I decided to do a 30 day case study on visitor engagement and comment counts by disabling my click to load Disqus commenting system setup and going back to the default WordPress commenting system. I have always been curious which actually produced more activity and the results were kind of surprising.
Here are the results of my case study.
Visitor Engagement/Comments with Disqus
I received 65 comments to my blog between 10/15/14 and 11/14/14 with Disqus enabled.
Visitor Engagement/Comments with WordPress
I received 66 comments to my blog between 11/15/14 and 12/15/14 with native WordPress comments. This doesn’t include spam comments or you can then make the total over 1,600 comments, 96% which were spam. Is it just me or does it seem that the spam frequency has recently increased? Here is an interesting post from Kevin Muldoon on the Rise Forums: Influx WordPress Spam Comments.
False Pros of Native WordPress Comments
- For many of you I know you use the WordPress comment system partially because of the speed increase. While that is a good reason, you can fix that problem by using the free WordPress DCL plugin with Disqus.
- Some people argue for WordPress comments because they like how you can remain anonymous. Well what a lot of people don’t take the time to learn is that you can enable anonymous posting in Disqus comments as well. To enable this, simply login to the admin of Disqus and under the “Community Rules” enable “Allow guests to comment.”
Cons of Native WordPress Comments
- One reason I don’t like the native WordPress commenting system is because it encourages other bloggers to comment just to get a link back to their site, even if it is nofollow. This usually decreases the quality of the comments. I only want people commenting on my blog if it pertains to my post.
- Another issue is spam. Akismet catches most things and usually is about 98% accurate on my blogs but then you need to regularly clear out your spam folder. With disqus I would argue that it has been 99.99% spam free on all the blogs I have used it on for years.
Just by looking at that data is doesn’t really appear to have any affect. If anything Disqus actually received more comments because I ran a giveaway on my blog during my WordPress test and that generated a majority of those 66 comments. This can be a hard one to test because of seasonal traffic increases, running giveaways, etc… however after looking at this data I have decided to continue using Disqus on my blog. It might be interesting to run a longer case study as well for say 6 months or so and compare that data.
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