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I Changed Direction On Blog Comments… Hello Disqus!

Disqus CommentsI 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

Tim Bonner

Tim Bonner is a Stay At Home Dad, Blogger and Internet Marketer. Learn more about him here.

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  • http://www.mygirlyparts.com Brenda Lee

    I say you have to do what’s right for you, although I know a lot of bloggers who dislike Disqus. However, if they truly want to add to your article, they will comment regardless. I look forward to hearing more about your change to Disqus. Good luck Tim!

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      I’d had enough of spam comments and broken links Bren.

      I know many bloggers don’t like Disqus but my experience so far has been very positive – no spam and no broken links to contend with!

      I’m sure I won’t get as many comments as I did but of those that I do, I reckon the quality will be much higher for the very reason you mention – if people want to add to my post they will comment regardless.

      People are also more likely to comment because they want to join in the conversation rather than looking for a backlink. At least, that’s the theory.

      • http://www.mygirlyparts.com Brenda Lee

        Totally understand Tim. A lot of people do just comment to get that back link. Quality is better than Quantity.

  • Ashley Faulkes

    Hey Tim,
    Not a fan of disqus due to the login, but completely understand your decision.
    My commenting days are dying as well. Due to time vs results.
    I just have way too many other things to do to put bread on the table, and keeping people happy by comment hopping is not on the agenda. I would rather interact via Twitter or email.

    Not that I don’t like a good blog post every now and then, and writing a comment like this one to support a friend or great blogger. But running around like a headless chicken and commenting for half a day is not making ends meet.

    Let’s see where the focus brings us
    ashley

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hey Ashley

      I kind of came to the conclusion that the login might not be such a bad thing. It weeds out those that aren’t really serious about commenting in the first place.

      I toyed with allowing guest commenters but I don’t want to moderate them any more. I allow anyone to comment without moderation so long as they have verified their email address.

      I’m very much of the opinion that I will answer all comments on my blog and it’s great to have them and the community feel.

      When it comes to interaction away from my blog though, I tend to agree though that I’d rather interact via Twitter or email.

      I will continue to comment sometimes on other blogs though for the very reasons you mention. We do very much think alike my friend!

      I think you are quite a bit further down the blogging round now though as I’m still struggling with finding the time to get things moving.

    • http://nathanambrose.com/ Nathan Ambrose

      Hi Ashley.

      I set up my Disqus so that people don’t have to login to make a comment. There is an option in the settings.

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    Hi Tim, I completely agree with your about the downside of CommentLuv. The spam comments and broken links waste a lot of my time.

    But I get comments from tech newbies, grandmothers, teens, etc, who wouldn’t want to bother registering to leave a comment. Sometimes these types of comments give me great inspiration for future topics!

    I am not a fan of Disqus because of the difficulty commenting on mobile via social media. If I see a tweet about your post and click to read it via Twitter, I can’t log in via Disqus to leave a comment. I might remember to visit later, but I might not.

    I hope Disqus works well for you, Tim. I know that your issues with spam and broken links are gone and that makes me a wee bit jealous! (Okay, a lot jealous)

    • http://nathanambrose.com/ Nathan Ambrose

      Hi Carolyn.

      I set up my Disqus so that people don’t have to log in to make a comment. There is an option in the settings.

      • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

        I haven’t done that so far Nathan.

        It was something I considered but I don’t have moderation turned on and was concerned I would start getting spam comments!

        How do you find it works for you?

        • http://nathanambrose.com/ Nathan Ambrose

          It has been fine so far. I do moderate the comments as a precaution.

          • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

            Thanks Nathan. I may give it a whirl!

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Carolyn

      I’m still considering Disqus at the moment. I do know what you mean about people who don’t want to register to leave a comment and that putting them off.

      In some ways I think that requiring registration is a good thing because it means people are more serious about the comments that they make.

      I chose not to allow guest posts (ie. no registration required) as I don’t moderate comments for registered users. I think I would have to turn moderation on otherwise and I’ll think about that.

      I may also decide in the future to go back to the native WordPress comments system but without CommentLuv.

      I didn’t know about the social media issue and I’m going to read up on that to see whether that’s something that will change my mind about Disqus or a compromise I’d have to take. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts Carolyn. I am very glad to have gotten rid of spam comments and broken links though!

  • Enstine Muki

    lol this is bad news for link hunters
    I have some quite interesting friends running disqus. I love the engagement on their blogs. Commenting for links on their blogs is far from the point. The relationship is warm.

    You just jumped on the list of those friends. This is where you get to know the real readers of your blog Tim

    Harleena did same and the number of comments dropped. I think you have fewer broken links to deal with

    Congratulations on the new move ;)

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      That’s definitely what I’m aiming to achieve with Disqus Enstine. Commenting for links is not on the agenda on my blog!

      I hadn’t realised that Harleena moved to Disqus too. I’m sure the comments do drop because people have to register.

      My theory though is that the comment quality is bound to go up because people have to take one extra step in order to be serious about leaving a comment.

