Back To Blogging Basics: Disqus

Since tossing the forum at Symbian-Guru.com, we’ve gone back to using the default comment system that comes with WordPress. We’ve seen a healthy increase in the number of comments left, which is fantastic. There’s nothing wrong with this system – indeed, it works well for most people. Unfortunately, there were line break issues with our new theme, and it wasn’t really all that easy for readers to leave comments. The other problem is that I currently run three sites, all of which get comments. Moderating those comments is a big hassle, and not something I can easily do via email without clicking a link to get back to my site (which doesn’t work well from my phone, unfortunately).

I’ve had numerous friends recommend Disqus, and I resisted, mainly due to an unfounded belief that they completely replaced my blog’s comment system, which meant that if Disqus went down (or stopped working) then my site would be comment-less. After some investigation, it appears as though Disqus has now cleverly integrated itself with your WordPress database, both importing your existing comments to kick-start things, and also constantly synchronizing new comments back to your database. This means, essentially, that if I were to stop using Disqus, I wouldn’t really lose anything. Brilliant.

Setup is quite possibly even easier than setting up WordPress in the first place. You simply setup your Disqus account (or login, if you’ve already created one for commenting on other sites) and then walk through the 4-step process to add your site to your account. For WordPress self-hosted sites, there’s a dead-simple plugin that you can install, and that’s really it.

Another major bonus, in my opinion, is the easy integration with other services, specifically for my readers. You can now login and comment on any of my three sites by using either OAuth, Twitter, Facebook, or Disqus. You can also comment anonymously, if so inclined. Not only is this more convenient for my readers, but it also gives them easy options to post their comments (or the post) on Facebook or Twitter easily. Brilliant.

You can completely customize the Disqus comments box with all sorts of various settings, and can easily access the CSS, if you wish to change the colors and all.

One important factor for me, however, is mobile access. Many of my readers use their phones to access the site, and making sure that would work with Disqus was a top priority. I’m pleased to report that, although slightly more resource-heavy when loading, Disqus works great on the mobile versions of my sites, which is awesome.

The best part? Setting up and implementing Disqus on three separate blogs took a grand total of 20 minutes, kid you not. That is, without question, the fastest, most headache-free thing that I’ve done to improve my site, ever. The other awesome part is that, since all of my sites are connected to my single Disqus account, I can moderate comments on all three sites from the same page – without having to reload or re-login or anything. It’s completely brilliant.You can see Disqus in action at the end of this post.

What’s the last thing you did to improve your blog experience for both you and your readers at the same time? Did it work?

  • http://edythemighty.com edythemighty

    You rollin with the big boys now

  • http://www.giannii.com Giannii

    What he said. =P

  • http://symbiannetwork.wordpress.com/ SteveRowlands

    I couldn't seem to get the 'login' button on Disqus to work from the mobile or full website from withing the S60 browser….. might just yet another N97 'quirk' though…… ;-)

    LOVE it that you've now moved to disqus though, much easier!

  • http://www.pixelapes.com Alex Leonard

    Did you consider Intense Debate at all?

    I've tested it a while ago and it seemed quite nice, but haven't checked in on it in a while.

  • http://www.rickycadden.com Ricky Cadden

    I'll keep testing. I definitely would like to see a mobile-friendly version of the login with less graphics – perhaps just simple text links or something. I'll also continue tweaking things (we're painfully aware that the mobile site needs some serious attention, specifically for touchscreen phones like the N97)

  • http://www.symbianfrance.com Greg Taieb

    Hi Ricky, As you can see, I'm also using disqus. Using a Blackberry (among various Symbian devices), I can immediately receive and moderate comments from my website.
    The only drawback is that I encountered some issues during the initial imports ((more than 6.000 comments to import).
    I set up and run Disqus for a couple of months and ask readers their advice:
    - When I launch it
    - After 2 months of use
    The result is that, even though it was 50/50 during the 1rst poll, Disqus received a great majority of positive comments on the 2nd poll.
    I think users do appreciate to be able to use a single login on various blog, to manage their comments online, and being able to comment using their Facebook or Twitter account.

  • http://www.symbianfrance.com Greg Taieb

    Hi Ricky, As you can see, I'm also using disqus. Using a Blackberry (among various Symbian devices), I can immediately receive and moderate comments from my website.
    The only drawback is that I encountered some issues during the initial imports ((more than 6.000 comments to import).
    I set up and run Disqus for a couple of months and ask readers their advice:
    - When I launch it
    - After 2 months of use
    The result is that, even though it was 50/50 during the 1rst poll, Disqus received a great majority of positive comments on the 2nd poll.
    I think users do appreciate to be able to use a single login on various blog, to manage their comments online, and being able to comment using their Facebook or Twitter account.

  • http://www.blackphoebe.com/msjen Ms. Jen

    I find Disqus to be very frustrating and frankly am less likely to comment on a site with it. What is frustrating about it: the login. If I click the Disqus button to log in, it will ask me for my Disqus credentials and then not log me in. Then I fill the Name, Email, Website info below the comments section and push the Post as Guest button & then Disqus wakes up and Says “Would you like to post as Ms. Jen?” Yes, Disqus, I would.

    It happens on every site that I have tried to comment on that uses Disqus. Bad user experience. gah.

    I prefer the native comment systems that come with the blog software. Jacobite. ;o)

  • http://www.blackphoebe.com/msjen Ms. Jen

    I find Disqus to be very frustrating and frankly am less likely to comment on a site with it. What is frustrating about it: the login. If I click the Disqus button to log in, it will ask me for my Disqus credentials and then not log me in. Then I fill the Name, Email, Website info below the comments section and push the Post as Guest button & then Disqus wakes up and Says “Would you like to post as Ms. Jen?” Yes, Disqus, I would.

    It happens on every site that I have tried to comment on that uses Disqus. Bad user experience. gah.

    I prefer the native comment systems that come with the blog software. Jacobite. ;o)

  • http://www.blackphoebe.com/msjen Ms. Jen

    I find Disqus to be very frustrating and frankly am less likely to comment on a site with it. What is frustrating about it: the login. If I click the Disqus button to log in, it will ask me for my Disqus credentials and then not log me in. Then I fill the Name, Email, Website info below the comments section and push the Post as Guest button & then Disqus wakes up and Says “Would you like to post as Ms. Jen?” Yes, Disqus, I would.

    It happens on every site that I have tried to comment on that uses Disqus. Bad user experience. gah.

    I prefer the native comment systems that come with the blog software. Jacobite. ;o)

  • http://www.blackphoebe.com/msjen Ms. Jen

    I find Disqus to be very frustrating and frankly am less likely to comment on a site with it. What is frustrating about it: the login. If I click the Disqus button to log in, it will ask me for my Disqus credentials and then not log me in. Then I fill the Name, Email, Website info below the comments section and push the Post as Guest button & then Disqus wakes up and Says “Would you like to post as Ms. Jen?” Yes, Disqus, I would.

    It happens on every site that I have tried to comment on that uses Disqus. Bad user experience. gah.

    I prefer the native comment systems that come with the blog software. Jacobite. ;o)

  • http://www.holiday-home-web-design.ajm7.com Holiday Home Web Design

    I like the comments system here. Disqus is going on my WP site soon. I do not like the way that so many sites I try to comment on have broken comment systems that go to a blank page after hitting the submit button. It rarely happens with Disqus.

  • http://www.holiday-home-web-design.ajm7.com Holiday Home Web Design

    I like the comments system here. Disqus is going on my WP site soon. I do not like the way that so many sites I try to comment on have broken comment systems that go to a blank page after hitting the submit button. It rarely happens with Disqus.