I Changed Direction On Blog Comments… Hello Disqus!

Disqus Comments

I remember asking around this time last year “Does Getting Blog Comments Matter?” and I came to the conclusion they mattered for creating and maintaining a sense of community on your blog.

Getting blog comments also offers a certain level of social proof, or at least from a visitors point of view as they will be more likely to perceive the site to be a successful one.

Over an extended period of time, I’ve come to the conclusion that whilst many bloggers spend a lot of their time blog hopping and commenting, this isn’t always the best use of time.

Why? Because it takes away from other more important things like researching and writing quality posts, training time, making products, helping people, networking and building a business.

OK, before I continue, let me say I’ve certainly not changed my mind about the importance of creating a community on a blog or the relationship marketing aspect of commenting. However, I think there are alternative ways to go about these things and I’ll be covering those in a later post.

A Big Change And The Start Of Things To Come

I also remember writing that “CommentLuv Premium Is Still Top Dog” not that long ago and I still believe it is a really useful plugin. I changed my mind about using it on my blog though.

It’s not always easy to change directions but it’s okay to change our minds and move on. What it all boils down to is that I don’t see blog comments as high a priority as I once did. At least not some of the one’s I was getting from having CommentLuv installed anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I still read a lot of blogs and if I feel compelled to write a comment I will but nowhere near as often as I used to. It will be much more strategic. In fact, Marcus Sheridan pretty much summed up where I’m at in his post The Worst Article I’ve Read About Business Blogging And Comments.

If you’re a regular visitor to my blog you may have already noticed that I’ve changed over to the Disqus commenting system. Initially, when I removed CommentLuv I was going to just keep the native WordPress commenting system. However, I’ve never had Disqus on my blog and decided there’s no harm in giving it a try.

Initial Thoughts On Disqus

Setting it up was easy or at least after I’d read Getting Disqus To Sync Comments With WordPress over at Dragon Blogger. It’s important to me that any comments made on the Disqus system are automatically copied back to WordPress. I didn’t want to be in the position of losing them all should I decide to revert back to the WordPress native comments system.

DisqusIf you’re using any kind of caching plugin or Content Delivery Network (CDN) then the sync of comments between Disqus and WordPress isn’t very reliable out of the box. Why? Because it relies on visitors viewing your actual web page rather than a cached version in order for the sync to start (or at least that’s how I understand it!).

It’s ok though because I got around it following Justin’s post as well as this helpful article at Disqus. I didn’t have to activate the alternative WordPress cron but did have to manually add the cron job as described in both articles. Now comments are being synced from Disqus to WordPress just fine.

I’ve seen some immediate benefits from removing CommentLuv and installing Disqus.

  1. I’ve been able to remove five plugins and only install one in its place (or two if you count the plugin I installed and then removed to update the cron job).
  2. There’s no sign of any more spam comments. They’ve literally stopped!
  3. I had lots broken links before I removed CommentLuv and they were never ending. Now I have none.

The Future Of Blog Comments

I don’t see a time that I’ll ever turn comments off on my blog but the days of my blog appearing in a list of DoFollow blogs on a crappy website the other side of the world are over!

I’ve always been conscious of the quality of the comments I’m authorising on my blog but with CommentLuv installed it was always tricky to know the intention of the person leaving the comment.

I’ve made some wonderful friends in my short blogging career and I’m humbled to know that they read and comment on my blog regularly without any expectations. They also leave some awesome comments and those are the ones I want to attract more of.

The thing about Disqus is that it does seem to have a professional edge over CommentLuv, particularly in the quality of the comments which are left by people. I haven’t had a meaningless one liner since I installed it.

Comments left on a blog should always add to the conversation and enhance the post, at least that’s what I expect, and I’m glad to say I’m not alone in that!

Comments Don’t Make A Blog Successful, You Do

It really isn’t the comments that make a blog successful. It’s quality writing, the sale of products, advertising revenue and the ability to generate leads that are most important to your business. Comments are nice to have and can help develop blogging relationships but they don’t directly contribute to success.

