CommentLuv, a comment system for WordPress that promises to build comment traffic to your blog, has been getting a lot of press lately. If you haven’t used it you’ve probably seen it. It is the options added to the comment system of WordPress blogs that links to a previous post, adds a Twitter link, and adds a checkbox to protect against spam. When I started with it the features seemed pretty cool and I thought it would help build this site.
So why is Bit51 no longer using CommentLuv? There are actually 3 reasons:
1.) It didn’t do anything to increase traffic
First and foremost CommentLuv did nothing to increase my traffic or help me build a community. I’ve experimented with turning it off and on with no change to traffic and slightly fewer comments when its turned on. The latter I’m pretty sure is mostly due to the spam checkbox that folks just miss.
Looking at other big sites I follow, in particular TentBlogger which has built an excellent community without CommentLuv I decided it was time to eliminate the plugin and build comments the old-fashioned way. That is, with interaction rather than the gimmick of promising a link to their post (which, I might add, I have no control over).
If the primary selling point of your plugin is to build comment and blog traffic and you can’t deliver than I’m not going to use your plugin.
2.) Constant updates that tend to break
This was the final straw for me. It seemed that every time CommentLuv released another update (sometimes several times a week) something on it or other parts of my site would break. It was common to spend 20 minutes or more updating what should work with a single click and this seemed ridiculous to me.
An update about two weeks ago was it. After updating, again, CommentLuv kept prompting me for username/password for activation and kept telling me I didn’t have permission to access its options. I’m tired of fussing with it. As it really doesn’t do anything for my site anyway it was time to cut my losses.
I know how plugins work, I’ve written a few of them myself, and when a single plugin causes as much headache as CommentLuv was causing me it isn’t work it.
3.) It’s 90% marketing and 10% function
This is another big one for me. I’m tired of the daily sales emails from the CommentLuv staff. I know what your plugin does. That’s why I installed it.
I think a lot of this one comes back to point one. CommentLuv’s developer must keep selling to keep those like me interested as the functionality of the plugin, at least in my case and I’m sure that of many others, simply doesn’t live up to the promise.
CommentLuv may be perfectly fine for some, but for me it just isn’t worth it. I’m tired of reading their propaganda and fixing problems that arise during upgrade for a plugin that simply doesn’t live up to the promise.