9 Practical Reasons Why I Choose To Use Disqus

I received a free subscription to Disqus Pro in exchange for writing a review on my blog. All opinions are my own.

When it comes to comments on your WordPress blog, you want to strike the right balance for you and your readers, right?

That means it’s easy for them to leave a comment but you have full control over moderation and spam amongst other things.

The native WordPress commenting system is good but I always feel like there’s something missing – almost like it’s become an afterthought.

And it’s why I use a third party commenting system instead – Disqus.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Disqus?

Seriously Good Spam Filter

Before I used a third party commenting system I had Akismet installed to keep spam at bay.

It did a good enough job but it often gave false positives and I’d have to keep checking the spam folder every few days.

I’ve also had problems with Akismet marking my own comments as spam in the past.

With Disqus, I’ve not had any issues with spam at all or false positives. It just works.

It’s correctly identified spam and stopped it in its tracks.

You can set up ban lists and word filters to further protect your blog against spammers.

Commenters on Disqus are also given a reputation score so you can easily see if they have a low reputation and take appropriate action.

Disqus Moderation

Comment Notifications

For me, a big failing of native WordPress comments is the lack of a notification system.

If you leave a comment on a blog, you usually want to know if there’s a response.

It doesn’t do that out of the box so you’ll have to keep checking if your comment has a reply.

Disqus, on the other hand, has this functionality built in unless the commenter was not logged in or was a guest.

By default when you respond to a comment, a notification will be sent to the person who left the comment.

Social Media Engagement

Have you ever had an awesome comment on a post and thought about sharing it with others?

Well, Disqus lets you do just that.

You can share a discussion or an individual comment on Twitter or Facebook.

There’s also a comment link URL so you can share them just about anywhere else you can think of.

Discussions In Real-time

The world is in a big hurry and people don’t want to wait around for stuff to happen.

It’s good then that you can have a discussion in real-time using Disqus.

Visitors to your blog can upvote or downvote a comment depending on their stance on a subject.

Your filter settings will then determine the order in which comments show to visitors.

It also has threaded comments to make it easier to follow individual conversations.

Site moderators can make a comment featured which will highlight it above the comments section.

Disqus Audience Platform

Mobile Friendly

Your comments will always look great whatever device they’re being viewed on.

Disqus is fully responsive and adapts to whatever screen size you’re using.

There are also mobile apps for iOS and Windows but not one for Android at this time.

As I tend to moderate comments on a laptop or a desktop it’s not an issue for me.

Responding to comments via mobile browser also works well though so I don’t miss an app on Android.

Support For Photos And Videos

If you want, you can enable the option to allow images and videos in the comments section.

In theory, I think this is a great idea, especially if your blog is humour-orientated or about arts and crafts.

With my current settings I don’t pre-moderate comments however, or at least only those that contain links.

I don’t think that would allow me to scrutinise images and videos added into the comments section.

Moderating everything would seem like overkill so for the time-being I have this option turned off.

If I could moderate all images and videos added into the comments in a similar way to links then I’d be up for turning this option on.

Opportunity To Monetise

Disqus is free to use but it is an ad-supported business.

For personal blogs, educational sites, non-profits and small sites not running any other advertising, there is no requirement to use Reveal.

But if you want to then it gives you an opportunity to monetise your comments section.

Ads come in various formats and they are responsive. Personally, I’m not convinced about the ads Reveal shows.

I use Google Adsense on my site and I’m happy to because I can control many aspects of the content that appears.

The content of ads shown by Reveal at this stage can’t be controlled so I’m wary to turn them on because some are them are unsuitable for my blog.

It’s something to consider for the future however depending on the future development of Reveal.

Disqus Reveal

Comment Backup

Whilst your comments are held on a third party server somewhere, you don’t need to worry that you’ll lose them.

With Disqus comments are automatically imported back to your WordPress database.

That means should the service ever disappear that your comments are safely held in your site’s WordPress database.

Should you decide to remove the plugin, the comments will automatically appear on your posts using the native WordPress commenting system.

You can turn this feature off if you wish to cut down on the database size.

It’s possible to sync Disqus manually with WordPress at any time if you decide that’s what you want to do.

Related Articles

Another useful feature you can enable from your Admin dashboard is Discovery.

It’s a recommendation engine which shows suggested links from within your site.

It’s like a related articles widget and helps to drive traffic to other pages on your site.

