The native WordPress commenting system allows visitors to engage with your blog post.
This built-in system’s functionality is sufficient for many websites, especially considering that it can be taxing on you to maintain additional plugins. Plus, it can be taxing on your site’s speed as well.
However, some brands may need additional features that only alternative WordPress commenting systems can deliver. For example, the native WordPress commenting system doesn’t allow users to vote or rank other comments, share responses on social media or get instant response notifications. This leaves plenty of room for improvement in generating user engagement and increasing time on site.
By using other WordPress comment plugins, you stand to gain a number of potential features WordPress alone does not offer.
Some of those features include:
- Social media and email integrations
- Conversion tools that make comments a lead generation powerhouse
- Customization options that up-level the user experience
- Back-end features such as robust spam filtering
The Best WordPress Comment Plugins in 2020
In this post, we have collected the best alternative commenting plugins and highlighted their best features so you can start to boost user engagement.
wpDiscuz is a great WordPress plugin that has gained popularity over the last year for its modern look, feel, and minimal impact to page loading speed. In addition to its core speed boost, it operates with a “lazy loading” model, triggering only when a visitor reaches its location on the page.
Additionally, wpDiscuz is great for driving user engagement by allowing visitors to easily comment on posts with supported platforms, like Wordpress.com, Twitter, and Facebook. Once a visitor leaves a comment, they have the ability to rank other comments and enable real-time response notifications, which keeps them coming back to the conversation on your website.
Pros to Using wpDiscuz
- Rank, censure and sticky comments
- Social media integrations
- Lazy loading
- Boosted core for speed
Cons to Using wpDiscuz
- Official English version discontinued but popular internationally, particularly in China
Founded in 2007 and receiving awards since 2011, Disqus has had a long run at being the most popular external WordPress commenting plugin. Since it uses internally created APIs, its functionality goes beyond WordPress, and it can be integrated with other systems.
With this plugin, your visitors can easily log in via social accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, or create their own Disqus account where they can view their commenting history. Users also have the choice to subscribe to email response notifications- in fact, Disqus even offers a premium option that allows them to reply right from their email inboxes.
Pros to Disqus
- Social media and email integrations
- Compatible with most web platforms
- Advanced spam filtering with no additional plugins needed
Cons to Disqus
- Registration required if social media login is not used
- More friction for the user than native WordPress comments
Jetpack is a bulk-module plugin where commenting is just one of over 20 features. It’s a great alternative if you’re looking to expand your WordPress site in many ways while giving you the option to pick and choose what’s installed.
For users, this plugin allows you to keep all your commenting and visitor information within your WordPress database so everything is kept in one platform.
Website visitors enjoy a straightforward experience through the guest login option or with quick social media logins as well. Whichever option they select, your visitors can subscribe to response notifications, and you can have ease of mind as Jetpack filters for spam, too.
Pros to Using Jetpack
- Easy-to-use back-end customization with a variety of essential features
- Visitor engagement, security, customization and SEO features included
- Maintained and frequently updated
Cons to Using Jetpack
- Number of features results in bloat that can slow your site
- Known privacy issues
Thrive Comments has most recently been praised for its ability to foster community discussion with your comment section, which choice if engagement is your priority. By offering various comment ranking and filtering options, visitors can easily engage in conversations with each other. They no longer have to do extensive scrolling past long threads to post as Thrive places two “Leave a comment” buttons at both the top and bottom of the comment feed.
Leave the risk behind: If you decide you don’t like Thrive Comments, your comments will not disappear if you switch back to native WordPress comments.
Pros to Thrive Comments
- Comment moderation delegation to members of your team
- Up- and down-voting
- Posting from a variety of social accounts
- Subscription options
- Variety of conversion-focused elements
Cons to Thrive Comments
- Can increase page load times despite lazy load
- Thrive Comments’ lazy load can be buggy
5. Facebook Comments
With nearly 3 billion users around the world, Facebook is one of the most utilized platforms there is. It’s likely the majority of your website visitors already have accounts and have used its interface before. For this reason, it makes sense to pull this familiar environment onto your website to make users comfortable in engaging more. Plus, they stay in the conversation by getting notifications from Facebook and are more likely to share your posts on their feeds.
The installation process does require some level of tech-savviness as you’ll need to do some work in the Facebook for Developers site first.
Pros to Facebook Comments
- Perfect for those who already use Facebook
- Access to a wealth of data tied to user Facebook profiles
- Comments can be used in tandem with Facebook ads
Cons to Facebook Comments
- Facebook no longer supports the plugin in an official capacity
- You must go through Facebook for Developers to code your own version
- You have to add an additional plugin for the one-click login functionality
Choosing the Best Alternative Comments System for Your WordPress Site
A comments plugin is a must-have WordPress plugin. But with many commenting systems out there, it can be difficult to identify the key benefits of each. Choose the comment system that most closely aligns with your workflow and goals. Once you select and install your comments plugin, gain better control over the user engagement on your site and reap the benefits that come along with it.
Originally published Feb 12, 2020 10:45:12 PM, updated March 17 2021