61 Comments

  1. Matt

    Congrats to the team. Video needs more ShamWow :)

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  2. S. Panda

    Looks great!

    Video does not load.

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  3. Ronald Huereca

    I’d definitely be game for getting Simple Comment Editing working with this. All I’d need is a JS event I can latch onto after a comment has been posted. Ping me @ronalfy.

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  4. luroch

    It seems that the video narrator does not feel that excited…

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    • Jason Lemieux

      Alright. Sorry everyone for not bringing my jazz hands to the demo video. Sarah: I promise you a good one within a week. It will auto update the embed.

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  5. Danny Brown

    As someone who has used Epoch since its early beta release (I’ve been a very satisfied Postmatic user since February), I can attest to how slick the solution is.

    I’ve used both Livefyre and Disqus, as well as G+ Comments, and tend to always go back to native because of the issues Jason mentions here (privacy and load, especially with Disqus). But as mentioned, native doesn’t always look nice, based on the theme dev’s commitment to that area.

    Jason and the guys he’s working with on Epoch have listened to all the feedback of the early beta users, and incorporated the changes – ability to put comment box on top or bottom, ability to add social log in, and – most importantly – the ability to mimic a true native comment look and feel, while offering the benefits of other plugins.

    The video doesn’t so Epoch justice (which it looks like even Jason agrees with, hehe), but it’s pretty cool to be dropping a comment in on-site, getting notification via email, replying by email, and seeing that comment appear seamlessly on-site without the need for refresh.

    I really hope this does well for them, and would seriously recommend any WP blogger fed up with existing 3rd party options to check it out (heck, even if you use native currently, check it out and see what it does).

    /lovefest

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    • Jason Lemieux

      Thanks, Danny. We’re really please with how Epoch has shaped up. It was a long and difficult development process… especially the last month or so while we were coming up with the *is-all-ends-all* solution which will work on every theme in existence. T-r-o-u-b-l-e.

      That said: Just like with other announcements we’ve made here on WP Tavern I want to give credit where credit is due. The huge majority of Epoch was developed by Josh and Dave at CalderaWP. They handled the backend and I did the front.

      Epoch 1.0 is leaps and bounds more intelligent than what I had originally pitched to Caldera. They took the concept and ran with it… bringing it far beyond what I had imagined. So. Kudos to those guys.

      I’m going to see if I can get Josh interested in doing a post on Epoch, the Rest api, and our thoughts on that possible future. He’s got some great ideas.

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      • Danny Brown

        That would definitely be a post I’d love to see. Given the work I’ve seen them do on other plugins, it’d be interesting to see if there’s ever a way in some future update to integrate some of that stuff into Postmatic/Epoch.

        Looking forward to following the adventure. :)

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  6. Danny Brown

    You know, the WP Tavern crew really should bring Epoch on here. Now that I’ve been spoiled by it, it’s really frustrating to post a comment and jump back up to the top of the page, and have to scroll back down again to make sure it went through okay… ;-)

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    • Dan Knauss

      +1. And then there’s these email notifications…

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    • Alec Kinnear

      Yes, please drop the Jetpack comments with the heavy handed subscribe options and processor intensive javascript. Let’s go native. There is an issue with Postmatic in that it can encourage too many lightweight and out of context comments (nothing that a spot of moderation won’t fix).

      Another vote for Epoch at WPtavern.

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      • Jason Lemieux

        Hey Alec,

        What do you mean about lightweight and out of context comments? Where have you experienced that? I’d be curious as to what you mean.

        When participating in conversations with Postmatic (from email, that is) I do sometimes check myself and think *is what i’m about to say worth emailing to the other people that have subscribed to this conversation*? Is that what you are getting at? That commenting becomes so convenient and therefore people tend to do it with less forethought? Let me know what you’ve experienced.

        One of the things I mentioned in my interview with Sarah for this piece is that we’re thinking of building functionality into Postmatic (and Epoch) to be able to reply with just a +1 (from email) or by clicking a like button (web) as a way to say *I like what you said* without triggering another series of emails. Would that interest you?

        Jason

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      • Terence Milbourn

        I guess because of the thoughtful and intelligent moderation/censorship on your blog, nobody writes there any more, so you now want to censor everyone on here by proxy.

