A couple of weeks ago I decided to move to the WPDiscuz plugin on my blog.
If you don’t know it already, it’s a plugin which enhances the comments section of your blog.
It builds on the native WordPress comments system.
That means all of your comments stay put on WordPress…
Rather than being held on a server somewhere else,
And then syncing back to your WordPress database.
I Said Goodbye To Disqus
Previously I had been quite happily using Disqus on my blog.
I really like many aspects of what Disqus can offer.
Whether that’s the visual design, easy comment moderating or the discovery tool.
It does have a lot of positive aspects to it.
The Plugin Backend Got Updated
Usually getting an update for a plugin is a positive experience.
It means there might be bug fixes, new functionality and some general improvements.
But as soon as I updated the plugin, I realised it was a mistake.
I couldn’t get the sync with WordPress to work.
The WordPress Sync Stopped Working
One minute the comment sync back to WordPress was working…
And the next minute it wasn’t.
The procedure for syncing comments had changed though.
Disqus describe it as an easy process with automatic installation or it can be done manually.
Neither method worked for me.
I got nowhere by contacting support.
And I didn’t want to wait around too long for a fix.
So it was goodbye to Disqus.
Why I Chose The WPDiscuz Plugin Instead
I’ve used the WPDiscuz plugin in the past.
It was during a time I used Postmatic on my blog.
Once I decided to move away from that service I also removed WPDiscuz for some reason.
I don’t remember why because there are so many good reasons to use it.
Lazy Load Comments And Gravatar Caching
I don’t get an awful lot of comments on this blog but the WPDiscuz plugin has my back if I ever do.
It can lazy load comments as well as cache gravatars.
With those features it means the comments section should never slow my site down.
If you turn it on, this setting will only load comments as your visitors scroll down the page.
Subscribe To Comments
The trouble with the native WordPress commenting system is people aren’t notified of replies.
They’re unlikely to come back again and check if I’ve responded to their comment.
And that’s where Disqus worked really well because it emailed them the response.
The WPDiscuz plugin offers the same functionality as Disqus in this regard and goes a step further.
Your visitors can subscribe to:
- all comments on the post they’ve commented on;
- all comments on your blog, or;
- new replies to their comment only.
Custom Comment Forms
The plugin comes with a default form which includes a Captcha section.
You can change anything and everything on the comment form.
I wasn’t keen on the Captcha and decided to remove that.
If you’re not controlling spam comments on your blog some other way, you might want to keep the Captcha intact.
Integration With Other Plugins
WPDiscuz integrates with a number of other plugins.
These include user profile plugins:
- Users Ultra
- Ultimate Member
and Antispam plugins:
- WordPress Zero Spam
I chose to use Akismet on my blog rather than use a Captcha on the comment form.
Comments Remain On My Site
Using a plugin like Disqus means that comments stay on their server, not yours.
Assuming the sync back to WordPress works that’s okay.
But like the experience I had, when it doesn’t it becomes a problem.
What happens if you decide to sever your ties with Disqus?
You’d lose all of the comments unless you exported them or got the sync to work.
At least with the WPDiscuz plugin, ALL of your comments remain on your server.
Expandable With Addons
The free version of the plugin will be fine for most people.
But if you want to extend its features there are several addons you can buy.
I decided to dive in and get five of them – buying in bulk gives you a discount.
- Comment Author Info – provide extended information about the comment author on a pop up window
- Subscription Manager – gives you full control over the comment subscriptions held in your WordPress database
- User & Comment Mentioning – allows visitors to reference comments and users in the comment text
- Report And Flagging – auto moderate comments based on the number of red flags and dislikes by other commenters
- Front End Moderation – does what it says on the tin; allows you to moderate comments from the front end of your website.
How Do You Serve Up Your Comments On WordPress?
Do you use the native WordPress commenting system?
Or maybe Disqus?
Have you ever considered the WPDiscuz plugin? What did you think?