TL;DR; Jetpack free or $10/month (basic, suite of tools), Hyvor Talk $5/month (feature-packed, reasonable price), ReplyBox $6/month (minimalistic), Thrive Comments $228/year (focused on engagement, suite of tools)
After years of development, new technologies, and growing competition, WordPress continues to dominate the World Wide Web. With over 40% of the entire internet use WordPress, there’s a good chance that you do too! And with that, you might be looking for a good comment system as well!
Comments are important to blogs, news outlets, and other types of websites WordPress commonly powers. If you’ve got the system and patience to deal with spam, negative feedback, etc., then comments can bring more engagement to your content.
However, with WordPress's built-in commenting system and popular free options like Disqus being performance hogs and privacy nightmares, the only reasonable solution is to go with a paid option.
By going with a premium, paid option, you ensure yourself a higher quality of service, more privacy for your users, and, more often than not - a few additional perks. If that sounds interesting to you, here are 4 great options (in no particular order) that you should consider!
Jetpack is very well-known in the WordPress ecosystem. It’s developed by Automattic - the company that develops WordPress, now alongside its vast community.
As a suite of tools, Jetpack is more than the sum of its parts. While its Comment feature is included even in the free plan, there’s a lot more you can get by paying. For about $10/month (or less than half that for the first year), you’ll get automated backups, restores, and unlimited storage for your WordPress website. At the same time, higher tiers give you additional commenting features like antispam or the site search.
JetPack Comments themselves build upon the regular WordPress comments with additional functionalities. This includes social media logins, notifications about follow-up comments, comment likes, and more.
If you’re interested in improved Comments and other Jetpack offerings, this is a good option.
Hyvor Talk is a universal, privacy-focused, and feature-packed commenting platform. It comes with a dedicated WordPress plugin but can work on any website - including the ones powered by Ghost, like this very blog!
As I’ve been using Hyvor on this blog for a while, I must admit - it’s really great! Commenting experience is excellent - go down and try for yourself! There are anonymous comments, reactions, or ratings - depending on what you like, rich text, Markdown, images, GIFs and emojis picker, search, threads, and so much more!
But that’s not where the good stuff ends. There’s a whole management dashboard to talk about! Although it’s nothing special among high-quality commenting systems, Hyvor Talk’s dashboard is really well designed. There are comment moderation tools, analytics, automatic filters, customization settings, etc. Pretty much everything you need to manage and customize your comment section to your needs.
Pricing is also reasonable, with the base tier starting at $5/month (free trial available) being limited to a max of 100,000 monthly views, scaling up from here.
ReplyBox is fairly similar to Hyvor Talk, both in terms of functionality and goals. It’s a privacy-focused, minimalistic and lightweight comment system, established mainly as a Disqus competitor.
With that said, ReplyBox lacks a bit behind Hyvor Talk in terms of features. Maybe it’s because of it being newer or more focused on minimalism, but ReplyBox doesn’t come with as rich commenting experience or management dashboard as Hyvor Talk does.
You’ll still have Markdown, social login, threads, notifications, and sorting, but not much beyond that. There are things like reaction listed as “in development”, but they aren’t available yet. There’s a dedicated WordPress plugin for installation, and for customization, you can adjust the CSS styles. Still, with fewer features comes a smaller bundle size and better speed - if you’re willing to make such a trade.
Also, the dashboard is pretty minimal, too, coming with pretty much only basic notifications and management tooling.
If minimalism is your jam, and you like the clean look of ReplyBox, then you can get it for $6/month for less than 20,000 views.
Like ReplyBox is comparable to Hyvor Talk, Thrive Comments is comparable to JetPack, as it’s also part of a broader suite of tools.
Named Thrive Suite, it combines WordPress-centric tools such as the mentioned comment system but also a theme, quiz and course builders, mailing list tools, and others.
When compared to already discussed commenting plugins, Thrive Comments stands out with its focus on user engagement. This includes features like up-votes, likes, featured comments, social media sharing, badges, and more. You can also set post-comment actions (like user redirects), access a complex dashboard with detailed analytics and advanced moderation tools.
Overall, almost all of these features are available in other products on this list, such as Hyvor Talk. However, with more polish to user-facing features, and other parts of Thrive Suite, it might be just what you need.
Pricing is $228/year or $90/quarter with no option of paying monthly.
So, here you go - these were my top 4 picks. If you know of any other paid or free WordPress-compatible commenting systems, drop a comment in Hyvor Talk-powered section below!
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