For long the comment plugin landscape has been dominated by a handful of big names: Disqus Comments, Facebook Comments, wpDiscuz, among many others.
Disqus comments is big because of the clean and simple to user-friendly interface along with features one would need to encourage discussion on a website.
wpDiscuz came to offer what Disqus does; only it returns the power and control over the comment system to the website owners.
Facebook comments, extends the power of the giant social media network to a website.
When it comes to engagement and user interaction, these comment plugins provide a WordPress website a powerful space that encourages relevant discussion.
One would never get it wrong with any of them.
But there is a new entrant to the already saturated comment plugin market – GraphComment
And why would one care much about it if there are comment plugins in existence?
If you have been following our articles about social comment plugins, then you probably think I sound like a broken record.
I just can’t say it enough.
The success of your website or brand online is in a way determined in part by the content quality you showcase to your audience and the other part the discoverability and inclusion of your audience into your story.
The days of one-sided communication are long gone.
Your customers today are opinionated, and they love to say what they think and feel. Technology, with the proliferation of social networking websites, has given such a customer the space to air her voice.
The other thing is, advertising the way we knew is dying.
The new wave is content marketing. And I am certain by your being here you are very much interested in the success of your content, website, and brand online.
At the center of content marketing is user engagement. Successful brands are those that craft great campaigns, use some paid media channels like ads to give the initial push to their content and then get their followers on board; those are campaigns that catch fire and go viral.
As a website owner, your role does not stop at creating great content; you go a step further and provide an enabling environment for your visitors to interact with your content and the community you are building.
Okay, this article is not about content marketing or digital strategies, but, I think GraphComment provides a savvy marketer or business owner a great tool to encourage great conversations on their website.
Pros of GraphComment
GraphComment gives you all the standard features you would expect with a modern comment plugin designed to encourage discussion.
GraphComment does the most important thing. It allows visitors to leave comments to content on your website.
It provides a space for discussions to happen in real-time. No one wants to reload a page to read the proceeding replies.
Solid spam management. With its inbuilt features and the added layer provided by the integration to social media sites.
Integration to social networking sites allows a convenient and familiar way for visitors to sign in and share content on the website.
Mobile friendliness. Website readers today are reading websites on the go with mobile devices; tablets, phones, it is, therefore, important that devise responsiveness be central to any design.
GraphCOmment is responsive to devices.
That is what you would get from wpDiscuz, Disqus, Facebook Comments, and probably any other modern comment plugin. So what separates GraphComment from the pack?
Simple and beautiful user interface
You cannot help it but fall in love with GraphComment’s user interface.
Dubbed The Bubble Flow, a widgetized graphical user interface that is clean and organizes conversations in a very simple and readable manner for even the busiest of websites,
Unique to it is the Bubble rank algorithm that moves the most active and relevant discussions to the top encouraging relevant discussions.
It also provides for text formatting – Bold, underline, hyperlink, italic…
Then bring more life to discussions with inline media embedment feature where one can add videos, pictures, and more media to the comments.
One important and unique feature is the ability to share an entire discussion with a unique Yak.li URL shortener on social media sites.
Great moderation tools
An important part of any community whether offline or online is the ability to administer it.
I love how GraphCOmment pulls this off with its moderation features.
Beside the standard features that you would get with any other comment plugin, GraphComment takes it a notch further with a simple to use moderation area for administrators.
The smart moderation feature on the expert and enterprise plans uses a hands-off approach to approve comments from reputable authors automatically.
For larger teams, you can add multi-moderators, who you can assign unique pages.
Unique to GraphComment is it’s Editorialize and pin discussions on the expert and enterprise plans. Moderators can steer conversations by highlighting particular discussions and pinning them to the top, with a unique shareable link.
The GraphComment plugin fully integrates with the native WordPress comment system; if you are moving to this plugin, you can easily import old WordPress comments, since it’s a cloud-based comment plugin, you can also import your comments from the GraphComment servers to your local database, you never know, you may one day change comment plugins.
Cons of the plugin
I do have a lot more good things to say about this comment plugin than bad.
One or two things though.
It is still fairly new in the market, unlike its counterparts that are tested and proven over time in real production websites.
There is always uncertainty and skepticism hovering over new market entrants until they prove themselves.
If some of the uncertainty is performance and reliability related, GraphComments has a great support system in place where anyone can receive free support.
Secondly, it may not be an issue to many, heck it is not to me, but from experience, there are still people who are uncomfortable with their data on other peoples servers where they do not have control.
It is the reason behind wpDiscuz’s popularity over its counterparts, both in terms of privacy and control.
Although GraphComment enables one to import their comments to their local database, it does not clear the hanging thought of what could happen to data in another person’s hands.
Overall, this is one great WordPress comments plugin that you will love working with and that your audience will equally love to share their views.
I want to believe they are redefining the commenting space and will certainly be a force to reckon.
Only time will tell.
Give it a try and share with us your views about it here.
Still need more options of comment system plugins, you will love our hand-picked list of the best comment system plugins for your WordPress site.