Hopefully it will encourage visitors to stick around on your site and consequently you’ll have a lower bounce rate!

Are There Any Drawbacks To Using Disqus?

User Registration

I know some people will feel frustrated that they have to register to comment.

It’s not that I want to discourage them but it does filter out those people who were just seeking a backlink (even if it’s nofollow).

It’s easy to register with your social media login or with your email address.

I also allow guest commenters on my blog should they not wish to register with Disqus.

The thing is, once you’re registered and logged in, the process runs smoothly.

You don’t have to keep logging in every time you want to leave a comment.

The Spinning Disqus Icon

In the past I’ve experienced the spinning icon where the comments don’t load and the spinning never stops.

It’s a rarity these days though as most of the files are loaded asynchronously.

It can also occur where there’s a plugin conflict that stops Disqus working properly.

Activating and deactivating plugins should help you determine if that’s the case and which plugin is the culprit.

If you’re using lots of resource heavy plugins then you might also see a slowdown on your site.

But I suspect for many people that will be negligible.

Take It To The Next Level With Disqus Pro

Now you can take your blog’s comments to another level with the introduction of Disqus Pro.

With a Pro account you get even more powerful moderation tools, help with audience development and greater customisation.

Automated Pre-moderation

Comments from users with a high probability of being a troll or a spammer based on reputation will automatically get flagged.

Shadow Banning

You can combat trolls and spammers by banning users without them knowing.

Audience Analytics

Understand how your readers engage with content with advanced audience metrics and insights to optimise engagement and content strategy.

Disqus Pro Analytics

Single Sign-on

Your users will be able to log in to your site and seamlessly use Disqus with the same account.

Branding And Styling Options

You’ll be able to customise the styling of the comment widget and remove any branding.

Ads Optional

For those sites using the platform for free and ads are activated, you can choose to turn these off.

Unlimited API Access

You’ll be able to use the API without restriction to build your own applications such as user profiles, leaderboards and other custom widgets.

Over To You

Please leave a comment below sharing your thoughts on this topic.

Do you currently using the native WordPress commenting system and are looking to switch over?

How do you feel about having to log in to leave a comment?

If you’re already using Disqus on your blog, how are you finding it? Has it improved the engagement of the visitors to your blog?

What do you think about the new Pro account which is going live in a few weeks time?

Does your site fall into the category of having ads activated automatically and how do you feel about that?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please join in the conversation below.

  • I love using Disqus on my blog. It look stylish and elegant. It is also responsive comment box system.

    Most of my friends ask me to change it but I guess I will stick with it any longer

    • I agree Dedaun. It looks much better than other commenting systems on most sites.

      I know some people refuse to leave a comment if they see Disqus on a blog and that’s okay. I think there has to be a balance between what you want and what your visitors might want.

      For every person that doesn’t like logging in to comment, there are plenty of other people who will. So I’d stick with Disqus if you like it and it works for you.

  • Hi Tim,

    I’ve always used Disqus and I agree it’s great for keeping spam at bay. And I also like the way it keeps you notified of comments and replies. With WordPress you’re left hanging unless you go back to the site where you commented, which I guess is great for the site owner’s traffic, but not necessarily a good use of your time.

    I’m in the middle of migrating content to a new domain and I can confirm that Disqus keeps all comments as standard WordPress comments, so there’s no issue using the export/import tool to transfer them. There’s probably a way to do it in Disqus too, but I haven’t checked yet 🙂

    I’ve never had a problem with performance issues, so for me it’s the best commenting plugin to use.
    – David

    • Hi David

      I’m not a fan of being left hanging either when it comes to blog comments. Like you, if I leave a comment, I want to know when I’ve received a reply. Otherwise what’s the point of commenting in the first place? It’s a shame that WordPress doesn’t do that by design but where WordPress has a gap, Disqus certainly fills it!

      There’s some really useful migration tools for Disqus. I used one of them when I moved my site to HTTPS. You can find out more at https://help.disqus.com/customer/portal/articles/286778-migration-tools.

      It’s interesting to hear that you’ve never had any performance issues with Disqus. I haven’t for quite some time now but in the past I did. It was when I had my blog with HostGator many moons ago. I used to get the spinning icon thing and the comments wouldn’t load. Touch wood that hasn’t happened at all since I’ve been with SiteGround.

      I tried to live without Disqus for a while on my blog but came to same conclusion as you that it’s the best commenting plugin to use. So it’s here to stay!

      Thanks for dropping by David.

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