Replacing the default WordPress Comment System with Disqus

***EDIT***
I am no longer using the Disqus comment system on my WordPress sites due to problems with spam and a lack of filtering options

I’ve been using the default WordPress comment system ever since I switched my blog over to WordPress last year. The default comment system has worked well for me in the past, although it wasn’t without it’s shortcomings, so today I’ve installed the Disqus comment system and here’s my first impression.


Comment Spam
One of the biggest problems with even a not so popular blog as my own has been comment spam.  If your blog is out there, the spammers will find it.  Now Automattic (the company behind WordPress) offers the Akismet spam blocker, and after installing their Akismet plugin, spam comments were definitely reduced and almost completely eliminated.  Disqus does its own spam filtering, and even has the option for other commenters to flag/report a comment that is inappropriate or spam.

Comment Follow Up
Another problem with WordPress is the inability for comment authors to subscribe to a specific post, or group of comments, to be notified of follow up comments.  This can make it a real pain to try and keep up with your comments (especially if you comment on many different sites), and makes it hard to have a back and forth conversation within your comments on a post.  To achieve this functionality within WordPress another plugin, Subscribe To Comments, which can send you an email when there are new comments.   With Disqus not only can you follow up with comments, but you can track and view other user’s comments on your blog (as well as others) on the Disqus site.

Comment Rating
Not necessarily a problem with WordPress’ default comment system (although it can be added with the Comment Karma plugin), but a very nice added feature when using Disqus for comments.  Similar to the functionality you see on Digg and other popular sites, Disqus allows commenters to rate each others’ comments (and even bury comments with too many negative ratings).

Install
The one place where I can honestly say that WordPress has the edge on Disqus is the install/setup process.  Disqus does require some additional special steps to get everything configured correctly for you blog, but luckily Dale Dietrich has a handy guide on installing Disqus with WordPress version 2.7.  Following Dale’s guide I was able to have everything up and running without a hitch in a matter of minutes, and once my existing WordPress comments were imported into Disqus, the new comment system was ready to roll (the comment import process did take about an hour).

The best thing about using Disqus for comments? I was able to delete 3-4 different WordPress plugins and replace them all using only the new Disqus plugin.

So what do you think of the new Disqus comments?  Would you rather use WordPress’ default comment system?  Or something else like Intense Debate perhaps?

31 Comments

  1. can i install both plugins at once? i mean akismet and disqus? or i should install 1 only on my choice

  2. You're going to have to go with 1 or the other. Akismet is used with the default WordPress comments system, and Disqus has it's own anti-spam system.

  3. Glad you found my post useful Jon. In response to jrbeilke's question, Disqus USES Akismet in their backend – or so they tell me. It's a little odd how they implement it though. At least as of March 9, 2009. Disqus strips out all the spam Akismet finds with respect to comments it allows through when it feeds the comments.

    But, strangely, those Akismet spam comments still go through to the blog's underlying comment system as part of the comment sync process. There, if Akismet is ALSO running on your WordPress blog, it filters it out.

    So, every few days I go into the underlying comment system on my blog and delete all the spam Akismet finds. This is NOT needed, of course, so long as Disqus is running. But, I don't want it all clogging up back there, needlessly filling up my database. So, I clean it out every few days.

    FYI, you can get to the underlying comment system on your blog (even while Disqus is running) by creating a shortcut to:

    http://<yourblog&gt;.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php

    …Dale

  4. Yop! Thanks for all. Just something, before importing your comments in disqus, clean the akismet spam directory. It seem that my blog have exported the spam flagged comment into the unapprouved repertory of disqus… I ve to clean it now !

  5. Have to say I do agree. Things like this just are what they are.

  6. At least as of March 9, 2009. Disqus strips out all the spam Akismet finds with respect to comments it allows through when it feeds the comments. But, strangely, those Akismet spam comments still go through to the blog's underlying comment system as part of the comment sync process. There, if Akismet is ALSO running on your WordPress blog, it filters it out.

  7. Hey Jon! I started using Disqus almost the same day I launched my blog. I absolutely LOVE it! It was a really easy install for me (of course, I didn’t have any existing comments to import into it).

    I was wondering if you’ve found your blog takes longer to load since installing Disqus? I’m on the hunt to figure out what’s slowing down my blog. I’ll probably end up deactivating everything and reactivating plugins one at a time to figure it out, but I thought I would ask you. Thanks!

    -Keller

  8. Thanks for your information bro.. Very informative post.. Is it possible to install both the disqus commenting system and akismet.. Because i have to use them in my wordpress theme..so if is possible please let me know..

