Everyone knows the importance of blog commenting. There are so many different solutions out there today that offer rich features. I recently switched from CommentLuv to DISQUS so I decided to go through all of its features and share them with you. Take a look inside and learn more about DISQUS and how it can benefit your blog or website. This is my WordPress Plugin Reviews of the DISQUS Commenting System.
Importance of Blog Commenting
First off I’d like to say of course it is important to get visitors to comment on your blog. It shows us that as a blogger/writer know that they were interested in the content you wrote. It gives you some affirmation of what your doing is write or wrong. And you know people actually READ your content. Of course another reason you want people to comment on your blog is so that Google will place your articles up higher in the search engines. For me its a little bit of both. I like the interaction when I get it, and the side benefit of the positive SEO to rank higher in the SERPs.
Why I Moved Off of CommentLuv
Personally I love all of the features of what Andy Bailey has done with his incredible plugin. I still think CommentLuv is a great commenting system. The issue I had with it actually has nothing to do with the program itself. Its just the prevalence of up and coming bloggers (like me ironically) who just want to spam a comment to try and get a free back link to their own blogs. With the way Google is now handling potential comment spam? I just can’t risk it.
I’m trying to go just beyond the basic blog. So I wanted something a little more mainstream and easier to manage.
DISQUS Commenting System
So I moved onto DISQUS. DISQUS has been around for a very long time. A lot of large sites are using the system. Not to mention the features and ease of use it has for both the admin of the blog or site it is running on but also for the person wishing to comment. DISQUS states the following:
Disqus (dis·cuss • dï-sküs’) is all about changing the way people think about discussion on the web. We’re big believers in the conversations and communities that form on blogs and other sites.
The DISQUS comment system supports just about every major platform or website you can imagine. In this review it is for WordPress but all of the features listed are cross-platform compatible.
The formats supported are:
Setup and Install
It was very easy to setup and install. It goes just like every other WordPress plugin:
From your WordPress Admin
- Click on Plugins -> Add New
- Search for “DISQUS”
- Install and Activate.
- Sign up for a DISQUS account at https://www.disqus.com and follow the simple setup process.
Import Existing Comments
DISQUS has a feature to allow you to import your existing WordPress comments into DISQUS.
Export XML WordPress Data
- Go to Tools -> Export
- Select “All content” and click “Download Export Data”
- Save it to your Computer
Import Existing Comments to DISQUS (Syncing Comments)
The “Hard” Way
- Login to your DISQUS Admin Page
- Click on Discussions Tab
- Click on the Import Tab underneath it.
- Click on Upload and Import WXR Data
The “Easy” Way
- Go to DISQUS Plugin Settings
- Click on the Export Option.
- It will then automatically connect and synch your existing WordPress Comments to DISCUS and automatically add comments you’ve approved onto the WordPress database.
Although this is a great feature unfortunately the system is bogged down when I decided to switch. It took them a week to get caught up and actually do the import. This is something to keep in mine if you decide to switch.
DISQUS Comment Administration
This is the main area where you will be managing any comments that are left on your WordPress blog. This is also where you can manage settings such as the appearance and a whole bunch of other settings.
This is where you manage comments on your site. You can easily approve/delete/spam comments from the dashboard which integrates with your WordPress site.
- All – Lists all comments on your site regardless of status.
- Approved – Only list Approved comments.
- Pending – Waiting for moderation
- Spam – Flagged as SPAM
- Deleted – Shows comments you deleted so you can review and un-delete comments if needed.
The great part about the DISQUS system? You can opt to receive emails when someone comments and have the ability to reply and moderate from the email instead of having to go back to the site’s admin window and moderate it from there.
- Edit – Allows you to set specific authors for each post, update titles, and close old discussions. In this section the main use is where you can lock/unlock comments on specific posts.
- Tools – This section provides migration tools to help you manage your comments if you moved to a different platform or domain.
- Import – Import tools to take existing comments from WordPress and add them to DISQUS
- Export – Tools to allow you to backup your comments on the DISQUS system. This backup will not allow you to manually re-import back to DISQUS though.
In this screen you can see how much engagement is happening on your site as well as any revenue earned. You can also see the top commenters on your site. Below is an example of how the graph looks.
This is where you will do your initial settings on how comments are to be displayed on your site.
- Appearance – Adjust the color scheme (light or dark), Typeface to be used and the Admin/Moderator text to be displayed.
- Comment Count Link – Adjust your comment counters to be displayed on your articles.
- Reaction Count Link – Adjust your reaction counters to be displayed on your artilces.
- Shortname – provided to you by DISQUS – in this case it was setup as ‘avgjoegeek’
- Website name – Name of your site.
