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Why I Removed Livefyre Comments From My Blog

written by John Chow on April 13, 2012

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Sharp readers are noticing that the Livefyre comment system has been removed from my blog and replaced with normal WordPress comments. I’ve been using Livefyre since November of last year and for the most part, it’s been a positive experience. However, Livefyre has quite a few drawbacks that made me remove them.

It Slowed The Loading of The Blog

Site performance took a slowdown with Livefyre comments. You really noticed it on the 728×90 top banner. It would be the last thing to load and took a long time to do it. This might be caused by the Livefyre plugin not playing nice with my OIO advertising plugin, but the instant I turned off livefyre, load speed decreased noticeably.

You Can’t Edit The Comments

It drove me up the wall that I couldn’t edit a commentator’s comment. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I never touch a comment, but there are rare occasions when I need to edit for swearing, incorrect data, or personal attacks on another commentator. Livefyre has no comment editing features. You can either delete the entire comment or let it stand.

Livefyre told me they’re working on a comment edit feature, and it should be ready in 30 days. However, they told me that 60 days ago. I got tired of waiting.

Livefyre Can Get Your In Trouble with Google

To help prevent spam, Google has stated that links in blog comments should be nofollow. However, links in Livefyre comment don’t have any nofollow tags. Not only could this get you trouble with Google, it could increase the amount of spam your blog gets. This is funny because the number one reason for switching to Livefyre was to get rid of spam.

I have noticed an increase in the number of comments with links in them. And since Livefyre doesn’t have a comment edit feature, I couldn’t remove the links. I had to delete the entire comment.

No Integration with Aweber

Aweber has a great WordPress plugin that allows subscribers to sign up to your list when they leave a comment on your blog – without having to fill out a separate web form.

Newsletter sign up

This is a great way to build your mailing list because potential subscriber doesn’t need to fill out a separate form. Checking a box while already leaving a comment is a lot easier than commenting, then finding and filling out a completely different web form. However, Livefyre and Aweber don’t work together. The Aweber plugin works only with normal WordPress comments.

The number of spam has increased tremendously since Livefyre was removed. However, Akismet is doing a great job killing them. I have to go back to check the spam folder everyday to check for legit comments. When Livefyre was running, the spam folder always said zero, so I never had to check it. This is what I will miss most about Livefyre.

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{ 44 comments }

Kenny Fabre April 13, 2012 at 9:53 am

John

thats weird because your site would always load very fast for me with livefyre, but I understand you created the blog so you know whats best for it

John Chow April 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm

The site loaded fine. It was the 728 banner that loaded really slow.

Kenny Fabre April 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm

oh ok I see that happens to my banners, it loads up late

Wil April 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm

John,

That is one thing that bugged about Livefyre–having to sign up separately and sign in through a different box. Sometimes it wouldn’t remember my login info either. And playing well with other services is important. Thanks for the info.

Ife Ifeoluwa April 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I can’t agree with you more John!

Kevin Muldoon April 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Good post John.

I have been using Livefyre on my main blog WordPress Mods and on a few of my smaller websites for a few months. On the whole I’m happy with the service but you do raise some good points.

Slow Loading: This is not something I’ve noticed myself. I use OIOPuiblisher too, which I am aware is a big resource hog, though there aren’t many alternatives to OIOPublisher at the moment (none that offer the same features anyway).

Can’t Edit Comments: Agreed. This is one of my pet hates. I’m unsure as to why they don’t allow this, particularly as their options for flagging comments as spam etc are pretty good.

NoFollow: This was something I wasn’t aware of. I (stupidly) assumed all links in the comment area were no follow. This is something that does concern me a lot as internal PR juice will be reduced.

No Integration With Aweber: I use Aweber myself however before I switched to LiveFyre I tried on numerous occasions to get the Aweber plugin to work but it was riddled with errors. I actually brought this up on a phone call with them and they promised to get it resolved but when I tested the plugin again two months later it was still giving fatal errors.

I’ll need to try it again as the ability to subscribe commenters to my newsletter is something that I’d love.

One thing that I will say about LiveFyre is they are fairly responsive to feedback. I’m sure if you raise these issues with them they will look into it. I doubt giving user the option to make all comments nofollow would be difficult for them to implement though I’m not sure if newsletter integration is something they have planned.

