Last year at some point, I stumbled upon the new disqus commenting platform. I only got around to installing it recently, but I’m glad I did.
I was at first slightly confused when I flicked through their website, coming across this post about SSO (single sign on) support. For this new plugin, they were charging $99/month, so I thought there was no way disqus could be free to install – but turns out that it is. I’m getting slightly sidetracked here but as far as I can see, they are creating a plugin which lets you merge the WP and disqus logins, so it’s a bridge, effectively. In my opinion, $99/month is pretty steep, but I guess they have to make revenue somehow, with a free product.
Anyway, obvious improvements over the wordpress comment system were the abilities to comment using other web profiles, like Google accounts. Until recently, Facebook was not one of them, and I wasn’t too bothered by that since I wouldn’t use my facebook account to post comments on webdev sites, so I’m hoping others have the same idea. I know for a fact that Google/Twitter accounts are more popular within this niche, and disqus is growing in popularity (specifically within this niche) meaning people are more likely to comment on my blog. Anyway, disqus now supports sign on with either a disqus, Google, Twitter or Facebook account. I know there are other available WordPress plugins that let you sign on with Google or FB, but none have caught my eye like disqus did – it’s slick, professional, and simple.
For me, installation and setup took about 2 minutes, AND I had to create a new account. For WordPress, you can export existing comments into disqus after you install the plugin – this is a feature they really had to have if they wanted their software to take off, which it did. This only takes a few seconds to do but you have to leave them to process for a few minutes afterwards.
After first installing, I was surprised to see they had thrown in “relevant” ads to external sites below the comments, as you can see above – but it turns out there’s an easy option in the dashboard to remove disqus ads. The dashboard itself is slightly less simplistic than the comment system but it still manages to be pretty slick, given the amount of different options you have on it. You’re given all sorts of data about your comments, graphs showing which article has been commented on, and so on. The option I mentioned about turning the ads off is actually one of 4 different options which you can change to get “maximum traffic” or “maximum revenue” from the disqus platform – something I’ll explain in a later post!
If you haven’t already, give it a try.