1. Frankie Jarrett

    You have an interesting perspective on this, Jeff. Nice job.

    I’ve been using Disqus on some projects and have been impressed with the user experience, especially when SSO is enabled (which is a free feature, but you have to request that they turn it on for you) so if the user is signed into your blog they are already logged into Disqus and can comment straight away.


    • Jeff Chandler

      Do you have the ads on Disqus disabled by chance? Why are you using a third-party commenting service?


      • Frankie Jarrett

        Yeah, I have the Discovery mode disabled. I haven’t tried it yet, but I may have to just to see how it goes.

        I like the community engagement and moderation tools that are baked-in, and believe it or not, I actually prefer having comments stored in the cloud rather than locally. It’s less database overhead to deal with (especially if you have hundreds of thousands of comments), and I even think people are more likely to use their real names/profiles because it’s a known service and they may even be logged in already with a cookie or with SSO which lowers the barrier even more for them to make a comment.


  2. Manolo

    I agree with you… WP basic comments are good enough but far from being better, and Jetpack is not worthy ( my 2 cents) I personally scouted for months for a Disqus clone and i find incredible no one has done that ( I’d pay for that, as I would pay for some gamification add-ons )

    maybe this post will give an hint to some programmers…



  3. Sudhir Khanger

    3rd party commenting system means they own the comments, they spy on your users, and they advertise through you. Irrespective of Jetpack/WordPress comments inadequacies they are the best options out there.


    • Jeff Chandler

      It doesn’t mean they own the comments as they’re usually synched locally to the database. It’s not as if they take all the comments away from the site. It’s also a sad state affairs if Jetpack/Native comment system is the best options out there. However, at least with a collection of plugins, you can ramp up the native comment system in WordPress to be fancy.


    • Sacha

      I agree. I wouldn’t want anyone owning my comments but me.


  4. Travis

    This post raises the question: why are you using Jetpack comments on this site, if you don’t recommend using Jetpack comments in general?


  5. studionashvegas

    I think there’s a huge opportunity here for someone to come in and rock the space.

    I’d be interested in learning what websites have commenting systems that are doing it “right” – and seeing if there’s anything we could take away either for a plugin, a 3rd party service, or even a patch if it were to warrant.


  6. Norcross

    I think the lack of *good* options shows the overall value comments really provide. On some sites they are good, but in general I’d say they are a lot of noise. Especially considering they don’t provide much in terms of monetary value for publishers, I doubt we’ll see a lot of innovation in the space.


    • Jeff Chandler

      That’s too bad. Maybe the Tavern will go down in history as one of the only sites who routinely had great comments which at times, were better then the content. Alas, more sites are simply turning them off. Seems like there is a special recipe sites need to have in order to have thoughtful, engaging conversations within the comments section. I feel like if I’m in a room of 100 people and they ask us to raise our hands if we care about comments, I’d be the only one raising my hand.


      • Terence Milbourn

        No Jeff, there’d be at least two of us.

        When you work with Jetpack comments you soon find out its shortcomings. And if you didn’t have someone telling you “I insist you use it”, you’d definitely rip it out before you delivered the site.

        And as a commenter, even though I have to use it here, I dislike the fact that I still have to type in my email address before it can recognize me. And that’s not all I dislike about it. Its just one of those average modules built into the Jetpack behemoth with nothing particularly to recommend it. Would it make it on its own, as a stand-alone plugin, I doubt it?

        Its not even as good as IntenseDebate ~ you do remember IntenseDebate don’t you? In 2008, according to Matt it was going to “supercharges the comment section of WordPress blogs” and they were going to “integrate its features into WordPress core, WordPress.com, and Gravatar as appropriate”.

        So I guess it must be much harder build a good comment system than I (and he) had imagined.


    • Mitch Canter

      It’s funny because if you have comments turned off, people complain that you aren’t “being social” and you “don’t understand blogging”… yet the comments section (as has been said) seems to be the part of the blog that gets the least amount of love.

      Right now it’s more beneficial to post a link to Facebook/Twitter/Gplus and hope the engagement is there (which is hardly efficient since that’s three networks to monitor for conversations).

      I don’t have an answer, either… I’m just thinking out loud.


      • Jeff Chandler

        There’s a ton of engagement that happens for articles on Twitter. People are already logged in, don’t have to fill in any fields and can Tweet away on a story. Granted, you’ll never know that engagement happened unless you have a way to display it on the site, but I’m not a fan of showing Facebook messages, Tweets, etc all in the comment area. It would be interesting perhaps if there was a unified Comment form that tied into a few major social networks and respected their limitations where you could converse with people in their own medium but it shows up as one conversation on the site without looking like a mess. Then again, 140 characters doesn’t allow much room for thoughtful conversations.


  7. Harry (@HarryVitebski)

    Jeff, in your opinion, what is the best plugin for comments?


  8. Gabriel Cooper

    It seems to me that the real opportunity is for someone to add AJAX refresh to Jetpack Comments. Jetpack not having that feature might be a huge problem for some folks, but if that’s the only real issue then it’s easy enough to solve. A lot of other systems have a whole slew of funky issues or outright conflicts.

    Admittedly, however, they might be right about the theme conflict issues. Given Jetpack’s goal of working most anywhere they do have to be extremely careful of limiting compatibility.


  9. Jerome

    I’m using “Subscribe To Comments Reloaded” and that works just fine.


