Livefyre: a Disqus Alternative for Blog Comments
For example, in WordPress, you might integrate Disqus, Facebook or Intense Debate.
Livefyre has been around almost a year and a half and is starting to make waves too. Although it’s not currently available for Blogger, Joomla, Drupal or TypePad, support for those platforms is “coming soon”. WordPress, Tumblr and custom blogging systems are supported now.
Here’s our first impression.
Setting Up Livefyre Commenting
Livefyre is arguably one of the easier commenting systems to integrate.
Users fill in a short form and create a new Livefyre account or connect their site with an existing account.
If you’re a WordPress user, the next step is to download the Livefyre plugin, install it, confirm your account and import any existing comments.
The entire process will take about two minutes on a WordPress blog, with the comments import taking a few extra minutes on top.
Pros of Livefyre
Livefyre is speedy, clean and efficient. We didn’t notice a slowdown in our limited test. The interface is minimal, which is nice, as it removes barriers to commenting.
The social networking integration in Livefyre is also powerful. Comments can be shared on social media, and friends can be tagged directly in a comment.
The anti-spam system, which is based on Impermium, seems to work very well.
Livefyre is not particularly customisable. It can’t be themed, and the features on offer can’t be tweaked or switched off. Email notifications didn’t work during the test we did.
Visitors can’t comment without signing in to Livefyre or one of its accepted services. Though I’m pretty sure nearly everyone will have a Facebook, Twitter, Google or Linkedin account, they might not want to share it. (To be fair, other commenting systems also present this dilemma.)
While its focus on real-time commenting is admirable, we felt that very few blogs get the kind of traffic to make that matter. It looks great on the demo, but you may never see it in practice.
Finally, the moderation features are odd. Tasks are split between the WordPress dashboard and the comment page itself. There are more options on the Livefyre site, but the login procedure is confusing and our comments were in the wrong order.
Is Livefyre a Contender?
Livefyre is simple, fast and powerful, and we liked the social networking features. However, it’s inflexible. You may have to choose between ease of use and customisation.
It’s a brave new product, but one that feels slightly immature.
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