      I still check for broken links weekly but to date, I haven’t had any more since I removed CommentLuv!

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    Coming back to let you know that the sharing buttons aren’t working. They are being blocked by my Ad Block Chrome extension pop-up ad blocker!

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Thanks for letting me know Carolyn. Carol mentioned having an issue with the sharing buttons too.

      I’m not seeing any issues at this end but that could be a false sense of security as well.

      Something for me to look into today I think!

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    I’ve switched as well, and I got the idea from visiting your blog. Actually, I’ve been thinking the exact same thoughts for a while, and your post tells the story I’ve been feeling. My biggest reason for the switch was all the bad links on my blog, I was really struggling to remove them and check everything, it was taking up so much of my time, it was hard to do anything else.

    One thing I didn’t know was the sync issue between disqus and wordpress. I had no idea that I had to do anything to get this to work. So, the only reason for the sync is a backup of the comments or are there any other reason to do it?

    Thanks for the inspiration Tim.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      That’s definitely a good reason to switch Jens. Bad links, as you know can be a real issue with CommentLuv.

      I found some older links on my blog pointing to some very dodgy sites. I also don’t like the fact that a few crappy sites have linked to mine as a destination for a CommentLuv DoFollow link.

      With regard to the sync issue, if you’re using a CDN or caching plugin, the sync doesn’t usually work from Disqus to WordPress.

      The reason being is that for it to work a visitor needs to view a non-cached page to start the cron job. As the whole point of caching is that they don’t usually see a non-cached page, the cron may never run.

      The sync is only for the backup of comments to WordPress. If you’re happy for them not to be backed up then there’s no issue.

      I was thinking along the lines though of what if I turned Disqus off in the future. I could sync back at that point manually but I felt it was safer to get the automatic sync to work so they were continuously backed up to WordPress.

  • http://msileanespeaks.com/ Ileane

    Tim, I feel your pain. I turned off CommentLuv last year and I still don’t regret doing it. I actually still have the plugin active but the luv is turned off. I also shut down comments on old post. However I went with Google+ comments in addition to the native WP comments. I’ve never been a fan of Disqus but I know that it is a solution for many of the top blogs out there. Good luck with it. You will have a lot more free time now. Cheers!

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Ileane

      I remember when you switched off CommentLuv it caused a storm as well as Ana Hoffman!

      I considered Google+ comments but decided I prefer the native WordPress comments system or one which would allow a sync back to WordPress like Disqus or Livefyre.

      For some reason I prefer Disqus to Livefyre but I can’t really say why! I know many people aren’t keen on Disqus but I decided I may as well give it a go and see what the results are. So far they’ve been pretty good.

      One good thing that came from it is that Marketing Land linked to this very post after finding it on the Disqus network.

      • http://msileanespeaks.com/ Ileane

        TIm, you’re off to a great start with Disqus already!

  • Andrew Stark

    Hi Tim,

    When I finally get round to doing a blog overhaul via localhost this is something I will have to seriously think about as I do seem to be getting a lot of robots filling the comments section on a daily basis. The 2 downsides appear to be that it might be a little bit more technical and the extra login to make a comment could put first time commentators off? For example I clicked the login with twitter button initially and it went to a twitter is having issues page.

    If I do change I might have to create a video tutorial on how to comment and give it a permalink in my signature box?

    Andrew

    • http://nathanambrose.com/ Nathan Ambrose

      Hi Andrew.

      Did you know that people don’t have to login to make a comment? It depends on what settings you choose.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Andrew

      I’d had enough of spam comments and broken links from CommentLuv and initially just thought about switching it off and keeping the native comments system.

      There’s definitely the downside of having to register to comment with Disqus but it could also mean that people are more serious about leaving a comment and a better quality one.

      My blog was running seriously slowly when you left a comment last night so I suspect it may have been an issue from my end with the Twitter button rather than Disqus when you tried to login.

      I don’t think it’s too bad to login with Disqus though. I think most people will be able to do it without a video tutorial but it could be a good idea if there are people who you think may struggle.

  • leighshulman

    Hi Tim,

    I haven’t been around in a bit, because our baby arrived and I took some time away from work. Blog commenting ended up toward the end of my to do list, because as you say, there are other things that come first when building a blog and a business. That said, I have missed being part of the various communities.

    As for Disqus. I currently have it on my site. There are some things I like about it. I like how the threads work. I like how once you login, it keeps track of your comments.

    Unfortunately, there are more things I dislike about it. For one, too many people have problems with it. Either they don’t want to sign up for yet another thing. Or they do sign up, but for whatever reason, they can’t leave a comment. I believe this is more of a problem on mobile devices. Finally, I tried removing diqus and while wordpress did preserve the comments, it didn’t maintain the threads. So now, for each post, I have a mess in the comments. I’m going to look into the tweaking you suggested and see if I can find a fix, though.

