Discuss Your Comments With Disqus

Shout down phone

Overview:

The standard blogging systems have good, built in comment systems.  However many websites are now using the online comment system Disqus.  This article discusses the pros and cons of Disqus and explains why ‘Beginning to Blog’ uses the system.

Let’s Go:  What is Disqus?

Disqus is simply an alternative to a blog site’s own comment system.  For most blogs there is a simple plugin, which when activated will as the name suggests plug in the Disqus system.

There are two big differences to the standard comment system:

A user logs in once and can then automatically comment on any website that has Disqus activated. So for example once signed in you could write a comment on Beginning to Blog, but you can then go to other blogs and comment there, or you can even go to two UK national newspapers, the Independent, and the Daily Telegraph, and automatically make comments there.

A user’s comments and approval of other comments are stored on the Disqus systesm. The user then has a separate, online file of all their comments on all of the Disqus sites they have used.  As Disqus has a great search system this can be useful in checking back on the comments they have made or someone else, possibly impressed by someone’s comments on one site , can follow that person’s comments on other sites.

The login

A user can log into Disqus using their Twitter account, their Facebook account, Yahoo account or their OpenID.  Once the link is established they can comment.

This has the plus point that the gravtar, or image they use, on that account can be drawn in.  It also means that when a person is posting a comment they can also opt for the details of their post to summarised and linked on the Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo system.

The positive advantages of using Disqus

for the user

The biggest advantage is that the user receives emails telling them when there are comments on their comments.  The links in the emails takes the user straight to the comment and so it is quite easy to engage in a discussion or argument with other users of the site.

  • It saves the user registering on lots of different websites.
  • The user can quickly access all comments they have made.
  • On most website users can click on a button to say they like a comment, which can give positive feedback for the writer.
  • The user has a summary of how many posts they made and how many people have rated their comments.

for the website owner

  • Disqus cuts practically all spam.
  • The comments are often linked to on at least one of these services Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo.  This then produces backlinks from highly rated sites, which in turn enhances the rating of the blog or newspaper.
  • It makes their site look professional.
  • It’s very easy to control comments.  Hostile or unacceptable comments are easy to delete.

The downside

  • A person has to actually register before they can comment, which may block some potential commentators.
  • If there is a fault with the Disqus system then there maybe no comments on the site or the site could be slowed down.
  • The website owner has little control of Disqus.  If say Disqus decided to withdraw the free service I would have to balance between paying a subscription or losing my existing comments.  I think this is unlikely.

Why I use Disqus

I think that Disqus will cut spam on my sites, will look more professional, will give me valuable back links. It will also enable me to check the comment history of my commentators.

Comments

    • Hortongroup Com says

      How does this impact your website’s SEO? What about building loyalty to your Blog, rather than to the Disqus tool?

  1. says

    Thanks for the info. I getting ready to launch my blog (finally) but want to be happy with the comment section.

    Question:
    1. My blog audience is going to have mix of people including those that don’t read blogs often. Do you think the login steps would deter comments from this group.

    2. People talk about disqus not being SEO friendly. Thoughts? Does it matter?

    3. I heard it can slow website load speed. Thoughts?

    Thanks again.

    • says

      My reasons for using Disqus are:

      1 It’s used by quite a number of well established and big sites

      2 It’s good at notifying me by email when someone’s commented. As I’ve got quite a few sites it makes it easy for me to manage them.

      3 Comments are stored and you can check through them or make a search.
      Your questions

      1 People don’t have to log in – quite a few don’t on my sites and that doesn’t seem to be a problem.

      2 I suspect that SEO is marginal as most comment systems comments are labelled ‘nofollow’ so are ignored by search engines.

      3 Every addition/ plugin slows loading slightly. My impression is that Disqus mostly loads after the main page has loaded. As the comments are at the bottom of a page it is not noticeably slower.

      Though I have seen Disqus cause problems on larger sites, eg UK newspapers, but they have large volumes of users, commentators and their installations are customised and often being upgraded.

      *If worried*
      *
      *
      The comment system in WordPress is pretty good and I am vaguely aware that
      there are quite a few plugins for the comment system which probably have
      the same effects as Disqus.

      Good luck with your blog

      Paul

    • says

      My reasons for using Disqus are:

      1 It’s used by quite a number of well established and big sites

      2 It’s good at notifying me by email when someone’s commented. As I’ve got quite a few sites it makes it easy for me to manage them.

      3 Comments are stored and you can check through them or make a search.

      Your questions

      1 People don’t have to log in – quite a few don’t on my sites and that doesn’t seem to be a problem.

      2 I suspect that SEO is marginal as most comment systems comments are labelled ‘nofollow’ so are ignored by search engines.

      3 Every addition/ plugin slows loading slightly. My impression is that Disqus mostly loads after the main page has loaded. As the comments are at the bottom of a page it is not noticeably slower.

      Though I have seen Disqus cause problems on larger sites, eg UK newspapers, but they have large volumes of users, commentators and their installations are customised and often being upgraded.

      If worried

      The comment system in WordPress is pretty good and I am vaguely aware that there are quite a few plugins for the comment system which probably have the same effects as Disqus.

      Good luck with your blog

      Paul

  2. says

    You get some really cantankerous people commenting on newspapers and there are users who change their profiles constantly just so as they can be rude to people. it would be cool if they could limit the number of profiles a person can create from the same email or ip address.

    • says

      Wendy – that’s too true.  Years ago I had someone attacking my personal blog and over a 6 month period I had over 150 abusive comments  I kept blocking different ISPs etc but he made dozens of emails.  

      He had been obscenely abusive to a woman I was working with and all I did was suggest that if he learnt the art of using soap – then a real might girl might talk to him. 

      I must have hit home.  

      Moral of the story is just ignore these idiots and they tend to get away.  

      I know some larger organisations have quite sophisticated systems for trapping and blocking such idiots.

      On a site I’m helping develop, which will be political, we will vet all comments – it stops unpleasantness. 

      Sounds like you’ve had hassles.   

  3. Dan says

    OK. I registered for a site (breitbart.com) using Disqus. Now i tied to comment here by logging into Disqus, but my email/PW was not recognized.

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