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The best WordPress comment system

Finding the right comment system in WordPress is no easy feat. In fact I’d never thought this was going to be that hard. To examine all the current commenting systems on WordPress is not only painful, it’s incredible frustrating.

From systems that appear to work and break your WordPress installation to systems that appear to be uber fast and then crash for no reason, to systems that promise you the land and gold and end up being mediocre at best… even systems that just won´t work no matter what you do, but that the developers will defend like they’re the future.

Let’s be honest

Comment systems for WordPress, on the vast majority, just plain suck.  This is the harsh reality I realized, and the true alternatives to native WordPress comments come with big cons you´ll have to accept.

To make matters even worse, if you search about comment systems online, the vast majority of articles are simply outdated or give plain wrong advices, leaving only a handful of them that get it right but are not easily found.

For this article I tested more than 15 commenting systems. But before talking about the real alternatives to WordPress native comments, let’s talk about those that simply refused to run on my blogs.

Those that never reached the list are: Epoch, that refused to run even on a clean empty blog, CommentLuv that seems to be not working at all, LiveFyre, that is now defunct due to being acquired by Adobe and rendered obsolete, Replyable, that throws an empty comment block, and IntenseDebate, that simply crashed our blogs with an elegant internal server error 500 because it doesn’t like nginx, apparently.

And then we have some comment systems that I decided to exclude, such as Google+ and Facebook comments because frankly, adding comments that permanently bind your website to a social network is not a preference of mine and it is not something I´d recommend at all; you can alienate your readers very easily by forcing them to use said social network and a lot of people will simply go the other way around.

Lots of testing

This past 2 weeks have been intense, testing all the remaining comment systems to find everything about them, to search for their shortcomings in a quest for the perfect match, for the perfect comment system.

My work has been pretty tedious but incredible shocking for what I am about to tell you:  there is simply no good comment system to replace WordPress, period.

There are just a very few aceptable alternatives,  that’s all.

I’m yet to find a very good comment system, such thing does not exist yet.  But what am I looking for anyway, a perfect comment system that speaks to me as Cortana and is able to capture video, share audio and run through my VR helmet??, not at all. My requests are fairly simple.

A good comment system should have:

  • Good spam filtering.
  • Realtime comments that appear when people is posting.
  • Light on resources.
  • Be able to have good moderation.
  • Write the comments back to WordPress database.
  • Be free or at least cheaper than a Netflix subscription.

And with this, my search began.  Of all the comment systems that I tested, there were some that actually worked out of the box, without tweaking. Those that made it to my list are: Disqus, HyperComments, WordPress Jetpack and wpDiscuz.

I’m going to show you the backend of these plugins, the actual display on the frontend, to explain their functionality and finally, to show you how they perform on an simply blog with few articles on it.

Without further ado, let’s start the deathmatch !

Native WordPress Comments

The low of the low, the basic of the basic. WordPress comments are the sole reason why you’re wanting to replace the comments. They lack functionality, they are extremely easy to read but have several other problems. They are fast and they are going to be used as the performance metric for the other systems.

Running native WordPress comments on our recently created blog will give you the following performance metric on Pingdom Tools:


An impressive feat not only due to the good server we have the blog on, but to the extremely light nature of WordPress comments.

Remember those numbers, because I am going to use them as reference.


Disqus comments passed the first test with flying colors. The integration on a blog is extremely easy, the official plugin just works and you even have a Disqus Conditional Load plugin (not official) that would let you load the comments only when needed, lightening things up a bit.

Disqus is a heavy comment system, it’s not easy on resources but it’s proven technology, the system works and it’s super easy to implement.


Loading the non-oficial plugin would let you configure all the things you need for the comment system to work. Disqus will immediately start displaying comments on your blog by loading external assets and several javascripts. Your website will render slower but your server will not be hit that hard as Disqus writes back each comment to your WordPress database with a slight delay, freeing up resources on your server. This is a recommended default, if you ever change your mind you will have your comments with you.