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  7. Manolo

    YES YES and YES again! thank you! the (once beloved) comment part needed this!

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    • Danny Brown

      I concur, mate. Since installing Postmatic, my comments have doubled and often tripled. This connection between Epoch and Postmatic is slick, yet even without using Postmatic, Epoch is pretty damn cool. :)

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  8. Peter Knight (@peterrknight)

    Really nice, I love everything about this. Also one of the nicest product sites I’ve seen.

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    • Jason Lemieux

      Wow! Thanks, Peter. That’s a huge compliment. I’m glad you like it. I’ll let the cat out of the bag on that one though: We built our site using Make by The Theme Foundry. We were happy with the results and even more happy with the amount of time it saved us. I’d like to do something more bespoke someday but for the sake of getting our site out the door Make worked nicely.

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    • Melissa

      It *is* a nice website!

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  9. David McCan

    Disqus went from being a great convenience to being the bane of commenting options. Epoch looks fantastic. Look forward to trying it out.

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  10. Arosh Khan

    Good to see that much progressing in WP plugins

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  11. Kevin Cheng

    Hi, Jason – This looks like a great (and much needed) commenting plugin. Thanks for making this and providing it for free! On the speed of Epoch and making it close to a live chat experience – I’ve been waiting for something like this, it’s like a dream come true. If I can suggest a future feature for your consideration: Provide an option for displaying the most recent comment at the top, essentially flipping the order of comments upside down. Also, place the comment box at the top of existing comments (rather than at the bottom below existing comments). From my experience commenting on news sites (like the Washington Post, for example), “most recent comment at the top” makes the experience very chat-like. Now, replying to a commenter’s comment will work the same way as it always has. Just a suggestion for your consideration. Otherwise, this looks awesome and I’ll be giving this a try.

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  12. Ryan Hellyer

    I’d like to see something which allows us to offload our comments onto another server. This would allow you to keep your primary server ready to handle a massive load of static pages, wiithout having to worry about your comment system bogging down the page loads.

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  13. Paul Shryock

    This plugin looks great. I’m excited to try it out.

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  14. Leo

    Hi jason, how do you see epoch and wp discuz in term of difference?

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    • Danny Brown

      Hi Leo,

      For me, as a former user of wpDiscuz and a long-term user of Postmatic and the Epoch beta, it boils down to a few key differences.

      – Epoch is much lighter than wpDiscuz, due to using/offering a lot less features. While wpDiscuz has a ton of stuff in the backend for front end use (votes, share, brand styling, etc), Epoch keeps the choices simple: do you want it to mimic your blog typography and colours, or do you want to use Epoch styling (that kinda reminds me of wpDiscuz). Also, do you want the comments newest or oldest first, which dictates where the comment box goes. And that’s it.

      – Now, this may be different since I haven’t used for a while, but Epoch’s real-time update is much more effective than wpDiscuz. With wpDiscuz, if I have real-time switched on, and someone posted a comment while I was typing one, my comment box would refresh to let the new comment be posted, and I’d lose my comment text altogether, and have to start again. With Epoch, as you see in the video, you post and it simply appears, no reloading. Like I say, though, wpDiscuz may have addressed this since I stopped using earlier this year.

      I was also having some issues with commenters saying they couldn’t post, as they kept seeing the Ajax loading icon (much like the little loading circle of doom that Disqus seems to be prone to).

      For me, I far prefer the simplicity of Epoch, which can be coded to suit your style, etc, with some CSS. The fact is’s open source on GitHub too is encouraging, as that really opens up w world of possibilities.

      Hope this helps!

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      • Leo

        Thanks a lot for your explanation Danny. I agree with you on ajax loadin icon, if you enable the partial comment load, it seems to be upset. Nonetheless wp discuz was better option than disqus before epoch is out, and it works well with wptouch as well. I shall give epoch a try to see if it’s compatible with wptouch as well.

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        • Danny Brown

          Oh, completely agree on wpDiscuz over Disqus, no contest. My preference for Epoch is it very much ties into my “pure blogging” direction I’ve been moving in the last 6-12 months, and ties in perfectly with my use of Postmatic.

          wpDiscuz supports Postmatic, so that’s always there as an option. :)

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    • Jason Lemieux

      Hey Leo.

