Livefyre vs Disqus: Which One Should You Use?

Written by Nick Leffler | 13 Comments | 10 min read

Home > The Blog > Web Design > Livefyre vs Disqus: Which One Should You Use?

This isn’t a comparison of Livefyre vs Disqus features but it will give you an answer for which one is the best comment system for your blog. This article is based on my experience using Disqus for several years and giving Livefyre a chance for several months.

You may notice I don’t use either plugin on this website anymore, you can find out why I don’t anymore in my article Three Final Ways To Grow Your Email List.

When you’re creating a professional website to promote your skills and ideas, having a place for discussions to happen around your post is important. Giving readers a place to reply to your thoughts and ideas and share their own builds trust and a following that is more likely to come back.

Responding to others and having real conversations is the best way to build trust and maintain visibility in your industry as a progressive thinker. Having a great comment system for your website is a high value to your website whether it’s for comments on your blog or on portfolio items.

Download the free checklist of questions to ask when hiring a web designer.

Conversation is the life of your website. Static is a thing of the past, dynamic is in and this post is all about helping you choose the best commenting system for your website.

While this post can be used as general guidance for the Livefyre vs Disqus issue, some of the things I talk about and examples are specific to WordPress.

Livefyre

Livefyre first caught my attention when they released inline comments, that’s where readers can comment on each paragraph of a post, even highlight specific words and comment on that. After playing with this feature it seems more a gimmick with no genuine purpose, especially in the day of social media.

If you have an extremely engaged audience and a huge following I can see it might help an otherwise overwhelming comment thread, but for most blogs (including mine) inline comments will do more harm than good.

It’s visible that Livefyre isn’t as polished and complete as Disqus. Administrative features for Livefyre are lacking and I was never able to customize the look and feel, it looks dated and stands out like a sore thumb on my website.

One feature that I did appreciate and enjoy with Livefyre was the listening feature. It’s nice to see how many people are currently viewing a specific post, but I’m sure there are other ways of achieving this.

From a visitor commenting on my blog perspective, allowing an anonymous comment is important. Livefyre doesn’t allow this which made me immediately want to drop it. I want to encourage discussion from visitors and nobody should have to sign up for another account if they don’t want to.

As a side note, I was recently made aware that Livefyre is removing their official WordPress plugin. This will make it a bit more difficult to implement Livefyre possibly third party plugins similar to the one I recommend for Disqus may be available.

My job as the writer is to spark thought and conversation while making it as easy as possible to continue the discussion beyond my writing.

The battle between the two wouldn’t be complete without a fair comparison, so in the Livefyre vs Disqus discussion. Disqus is next up.

Disqus

By now it might be clear that I’m a fan of Disqus, but maybe not. Disqus is not perfect but it’s the best commenting system out there.

Disqus does a number of things very well. Beginning with the user interface, you’re sure to have the right look for your website with its color scheme options (it even can choose for you!). While you don’t have a ton of customizing options, Disqus looks good out of the box and doesn’t need much customizing, and it still has a lot more than Livefyre.

The most important feature to me that Disqus excels at is anonymous commenting. Okay, maybe it doesn’t excel, but you do have the choice to allow anonymous comments, that’s more than I can say about Livefyre.

Being honest, Disqus doesn’t excel at anonymous commenting, it could use improvement. The process to comment anonymously is a bit awkward.

Here’s what you have to do to leave an anonymous comment on Disqus:

  1. Click in the discussion box to expand it.
  2. Click in the Name box which expands the Disqus create an account section.
  3. Select the option to post as a guest which requires a name and email.

It’s not extremely complex, but it’s not as easy as it should be. Ideally, you’d type in your comment, put in your name and email and then send your comment.

I’m sure I’m forgetting a few reasons I like Disqus so much, but this isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list.

Livefyre and Disqus aren’t the only two commenting systems, though, so I’ll cover a few more to add a bit context around the Livefyre vs Disqus conversation.

Others

There are other options for handling comments on your website. Most of them I would use only if you have a very good reason to do so. The only battle I think is worth writing about is Livefyre vs Disqus although there are reasons to use the default WordPress comment system.

Some of the other options include social media commenting, the two most popular are Facebook and Google+. The drawback with these options is not everybody has or wants an account on these social media platforms.

On at least one occasion I recall wanting to comment on a post but comments were powered by Facebook. I’m not very enthusiastic about Facebook and didn’t even use it then. I never ended up leaving my comment because comments were powered by Facebook. I’m a bit more lenient on Facebook now, though, if it suits my purpose.