Disqus is also a realtime comment system which means any new comment will make a blue bar appear that says “new comments” even as you’re typing. It does not make comments appear out of nowhere as Livefyre did, but at least it’s something.


Disqus also looks good and it melts very easily with any website.  It is also a very popular system, so there are vast amounts of users already active on the platform, but it is also not entirely free.  Disqus will show comments and work as a comment system free of advertising as long as your website don’t sell advertising or doesn’t have a high amount of traffic.  This was something that Disqus was severely criticized for.  By implementing a paid feature and forced advertising to those high volume websites, tons of people removed them from their websites. But, as you will see in my article, there is some truth to why Disqus decided to charge.  The platform is getting hit by an enormous amount of users and the platform can’t survive by being forever free.

These are the prices:


For any normal blog, even high volume blogs, a $10 dollar subscription is not something that will break the bank, and for sites that are under 250.000 total daily pageviews, well, these sites won’t have problems paying a $99 subscription. Besides, you’ll get shadow banning, audience analytics and automated pre-moderation, among other things that will further improve your traffic and interaction.

Disqus will also use mail to send conversations and conversations top moments, which is a good feature that works on all plans, even on Basic. But Disqus has a problem, and this is performance. With a comment system this big and the high volume of users it handles, the lack of speed is evident.

Disqus will take a while to render properly even if you have a perfectly optimized server, and this also shows on the Pingdom Tools score:


From native comments to Disqus the amount of requests more than doubled! Even when this does not directly affect load time, it does increase the load on the browser, and this is evident by comments loading after the website is done rendering, which can be infuriating for some.

Disqus is not perfect and the slow rendering of the comments is the single most important problem. Even if you can accept that, you also need to accept the fact that, if you want your blog to succeed, sooner or later you’re gonna end up paying for a Disqus subscription if it starts showing advertising because, frankly, it turns the comments into something ugly when that happens.


HyperComments is a refreshing alternative to realtime comment systems and it is incredible light on resources. The company behind HyperComments is not widely known and the comments are not widely used, but they are so freaking good that it makes me wanna cry.


The interface is very solid, and I’m talking about a real realtime comment system this time. HyperComments will show new comments that appear out of nowhere, exactly as Livefyre did, and the frontend interface is tremendously attractive.  I’m talking about the same level of Disqus,  and slightly cleaner.


Solid and very stylish. This makes for one of the best comments systems I reviewed so far, if not for its shortcomings that are a real bummer in the long run.

HyperComments is hardly free.  The free solution would only setup a single blog. You can’t have moderation reports or customize its design just like Disqus does unless you pay, and also you won’t have WordPress Database sync unless you pay a lot more money.

This are the current prices for HyperComments:


The free plan runs as a gift, but as soon as you hit more than 100k loads a month you’re gonna need a $24 yearly subscription which, in my opinion, it’s fair and quite doable. The problem is, HyperComments got greedy and if you want to store the comments on your own database you have to go as much as the highest plan, which is the only plan that lets you store the comments on your database but that also costs $44 a month. Plus they mix yearly with monthly payments in the same page, making the whole pricing model a terrible mess. The storage into your own database should be something that the first paid plan should include as Disqus already include this on the free plan.

But even if you’re willing to pay for it,  how does it run?


As you can see, the comments do add more latency to your load time, but they do not increase the amount of requests as much as Disqus does. The speed of the comment system is good, and the perceived speed is also very good.

HyperComments´ biggest shortcoming is the low user base and the high cost of the service which, quite frankly, makes this system usable only if you have a single blog and really don’t care if comments are lost when you decide to switch systems. Too bad, because with a different pricing model and if they allowed you to store your comments in your own database, this could be a serious contender for Disqus.