      WP-Discuz has done a great job with their plugin which is very similar to Epoch. When we first started development on Epoch WP-Discuz was released and we almost didn’t move forward with Epoch at first.

      I think I can break down the differences between the two, which will illustrate why we felt there was still room for Epoch in this space.

      1. Performance and server impact
      Epoch is built for speed while still being kind on the server. The big differences here are:
      – Epoch doesn’t even load the comment area until the user gets near the bottom of the post.
      – Epoch is called using either a script tag or iframe (depending on your configuration) so the comments area is not even loaded as part of the initial page. This makes it compatible with CDNs and/or Cache plugins.
      – Epoch is sneakily smart about polling the server for new comments (for auto-updating) and even when doing so sends a tiny request with a payload of a few bytes.

      2. Compatibility with other plugins
      WP-Discuz and others like de:comments aren’t built on the native comment loop. They entirely replace it entirely. This has huge advantages for the developer and ensures a completely consistent experience across all sites. You know it’s going to work exactly as advertised. It’s a complete package. The sacrifice for the users though is that those plugins are not compatible with other legacy and future commenting plugins. If you want to use something like WP Markdown with WP-Discuz you’d have to request that functionality and see if it gets built. Epoch takes the opposite approach. Not that one is better than the other in this regard. It just depends on your needs.

      3. Integration with the theme
      WP-Discuz injects itself much like Disqus or Livefyre into your theme. It totally replaces any comment styling that may have come with your theme. It is noticeable and doesn’t quite blend in. When you hit a site running WP-Discuz… you know it. Which, for some, may be fine.
      Epoch has 3 different ways it can load into your theme:
      – The first does not touch your markup or style at all. It just adds the performance gains. This works in very few themes but when it does you’d never know Epoch was installed.
      – The second replaces your comment template markup with our own but still uses some of your css. This results in a comment area that still uses the colors and typography of your theme and in general works really well. It is especially cool because using this option you can take advantage of our mobile template. it’s quite nice so we’ve made it be the default setting.
      – The third is the nuke it option: we inject our own markup, as well as our own css, and do not inherit *anything* from your theme. This is for people that really truly hate their theme or have a theme that didn’t come with a comments template. It looks quite nice on all sites but still a little out of place and dull. It’s a nice option to have if you need it.

      As you can see, I need to get to work on the documentation for Epoch. I’m doing so now and this comment was a very good start!

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      • Leo

        Well explained Jason. In regards to comments follow up, wp discuz do have subscription feature which notify users by email. Does epoch only work with postmatic for comment subscription?

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        • Jason Lemieux

          Nope! Epoch works with any comment notification system. We’ve tried it with Postmatic, Subscribe to Comments, and Subscribe to Comments Reloaded.

          But, really… even the free version of Postmatic supports notifications *with* replies so I’m not sure why you would run those other two ;P

          Jason

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          • Leo

            I was one of the early beta tester of postmatic. I believe you or other people in your team did takeover my site for a while but the experience wasn’t smooth and I opted out, and I understood you might be busy during that time to respond but now it seems stable I’m gonna give it a try again. Thanks Jason.

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          • Alec Kinnear

            The most reliable native subscribe to comments feature we’ve found (we’ve tried them all and even written helper plugins for Subscribe to Comments Reloaded) is Satollo’s Comment Plus. Comment Plus has the bonus of giving you optional single image upload for commenters as well (very nice for design oriented or even fitness sites).

            Comment Plus isn’t free but at $10 for an unlimited developer license, it’s really donationware (rather than commercial pricing). We’ve generally found Satollo’s code very reliable and easy to extend and Stefano has a lot of experience with email (Newsletter Pro author).

            I look forward to testing Postmatic and Comment Plus head to head on client sites. I prefer native generally but my experience with Postmatic as a user has been good. Offering Epoch to the community is a fantastic gift. May Epoch put many stakes into the heart of Disqus.

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          • Jason Lemieux

            Hey Alec,

            Postmatic (and Epoch) both using native commenting. They are just comment plugins that layer on top of the native comment system. You can see a bit of how it works at http://gopostmatic.com/technology.