    Obviously, each person has his or her own needs from a comment system, but I think I’ll be going back to the plain WordPress ones. It notifies people of follow up comments, threaded comments and allows for people to sign up for your mailing list. Those work well for me.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Congratulations on your new arrival Leigh. That’s wonderful news!

      I do have the same reservations about using Disqus as you, particularly on the threaded comments not being maintained once you remove Disqus.

      I can see how the login may also cause some people not to comment or struggle with it. However, I’m also putting a positive spin on it that only those who really want to leave a serious comment will do so.

      I may go back to the native WordPress comments system in the future but I felt I had to give Disqus or Livefyre a go because I’d never used a third party commenting system. Disqus won me over because I’ve read that Livefyre can cause more problems with commenting and logging in than Disqus!

      I don’t miss having the tick box in the comments section for people to subscribe to my mailing list. It didn’t convert well at all. That said, I know it works really well for other people.

      • leighshulman

        Hi Tim,

        I apologize, I didn’t see you’d left this comment until just now. I hear you. I’m definitely not happy with Livefyre. How has your trial with DIsqus been going? Is it something you plan to keep?

        It’s always a question, particularly as these different commenting systems upgrade and improve.

        • http://tim-bonner.com/ Tim Bonner

          I’ve been suitably impressed with Disqus so far Leigh to keep it going.

          I like the idea of some of the features of Livefyre but I’ve read more mixed reviews about that system than Disqus so for now I’m definitely keeping clear of Livefyre.

  • http://inspiretothrive.com/ Lisa Buben

    Hi Tim, wow another one changing to disqus. I still love my CommentLuv but it’s interesting to see many bloggers are changing over to Disqus recently. I can understand your point about some crappy sites having the links on them to your blog. This is something I may think about in the future. I may go with Google+ at some point like Ileane. Love to know how it affects your traffic, etc Tim. Thanks for sharing your reasons too with us.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      I don’t dislike the concept of CommentLuv and really got a lot out of it Lisa.

      I guess I grew tired of the constant spam comments coming through and broken links appearing so often.

      I’m sure I could have tightened things up using the Anti-Backlinker plugin but I was still getting an absolute tonne of spam comments into the spam folder.

      The only way I could keep them at bay was also to have Akismet installed and they were still coming through with that too.

      I chose not to go with Google+ comments because they don’t sync back to WordPress. So if you remove Google+ comments they’re gone from your blog. They remain on Google+ but they won’t show on your blog any more.

      One good thing that has come from adding Disqus is that Marketing Land linked to this post. That caused a traffic spike yesterday!

      • http://inspiretothrive.com/ Lisa Buben

        Hi Tim, thanks for the great explanation. Wow, Marketing Land, that’s awesome Tim. Was it hard to do the swtich?

        • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

          It wasn’t too bad to do the switch Lisa.

          I had to turn my CDN and caching plugins off and then imported the comments into Disqus. That took about 30 minutes.

          Once the CDN and caching plugins were back on I then had to get the sync back to WordPress to work but that was as simple as adding a plugin and setting up a cron job to check for comments on Disqus every now and again.

  • http://www.carolamato.com/ Carol Amato

    Hi Tim,

    It’s my first time on your site, saw your post in Ileane’s tribe, and had to comment. It’s very nice to meet you! :)

    I switched to the Disqus commenting system this year after having used CommentLuv for many years. I was a little skeptical and nervous about switching, but there are MANY more pros than cons, in my opinion.

    I was concerned about my comments decreasing, but was willing to take the chance because I only wanted sincere people that truly wanted to engage with me and share their opinion, not expecting something back.

    I always reward my commenters by going back to their site (if they have one) to visit and comment, so it’s a win-win situation.

    Reasons I switched to Disqus:

    – Doesn’t attract spammers

    – Free WordPress plugin

    – Votes, up or down

    – RSS Feed

    – Related posts at bottom, engages visitors, improves bounce rate

    – Can Share comments on Facebook, Twitter, G+ with link back to post, powerful social interaction

    – Mobile friendly (very important these days)

    – Best Feature, in my opinion, an Email sent to Inbox when replied to, tons of traffic coming back….over and over

    I won’t turn comments off either, Tim, but things are definitely shifting with regards to comments as more and more people are switching to a system that is using social sharing, and also where people don’t drop links.

    Loved your article and will be back. Sharing directly and also on Triberr.

    Have a good evening.

    – Carol Amato :)

  • Susan P. Cooper

    I’ve been using Disqus for 3 years now and have had very little problems with it either. I can’t even remember what it was I used before. I think it was the native WordPress comment system. I’m definitely happier with Disqus.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      That’s good to hear Susan. I’ve been very happy with Disqus since I installed it!

  • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

    Hi Carol

    It’s very nice to meet you too.

    I was a little skeptical too with the switch from CommentLuv to Disqus but I’ve also been pleased with the outcome so far.

    I also had the same concerns about comments dropping but like you wanted only sincere people to comment that wanted to engage. I think Disqus does achieve that.

    Wow, I didn’t realise there were all of those other great reasons for switching too Carol! I’m glad I did.