WordPress Jetpack Comments

Jetpack comments is a nice addition to WordPress, and it comes from the same guys that made WordPress a reality. The comments have an improved aesthetics, allow you to login through social networks exactly as in Disqus and HyperComments, and will have several new additions to WordPress.

Jetpack will allow you to moderate and change the reply box looks more than Disqus or HyperComments allow. In turn, it displays a nice comment bar but will serve the usual WordPress comments in return, which is miles behind what Disqus or HyperComments offer. Jetpack is not realtime unless you start adding Ajax plugins to the mix, but the main problem with this is that the comment system needs to be customized a lot to get to the level Disqus is right now, and this is not something the vast majority of people is prepared to do.


Besides, it’s slow, it does add time to the total render, it does add server load (your server load) and extra requests.


The perceived speed  is similar to HyperComments, but your server will end up taking more cpu time than without it because it needs to also load WordPress JetPack which is known to be a resource hog.

WordPress Jetpack comments has two important flaws: presentation and performance. It is not a single comment system but a set of tools included in Jetpack, which forces you to load tons of added stuff to WordPress you may not want at all. Taking into consideration that it’s not a realtime comment system, that leaves Jetpack only to those that love the native WordPress comments and want something a little better with the same style.


WpDiscuz has to be one of the comment systems with the worse name in existence.  Its name implies that it’s similar to Disqus but it’s not and, at the same time, its “z” makes it look cheap. But its name is not its singular fatal flaw, as you will come to see later. This is a good comment system for several reasons.

WpDiscuz has everything, from realtime comments to Ajax loading, moderation and modern structure just like Disqus, and it has something no other system has: It does not depend on an external service, it is rendered 100% inside your WordPress, using your own server.


WpDiscuz has a nice backend configuration and for the basic stuff it works, but it’s buggy. There are some things that simply stop working after a while with no signs as to why. The realtime comment system works sporadically and stops working for no reason. I had to refresh the page to see new comments when this happens. At the beginning it was super fun watching comments appear just like HyperComments and Livefyre but the plugin is not perfect and it tends to stop working from time to time. This could be a serious issue but it’s not the worse, the single most important flaw of WpDiscuz is the frontend presentation.


Yes, it’s horrible, it’s just plain horrible. For this to look good, or at least clean as HyperComments or Disqus, you have to do some serious tweaking to the style of the plugin. WpDiscuz works if you’re prepared to work hard for it. Don’t pretend to install this plugin into your site and let it go. Plus WpDiscuz is also looking to get paid for this and added lots of functionality as paid addons ,and this is something that seems a little over-the-top sometimes. The backend is filled with advertising for the extra modules you can buy. I wouldn’t mind paying for those if the basic system was stable, but the truth is WpDiscuz is not stable enough to be hosted on high volume blogs.


Hopefully, WpDiscuz came up very strong on the load time with one of the best load times of them all and very few added requests. WpDiscuz is somewhat slower than native WordPress comments, and it has the perceived slowness sometimes that it’s not visible on numbers. It is slower than native comments, that’s for sure, but it’s not something to be concerned about. In fact, WpDiscuz main problem is its lack of stability and bad presentation, which will need tweaking.


There is not a real winner here. The closest spot for the best comment system is clearly for WpDiscuz because it’s native and it frees you from the claws of another subscription. But having a comment system that somewhat breaks easily because it’s not stable enough is not something you want long term. Plus WpDiscuz presentation leaves a lot of headroom for improvement and, since you have to be a designer/developer to be able to improve it’s aesthetics, it is not something that I will recommend for the vast majority of people.

HyperComments is almost a lost opportunity, it has so far the best presentation of them all, it loads fine, it is actually the only realtime comment system that just works, but it is handicapped by the developers themselves who got greedy and included the WordPress database sync only on the highest plan, making it unusable for the vast majority. How on earth would a company implement such a weird pricing/features model with such a good product is beyond me.

