Why Disqus?

September 13, 2011 Written By Marco Monteiro

You may noticed that a few weeks ago I removed the normal comment system from my blog and added Disqus to it. Mainly I did this because of this tweet. I was getting too much spam on my comments.

So, I was getting a lot of spam. And when I say a lot I’m not talking about a few tens of comments. No! I’m talking about more than 1000 comments a week. Those damn Russian dudes work hard on their titles …Giving a free ipad“ or even …Enlarge your penis right now!“. Classic stuff and for many time I didn’t bother to even mark then for spam. I just approve the real comments and ignore the spammers.

But when I opened my comments review page and Google Chrome ask me if I want to translate the page from Russian to English that was my wake up call.

So my first thought was: All my projects use or will use comments in the near future, so why not use a platform that can integrate all them in one place? This way I can do all the management at the same time.

Right now I have a picture project called PicSome on Tumblr, just a small tumblr to post random photos to share with everyone. I have my dailypancake that also needs comments and obviously my personal blog right here. So if I can do all the approval work in one place that is just a time saving feature and I’m all about time saving features.

But that was not the only feature that made me use Disqus. Hell, they have so much to offer that I’m impressed that not everyone is using Disqus.

So let’s check some of the features.

  1. Real-time commenting system
  2. Notification system
  3. Reply system
  4. Inline media embedding
  5. Mobile commenting
  6. Community profiles
  7. Social integration
  8. Liking and sharing
  9. Moderation tools
  10. Black-lists and white-lists
  11. import and export comments
  12. Theme customization
  13. and many more…

Like I said, Disqus has much to offer. Let’s explain the main features.

Real-time commenting system

This is a great feature. This means that you can actually comment/reply in real time without having to worry about spam or waiting for your comment to be approved so everyone can see it.

Notification System

Pretty self explanatory, I manage the comments so I can turn on and off notifications for my blogs. But the best thing is that you can also turn notifications on a thread, so you can get back and reply to that guy moaning at you. This is a pretty cool feature and it works not only for the Administrator but also for the good people that comment on the post.

Inline Media embedding

Don’t actually find this useful, at least not for what I need Disqus, but in some projects that might come in handy to use. With this feature you can leave a comment, but you can leave not only text but also video, images or songs. So in some cases this can be useful. Tumblr blogs that only share photos can put this to a good use.

**Mobile commenting **

I’m all about responsive webdesign, so this is a must have feature. All my websites are mobile compatible (still have some things to correct though) so, if I’m using a plugin for comments I need it to work on my mobile version.

Community Profiles

This is actually a really neat feature. This means that if someone is actually logged into Discus, they can just use their account to comment and don’t even bother to login into one of their social accounts.

Social Integration

This is probably the best feature. Everyone use at least one social network, Facebook, Twitter, google or any other. What this means is that people can actually use them to login and comment.

With this I can forget about comments approval, just need to make the comments closed to a login, any kind of login (Disqus or social). There’s no way those …penis enlargement guys“ can spam me with this settings now. (evil smile)

Liking and Sharing

This is also a great feature. If I’m writing about something, I’ll appreciate a simple like or if you really liked the content a quick share with your pears. That would actually make my day. Now seriously, this is a precious feature. Everything a blogger wants is to get a little appreciation for the hard work. This is a great way for the reader to say …thank you“.

Moderation tools

I’m not using this one, since I have my comments with some kind of login I think that’s enough, I choose to trust the community to be polite. Although if you need to moderate your comments you can do it, and the best thing is if you have 5 or even 10 blogs you do all the moderation in one place.

Import and Export comments

You are using other comment system and you are worried with what is going to happen to your comments already on that system like wordpress native comments system? Not to worry, you can do that just with a few clicks, is actually pretty easy.

Theme customization

Disqus gives you the option to choose between two templates. Although if you need to make some changes you can do that just by adding some css in your customization options.

I’m currently in the process to adding Disqus to Dailypancake. Still making a CSS file to the website so the comments can be well integrated. After that all of my projects that actually need comments will be using Disqus.

After all this you may say: …Yes, but why didn’t you just protect your wordpress websites against spam with some captcha, or even make a required login for commenting?“

Well that’s a good point, but let my explain why I think that is not the way to go.

The Capcha

The capcha for me is always a buzz kill when I get on a website and feel like commenting. I one of those guys that normally have to try 2 or 3 times before being able to actually post the comment. Some times I don’t even bother to comment if the capcha system is too complex. The second thing about capcha is that most of the capcha systems are ugly and they’ll probably break your design. And that’s a no go for me.

The required Login for commenting

I can’t say this on a different way: I hate when I go to a wordpress blog and they make me create a account in the website just to leave a comment. That just looks like you are just after real e-mails to sell or spam with newsletters. Since normally wordpress requires a valid e-mail for confirmation.

With all this in mind, I think most of the times: I was just about to thank this guy for the awesome article and now I have to:

  1. Register
  2. Go to my e-mail and check my password
  3. Come back to the website
  4. Login
  5. Change my password so I can comment the next time
  6. Get back to the post
  7. Write the comment
  8. Seems like a lot of effort for just a thank you note don’t you think? For me, it is.

In Conclusion:

The best thing about Disqus is: your database will be free from all those spammers and you’ll don’t have to worry about all that cleaning after them. **The bad thing about Disqus is: ** you have to rely on Disqus for all the comments, so if the service goes down for maintenance, or God forbid the service goes down for ever you’ll stay with no comments for a while. My advice here is for you to do backups from Disqus to your wordpress system or whatever system you’re using so if this actually happens you just have to switch from one system to another again, keeping all the comments live.

Let me know about other comment systems. What system do you use on your blog and why. And finally did you think it was a good move to integrate Disqus on my Blog?


Like it? Tweet it.

"Why Disqus?" via @marcogmonteiro