    You mentioned on Triberr that you had some issues with my sharing buttons which I can’t recreate from this end but I will look into it. I suspect I will have to put in a support request.

    I appreciate you stopping by Carol and for enlightening me further on the benefits of Disqus.

    • http://www.carolamato.com/ Carol Amato

      Awesome, Tim – so glad to connect! Correction: You can share comments on Facebook and Twitter as well as a link (not G+ at this time), so wanted to correct that. Have a wonderful day. :)

      • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

        Thanks for the explanation Carol. I appreciate it!

        • http://www.carolamato.com/ Carol Amato

          Tim – I was able to figure it out, your social buttons triggered a pop up detected by my browser, so just had to enable from your website. :) Can share easily now.

          • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

            Brilliant! Thanks for letting me know Carol.

    • http://www.carolamato.com/ Carol Amato

      Do you want to know something, Tim? I had NO IDEA that you could FEATURE a comment! So Thank You for giving me a heads up about that, and also for featuring my comment! That’s awesome! :-) – Carol

      • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

        My pleasure Carol and I’m glad you learnt something new about Disqus!

  • http://www.youcanmarketonline.com Mark Newsome

    Hey Tim!

    I had no idea there was an apparent war if you will, going on between these two major heavyweights.

    And I can certainly appreciate your reasoning, with regards to whether a would be comment-er, either wants to engage or just secure a back link.

    Although I signed up for Disqus a while back, most blogs I read are still using Commentluv, so I never gave it much thought.

    But I glad to see that experienced, successful marketers, such as yourself or Carol Amato have made the switch and are pleased with your decision!

    Thanks for opening my mind to the possibilities!

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hey Mark

      I think many commenters still want to engage when using CommentLuv but I experienced many who also just left a comment for a backlink.

      It’s still a really useful plugin to encourage comments, although I struggled with the amount of spam and broken links I was having to deal with.

      With Disqus, I’ve not had any spam and the issue of broken links hasn’t arisen. It’s a breath of fresh air!

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    Hey Tim,

    Great decision about moving to Disqus, I think it was a smart one! I use to read and comment on a lot of other blogs. It’s one of the ways I’ve been able to grow my blog traffic and connect with a lot of great leaders. However, now I’m focusing less time on reading and commenting so I can work on writing projects. I’ve learned to have a balance of both.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Thanks Dan.

      I’m happy with the move to Disqus. It’s actually improved engagement on my blog.

      I’ve been focussing more on writing too and on completing some training. I still read a lot of blogs but I only comment if I feel compelled too. I still share any articles that I read on social media and I think that’s a good trade off.

      It sounds like you’ve found a very comfortable balance in what you’re doing Dan.

      • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

        It’s great your seeing the results from the switch!

        Thank you for writing great content!

        • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

          Thanks Dan! I appreciate your kind words.

  • http://moneytobemade.ucoz.com/ Maketta

    Hello Tim,

    I, too am using Disqus. I really like it. It virtually makes spam obsolete. Also, if I make a mistake such as a typo. I like that I can go back and edit. On many other blogging comments you can’t do that. I realized that I made a mistake and I couldn’t correct it.

    I know some people don’t like Disqus because you have to register but it just takes a minute. Also, if you don’t have an account with Disqus you can comment using your social media account. It’s not the end of the world.

    Welcome to Disqus! Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hey Maketta.

      Those are some great reasons for using Disqus.

      It can be a pain when you realised you’ve made a typo but can’t change it. I know I’ve found it frustrating before but you’re right Disqus really helps with that!

      I think if people are serious about commenting they won’t mind the requirement to register. Although, I’ve been contemplating turning the guest comments on but I haven’t yet. Do you use that feature?

      • http://moneytobemade.ucoz.com/ Maketta

        Hello Tim,

        Yes, I do use the guests comments feature.

        • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

          I’m going to give it a go Maketta and see what results I get!

          • http://moneytobemade.ucoz.com/ Maketta

            Try it out and see how you like it!

  • http://www.quickblogtips.com/ Ben

    I switched to Disqus quite a few months ago, mainly due to spam. Disqus stopped 99% of the spam coming in.

    One thing to watch out for though, some spammers have found a way to post “normal” WordPress comments, i.e. bypassing Disqus altogether. Those will come into your normal WordPress Comments screen and you will need to delete them manually.

    The other thing I noticed recently is that we used to be able to moderate Disqus comments within a screen in WordPress Admin. But now, when you go to that screen, it says “To moderate your Disqus comments, click here” and it takes you off to Disqus. Which is fine, but I rather liked it when we could manage the Disqus side of things without leaving the WordPress Admin screens.

    Still, it’s a decent system, and I’m happy with it :)

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Thanks for the heads up on some spammers bypassing Disqus Ben. I’ll keep an eye out for that.

      I had assumed I would be able to moderate comments directly from WordPress as well. It’s okay to do it from the Disqus site though. I just prefer things to be all in one place!

      Glad to hear that you’re happy with Disqus too.