WordPress Jetpack comments suffers from the same fate as WpDiscuz by not having a proper presentation, so it’s out of the question for those that want a good replacement for WordPress native comments; plus they are slow because you are forced to load the whole Jetpack to get them.

This leave us with the only real contender, Disqus.

Disqus is the slowest of them all, and the most heavy on resource loading, but will not affect your server directly. It handles all the comments on Disqus but will silently write all the data to your database, making it useful even if you decide not to use it in the future. The free plan offers a lot, and the plugin just works and is, mostly, bug free. Disqus is not realtime like HyperComments, but it will show a banner when new comments arrive, it has the same features (and more) than the rest, and it is the best balanced overall.

I would love to see some real competition to Disqus because, as it is now, it seems like a necessary evil: it’s slow, it will force you to pay sooner or later, but, it’s the most balanced overall, and having a huge user base also helps.

Disqus is the only system I can recommend because it’s proven technology that just works, it doesn’t need style tweaking and the free tier is very generous. I would only wish other companies would be more rational in their offerings because, as it is, WordPress does not have a very good comment system, only very few acceptable alternatives and that is so sad!

We haven’t seen the best for WordPress comments, not even close.

Alex Vojacek
Latest posts by Alex Vojacek (see all)


  1. Vuukle’s comments are very interesting …

  2. Very interesting. Looks like your next project might be to come up with a better solution!

  3. Very thoughtful article. Thank you so much for helping out.

  4. Thank you Alex,
    I just read your article and can’t understand way you say wpDiscuz is not stable? wpDiscuz is a very stable plugin. It has 20,000+ users and I use it more than one year without any issue. It’s fast and just works well without any issue. If you have many JS error on your website you may have affected wpDiscuz as well. If your website is clean and doesn’t have JS issues, then wpDiscuz works just fine.

  5. Good to know best WordPress comment system.

    I usually use default comment system.

  6. Nice Article. Many of sites are using Discuss on their site. I though discuss store comments on their server, which would become difficult when you want to switch to other. That is not the case.

    Will check if I can use it on my site which is mostly a coding and tech blog.

  7. Hii Alex and thanks for this article. I am using default comment system and looking for install wpDiscuz. Can you suggest me a better plugin better than this.
    Looking for a helpful reply…..

  8. Thanks again, do you recommend WordPress Jetpack comment system or the default feature is more recommended by you?

  9. All the comments plugins make your site slow. There shouldn’t be little or less impact on page load time while choosing a commenting plugin. Which one you suggest.

    • [Full disclosure I work for Vuukle] Why don’t you try Vuukle. It takes around 500ms to load. It works with WordPress and direct JS, very simple to integrate. It is more than a commenting platform with so many interactive solutions that would make your users interact more and stay on the page longer.

  10. I believe Disqus is the best commenting plugin.

  11. Very nice post, I am using disqus, besides now disqus is working in beta 3 with great improvements 🙂

  12. I think you were too quick to dismiss Facebook Comments.

    First: Facebook comments gets rid of a lot of spam comments.
    Second: Facebook comments generally are going to be from real people.
    Third: Facebook comments gives your website exposure to 1 billion Facebook users.
    Fourth: Facebook comments gives you more “backlinks” on Facebook pages.
    Fifth: You can include a Facebook wall on your website to create more interaction than you have with simply a commenting system.
    Sixth: Facebook gives you another way to advertise your website.

    So if you want to make money on your website, Facebook has very very useful qualities.
    It would have been nice to have a review of Facebook comment plugins.

    • You also forgot to review https://www.spot.im

      Spot.Im was recently installed in a large website: http://www.forumblueandgold.com

      I am totally impressed with how it is functioning on this site. They had switched from another commenting system.

      It is also FREE. FREE. FREE.

      • I did not forget, I tried in fact to test that system but it seems built for elitists as they request too much traffic for be “eligible” to use it. They refused my inquiry to try the system twice and the third time I tried (yesterday) with a blog that has 1200 daily visits, they told me I don’t have enough visits for their system and that I needed to wait to 2018. Awful way of treating a potential customer.

