for people to see, not only who is commenting on a post, but who is commenting across your site.
People can share a comment (yours or someone else’s) or even an entire comment thread on Twitter and Facebook, and see what reaction a post has got on Twitter. This makes a site feel much more like a community that people can get involved with, rather than just a way to leave a comment.
One criticism some people give about Disqus is that you have to jump through a few hoops before you can leave a comment. They are referring to the fact that you needed a Disqus account in order to leave a proper comment. This is NOT the case ANYMORE! Yes, in past versions, you did need an account to leave a comment, but the new Disqus 2012 makes it easy for people by letting them sign in with one click with their Twitter, Facebook or Google+ account. The benefit of signing in is that Disqus will keep track of all the Disqus sites that you leave a comment on and notify you of any replies that you get directly in your ‘My Disqus’ tab. You can also follow other Disqus commenters and keep up to date with all their latest comments. This tab is available on any Disqus site that you are logged into, so you will always know if you had someone answer that question that you asked, or got a response on another site, etc. Of course, you could just leave a comment without signing in!
You can’t display a link to your latest post, but you can also set it up so that when people click on your Disqus name, it links to your website or blog, or whatever link you want.
The biggest benefit though is that many big sites use the Disqus comment system and when I say big sites I mean; CNN, The Telegraph, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, IGN, Entertainment Weekly, etc. and many, many more!
Advantages of Disqus
- Real time comments.
- Sign in with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Disqus.
- Share comments & comment threads on social media.
- Community features.
Disadvantages of Disqus
- No link to latest post.
I don’t have anything against CommentLuv, in fact I comment on plenty of sites that use it. I just feel that CommentLuv offers one advantage to its users, whereas Disqus offers a whole lot more.
Yes, the fact that CommentLuv allows you to leave a link to your latest post is a good feature that will attract more comments from people with their own site, but what about the people that don’t have their own site? I’m much more interested in attracting genuine comments from people.
I think that people will leave a comment on my posts if they genuinely want to, whether they get a link to their latest post or not. In fact, the thought that someone wouldn’t ask me a question, or seek advice/help just because of the lack of a link is counter intuitive.
Blog commenting is an important part of running your own site, but if you put too much emphasis on the link rather that the comment, I think you are missing the point! After all, you are commenting on the post, not commenting for a link.
But that’s my opinion, what do you think? Which comment system do you use? Do you only look to comment on blogs that use a certain comment system? Let us know your views and opinions by leaving a comment below!