  • http://www.donnamerrilltribe.com/ Donna Merrill

    Hi Tim,

    Many people I know in the blogging world are changing to Disqus. I currently use CommentLuv, But as I see Disqus growing in the community, I do have to look into this. You have given me much food for thought.

    And yes, comments don’t make your blog shine…we do!

    -Donna

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Donna.

      I know many people dislike Disqus because of the need to register in many cases.

      You can set it up to allow guest commenters, although I haven’t done that.

      The reason being that I suspect the quality of the comments I’m receiving will go down and I’ll end up back at square one!

      I’d never used Disqus on my blog before so I reckoned I couldn’t really say much about it until I had. Now I’ve got it, I don’t think I’ll be going back.

      I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts when you’ve looked into it further.

  • http://www.klinkk.com/ Erik Emanuelli

    Hello Tim!
    You’ve just taken a big step!

    I see many popular blogs running on Disqus, and many friends who have choosen to switch to this commenting system on their blogs.

    As you stated, there are many pros and cons.
    I guess the big plus here is to receive just genuine comments from real people.
    In fact, I see many friends among the commenters in this post.

    Well done, Tim.
    And good luck with Disqus! :-)

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Erik

      I was getting more and more spam and broken links with CommentLuv and the native WordPress comments that I had to take action!

      I’ve been very happy with the results I’m getting from Disqus so far, particularly in terms of the comments being genuine.

      There are certainly pros and cons though and I know many bloggers don’t like Disqus because of the requirement to log in so I’ve set Disqus up to allow guest commenters too.

      Time will tell how this affects things comment-wise but I think it was the right move at the present time!

  • http://slickwp.com Josh Kotsay

    Hi Tim,

    I’m a CommentLuv user myself on my blog, but your post brings up some really interesting points about using Disqus. The no spam thing thing is huge, but at this stage in the life of my blog it’s still manageable so I’ll probably stick with CommentLuv for a bit.

    As a blog commenter though, there is definitely a subtle barrier to entry to commenting on using a site with Disqus. It’s was one of those things where I would see it installed on a blog, see that it required a login, and I would think it’s not worth the hassle.

    Of course now that I see it’s a simple matter of hooking up my Twitter account to it, that it makes my hesitation seem silly. :)

  • http://www.techmalak.com/ Matthew Barnes

    I like disqus for my blog also. I think of it as a great way to interact with other people on the network. I love when I comment on a article on another blog and get alerted right away. Its a great tool to have

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      My sentiments exactly Matthew!

  • http://joshuawilner.com/ Josh

    Spam, broken links and questionable intentions. Tim you highlighted mybiggest issues with CommentLuv. I wrestle with those things all the time and I find myself wondering if I would have fewer issues if I removed it.

    I’ll be curious to see how this go around works for you. I might end up doing the same as you.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      I couldn’t be bothered with all three of those things any longer Josh!

      I guess I could have just kept the native WordPress comments without CommentLuv but I would still have all the spam issues.

      I figured I may as well give Disqus a go as I’ve not used it here on my blog before. So far, I’m pleasantly surprised at the results!

  • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

    Hi Josh

    CommentLuv is a great plugin and I even felt disloyal removing it but the benefits from Disqus of no spam and no broken links from comments outweighed any benefits from CommentLuv unfortunately.

    I had the same thoughts about Disqus as you in terms of requiring a login and I thought that might put people off. Although, in fact, so far I’ve been getting more engagement and consistently higher quality comments since I’ve installed it. I’m thinking now it’s more about people feeling compelled to comment rather than hunting for a backlink.

    There are definitely pros and cons to any commenting system but I’ve been very pleased with the move so far. At the end of the day, it’s up to the blog owner which commenting system they use and I don’t think it should necessarily be the readers that sway that decision in any direction :-).

  • http://keepupwiththeweb.com Sherryl Perry

    Hi Tim,

    I was just on Jens’ blog and I left him my thoughts about CommentLuv before I came here to read your take on it. As it stands now, I’m sticking with CommentLuv but (as I told Jens, if I do decide at some point to switch, Disqus is the frontrunner right now).

    I blog a lot about commenting too and I recently shared my thoughts on both Marcus Sheridan’s post and Dan Shure’s article. (There’s a healthy discussion going on in the comments of my last two articles where we’re talking about this.) Bottom-line, (as I’m believe you will agree), there is no one-size-fits all strategy for all bloggers. We have to assess our individual goals, analyze what works and doesn’t and them implement strategies and tactics that work for us.

    I had a terrible spam problem on my blog but I’ve got it under control for now. My biggest problem with spam is that the comments of four or five trusted bloggers constantly get marked as spam. Andy Bailey replicated my database on his test site and tried to recreate the problem. He couldn’t, which led him to believe that it could be related to my web host. I think that he could very well be right because I do encounter weird plugin conflicts that others (who are using the same WP theme and similar plugins) don’t. I also know that recently another respected blogger’s comments were recently going into spam on the Disqus system.