Hopefully they add the ability to edit comments though. For me, that is something that is lacking from the service.

Edgar April 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I did notice the banner loading slow.. and I have to agree. The aweber option to sign up under the submit button is awesome.

I never like livefyre or the Facebook comment.

Over 85 Life Insurance April 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

John, honestly 1 thing I dislike about LiveFyre plugin in your blog is the “auto subscribing to email” feature on your blog. Each time someone left a comment in your blog, I would receive an email. I thought this would only happen when someone chooses to subscribe to your comments?

John Chow April 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I was not aware that was happening. Well, it won’t happen anymore. :)

HealthWrong April 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm

John, what would happen to all our previous comments that we have left here with Livefyre? I hope they have not been purged once you remove Livefyre.

John Chow April 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm

No, all the comments are safe. A copy of all comments are saved to my WP database, so when I switch back to WordPress, it just pulled the comments from there instead of Livefyre.

Make The Money Online Dot Com April 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I actually used to have livefyre and I also got rid of it. With this post you have just reassured me. Thanks John :)

ardegas April 13, 2012 at 5:41 pm

John, a great plugin against spambots is NoSpamNX. This plugin has reduced significantly the amount of spam I’ve recieved.

Chris April 14, 2012 at 5:25 am

What about other commenting systems like Discus or CommentLuv. Should we be using any of these at all? or just stick to the default wordpress commenting system?

Am currently using Livefyre though…

fas April 14, 2012 at 5:47 am

Why not try Facebook comments?

John Chow April 14, 2012 at 8:55 am

It has much the same problem as Livefyre, the biggest being the inability to edit user comments.

Chris April 14, 2012 at 9:22 am

We can’t edit but we can delete the comments though…

John Chow April 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Sometimes, you just want to edit.

Nettgründer April 15, 2012 at 3:24 am

You can edit comments via your WP dashboard John ;-)

Heinz Rainer April 20, 2012 at 4:56 am

Recent webpage loading analysis revealed – and this is interesting : Google plus1 js and facebook js are two major ‘web page loading speed brakes. (keep the Gplus1 .js and see your page load up speed drop by 6 sec. – Wayne test server)
Not so much due to ads and banners as such, but coming from the big two – it sounds almost ridiculous – for one thing google advocates loading speeds of 3.5 seconds – plus or minus – yet Google plus js loading is in the range of 6 sec plus !!! FB similar, so any FB widget is – well counterproductive – with 80 % traffic coming from the major big Google itself.
Interesting also is the latest recommendation by SEO firms – that google puts more weight on social media traffic coming through its Gplus 1 links rather than FB page links.
I moved all FB META page descriptive items from the section in HTML.
cheers JC
Mekong tales

Chris April 14, 2012 at 9:21 am

I’m using both Livefyre and Fb comments…

Shalu Sharma April 14, 2012 at 9:28 am

The only reason why I joined them was to comment on your blog since I found that you was one the best bloggers to be found on the net. Perhaps I will have to delete that account over there. Anyhow, normal wordpress commenting is just as fine.

Howie Nguyen April 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm

John, just install the GASP plugin. Seriously, you will see near zero spam once it’s activated. All it does is make the user check one extra box when they comment. Works great for me!

Over 85 Life Insurance April 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm

John, would I suggest that you reinstate your Top Commentators widget to your blog… LOL :D

stuart April 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm

just an idea…shouldn’t it be INcreased speed ? :)

just an idea I could be wrong/right ?

Jeremy April 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Hey John,

Thanks for your thoughts and feedback, hate to see ya go!

Livefyre has been rated as the fastest 3rd party comment widget by
Pingdom (http://royal.pingdom.com/2012/02/23/testing-the-speed-of-comment-systems-for-blogs/),
so it’s really strange you were seeing such bad load times. You should
let us know when you see something like that, we’d be happy to jump in
and see what’s going on and get you squared away.

That said, we’ll be rolling out a completely revamped comment stream
at the beginning of May that will not only cut load times in half with
an even lighter widget but it will also include a comment editing
feature, amongst a number of other new additions. Definitely keep an
eye out :)

And we actually work really closely with the good folks at Google,
we’ve partnered with them for analytics and one of our board members
was a leader in creating their search product. We’re very in-tune with
Google best practices and will continue to work with them to make our
product as SEO friendly as possible.