What do you think?

Photo Credit: 23am.com via Compfight cc

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89 Comments on "I Changed Direction On Blog Comments… Hello Disqus!"

Jen | Pro Pet Blogging | DOGthusiast
1 month 10 days ago

Hi there – just wondering what your reason was for going back to WP comments? I’ve switched so many times between… well, all of them. I moved all of my blogs back to WP comments after some of the decisions Diqus made to their structure and with advertising, but am considering going back because I love the ease and spam handling.

Just wondering if you have a post or have written up why you switched back (I didn’t see a search and did an in-page Ctrl+F on your archives and didn’t see one). Thanks!

1 month 9 days ago

Hi Jen

I wrote about why I removed Disqus in the post – Blogging Sometimes Takes An Unexpected Direction.

I do miss it but several people who are regular commenters had continuous issues with leaving comments. I didn’t want to put a hurdle like that in people’s ways! A few people also commented afterwards that they would never comment on a Disqus-enabled blog so they were glad I’d gone back to WP comments.

Renard Moreau
3 months 29 days ago

[ Smiles ] I love Disqus, because spam doesn’t get through to my blog.

Occasionally, it may take a little too long to load.

Tim Bonner
8 months 6 days ago

I know Angela, I’ve gone to the Dark Side!

I did feel a little strange removing CLP but since I installed Disqus I really come to enjoy using it and feel that it really helps with engagement and conversations.

With Disqus, you can set it up so all of the comments are just on their server which for some people might be a good thing if they don’t have a huge amount of storage on their hosting account.

I sync all comments back to WordPress too though so I also own the comments as well as having them on the Disqus site.

With CLP I didn’t want to deny comments to those who don’t have a Gravatar, the reason being that many non-bloggers don’t have one. If I stopped those people from commenting, I might never see them on my blog again. I have a number of subscribers who are non-bloggers who sometimes comment and shutting the door in their face would have been a disaster!

I came to the conclusion with the backlinks in the end that they were more hassle than they were worth Angela. One of the main purposes of CommentLuv is to give people a link so requiring more than even 10 approved comments might seem excessive, I think to those leaving comments.

I was also fed up of constantly having to monitor broken links but not only that some of the existing links were not broken but the sites had been taken over by someone else and the sites were no longer something I’d want to link my blog to!

Angela McCall
8 months 6 days ago

guess my gravatar is not showing there, Tim. dangit. that’s the reason why I *hate* Disqus right now. because of this signing in and leaves me FACELESS when I don’t do it right. anyway, I’m sticking with CommentLuv for good.

Tim Bonner
8 months 6 days ago

Your Gravatar’s definitely showing up Angela.

Your previous comment went into moderation because it contained a link but I’ve approved it now!

Jen Gabbard
8 months 8 days ago

I only started blogging a few months ago, so I am a complete newbie to all of this. What I find funny is that I was able to settle on a theme so quickly yet I’m still undecided about a commenting system. I see a lot of admiration for commentluv but I’m currently using Disqus – I think the last thing I’d want to do is promote a bunch of one line comments. I love knowing that even though I’m new to this people are still willing to leave a comment; so Disqus can’t be all that bad. And now after reading this knowing that the other system might slow down my blog I think I’ll stick with Disqus. The grass is always greener, isn’t it?

Tim Bonner
8 months 8 days ago

Hi Jen

It’s tricky to decide on a commenting system, isn’t it?

CommentLuv can certainly help to build a blogging community because people like the fact they can get a backlink even if it’s nofollow. I had a few issues with that though, namely backlink hunters!

I know some people find Disqus to also load slowly sometimes. I have experienced that too but it doesn’t bother me so much. I’m pleased with the conversation and engagement it’s bringing to my blog.

I thought the grass was always greener when I had CommentLuv Premium installed here! Sometimes though it’s good to test other things out because you might find you like them much more :-).