Livefyre has been featured on our Best of WordPress Plugins list for a while now, but we’ve never looked at it in much detail before. Today I’d like to show you why I think this is the best commenting system you can run on your WordPress blog, and all the cool features it gives you.
Capture Social Conversations
One of the biggest problems with maintaining branded social accounts is that conversations about posts get lost. Social commentary has value, and it should be shown on the page it was originally referring to, but there’s really no easy way to do this – except LiveFyre.
When enabled, conversations regarding your posts on Twitter or Facebook will be pulled into your site. This alone is a feature that really makes it worthwhile if you have an active social presence.
The ability to login via social connections is also a big feature for increasing engagement, and I personally really appreciate not having to type in names and passwords everywhere I go. When users connect, they can start tagging their friends in comments using @ notation, potentially bringing new readers to your blog. Social sharing can also be enabled by users, so comments they make will be automatically posted to Twitter or Facebook. It’s win-win all around.
Comments appear as they are posted, and a “listening” stat tells users how many people are currently reading the page, offering an incentive to post. With comments appearing in realtime, the chance of someone replying and a genuine conversation occuring right then and there is far greater. Compare this to the typical commenting, sending a notification, replying, possibly sending a notification that it’s been replied to… urgggh.
If users do want they can easily “follow” a topic, and set their individual notification options with far greater control than WordPress allows (even with the “follow comments by email” function added with WordPress JetPack)
The default WordPress comment administration interface is fairly poor, as our own comment editor Tina knows all too well. Akismet is also getting a little dated in terms of spam protection, and it just doesn’t catch enough. LiveFyre works together with Impermium to stop spam and offensive comments, and it works really well. The moderation panel itself is also much easier to work with than the simplistic WordPress admin; you can even add notes explaining why the comment was banned or moderated for fellow admins to see.
LiveFyre also allows community flagging, meaning when comments are overlooked then your fellow readers can make sure they get moderated. You can also specify certain commenters as official moderators, useful if you don’t want to start handing out WordPress priveldges just for comment moderation.
If you moderate multiple sites, you’ll also appreciate having them all in one central dashboard.
I want it. Now.
Calm down, I know it’s awesome and I know you need it right this instant. Thankfully, install is simple – just search for LiveFyre from within your WordPress plugin installs. Once activated, you’ll need to click the link that takes you to LiveFyre and authenticates you as the owner of the blog. Unfortunately, 2 of 3 sites I tested this on gave comment import errors; I’m working to sort these out with the LiveFyre support team now, but on the front end commenting is working fine so it seems to be a problem with just the actual database syncing and may be quite specific to my server.
The options within WordPress are non-existant. If you click on the LiveFyre link under the comments menu on the sidebar, you’ll get a message saying it’s working. That’s it. To adjust options and access the comment moderation panel, use the following URL
A few things you might want to adjust straight off
- SocialSync – this pulls in comments from Facebook and Twitter. Enable under Settings -Widget Defaults. Click “Add Rule” and enter your Facebook Fan page to pull comments and posts from there.
- Guest posting – by default, users need a LiveFyre account to comment. This probably isn’t what you want, so enable guest posting from Settings – Moderation
- Profanity filter – oddly, this isn’t enabled by default, so rude comments will get through fine. Enable from Settings – Moderation
Is it worth the effort?
I’m utterly convinced LiveFyre is the best commenting system around, and it’s ability to tie together your branded social presence as well as easily enable users to integrate their own social friendships via tagging is something that you simply can’t get elsewhere. Let’s face it – the built-in WordPress commenting is woefully inadequate and has always been an afterthought to the main blog system; some might even call it broken. LiveFyre fixes that, and gives you all the features an ultimate commenting system should have; on both the front-end for users and the admin side for moderators. This is a must-have plugin, get it now!
Let me know in the comments if you’ve had some import problems too or what you think of LiveFyre, and be sure to check out all the other fantastic plugins hand-picked by me (and from your feedback) on our Best of WordPress Plugins page.
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