  10. Chris

    Another issue is with the responsive nature of nested comments on this site. The column width becomes more narrow as the comment response level gets deeper, eventually resulting in lines of text with 3-4 words on smaller screens which is almost unbearable to read.

    A good solution would be to keep the column width consistent and change the border or background color of the deeper level responses to indicate the structure while maintaining readability.


  11. Benjamin Intal

    From the looks of it. All the drawbacks mentioned in this article regarding Jetpack comments are easily solved within just a few days of coding (I’m being lenient). I mean, fallback to the default comments when the service is not available? It sounds easy enough to fix. Ajax submission? Easy enough also.


  12. Syed Balkhi

    Granted that comment platforms need a lot of work and the space can be dirupted, what you really have to ask is how many people are willing to pay for a comment platform? Probably not many.

    Thus explains the reason why most solutions are only sub-par.


  13. akismet-40ed86dbd3c75fdfc71d13ab036c4ec4

    It would be a sad day, when there’s no comments, to read or write, when it’s a posts like this.

    I always read the comments, often you can find value in them.


  14. Rahul Ramesh

    Hey Jeff, I recently came across this plugin in WordPress plugin repository. Its relatively new project but I think it can be a viable alternative. But the sad part is no one knows about it. Take a look if possible :)


  15. Peter Cralen (@PeterCralen)

    Personally if I write some comments anywhere I prefer to log in with twitter (Twitter is great platform). Disqus has some advantage, that I can check my comments anywhere on one place and I don’t need to set up ”notify” under every comment so I will avoid boring email notification. Anyways I don’t like much Disqus on other side, bc. its somehow still slowly and on some sites loading takes some time.
    Post comment in tavern takes some time too. Log in somewhere with wordpress.com is really not my favorite thing.
    I think core comments are great and probably the best solution for small or maybe medium sites. For more users, more comments it depends …
    Anyway this post and comments below proof that wptavern is great source of informations, where author have enough freedom to write even ”agains” owner, can put different opinion without fear. It just showed, that both – owner Matt and author Jeff are on right place and do their jobs well. Thanks them for that.


  16. Dan Knauss

    I tried logging in and commenting here on an iphone (safari) and found it doesn’t work — the form gets all shaky and won’t open all the way.

    Loss of control over the comment form and subscription emails is what bothers me most about JetPack Comments. You can’t style the form, and every WP.com/JetPack blog/comment subscription gets the same blue template as every one else using it. If you often get several of these from different sources the lack of differentiation is confusing. There is also some embedded intro text you can’t change; this includes use of the term “blog” which should not be assumed to be appropriate in all cases.


  17. Li-An

    I never liked Jetpack comments. It’s just boring to subscribe to comments, logging in is a pain and so on…


  18. jb510

    We need add_theme_support(‘ajax_comments’).

    Plugin discovery of theme capabilities has long been a quiet issue, but it’s not one without a th forward.


  19. Jason Lemieux

    Native commenting is still the way to go if you take the time to find good plugins to enhance it.
    I’m really impressed with WpDiscuz. Couple it with Postmatic and you have an awesome comments template, ajax posting, livefyre-style updating, comment voting and email notification *with email replies*. With almost no overhead.

    The two don’t work out of the box together quite yet, but we’ve reached out to gVectors to make sure that happens. I did wire them up on my own tonight and it was amazing.

    If you want to see a very bright future check out this demo. I promise you won’t be disappointed.


    • Danny Brown

      I’m going to agree 100% with Jason. I’m currently running a hybrid of wpDiscuz with Postmatic, and my engagement level has increased exponentially since implementation.

      I put this down to two reasons:

      1. Lack of barrier to entry when commenting with wpDiscuz – you simply use your name and email, boom – done. It’s also a very clean and simple UI, both front-end and back-end.

      2. The simplicity of getting a new blog post by email, then hitting “Reply” on that email to leave a comment? And then get further comments and replies by email, and replying to those by email? Again, much like wpDiscuz – boom, for simple UI and ease of implementation.

      It’s early days, but in the month since I’ve been using the combo, my comments have probably doubled (and even tripled in some cases). Which makes sense – given email is still the most used channel for interaction, why would you not want to comment on blog posts and discussions from there?


  20. olexiyfedorov

    Hi guys!
    We have recently launched a new premium-plugin for comments. I think, a lot of problems, described in this article, are resolved :)
    Try it: https://decomments.com/


  21. Самарский обыватель (@SamaraObyvatel)

    The major problem with Jetpack comments is that they do not let people with self-hosted sites using WordPress CMS and simultaneously having WP.com accounts (purely because it is required for running Jetpack plugin) to comment with their site’s details. Jetpack comments recognise the e-mail address and change the site from a self-hosted one to the WP.com address, which is clearly not what is desirable.

    PS: That’s why if Jetpack Comments is the only option (like here) I am forced to opt for Twitter authentification. And in most cases I prefer not to comment at all.


  22. Vamien McKalin

    Is this a joke? Clearly this website is using the Jetpack commenting system today, and nothing much has changed over the years.


  23. Rajesh

    Hey Jeff, I think that now you have migrated to postmatic and this seems pretty appealing for me.. All I am looking for my site is facebook comments as I expect more interaction from that platform, any specific alternatives that you suggest for me.


  24. Usana

    Hey Jeff, my favorite feature was the reply link next to each comment too… it is pretty easy to set up and usefull isn´t?


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