I’ve been searching vainly for the best comment system for WordPress for a while now. But all of them fall short in one way or the other. As of now I’ve settled on Disqus cause it seems to be the least bad. I may change it later on. Here’s a post explaining what I (and perhaps many others) need so that current developers will know what to include in future versions of their commenting systems.
Dynamically Load Comments When Needed
Some of my posts have a lot of comments. These slow down the page and not every visitor reads all of them. So I want only a few comments to load at a time and as the reader scrolls down, more should be pulled from the database. WordPress has a feature called “comment pagination” that breaks the comments into pages. But each page has a fixed number of top level comments and so replies to them will remain on the same page. I wouldn’t be surprised if the first section of one of my posts has 200 comments! Too many.
Encourage Anonymous Comments
I believe that everyone should be able to comment without signing up or using their real name. Most of the comments on my blog are under pseudonyms or just plain anonymous. Sure, this can lead to abusive over the top rants, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay. Note to third party comment systems: Please implement basic Name/Email/URL fields in the discussion box! The name of the person should link to their URL – not to their commenting profile.
And don’t make guests click another box for signing up (I’m looking at you Livefyre). As of now Disqus doesn’t allow guests to type in their URL. I’m just assuming that anyone with a website has their own Disqus profile and have linked their site to it.
The native WordPress comment system is the best in this regard. Simple, clean and with no fuss. No numerous sign in options etc.
Infinite Threading with Limited Indentation
Conversations on my posts have a tendency to go on for a long time. People replying to others repeatedly. I like it that way. One of two problems occurs though. Either the “Reply” buttons stop appearing after a while so the last comment can’t be responded to. Or the comments begin to indent so much that just a word or a letter appears on each line!
I want the best of both worlds. Infinite replies, but after a while no more indentation. Disqus – the one I’m using right now – has this feature and I like it.
Post Comments without Reloading the Page
Sometimes my website isn’t fast. If all 1000 comments are loading it’s even slower. When a person submits a comment, they shouldn’t have to wait for the page to reload all over again. It should post then and there automatically and do its magic in the background
Some of you may notice my new comment system on this blog. If so, please tell me honestly how it compares to the regular WordPress system. Is it faster, and easier to read and follow conversations? I don’t have to stick with this one and I’m willing to change it for something better.