        • Did you install the plug-in from https://wordpress.org/plugins/spotim-comments/
          Then try to run it from your website?

  13. Well said Romeo. I was expecting to see Facebook Comment plugin make the list as the best comment tool for websites. All the same, I think Alex’s review as well isn’t bad at all.

    Now we know where to head to.

  14. I am using Disqus commenting system since long time and by far its the best comment system for WordPress. It has nice and clean layout and the best part I like is upvote and downvote features.

  15. I’ve tried almost any comment system out there and actually there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It really depends on your niche, your community, and your special needs and requirements.

    If you have the time to moderate the comments then stick to the native WordPress comment system. If you want to get rid a lot of spam use Facebook comments or Disqus.

    • [I work for Vuukle] @Argie – have you tried Vuukle? It is using Google’s AI technology to weed out the trolls in addition to its own filtering mechanism. Here is the plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/free-comments-for-wordpress-vuukle/

  16. Very interesting article with a lot of great points. In my line of work I have seen more varieties of comment systems than I can shake a stick at. And most of them are fine, so really it all comes down to preference, functionality and control.

    Every relevant comment is a valuable asset to a blog or website. This valuable user-generated content (UGC) is something that you always want to retain full control over – which is why it’s good to have a comment system that will write to your database or allow you full control to export all of your comments should you decide to leave that particular commenting system.

    So yes, I agree with your views about Facebook “adding comments that permanently bind your website to a social network is not a preference preference of mine and it is not something I´d recommend at all”. This is very true because hey, who knows… Facebook could crumble one day and take all your comments with them. Yes, for the moment you may think everything is good tying all of your comments up in a third-party website like Facebook, and there are plenty of benefits to yet like social traffic, etc., but ultimately you are relinquishing control of one of your most valuable web assets: Your Comments.

    So wrapping this comment up, I’d say just test out different systems for yourself and find out what works best for you. There is just no one size fits all. Again, it all comes down to preference, functionality and control. And it you aren’t really concerned about the big picture of any of this, then any ole comment system will do.
    Related content: Top 7 WordPress Commenting Systems

  17. Fantastic article, good approach, it helps a lot 🙂 A WordPress Comment System is a very good subject, thanks for this great job!

  18. Very exciting thoughts, thanks! I guess this is why WordPress is the best! You can choose from several solutions, always 🙂

  19. checkout the commenting system I have built –

    • Hi Haymakarran,

      Is that full comment system like disqus or commentluv? I love the like feature of it.

  20. What about just using native WordPress comments? Do you recommend that?

  21. Hello alex,

    i am new in Blogging and am using the default commenting system.

    Can you suggest me best wordpress comment system?

  22. The commenting system is very powerful and it always helps to get the boost in your ranking.i am thinking to buy any paid plugin for commenting.

  23. Please I don’t use any of these comments systems on my blog @ o3schools.com. Please I want to if switching to any one of these will help improve the overall functionalities of my site

  24. Nice post!!
    Which Comment system is best according to safety??

  25. 10 of the most popular options available:
    1. WordPress Native Comments
    2. JetPack
    3. Thrive Comments
    4. Disqus
    5. wpDiscuz
    6. GraphComment
    7. WpDevArt Facebook Comments
    8. Super Socializer
    9. De: comments
    10.Replyable by Postmatic

  26. Loved it. Although all the above commenting systems are amazing. The one which attracted me the most was WpDiscuz. It’s elegant design and layout will be simply perfect as per my requirements. Thanks for sharing this amazing blog post. Keep sharing such quality post with us… 🙂

  27. Thanks for sharing tips on wordpress comment system..

    I am using the Disqus comments system for my new blog it work fine.

    can you suggest me comments system that could help to protect the site from comment spamming..