Disqus: Not So Stupid Anymore

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Disqus is a leading third-party comment option for bloggers. In the past, my opinions about Disqus have been mixed. I started out by calling it stupid. Then, about a year ago Disqus fixed some of my concerns, yet I ended up still not using it on my blog.

As you might be able to tell, I am currently using Disqus on this blog. What drove me over the edge?

Old Problems Fixed

Originally, Disqus seemed like a really bad idea because it removed comments from your blog and placed them on somebody else’s server. This is content – YOUR content – that would need to be handed over to somebody else. And being that it was using javascript to embed the comments on the blog, all SEO benefits were gone.

Once they moved to version 2.0, all that changed. Disqus now uses an API to include comments on your blog, meaning that the comments ARE in your source code and give you full SEO benefits. Even more importantly, there is full interchange between your blog and Disqus such that all new comments get auto-posted to your local database. This is important so that I can stop using Disqus if I want and I don’t lose anything.

All in all, Disqus is now a safe option to use. You’re not going to lose your comments and you have a way out.

But, why bother? Why stop using Wordpress’s own comment system?

Benefits to Disqus

What put me over the edge was the ability to increase the social interaction and the community on my blog. In particular…

  • Ability to easily allow people to log in via Facebook Connect, Twitter or OpenID.
  • Using Facebook Connect, it provides the option for a commenter’s comment to appear on their wall in Facebook – increasing viral promotion of my blog.
  • Readers have the ability to pipe their comments into other services (Friendfeed, for example). Again, this increases the viral promotion of a comment on my blog because their comment will potentially appear in other places on the web.
  • Ability to easily see what other sites each commenter is commenting on. This acts to help people find others of similar interest, plus it helps in cross-promotion among similar blogs.

In short, using Disqus allows my blog to be better integrated into the social community by way of user comments rather than having each comment be self-contained to this blog.

Still pondering making the switch to Disqus over on PCMech as well.

What are your thoughts on Disqus?


  1. Hey Man! You also have opted out from Disqus! Anyway I don’t think Disqus could be right choice for anyone, if he/she has existing comments in their blog. Moreover, this comment service is too slow and it takes lots of time load!

  2. Hi I have Disqus Version: 2.74 installed on my blog.

    Early in your article you say that,

    “comments ARE in your source code”

    All I can see is javascript in mine, how come you can see the comments in your source code, is there something I need to do?

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  4. If your article goes off-topic and doesn’t stay focused on your targeted keywords, the search engines may not recognize your article or index it. Articles like that may be easy-to-read, but they won’t get you any closer to optimizing your content for search engines.

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  7. I’m not sold yet. I would like to be sold.One of the problems I have is the documentation is a bit spotty. I’m not quite sure exactly what disqus is doing with my comments, and I don’t understand the whats and whys of their blog redirecting. I even had a round with their tech support to try and figure it out. While tech support was very polite and prompt, I didn’t get my question answered, so I dropped the matter.Strangely, I’d like to use disqus, I just want to feel good about it too.One thing for sure: I do NOT like the IntenseDebate system promoted by Automattic. Not even a little bit. As I recall, ID required me to log in again to manage my own comments. No way.

  8. Though Disqus is quite robust and feature rich, It is not SEO friendly because it uses Javascript to render comments which is not good for crawler. I had used it but I changed to Original WP comment.

  9. Disqus is just awesome. We can’t compare this with any other commenting system.But it doesn’t provide you the profile security.Any one can see your blog comments history.I think disqus need to make this secure.

  10. Disqus is best commenting system .I love to do comments by using disqus.Its easy to install & understand.This is my kind of blog – insightful and well written. Thanks for posting.

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  12. Its really a great post regarding disqus.Disqus is most popular commenting system in these days.Some interesting thoughts on the subject. Looking forward to see what else you post in the future.

  13. Banging my head to connect to a Facebook site and comments for my WordPress work with facebook's an article I came across talked about the Disqus plugin after trying to get. I thought I'd give it a shot and viola! I was up and Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo seamlessly with running, and all the other awesome sites in just minutes.

  14. While Disqus is a good commenting system, I actually prefer to use the Web Commenting Tool by Getingate. I find it's simpler to install and easier to use. Getingate is currently running a competition for the website that generates the most comments. First prize wins $1,000 and second prize gets $500.

  15. Funny thing, i read your old article and this one very carefully but some things are still bothering me about Disqus for example:
    1. Complicated installation.
    2. Ugly user interface that i would put in my blog for a Million dollars.
    3. What do i get out of it? How does it help me promote my blog?

    I am now usign getingate's Social Web commenting tool and i am very happy.
    it has a very simple installation, friendly user interface, and an advertising system that allows me to advertise my blog.

    besides some say that disqus would soon start charging money like Echo…

  16. Disqus is the top commenting platform in my opinion. Not only is Facebook Connect integration nice but allowing users to also use their Twitter accounts to leave comments is awesome.

  17. I agree with you completely, if facebook, friendster, etc.. can implement something like Disqus, it will make the whole social community world even more efficient and more interactive.

  18. David, I'm integrating Disqus into my client's blogs, and have already done so on my own. I like it for all the reasons you mentioned about viral opportunities. But I also like how it allows for a default gravatar, and/or the commenter's personal gravatar if they have one. I use Drupal, not Wordpress, and the commenting system there left a bit to be desired. I love Drupal, but was never fond of the commenting system as it was very easy for spam comments to appear in droves. I'd have to set everything for comments to be approved before going live, and then sift through tons of spam. Disqus seems to remove that completely, I get no spam at all. Next, since I manage multiple web sites, I like how Disqus allows me to manage them all in one place. The old way I needed to manage comments for each site from within each site. Finally, on the user side, I like how it allows for commenters (like me in this case) to keep track of my comments throughout the web.


