A fair few blogs of late have completey turned off comments following in the footsteps of more well-known blogs to never have had them in the first place.
I have mostly found comments to be mildly annoying. I am not the best at replying to any comments which I feel leaves me looking a little selfish, or lazy, or both which of course is probably true.
Saying that, I have always totally appreciated when someone does take the time to write a meaningful comment—even if I don't get round to leaving a reply—but those sort of comments are few and far between. The usual style of comments are the ones that typically get you in a bad mood upon first view.
I have explored a few comment services like Disqus and LiveFyre over the last few years with the latter being the one most recently used. These do simplify the comment process somewhat, but they are not without disadvantages.
The main disadvantage is that they are quite bloated in code, resources, HTTP requests and leave your website doing all sorts of extra curriclar activity.
Given my recent website responsive redesign, and a strict focus on clean and fast loading LiveFyre proved to be a real resource hog making requests on pages not using comments.
It had to go, and I reduced HTTP requests by between 5-8 or so.
During the redesign I decided to forego any 3rd party comment system and revert back to WordPress comments for simplicity and speed. The next decision was made based on keeping my website design as clean and clutter free as possible.
Comments are messy and I have always hated how they just, mostly, mess up a nice looking website.
However, I didn't want to forego comments totally as they can be valuable and useful on occasion. An important differentiation is that I didn't want to draw attention to the comment section: to have comments accessible but not directly viewable.
The easy solution was to hide the comment section.
This is where I am now. The comments are not directly viewable unless you click the link which then opens the comment section up. Comments no longer clutter up the page and keeps the page looking cleaner and leaner.