    As for the quality of comments, recently, i’ve noticed an increase in well thought out discussions on my blog. I don’t think my using CommentLuv has anything to do with that though. (I think it’s my move to writing longer posts meant to generate conversations.) It would take some convincing to make me believe that Disqus commenters leave higher quality posts.

    Before I get back to work, I do want to thank you for sharing the link to Justin Germino’s post. (I left him a comment letting him know that I found it here.) His post would definitely be useful should I ever decide to switch. Of course, thanks for this article as well. I love a healthy discussion in the comment section!

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Sherryl

      I was just on Jens’ blog responding to a comment and I noticed you had left a very well thought out response to his post – all of which I agreed with.

      I follow your blog too and have read the discussions happening about Marcus’ and Dan’s posts over there. Blog commenting is certainly a contentious issue!

      I completely agree with you that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for bloggers. I’d been thinking about the issues I was having with spam and broken links for some time before I decided to make the move. It was taking up a lot of my time keeping on top of them and space in my database!

      It did feel disloyal to be moving away from CommentLuv, however my thoughts on blog comments have also changed over time (more to how Marcus views the subject) and with that my strategy also needed to change.

      I love the community aspect that comments bring and the conversations often add much more to a blog post. The trouble is that I suspect quite a few commenters were also visiting my blog just for the backlinks.

      I discovered my site had been linked to by a number of poor quality sites in a list of CommentLuv DoFollow blogs where it was easy to get a backlink (even though I had turned the DoFollow off some months ago). That’s not going to help my PageRank!

      Disqus definitely isn’t perfect. I had a comment which I left on Mark Schaefer’s blog go into spam (via Disqus) but he retrieved it and it was fine.

      I also had similar concerns about the registration aspect of leaving a comment on a Disqus-enabled site. However, I also think that if someone really wants to leave a comment they will do whether they have to register or not. I allow guest commenting so people don’t have to register if they don’t want to.

      I don’t think that all people who use CommentLuv leave bad comments, far from it. My experience though is that many people do leave one-liners for the backlink.

      I’ve not had Disqus long on this blog but my experience so far is that engagement is much better, happens much more quickly and comments are of a higher quality overall (possibly because I’ve not been getting the one-liners). It feels much more like a conversation.

      I take your point though on writing longer posts that generate interest, and therefore conversation, may also be the reason for better quality comments!

  • http://www.bloggingfromparadise.com/ Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Tim,

    Congrats! I really like the new look of your blog. I also think that going Disqus was a smart move for you based on your experiences, and vision. Kudos.

    I think blog comments are gold. But we always want to gauge the time and energy spent on moderating comments.

    Me, I’m huge on commenting on other blogs. I scored about 10 interview requests in the past month alone, based on comments. Actually each person noted that my comments were the spur for asking me, so that’s working pretty well.

    Naturally a ton of folks link in to my blog, because the Golden Rule is in effect. Blogger outreach is A1 for me these days, and because I’m aggressively reaching out and making so many influential friends, comments naturally flow in….but in truth, my year’s worth of creating content, and focusing on stuff other than getting comments, helped me set up this scenario where I’m generating 40 to 50 to 90 comments or more on each post, posting 3 times each week.

    Smart post Tim. Tweeting in a bit.

    Ryan

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Commenting on blogs without a doubt can open doors and bring traffic to your blog Ryan.

      That’s brilliant that you’ve scored so many interview requests. Way to go! You’re obviously doing all the right things :-).

      I’ve slowly but surely stopped blog commenting unless I really feel like the need to. I still read a heck of a lot of blog posts but I don’t always leave a comment. I always share anything I read on social media though!

      To me, blog commenting as a strategy for traffic generation takes away from all of the other things I want to do that are more important at this particular time. That doesn’t mean that I won’t use it as a strategy in the future though. It sounds as though you’re at that place now and making good use of it!

  • http://JoyHealey.com Joy Healey

    Hi Tim,

    I’ve been on holiday and missed this post, but when I commented on your Co-schedule post I was (initially) worried / disappointed to see that you had switched from CommentLuv to Disqus as I’d not really been a fan of the latter. This was mainly because I felt the need to register would deter the casual commenters that are so important to me in my complementary health blogs. To be honest this is still a bit of a down-side to me….

    However, having read this post plus the extensive comments from other respected bloggers – and having looked at Disqus as it has now evolved – I can see I may have to open my mind a little. I’m still undecided to be honest (and at some point I do need to stop “tweaking things” and just BLOG), but I’ll “watch this space”.

    Thanks for an interesting post that has given me pause for thought.

    Joy

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Joy

      That’s ok. I shared your reservations too and requiring registration on Disqus for casual commenters may not be the way to go for you.

      What works for one person doesn’t always work for another.

      I’d had enough of spam comments and broken links and constantly needing to moderate and fix them. That doesn’t mean that CommentLuv is a bad thing in essence. It’s a really great plugin to promote a community feel on a blog.

      That said, I’ve been pleased with Disqus this far and the engagement I’ve been getting. It does feel much more like having a conversation than when I had CommentLuv installed.

