Any decent blogging platform will have a native commenting system in place, but most are basic and leave plenty of room for improvement, subsequently there are a number of 3rd party commenting systems that have risen to prominence which I’ll mention later in this post.

Benefits of a 3rd Party Commenting System

Some of the pros of a 3rd party comment system are:

  • They allow users to login using popular social media and email account details.

  • Help promote site content by allowing users post links and comments to social media.

  • Provide a backup of your sites comments

  • Increases the number of comments to your blog by allowing users to sign in with an account the are likely to already have.

The Cons

  • Harder to customize for anyone without coding skills.

  • Comments are no longer yours alone. Most agreements for 3rd party comment systems give the developers free reign over your site’s comments.

Heres the breakdown of features for some of the more popular 3rd party commenting systems available for blog owners.

Intense Debate

  • Developed by Automattic (the same people behind WordPress)

  • Reply & moderate via email

  • Comment voting

  • Follow other users

  • Tweet with comment

  • Two Way Comment Sync with WordPress

  • Integration with WordPress admin panel

  • Integration  with WordPress Post Settings

  • Supports WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Tumblr and more

  • Comment flagging/reporting.

  • Sign in using IntenseDebate, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, and OpenID.

  • Allows basic HTML in comments

Disqus

  • It’s very popular. Installed on 750 thousand sites with 50 million users (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disqus)

  • Real time updates

  • Ability to import and export comments

  • Mobile app available for Android and iPhone

  • Users can add media to comments

  • Reply via email

  • Admin panel moderation

  • Comment flagging/reporting

  • @Mention other commenters

  • Login using Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google, OpenID, and Yahoo.

  • Notifications of replies to comments

  • Reactions & Twitter Mentions

  • Integration with Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace, TypePad, Moceable Type, Drupal, Joomla, and more

  • Comment voting

Livefyre

  • @Mention commenters as well as Twitter and Facebook friends

  • Post to Facebook and/or Twitter

  • Pull Comments from Facebook and Twitter

  • Comment voting

  • Login via Livefyre, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn.

  • Rich Text Formatting

  • Users can add media to comments

  • Comment editing (within a given amount of time)

  • Comment flagging/reporting

Social Media Plugins

Facebook’s blog comments plugin has been around for a little while now and allows users of the popular social media site to leave comments on blogs. The plugin has moderation features and gives users the ability to comment  on your content using their Facebook account. If users are signed into Facebook already they don’t have to worry about signing in again.

Google has recently released a similar plugin for its blogger site allowing users to comment using their Google+ account. The plugin has even been officially ported for blogs outside of blogger, the downside to using the commenting system outside of blogger seems to be a lack of comment moderation. Comments can be reported as abusive but not automatically removed.

The WordPress plugin Comments Evolved takes an interesting approach adding a tabbed comment section which allows users to comment using Google+, Facebook, Disqus, or WordPress

http://wordpress.org/plugins/gplus-comments/screenshots/