Thanks again for your thoughts John, maybe we’ll see you back around
our neck of the woods soon? ;)

Colin Klinkert April 16, 2012 at 10:21 am

Jeremy,

We use you guys over at my site. So far I have been quite happy but yes, LOTS and lots of links from users now, it is quite annoying. Would be good to have the edit option and also option to make all links in comments ‘no-follow’

Thanks

Joshua Dorkin April 14, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I’ve got Livefyre on two of my less important blogs, but never migrated to my busiest ones because of many of the reasons you mention. Of primary importance to me, like you, I need to be able to edit comments to take out links or to remove pitches/solicitations, and I hate having to delete a complete post instead of taking out a small piece of the post.

I hope that, as Jeremy said above, things change next month, or I’m planning on removing it myself.

Time to wait and see . . .

GjiVan April 14, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Using disqus along with akismet is workIng greatly for me!!

Ark April 15, 2012 at 12:29 am

I too have found that nothing beats good old Wordpress comments so far. FB comments comes close for its viral potential but it can be a pain to setup. As you mentioned the big downside is having to spend time going through the spam to check for real comments. I personally use a plugin called captcha it makes the user solve a simple math problem instead of staring at those illegible letters.

Ngan Son April 15, 2012 at 9:53 am

I like the default comment of WP. it’s fast and easy use.

Astro Gremlin April 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm

John, now you have me curious about DoFollow links from CommentLuv. I sure hope Google doesn’t penalize those.

Daniel Ha April 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Hi John – I’m the founder of Disqus. We’re launching a new version of the Disqus platform in the coming weeks. We’re giving some folks a preview right now and are working with awesome feedback. If you’re interested in taking a peek, I’d love to walk you through it. I’m daniel at disqus.com

– Daniel @ Disqus

Leo April 16, 2012 at 4:44 am

John,

Even thought the links in comments are clickable, they do not have any sort of tag wrapping them, if you look at the source of any post with a livefyre comment including a link and check the source, you will notice that the hyperlink is, in fact, just a string of text.
Again, these links do not have tags wrapping them.

John Chow April 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm

The problem is those link haven’t no tags! They need a nofollow tag on them but Livefyre doesn’t do that.

Leo April 17, 2012 at 7:08 am

How do you include a nofollow tag if there’s not even a hyperlink tag.

Caleb April 17, 2012 at 6:53 am

Hey John why don’t you install CommentLuv as it allows many great options plus has the GASP plugin apart of it which is better than plain ole Akismet in many respects.

Justin Germino April 17, 2012 at 6:59 am

Curious about the Google Terms of Service around DoFollow links in comments, is it just PR drain that you are concerned about. CommentLuv basically promotes links to latest articles in comment area for each commenter and blogger can make them dofollow or nofollow, but I have not seen any exact “penalty” or violation if you choose to use DoFollow vs NoFollow except your page drains more PR for DoFollow links.

Also, I wish they had 2 critical feature added to Livefyre (editing of comments and reply to comments via email like Disqus).

Abhik April 17, 2012 at 11:38 pm

You shouldn’t have switched to Livefyre at the first place.
Though it was fun commenting using a new platform.

Mike From Maine April 20, 2012 at 12:09 am

John,

Have you considered using CommentLuv on this site?

Raj May 16, 2012 at 7:49 am

I think the following phrase should be like “Livefyre Can Get (Your Website)/(You) In Trouble with Google” instead of “Livefyre Can Get Your In Trouble with Google”

Brandon Marchand June 7, 2012 at 9:57 am

Great points. I actually wondered if Google would have a problem with LF and the nofollow. It’s a nice integration but the more and more WP updates their commenting feature, the more and more I’m liking it.

John Chow April 15, 2012 at 9:41 am

You can but the changes won’t show up because the editing the comment in WP doesn’t change the comment in Livefrye. :P

Leo April 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

If you answered to my reply, what you said just doesn’t make sense.

I’m not talking about editing anything, just saying that there’s no such a thing as a dofollow link, since there’s actually no link at all in the html source.