  • http://www.adriennesmith.net/ Adrienne

    Hey Tim,

    Ah, he’s gone over to the dark side! LOL!!! Well to each his own right!

    I’m sorry to hear that you were still dealing with spam with CLP because when I changed certain settings on the Anti Backlinker plugin I have none now. That’s right, NO spam and all of my comments are quality.

    Now I think it depends on whose blog you’re own because I see a lot of one liners on a lot of blogs that use Disqus and of course I don’t know how that system works but I wouldn’t accept them on mine. I am going to really hope that the blog owner didn’t have a choice instead of accepting all those useless comments.

    Now what I do not like about Disqus or any of these other commenting systems where you have to log-in is that I don’t see your response to my comment. Because I don’t personally use this service the only reason I signed up for it was to comment on other blogs because when that first started happening you couldn’t comment as a guest.

    You definitely know that in my opinion that’s how your community is built, that’s where it all starts. Those using this system know how to use it properly but since I’m not, I don’t intend to take the time to learn. Who has the time to come back to your post to see if you responded!

    I would hope that they would improve upon that in the future because I’m missing out on a lot when I comment using these systems. You know me, I’m all about communication but it makes me sad the direction all of these blogs are going.

    I wish you the best of luck with this Tim and I’m not sure if I’ll get your response or not. Having to scroll down all the time to find my comment is a royal pain too so see, people who do not use this system do find it inconvenient.

    You have a great week and good luck.

    ~Adrienne

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Adrienne

      I certainly have gone over to the dark side :-).

      I’m sure I could have made a few changes on the Anti Backlinker plugin to stop some of the spam. Most of it was going into the spam folder but I was getting something like 75+ a day going in there.

      Another issue was that I was consistently getting broken links and lots of them. Not only that but I was getting people linking to me from poor quality sites as a DoFollow CommentLuv blog even though I’d turned that feature off some months back.

      As much as I don’t want to be a slave to Google, I was concerned about the broken links. Some of the existing links had also been hacked and were pointing to questionable sites! I was becoming concerned that my PageRank would be affected by the crappy links coming in too.

      As soon as I installed Disqus, those problems were gone (apart from the crappy links which I may need to disavow).

      If you registered with Disqus, you can tick a box in your profile settings to be notified of responses to comments you’ve made on any Disqus-enabled blog. That’s one of the things I find really useful about Disqus. If you comment as a guest though you don’t get notified so I take your point.

      One thing that will make your life easier Adrienne is that I’ve changed my Disqus settings to show the newest comments at the top rather than the ones with the most votes. I’m pleased you fed back on that because it was something I could fix immediately.

      I know that Disqus is not for everyone and there definitely are pros and cons about using it as there are with CLP. I didn’t take the decision lightly to remove CLP and felt quite disloyal, however I also had to do what was right for my circumstances.

      It’s always good to hear other people’s views though Adrienne and I appreciate yours very much!

  • http://www.aha-now.com/ Harleena Singh

    Hi Tim,

    I’d bookmarked this post and I’m glad I finally found the time to be here today, finally :)

    I too am heavily experimenting with a lot of commenting options because of the spam comments I was getting with CommentLuv, not to mention the broken links. I tried the broken link checker too, but it shows you only a handful of broken links, while the remaining you see when you check it out on other sites online. It takes a LOT of time just sorting those out, more than the spam comments.

    I was over at Jens blog yesterday and he did mention your post, and he too has switched to Discus, and I think it works very well. I was using it a long time ago too, but when CLP came, there was no looking back, and I still love that plugin. As Adrienne mentioned about the Anti Backlinker plugin, something that came up a little later to fight the spam, it isn’t something I really tried for too long as I was honestly fed up of the broken links, so unless I sorted ALL of those out and then started using this plugin, I wonder if they would vanish on their own.

    Well, I am still experimenting with various commenting systems and would write more in depth about my finding, in a few days time. After all, we all have to suit our own needs and see what fits in well, isn’t it? And I think with the relationships we develop over time, even if you have any simple commenting system, your regulars will always visit your blog. Yes, Discus does require registration and the load time is one issue I faced, so have to see to those two things, though it’s one time registration, but new comers might face problems.

    Also, I like your idea of putting up the latest comment on top, rather than the one with the most votes, so there is always a good change. I wonder how things work on Discus if you have a guest author, how are they notified? That’s another reason I am trying out the default WP system as you can put a reply me plugin with that, unlike in Jetpack and perhaps Discus too. More of it in the future post :)

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice week ahead :)

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Harleena

      Some of us all seem to be coming to this position at the same time – you, Jens and me! Enstine mentioned that you were experimenting with commenting options and I’m intrigued to know your decision and findings.

      I still think CLP is a great plugin but I also don’t like the spam and broken links I associate with it. I’m trying out Disqus and so far I’ve been very pleased with the outcome but if I decide to ever get rid of it, I’d just be going with the native WordPress commenting system without CLP. I think there is too much at stake with Google always breathing down our necks!

