There are plenty of different options when it comes to commenting systems. For those using a CMS, there are often integrated solutions that offer commenting capabilities (such as WordPress comments for instance) but if you are looking to find the right solution for your clients and your own website, should you be using one that showcases the full engagement experience.
Today, I'm going to offer up my reasoning behind what I think is the best commenting system for your website.
When it comes to engaging a community nowadays, there are many different ways that readers and fans will interact with you. People don't just use comment systems anymore. With Twitter and Facebook, very often sharing a post can be a starting points to all kinds of discussions about your content, so why are you not capturing these discussions and sharing them with your website visitors as well?
When I moved this website from WordPress to Processwire, I made one critical mistake, I installed Disqus as the default commenting system instead of Livefyre. It's not that Disqus is a bad platform but quite frankly, it just doesn't do enough. Livefyre on the other hand, offers the ability to pull in Facebook and Twitter discussions about your post automatically and present them all in a beautiful way. As a developer of websites, not installing this for your clients is, quite frankly, doing them a disservice. Why haven't I moved to Livefyre? Sadly, once you are on Disqus, there is no reliable way to switch without losing all of your existing comments and doing that would just be foolish. (Update: I just received an email from Livefyre stating that they can in fact import from Disqus, so watch for a switch to occur here soon). Disqus still works well for me, but I've lost the ability to bring in my social engagement, a mistake I sorely regret. Fortunately if you run WordPress, Disqus syncs with WordPress comments so you can easily make the switch to Livefyre and not lose anything but for those of us who don't use WordPress, that is not a possibility.
Take my wife's blog for example. She receives well over 350,000 unique visitors each month and has an incredibly active social community. Some of her posts are discussed more on Facebook and Twitter than anywhere else. For instance, her How to Make the Best Buttercream Icing recipe has almost 700 comments.
Here's a screenshot from a recent recipe she did for Classic Beef & Tomato Macaroni Soup Recipe. As you can see, there were no normal comments left but plenty of people had something to say on Facebook:
Now let's assume you are an advertiser or someone looking to partner with her, you come to her blog and see the engagement right on one of her posts and instantly, you can tell that she has a very active social following and want to work with her. This is an invaluable asset to anyone looking to showcase the strength of their community and who doesn't want to do that?
Disqus on the other hand, while offering a good all around commenting system does not have this ability and as such, simply is an inferior product. Furthermore, if you aren't installing this for your clients, you are in my opinion, failing to offer the best bang for their buck. Livefyre won't cost them a cent and lets them see and showcase their social engagement, something that everyone should be interested in doing. Nowadays, it's hard to get comments for people. Most of the time, people aren't interested in registering for yet another account or filling in a form just to make a quick comment but they are far more willing to reply to a tweet or post with a Facebook account they already have.
There will, of course, be those that argue there are issues with Livefyre but in the many years we've run it on Karlynn's blog (and given her numbers I think it's a fairly good test case) and others, we've seen nothing but benefits. In my opinion, it simply is the best commenting system for your website.
Check it out here: http://www.livefyre.com