- Website URL – URL to your website
- Description – Add your site description.
- Language – Default language you would like to use.
- Guest Commenting – Allow guest commenting on/off
- Pre-moderation – Set to None to allow all, Non-Verified – Comments from visitors without verified emails require approval, and All, moderators need to approve all comments.
- Links in Comments – Allow URL links in comments or not.
- Media Attachments – Allow pictures, links to videos etc in the comments.
- Flagged Comments – Control whether you wish to receive an email when a comment has been flagged. Then setup to allow if a comment will be allowed to be displayed if it has been flagged after x amount of times.
- Automatic Closing – Auto close comments on articles after x amount of days. You can set this to ‘0’ if you wish to keep them open indefinitely.
Social Platform Integration
- Twitter @Replies – input your Twitter user names for tweeted comments to @reply
- Reactions – Enable mentions of your page on Twitter back into the DISQUS conversation on your site.
- Mentions – Allow users to mentoin other users within a DISQUS comment
This is where you can monetize and earn additional revenue and/or a list of recent articles below or above your the comments. This can be turned on or off depending on your blog. There is also an option to allow for in-textual links through the use of VigLinks if you wish as well.
- Choose Your Discovery Level – Set the level of how you wish to have the Discover to look – above or below your comments, just have links to your other articles, or allow “around the web” which you will earn if people click on those links.
- How Your Will Look – Provides an example on how your comments will appear in the comment section.
- Affiliate Links – Allow in-text links through the use of VigLinks
- Paypal Email – Input your PayPal email address.
- Blacklist – Input URL’s for sites you do not wish to display on your site.
Allow additional people to help moderate comments on your site.
Set up Word, user, IP, or Email filters to white-list/blacklist individuals from commenting onto your site.
- Restricted Words – You can add word filters to remove the ability to filter out certain words from being displayed in the comments.
- Blacklists and White-lists – Add filters by User, Email, or IP Address to Blacklist or White-list individuals to your site.
- Default Commenter Avatar – Setup a custom Avatar to be used for those who don’t have a profile picture setup when commenting.
- Categories – Categories are used only in conjunction with the DISQUS API
- Trusted Domains – You can setup a custom lists of domains which are allowed to connect to your DISQUS comments embed
- Akismet – Easily integrate Akismet SPAM protection by inputting their API key to help fight off SPAM.
- Delete from DISQUS – If you ever decide to move to a different commenting system you can click this option to wipe out all information from their servers.
Commenting couldn’t be any easier now. Your visitors get a multitude of options to login and comment on your website or blog. They can choose to log in using their favorite social media like Facebook or Twitter, use their DISQUS account or if they registered with the blog sign in using that. Or they can comment as a “Guest” (if you allow it) which means they don’t need to log in at all to comment. Visitors can also easily Register with DISQUS right in the Comment screen.
Some additional things visitors can do from the Comment window:
- Best – Sort comments by Newest, Oldest, or Popular. You can configure comments to default to any of these settings as well in the administration screen.
- Community – See other comments from within your website. You can also see a list of other users who has visited and commented on your site as well. If visitors or interested they can click on the link to be taken to that article to take part in the discussion.
- Share – Easily share from Facebook or Twitter
- Settings – Used as the Login screen or easily administer comments from within the window as well.
- The initial pain of setup was actually pretty minimal. It just worked out of the box. There was no having to tweak the WordPress theme, or have to manually do anything to get it to work. It just works – period.
- Visitors no longer have to jump through a bunch of hoops just to leave a comment. There is no more having to check a bunch of boxes. They just need to sign in either with their DISQUS or favorite Social Media account and start commenting!
- The bad news? Importing my existing WordPress comments took FOREVER.
- You might see a drop in comments on your blog as you are no longer using your prior commenting system.
- This site is no longer offering “dofollow” backlinks for other bloggers and I’m sure that is going to affect me a bit.
- There is no more check boxes for visitors to easily opt in for my newsletter and special offers.
Overall I really do love the DISQUS commenting system. Its not only easy to use for those wishing to comment. It is even easier to administer comments – without ever having to go into the Admin panel! If you want a system that is fully featured and easy to setup and use? I highly suggest DISQUS.
Update: Unfortunately with Google locking down on how people have been trying to cheat the system with poor practices. A lot of sites including this one have just turned off commenting all together. It sucks because I did enjoy talking with people but 99% of the time it was just unwanted spammy comments attempting to get a cheap link. I still think Disqus is great – and if your site needs a robust commenting system I’d still suggest giving this a go instead of using the default one with WordPress.