      We definitely have to suit our own needs. At the end of the day, it’s our blog and whilst we want to attract visitors and long time commenters it shouldn’t just be all about them. That’s another reason why I removed CLP. By experimenting, you’ll find what’s right for you and as you say, people will fit in with whatever you decide because they want to comment on your blog and be part of the community.

      I’ve enable guest commenting on Disqus to alleviate the potential issue of being required to register as a new commenter. I also don’t pre-moderate comments unless they have a link in them. I was reading over at @businessesgrow:disqus’s blog that moderating can also be an issue for some people so I stopped.

      With regard to guest authors, you can change the author for each post on the Disqus admin page under discussions. Any notifications for new comments will then go to that author and they’ll be able to moderate comments on that particular post. They’ll need to have a Disqus username in order for this to work though!

      I don’t blame you for just going with the native WP comments system. I almost did that myself but I hadn’t tried Disqus before and figured if I hadn’t tried it, I couldn’t really know whether I liked it or not. So far I’ve been very pleased with it so it will stay on my blog for the foreseeable future :-).

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts Harleena and as I said, I’m looking forward to reading your post about the outcome of your commenting experiments in a future post!

  • http://TrafficSmartMarketing.com/ Tom Southern

    “a meaningless one liner” Yes, I’ve been guilty of these at times. Usually, because, lost for words, I’ve wanted to say something. Often, I’ve returned to add something a little more meaningful. But there are plenty of meaningless one liners out there. Usually left by link hunters, dare I say.

    Would you say that what you did to link Disqus with your WordPress comments was easy for non-techies? More bloggers seem to be choosing Disqus. Unlike
    your experience, many of them seem to be getting a few (v. obvious link hunters & worse) comments left.

    Also, the interaction with the blogger seems to have slowed too. A shame I think. Something which suggests a move to be less available on the part of the blogger, I feel.

    Keep us posted on how Disqus does for you. It’s certainly resulted in lots more comments being left, on this post at least. Your experience is definitely worth taking notice of.

    Cheers Tim!

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Tom

      I’m sure I’m guilty of some one-liners too in the past so I can’t be too forthright about it but you’re right it’s now mostly link hunters that are doing it.

      I don’t mind the odd one or two really but if it’s a short comment it still needs to add some value. “Great post” just doesn’t cut it anymore.

      Moving to Disqus was easier than I thought it was going to be Tom, although there was an extra step I had to do because the comments wouldn’t sync back to WordPress. Not a problem if you don’t want them to but I would rather have a constant backup on my blog too in case I ever decide to turn Disqus off again.

      Do you use a caching plugin or a CDN like Cloudflare Tom? If not, then it should be straightforward. Give me a shout if you’re considering it and I can help you out.

      I know what you mean about interaction with the blogger. I’ve found that with Disqus I tend to respond more quickly as all of the comments are easy to find on my Disqus dashboard. I also enjoy responding more with Disqus because it feels more like a conversation.

      There’s definitely a lot of comments on this post. It was kind of a hot topic though. Since I’ve not been doing so much blog commenting though I suspect I will see a decline in comments overall.

      • http://TrafficSmartMarketing.com/ Tom Southern

        Hi Tim,

        Thanks. I might just get back to you on this.

        No, I don’t currently use these cashing systems. I am wondering whether the WordPress comment system will be enough. I’m wondering though, how good Askimet is at keeping spammers at bay.

        Cheers!

        • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

          Akismet’s pretty good at keeping spammers at bay Tom.

          It can also stop genuine commenters as well though. I’m one of them! I can’t comment on any site with Akismet installed. No idea why.

  • adeshokan shamsudeen

    Hello Tim,

    Though I have been reading about you on other blogs for sometime but never had that chance to visit your blog, so my first time.

    I won’t say much about ComLuv or Discus, its all boils down to personal choice and what you want from your blog and the community.

    But there is this line I take from your post;

    “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.”

    Blogging is a business and what you get back for your efforts is what makes a business successful. The moment we understand the difference between readers and buyers, and how to balance the two so we won’t suffer one in the expense of the other; our revenue strategy will start working it way up.

    Without a better income to show for our blogging efforts, blogging may become frustrating and very daunting task.

    Thanks Tim enjoy reading your blog.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Adeshokan

      Welcome to my blog and thank you for visiting and commenting!

      I completely agree about personal choice when it comes to commenting systems and I love the debating that’s going on all over my blogging circles at the moment.

      For me, blogging isn’t a business as such. It’s just the front desk. It’s what happens behind the scenes that makes the business so offering consulting, web design, blog set up services, product sales etc.

      I still need to make that happen!

  • http://www.puppyleaks.com/ Jen Gabbard

    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?

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      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 :-).

  • http://angelamccall.com/ Angela McCall

    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.

    • http://tim-bonner.com/ Tim Bonner

      Your Gravatar’s definitely showing up Angela.

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

  • http://tim-bonner.com/ Tim Bonner

    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!