            You can enable image (and more) attachments with Tom McFarlin’s Comment Images plugin. It sadly does not work with Epoch yet but is a good solution for stock commenting setups. I will be harassing Tom shortly about updating it for Epoch compatibility and we are also looking at MediaEmbed for even simpler audio/image/video/whatever support.

            And. Man. Thanks for the kind words and support!

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        • Jason Lemieux

          Hey Leo,

          We’ve hit comment depth so I’ll reply to you up here.

          Sorry you didn’t have a smooth experience with our early beta. I don’t see record of much in our support system. If you still have a question or concern please do submit it to support@gopostmatic.com.

          I was just checking out your site. So. Hungry. Beautiful job!

          Jason

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      • Alec Kinnear

        wpDisquz is really problematic in terms of performance. I’m looking forward to trying Epoch.

        As Epoch is compatible and plays well with native comments, you may wish to try Epoch with our Thoughtful Comments plugin which adds front end moderation (in context) and advanced moderation tools as well as – tada – really powerful comment caching (creating blocks of 100 comments to reduce queries).

        We programmed Thoughtful Comments to use all the native hooks as well so Epoch and Thoughtful Comments should be compatible.

        PS. Quick caution: there’s some recent compatibility issues with our comment caching and memcached so for the moment please don’t enable comment caching on a memcached server (we’ll fix the issue next week).

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        • Jason Lemieux

          Cool idea, Alec. I just tried it and the two plugins are *close* to working together. There is some javascript to work out. We’d love to see them get together!

          I’m not sure the cacheing would ever really work (nor be necessary to be honest).. but those front end tools would be mighty nice. Be in touch!

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  15. Steve

    Thanks so much for this!

    Now wonders if some kind of thing can be added that would tell other plugins, like subscribe to comments, to NOT send but on notification per X amount of minutes / comments.

    I’m looking forward to testing this out with p2 / p3 theme or similar for team discussions, but imagine anyone signed up for comment notifications may get hammered with emails if this works as I am anticipating.

    @ Ryan Hellyer – I think offloading the comments to other server will be much easier when the rest API is in core (coming soon from what I gather, for better or worse)..

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    • Jason Lemieux

      Hey Steve,

      Epoch doesn’t have anything to do with comment notifications. That would be up to the notification plugin you are using. It is compatible with them all, though.

      Postmatic does have built in comment notification throttling. Not exactly as you describe but we are moving in that direction later this autumn.

      Jason

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  16. el barrio rosa

    “The first is that the comment templates that come with a huge majority of themes just plain stink. Theme developers hate dealing with them. It’s usually an afterthought. So the commenting experience suffers. It is slow, ugly, and not at all fun.”

    Hola. Just plain stinks? Hmmmm. Mine doesn’t, fortunately. I and my readers are pleased with my WP native comment system. It works well. Many readers have commented on how pretty and colourful my comment system is and remarked that they’ve never seen one like it before — most comment systems are drab/dull gray — which I’ve appreciated. Chau.

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    • Jason Lemieux

      I hear you. You’ve certainly put work into making comment template work for you (i checked out your site) but sadly, a lot of theme developers do not. Good for you.

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  17. Prometheus Fire

    I am a proud and happy user of the Postmatic/Epoch combo. It really is what the future of WordPress commenting should be – and yes, it should be deployed on WPTavern.

    In fact, I’m sure if Jason is selling, but I’m also of the opinion that Matt & Co. should consider and acquisition to put Automattic’s resources behind and to embed this power of into WordPress.com. This should be the standard commenting functionality of WordPress as a whole.

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  18. Steve

    /me wonders if this would mesh with buddypress / activity updates, groups, etc. Might be a nice mixin with BP.

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  19. Dimarco Chris

    2 Questions ?

    1- Can you install “Epoch” without installing “Postmatic” ?

    2- It looks very easy for someone to post spammy comments… How do the post moderation setting work? Or do we have to use another existing plugin to moderate spammy or automated comments.?

    Thanks!

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  20. Michael Dausmann

    Wow, that looks awesome! Loving the Ajax and the email reply functionality.

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