    PS – Drupal has a Disqus module which works like a charm, you simply enter one ID # and it just works.

  19. Ok. First off, there's too much going on in the login box.

    Next, it required a valid email (I had to make one up: [email protected]).

    Next, it asked me to make an account before posting. Ask afterwards… you're going to lose some fraction of people that way.

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  21. After banging my head trying to get a Facebook Connect plugin to work with my wordpress site and facebook for comments I came across an article which talked about Disqus. I figured I'd give it a shot and viola! I was up and running seamlessly with facebook, twitter, yahoo, and all the other awesome sites in a few minutes.

    Disqus for the win!

  22. One of the main advantages Disqus is; it has is the ability for users to login with Facebook Connect where the comments also appear in the commentators newsfeed, which has the capacity to go viral.

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  25. I don't like comment on any sites that require the extra step of logging in to anything. And I'm philosophically opposed to automatic propagation of comments by software. The world is too full of B.S. already! 🙂 I *am* registered with Disqus and may cave in on this issue at some point, but for now, I prefer to be noticed because of how interesting or helpful I am, not because I use the most tricks to post repeated comments to other places (like FB) that I don't visit or care much for anyway.

  26. I tried it on one of your earlier articles but although I think the comment posted I still can't log on to my new Disqus account. However I have been using the personal computer since it was invented so I have great patience with such things.

  27. Hmmm, posting my last message, on my first attempt I got an error message stating 'that wasn't supposed to happen. It wasn't your fault, there was an error' blah blah, and my comment didn't post. What's that about? Now I am nervous to try Disqus out, I don't want to loose people from commenting due to error messages.

  28. Was there a recent update to Disqus or something? It seems like everyone is coming back to it. Of my favorite blogs, half have started using it in the last few weeks. I'm wondering what sparked everyone all of a sudden.

  29. I started using Disqus a couple of months ago and actually like it. My favorite thing is importing my Disqus RSS feed into my Friendfeed profile. Whenever someone comments on an older post, this new discussion is imported into my Friendfeed room and can spark new discussions. Resurrecting old articles and getting extra visibility for your blog is nice. I'm seeing a good amount of unique visitors, so I can't complain.

  30. I tried Disqus about 2 months ago and didn't get any comments for a while, removed after a week and things were back to normal. Not a big fan of it could have been a config issue. Seem powerful but might be a little confusing as it give people to many options.

    Commenting should be simple process people get confused with options just my 2 cents.

  31. I'll have to try Disqus out for a while on other blogs before making the switch, but my initial inspection is that it is MUCH better than IntenseDebate. ID is just strange to me, and I think the reputation gimmick is much less useful than social networking stuff. Thanks for the write-up, David!

  32. I always wondered why people switched over to Disqus, in the older versions I never really saw any benefits that would've made it worth it, now I'm thinking that I should at least try it. We'll see how it goes.

  33. I'm looking to add integrated (white label) social network functions to a wordpress installation. Think of it as Ning without the separate domain or distinction from WP. I've look at comment applications like Disqus and Intense Debate. Now I'm investigating Buddypress at the more sophisticated end and it looks like my options are Gigya or Pluck for some lighter integration. Any suggestion?

  34. I used Disqus this time around when starting a new blog solely because Akismet was suddenly failing to stop a large amount of spam comments. Disqus seems to do a good job at that.

  35. David… do you know if you can use anything like CommentLuv with Disqus to display readers last posts on their blog? I really like that WP plugin and I think it encourages commenting.

  36. I've used Disqus for some months but switched back to WP's default comment system just recently mainly because I was trying to reward my readers some link juice because it's a “nofollow” however, the good thing is that I didn't lost all my comments and as long as I retain my account with Disqus, I can go back anytime I want and I can leave a comment freely on Disqus-enabled blogs like this.

  37. I think the changes in version 2.0 are huge. It didn't make much sense to take real unique content out of your site to give it to someone else. Nevertheless, I still have to take a deeper look to see if I can still keep the same kind of control over the comments.

  38. I have seen Disqus in many blogs but I haven't used it on my blog yet. I guess I have to read more about it. I was wondering if you could talk more about how to use the comments with friendfeed. Thanks in advance

  39. I'm not sold yet. I would like to be sold.

    One of the problems I have is the documentation is a bit spotty. I'm not quite sure exactly what disqus is doing with my comments, and I don't understand the whats and whys of their blog redirecting. I even had a round with their tech support to try and figure it out. While tech support was very polite and prompt, I didn't get my question answered, so I dropped the matter.

    Strangely, I'd like to use disqus, I just want to feel good about it too.

    One thing for sure: I do NOT like the IntenseDebate system promoted by Automattic. Not even a little bit. As I recall, ID required me to log in again to manage my own comments. No way.

  40. I use disqus on three different site and am not sold myself. The popup they displace before allow the comments to be submitted causes some to avoid leaving their comments on a site. I would also like to see a dofollow option.

  41. I have never used Disqus before. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the new version of Disqus. I like how it is intergrated with all of the major social networking sites. Thanks Greg Ellison

  42. I used Disqus for a couple of days and switched back to the comment system I had with my Wordpress theme for two reasons: 1) I lost all the comments that had been made prior to that, and 2) I didn't like the design of the threaded comments. I could probably tweak #2 (if I knew enough about what I was doing), but I couldn't handle #1. Perhaps there was something I did wrong. If so, I'd love to know. I also tried Facebook Connect on its own but could never get the coding right. (It's VERY confusing, at least for me.) I do like that Disqus has FB and Twitter possibilities, and I would definitely use it if I could fix those two issues.


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