Livefyre vs Disqus

It’s not a very close call at this point. Disqus is by far the winner in my book and is what I’d recommend anybody who’s getting started with their website. Once you start drawing a larger audience and receiving comments, you’ll be happy you have a commenting system like Disqus. The conversations it creates can be much more in-depth than the default WordPress comments.

Livefyre is still better than the built-in WordPress comment system, but it is lacking in many important ways when compared to Disqus.

The clean look and easy to use Disqus is just more reasons that Disqus will fit your website better and offer visitors the best way to have discussions about your content.

One more question to cover and then I’ll explain and link to my new favorite comment plugin which makes using Disqus an even bigger joy without the burden it can create on your website.

Why Not WordPress Comments?

It’s basic and if you don’t go in and customize every setting then you’re potentially giving visitors a horrible commenting experience. Even with customization you’re missing a lot of features that a great commenting plugin has.

The only reason to use WordPress comments is if your WordPress installation relies on the built-in commenting system or you rely on the functionality it has that can’t be built into another system (the reason I don’t use Disqus on this website anymore).

The best example of this is when using WooCommerce on WordPress. Products in a store use the WordPress comment system to have ratings and reviews. If you use Disqus or another, product ratings and reviews break. There are ways to fix it but it’s more hassle than it’s worth.

I’ve never seen a discussion work out well using WordPress commenting. Depending on your theme you could end up with badly laid out threaded discussions which are hard to follow. Or, worse, you can’t reply to another comment because threaded discussions aren’t allowed or set high enough. Threaded discussions are a fancy way of saying nested, which again is a fancy way of saying if I reply to your comment then my reply gets indented immediately below yours so it visibly appears as a reply.

You’ll also miss out on the up vote and down vote features of Disqus. It’s nice to allow those that don’t want to comment to also have a voice.

So, if you are insistent on using WordPress comments, which is still better than no comments at all, be sure you enable threaded comments and increase the number to its max (10). You can do this in Settings > Discussion. There are other settings you might want to enable but threaded discussions is an absolute must.

Wordpress threaded discussion settings

Best Disqus Plugin

I recently found this great plugin that keeps your website loading time to a minimum.

The plugin is Disqus Conditional Loading which allows you to configure your Disqus comments to only load when you want them to.

You can choose to have Disqus comments load only when a visitor scrolls down far enough on your page to see the comments or you can also choose to put the loading of comments in the hands of the visitor with a load comments button.

I am using the auto-load when a visitor reaches the comments on my website which works great. It’s nice to lower the load times of web pages so readers can get to the content they need quicker. If a reader even makes it to the bottom of a post (which I assume 90% won’t) then the Disqus comments load.

The plugin is extremely easy to set up. I’ll be updating my course very soon with instructions on setting up this plugin and configuring it in an ideal way.

Disqus Wins

There you have it, the battle of Livefyre vs Disqus is over. There’s no other third-party comment system that can compete with Disqus. There are many other commenting systems out there and I’m not about to try to cover them all, Disqus and Livefyre are the two largest.

I’ve used Disqus for many years and I can’t see that changing soon. I’m not stuck in my ways, though, so if something else better does come along, I won’t rule it out and will give it a fair chance. It needs to be pretty awesome to beat Disqus though.

If you’re looking to offer the best opportunity for discussion on your blog and that’s your primary goal, the clear winner of the Livefyre vs Disqus battle is Disqus. It will meet your goals well.

Spark the Imagination And Thoughts of Visitors

Comments are the best way to spark the imagination and thoughts of visitors. If you don’t have a website to write and use these tools then you are missing out. If you do have a website and regularly update it then you’re ahead of the curve.

Having a professional presence online is an important part of your career success. There are ways to make hiring managers seek you out. Check out my course for a starting point to boost their online presence and increase jobs opportunities. Just don’t make this one huge mistake with your career.

If you’re not already enrolled in my course and don’t have a professional website portfolio, I recommend you do so now. The benefits of having a professional presence online are astounding. I’ve experienced the benefits it brings first hand and am now on a mission to make sure everybody else understands these benefits.

The best discussions about your writing happen on your blog in the comments section. Make sure you have a powerful platform for those discussions to take place. No other (social) website can take the place of your blog’s comment section, not Twitter, Facebook, or even LinkedIn.

This is posted in and tagged

Ready to talk about your project?

We'd love to learn more about your business and website design project.

Sign up for email updates

Get helpful tips to grow your business in your inbox every other week.

Sign up for email updates

Thank you for your submission. Check your email (and spam folder) to verify your subscription and gain access to lots of free documents.

Close

Want to get more customers?