  9. What is the comment system used in this site ?

  10. This site formerly used the Disqus commenting system, but after dealing with numerous issues I have returned to the default WordPress comment system (along with some additional plugins to enhance functionality).

    My biggest problem with Disqus was the sheer volume of extra spam that came in with it, as well as the amount of false positives caught in the system.

  11. great post
    tricky question.
    is there a way to disable the disqus comment system on a specific page AND bring back the default wordpress comment system (ONLY on that specific page)
    ?

    cheers,

    • Unfortunately from what I understand there is no way to selectively disable disqus comments on a per page basis. I have recently switched back to the default wordpress comments system, as I was having too many problems with Disqus (mostly spam comments and a lack of filtering).

  12. Are you no longer using Disqus? I’ve tried it on a few blogs and have always ended up going back to the default comment system.

    • @Justin Wright yes, I have gone back to the default WordPress comment system as well. There were just too many problems with Disqus (and all the spam!) to keep it on the site any longer.

  13. Thank you for the informative post. I run blogs myself and will have to add the akismet plugin to my site.

  14. Does comment tracker really work well?

    I had to turn off comments on my blog, due to the amount of bots coming to spam was causing my server to crash, already a high traffic blog, but the bots were crazy.

    I really want to put comments back on (for obvious reasons) but without someway of stopping them it will just crash my server again. Anyone any clever ideas?

    • @Dave T The best way to stop spam with WordPress is to use their Akismet spam service to filter comments before they make it onto your blog or website. You can also adjust your comment settings to more effectively prevent spam (such as limiting the number of outgoing links in comments, etc.).

      As for crashing your server, many times this can be caused by a high amount of plugins or extra modules installed on your blog that can bring the server down (especially any commenting plugins, or other user plugins that cause heavy loads).

  15. I prefer the regular WordPress comments since I heard Disqus slows your site down.

  16. I have switched to Disqus for a while and now I am thinking to switch back. The reason I use Disqus is because of the plugin Subscribe to Comments was slowing my site load time, which affect my points with Google. That’s not a good thing. With Disqus I was able to get rid of all these plugins. I haven’t have any issue with spam from Disqus, but for some reason the spam was able to get thru to my original wordpress comment. I am in the process of trying to stop the pingback spam. The only problem I have with Disqus right now, is that I can’t do single sign on with my forum. My comments are getting very confusing as people keep on asking the same questions, and it lacks a seach capability. Some of my articles gets 50+ comments and still growing. It is very difficult to find anything there. So I decided to sync them with phpBB forum. With Disque, I am not able to do so.

  17. I have been using disqus for a while now, it makes following up on comments quite easy. My only problem is with spam. Spammers don’t come to the website directly and post the comments via diqus, but uses the default commenting system. I may have fixed it by requiring users to register to comment via default commenting system, which a normal user won’t see.
    I haven’t had much problem with speed. Latest test at tools.pingdom.com shows load time to be less than 4 second.

  18. I realize that you’re not using disqus anymore. why?

    • Yep, I’ve switched back to the default WordPress comment system along with Akismet for spam filtering. Disqus is an interesting system, but I had too many issues with slow loading times and spam comments.

  19. After switching to Disqus I’m noticing an awful number of “spam” trackbacks. I’ve put my Akismet API Key in Disqus Control Panel, but it seems that something else is going wrong…

  20. Actually I solved some weeks ago: all you have to do is using Disqus plugin (with spam filter enabled) TOGETHER with Akismet WP plugin.

  21. Hey i like your post ive also installed Disqus on my website

  22. I found this article when looking for answers to why my disqus comment form didn’t show up in wordpress.
    I disabled all plugins and re-enabled them one by one and it turns out that for me, it was the “spam free wordpress” plugin that made a lot of trouble. Just FYI and posterity. Good luck!

  23. Would you mind telling me how you got this post to appear like this without the disqus logo etc. I like your settings and would like to use them.

    • This site formerly used the Disqus commenting system, but after dealing with numerous issues I have returned to the default WordPress comment system (along with some additional plugins to enhance functionality).

      My biggest problem with Disqus was the sheer volume of extra spam that came in with it, as well as the amount of false positives caught in the system.

  24. Hi there,
    I’ve been just working on my new WordPress site. Actually I’m having difficulties with comment system. Could you just tell me which ‘additional plugins’ you’ve installed? Thanks!

    • Wan the only plugins I have for comments are Akismet to catch spam and Jetpack by WordPress.com with the enhanced Jetpack comments enabled. Here’s a link to some more info about the Jetpack Comments: http://jetpack.me/support/comments/

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