Looking for the perfect commenting system

    Every day, about 3 thousand new sites are created in RuNet. Owners seek to promote their website as quickly as possible and break into the tops. There are different ways to do this, and one of them is comments. Comments allow you to create a community, a permanent audience, which over time begins to attract new customers. Today there are many commenting systems, but how to choose the most suitable for your site?

    I selected some of the most popular commenting systems, compared many parameters, and reviewed each.

    Key features

    For comparison, the following were selected: VKontakte Comments Widget, Facebook Comments, Disqus, Cackle, Livefyre and IntenseDebate. These are the most popular systems that I meet on sites or in search engines.

    The overview table of all the main features is approximately as follows:
    OpportunityVK commentsFB commentsDisqus Livefyre IntenseDebateCackle
    Download speedquicklyslowaveragequicklyslowquickly
    Like buttonYesYesYesYesYesYes
    Insert pictures, videoYesnotYesYesnotYes
    Add. moderatorsYesYesYesYesYesYes
    Realtime UpdateYesYesYesYesnotYes
    Fit sizenotnotYespartiallyYesYes
    Akismet (spam protection)notnotYesnotYesYes
    Ban user / IPonly useronly userYesYesYesYes
    Anonymous loginnotnotYesYesnotYes
    Different topicsnotnotpartiallynotpartiallyYes
    CSS EditingnotnotnotpartiallyYesYes
    UI CSS Editornotnotnotnotnotfor a fee
    HTML editingnotnotnotnotnotnot
    Header EditornotnotnotnotnotYes
    WhitelabelnotnotnotYesnotfor a fee
    Search Engine IndexingnotYespartiallynotnotpartially
    SSOnotnotfor a feeYesnotfor a fee
    Moderation on the sitenotnotpartiallyYespartiallyfor a fee

    Let's look at some of the features, more details.

    Download speed

    To analyze the speed, I made a site, on the main page of which, all commenting systems are posted. When the page loads, in javascript, a timeout function is launched that checks the height of the container with each commenting system. If the height is greater than 300px, then the commenting system is loaded, a message about this goes to the server and is summed up with the previous value. As a result, after running Selenium IDE on several machines, it was found that:
    • VK loaded on average second
    • FB comments about 1.6 seconds
    • Disqus 1.4 seconds
    • Livefyre 600 milliseconds
    • IntenseDebate is just over 2 seconds
    • Cackle 850 millisecond

    This test does not claim to be absolutely correct, since a lot depends on the connection speed, but on average it reflects real results. Website http://www.kommenti.com and the report itself http://www.kommenti.com/summary .

    Insert pictures, video

    It's simple, insert a link to the picture (png, jpg) and a few links to videos from YouTube, Vimeo, VKontakte. In this test, Cackle pleased, he recognized all the pictures and videos, even RuTube.

    Fit size

    Adjusting the widget to the size of the container did not cause any problems with Disqus, IntenseDebate and Cackle. Other systems require an indication of the width (when creating) or go beyond.

    Anonymous login

    Often there is a situation when a user wants to leave a comment, but he does not have an account on a social network or does not want to transfer his data. In this case, he can log in as a guest and leave comments without re-entering his data. Disqus, Livefyre and Cackle allow this, but the latter requires Google ReCAPTCHA recognition for authorization, which is undoubtedly a minus.

    Ability to change css

    Commenting systems working through iframes, such as VKontakte, Facebook and Disqus, do not allow changing css. Livefyre does not have a corresponding field in the administration panel. The two remaining IntenseDebate and Cackle do not have such problems, you can customize css via FireBug or save it in the admin panel.

    PS: UI css editor is not present in any system except Cackle, but it is paid.


    Whitelabel is the ability to use the product without copyright (links, banners or company icons). There is only in Cackle, but for a fee.

    Search Engine Indexing

    To date, Google has learned to index Facebook comments. Also on the Disqus website, one of the possibilities is indexing in Google out-of-the-box, that is, without any additional work of crap . But it does not seem to work in reality, at least after the launch of Disqus 2012, comments on the main page (disqus.com) have not yet been indexed. In other systems, such as Cackle, you will have to save comments, via the API, in your database and render in HTML.


    Single authorization, that is, the ability to authorize and comment on users registered on your site. Pleased with Livefyre, it provides this feature absolutely free, unlike other systems.

    Now not much more about each system.

    VK and Facebook comments

    These are two very similar and probably the most common comment widgets. Despite the rather meager functionality, these systems have a number of undeniable advantages over others:
    • The user does not need to re-enter if he is already authorized on VK or Facebook
    • Automatic cross-posting of comments on a social network
    • Stable work 24 hours a day

    The last item is valid only for the VKontakte widget, but Facebook is not always loaded with me.


    This is probably the oldest commenting system, was founded in 2007. It has a fairly wide and powerful functionality. Using their API, you can implement almost any integration.

    Of the shortcomings, these are frequent glitches. For example, after saving the settings, they are not applied immediately, or comments after deletion remain on the page.

    It is worth noting that in 2012 a new version of the widget was released. The guys moved Disqus into an iframe, thereby making design redefinition (css) impossible, which of course is a big minus for webmasters.


    Excellent system, in the free version has many features. For example, SSO (Single Authorization), Callback of comment publication (when publishing, a third-party service is called). Also, in my opinion, Livefyre does not have a bad design.

    The main idea of ​​Livefyre is a paid integration into large Internet portals (they have no tariffs). Price starts from $ 3000 per month.

    An interesting feature is that to create a widget your site must be online, that is, when it is created, it responds.


    I know quite a bit about this service and honestly not the best. For example, the fact that it works very slowly, does not support Realtime, does not recognize pictures and videos. Why Alexa has a fairly high rating remains a mystery.

    Although there are several nice features. For example, in the widget settings, you can add or cancel almost any feature - rating, subscription, RSS, login buttons.


    The Cackle commenting system appeared recently (2011), but in almost 1.5 years, it was able to conquer most of the runet. According to public data, the system uses more than 17,000 sites. The main advantage over the rest is almost all authorization providers, both Russian and foreign.

    Of the pluses, it should be noted flexibility, ease of setup and installation, the ability to easily change the design (for example, their css can generally be canceled by passing the parameter var mcNoStyle = true to the widget).

    In conclusion, for completeness, I bring to your attention a small survey.

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    What commenting system do you use on your site?

    • 13.5% VKontakte comments widget 231
    • 2.3% Facebook comments 40
    • 11.7% Cackle 199
    • 25.1% Disqus 428
    • 0.7% Livefyre 13
    • 0.3% IntenseDebate 6
    • 0.1% Realtidbits Comments (echo) 2
    • 33.7% Own 574
    • 12.1% On my site, comments are not needed 207

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