Using Alternate Comment Systems For Wordpress

Last Update: March 15, 2014

WordPress has a commenting system built directly into the core. Unfortunately, it has not changed since WordPress was launched in 2003. Most WordPress users address its deficiencies by installing commenting plugins that enhance the functionality.

Without installing a comment plugin, WordPress lacks importance features such as social media integration. It also suffers badly from spam, which is why every single download of WordPress comes packaged with the anti-spam plugin Akismet.

In this article I am going to talk about 6 popular alternative to wordpress commenting system.


DISQUS is one of the most popular external commenting solutions available online. It has a clean responsive design that looks great on desktops, tablets and mobiles.

Features include threaded replies, subscription via RSS, updates via email and logins via Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. It also has great support for images and videos.

DISQUS is one of the best commenting solutions available.

DISQUS has a great administration area that lets you filter spam and create blacklists and whitelists for commenters. The DISQUS WordPress plugin imports existing comments into your DISQUS account and will automatically sync any new comments back to your WordPress database. This means that you will never lose any comments if you switch back to the default WordPress commenting system at a later date.

2. LiveFyre

The main rival to DISQUS is LiveFyre. It is used by many top websites such as Mashable and Engadget.

LiveFyre offers real-time comments, mobile support, social media logins, multimedia support, comment notifier and great subscription options.

Livefyre is packed full of great features such as tagging people from Twitter in comments.

Like DISQUS, the Livefyre WordPress plugin syncs all of your comments back to your website database so that you can easily switch back to WordPress’s commenting system at any time.

3. Intense Debate

Some of you may be surprised to hear that the developers of WordPress (Automattic) have their own external commenting solution. Intense Debate features threaded comments, email notifications, reply by email, social media support and more.

It has many great moderating tools, spam filters and blacklisting support. Last year, Automattic integrated the login system with Intense Debate.

Automattic have unfortunately not got behind their Intense Debate project.

You would have assumed that Automattic would be fully behind Intense Debate, yet they have never really given it support since the service launched at the start of 2007. TheAutomattic home page has over a dozen projects listed, yet none of their projects use Intense Debate for commenting.

Instead, the commenting module of the Jetpack WordPress plugin is used on all of their official blogs. The Intense Debate WordPress plugin has not been updated since July 2007 either, yet the Intense Debate blog was updated in January 2014 with a request for people to “Get Involved“.

Reading between the lines, Automattic do not want to give up on Intense Debate, however they do not want to devote any time or money to it either. Until they do, I would look at an alternative commenting solution.

4. Vicomi

Vicomi is one of the lesser-known external comment solutions that allows users to register using email of Facebook. Regrettably, no other social media services are supported. Vicomi features a responsible mobile-friendly design, threaded comments, great moderation tools and online profile support.

It is easily recognisable by its unique emoticon feature that lets you rate comments from other users as intellectual, worrisome, funny, a question or maddening.

You will either love or hate the emoticons that Vicomi uses.

The Vicomi WordPress plugin states that all data comments are stored on their server. Unfortunately, comments are not synced back to your own database.

5. Facebook

Facebook are by far and away the largest social media website on the internet and the second most visited website after Google. You can tap into its popularity by replacing the WordPress comment box with a Facebook comments box.

The comments box is fast and allows comments to be ordered by time or quality (aka Social Relevance). Since people tend to use their real name on Facebook, implementing Facebook comments on your website should cut down on spam.

Facebook comments are a good option if you have a large following on Facebook.

From an administration point of view, Facebook does not offer the same functionality as alternatives such as DISQUS and Livefyre and comments are not backed up on your website database. There are a lot of people who do not use Facebook, therefore using Facebook exclusively for your comments will stop many people from posting comments.

It is, however, a good solution for those of you who heavily use Facebook to promote your website.

6. Google+

Google+ has been integrated into many Google services such as Blogger and YouTube. With the growing popularity of Google+, it is being adopted by many website owners.

There is no official WordPress plugin from Google, however there are plugins such asGoogle+ Comments and WordPress Google Plus Comments that allow you to integrate Google+ comments with your website.

Google+ is growing in popularity.

Like Facebook, using Google+ as your only commenting solution limits who can reply on your website and means that comments are not stored on your website database. You should bear this in mind before switching to it.

So What's Your Call?

So what do you think you will change to. Let me know if you have anything to say.

Please note that I haven't considered jetpack due to its overloading tendencies.

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bap0304 Premium
Great content, thank you for doing this for us. Well thought out and delivered. Hypothetically speaking which way do you lean on outside comment options? ;)
Arka Premium
I didn't get it....
CharlotteH39 Premium
Thank you for taking the time to research this and provide us the information. I have not gotten around to specifying my website features because I'm a little computer illiterate. I do want to have a live chat room on my page. Is this possibe? and are these commenting features web pages that I can link to my site for usage or are thy plug-ins?
Arka Premium
These are plugins Charlotte. They require you to sign up with their services. For live chat there are a few plugins. But I haven't done a research on them yet. I will let you know once I get to that.
SeahorseOne Premium
Hi Charlotte for a live chat check this plugins
and the comment systems are plugins too
hope that helps you
thriver Premium
You've done a lot of work here. Thanks so much.
Arka Premium
Glad it helped.
PeterGK Premium
Great information Arka - thanks for taking the time to post. I had never contemplated alternatives to Wordpress comments, and usually add a social media plugin like AddThis. Your approach seems to handle both the commenting and social media.
Arka Premium
The problem with addthis is it is not easy for people who don't know coding.
KatieMac Premium
it is great information and will be bookmarking this for later once I have completed my lessons thanks for sharing
Arka Premium
You are welcome.