Its been a while now since we've been contemplating whether we should use third party app 'Disqus' for our comment section or not. Its one of the most known app and is used by many renowned blogs like Mashable, Techcrunch, Engadget etc.
Like every blogger we did some research work on this app and learnt that it does offer many useful and interactive features, but it comes with some baggage.
So we decided to share its features, pros and cons with our readers for whom we intend to implement Disqus.
- Real time comment system, which allows real time posting and updating of comments.
- Notifications and replies system that allows people to instantly know as and when they receive response on their comment.
- One of the best feature of Disqus is that it lets you participate in a conversation directly from email.
- Social media integration, that lets you login using your favorite social media site, comment through it and share as well. It also integrates with Flickr and YouTube allowing you to add images or videos in comments.
- Smartphone compatibility.
- Community Profile lets publishers share their community of regular commenters and new ones, it also displays a summary of all activities in comments section.
- Similar to Facebook, Disqus has it own like button that lets you like comments or pages.
- Their anti-spam technology not only filters spam automatically (not full proof though) but also lets the administrator 'blacklist' certain commenters or words.
- It lets you import or export comments. Importing from previous comments from blogger is not a very difficult task and neither is switching back to blogger commenting system. But if you wish to change domain name or shift from Blogger to WordPress or vice-versa, then you are in for some tedious task.
- Disqus can be used in multiple languages.
- Reactions is another useful feature, you can choose to include tweets, mentions and other reactions on the web in your comment section for each post.
- Readers can choose to receive notifications for updates on post that they've commented and participated on. Receiving notifications is entirely reader's choice.
- Readers have the advantage of replying to comments directly from their inbox. They just have to click on the reply button within the email, the comment get published on the blog.
- Disqus allows its users to create their own profile, which makes it easier for readers to participate in various blogs or sites. From the dashboard of Disqus, users can see and reply to comments in several blogs from one place without having to visit each site individually.
- When readers reply to comments in Blogger's commenting system, they have to use '@xyz' to respond to a specific reader's comment. Whereas, Disqus has a reply button for each comment resulting in better interaction between commenters.
- Readers can log in from their Disqus account or from any social networking site, alternatively, once can simply comment as a guest by providing name and a URL or email.
- Readers can subscribe comment updates for a post via email or RSS.
- Readers can add images or videos with their comments.
- If a post is shared on Twitter, Facebook or Digg, blogger can choose to display them in the 'reactions' section below all the comments for a post.
- Bloggers can choose to display most popular, newest/oldest or best rated comments first in the comment section, whatever they deem to be useful for encouraging interaction within his/her/their blog.
- Bloggers can conveniently blacklist unwanted or spammy commenter(s) or word(s). On the other hand, they also have the liberty to 'whitelist' a commenter which eliminates the procedure of moderating comments for trusted participants.
- Bloggers also have the flexibility of closing threads for comments on any post. This will display all the previous comments, but will halt any further conversation.
- Disqus is known for it prompt and helpful customer support.
- It tactfully encourages commenting on their blog by not only sending notifications to readers but also by letting them participate through various social networking sites, incorporating their avatars, or participating anonymously.
- If blogger wish to stop using Disqus and shift to another commenting system, they can export comment data as a XML file.
- When it comes to blogger readers, many prefer to use their Google profile or Blogger profile in which they are automatically signed in.
- For publishers, if you wish to add Disqus to Blogger then you will have to export your entire template and upload it with Disqus, which will then modify this template to incorporate their own Disqus code. This code is then added to Blogger and Disqus is activated. While researching I learnt that there are quite a few bloggers who are not comfortable with uploading their template with a third party, so if you are one of them, then you might need to think before you use Disqus.
- If you wish to shift from Blogger to WordPress, then you will have to go an extra mile and transfer all your comments from Disqus to Blogger's native commenting system. Then you will have to transfer these comments to Wordpress's native commenting system, after which you can transfer them back to Disqus on your WordPress site.
- For those who plan to change their domain name and wish to transfer all their comments to the new website, Disqus does let you do that, 'provided' you have the same 'short-name' for your new domain. They have something known as 'migration wizard' that lets you migrate all your comments to your new domain, only if the short-name is same. Example: you can easily migrate from www.abc1.com to www.abc2.com; but if the domain name changes entirely then you will have to manually upload a URL map.
- If you wish to shift to a new domain you will have to find link of each of the article that you wish to transfer, add them in a column and list them as new permalinks. These new permalinks can be uploaded from their 'Migrate Threads' section.
- Disqus connects to their own database rather than the website or blog, I noticed that there are many bloggers who are reluctant to outsource their comments database.
- Although, adding Disqus to your Blogger template is not a very difficult task and any non-technical person can do it, but if you are using a template that is not official Blogger template or has been heavily modified, then it may not be that easy to add Disqus to your blog without making some changes.
- While researching I noticed that there were some considerable amount of bloggers who complained that, in the process of shifting their comments from Blogger to Disqus, they ended up loosing many previous comments on their blog. Therefore, it is advisable to safely export XML file for your blogger (which includes all your posts and comments) and save it in your hard disk, so that if anything goes wrong you always have a backup and can easily shift back to Blogger's native commenting system. (How to backup Blogger articles, comments, template and widgets)
So, this sums up most of the features offered by Disqus and its advantages and disadvantages. We would love to hear you feedback or opinion before we shift to this new commenting system, so do feel free to share you views or additional information in the comment section below.
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