I’ve been using Disqus on my WordPress blog for a few months now, and just installed their new version 2.0.1. I thought I’d run down the installation experience and some of the new features for those curious about Disqus.
After signing up at the Disqus website, you’ll download a Disqus plug in for your blogging platform (WordPress, MovableType, Tumblr, Blogger, or TypePad). I use WordPress, so there’s a WordPress plug in that must be installed in the usual fashion. Once installed, the Disqus settings appear under the Comments > Disqus area of the WordPress admin.
After installing 2.0.1, Disqus said it would run in “legacy mode” until I imported all my old comments into Disqus. There’s an “Import” button under Advanced Options. When I first clicked the “Import” button, it took a while for Disqus to copy all my comments to the Disqus servers and process them (I had about 4000). But after an hour or so, the comments began appearing on my blog in the proper place beneath the associated posts.
Controlling the look of the comments on your blog is done at the Disqus website – under Admin > Settings there is an area called apperance.
Some features I really like:
- You can moderate comments via email. Whenever I get a comment I’m sent an email to which I can respond with a reply of my own, or reply with “Remove” to delete the comment.
- You can access the Disqus website from a window within the WordPress admin.
- Disqus comments are now indexable by search engines meaning they’re SEO friendly.
- Users can “claim” old comments. When I initially set up Disqus I cautiously set it up so only new comments would use the Disqus service. Because Disqus associates comments with a Disqus profile based on the email address, users can “claim” an old comment by visiting your blog, moving the cursor over the name next to a comment, and clicking “unclaimed profile” in the pop up window. On the next page, click “claim profile” and an email will be sent to the email address left with that comment (which you should have access to). That sounds kind of complicated, but once you claim any email address with your Disqus profile, any of the associated comments tracked by Disqus are instantly linked up.
- Finally, I’m concerned about data portability and there are some improvements in that area. Disqus doesn’t toss out the existing comments in your WordPress install – they are all still there untouched, in case you decide to deactivate the Disqus plugin. New comments left using Disqus will appear in your WordPress installation also. Lastly, there is an Export feature allowing you to get all your comments out of Disqus. Just log into Disqus and go to Tools > Export to download all your blog’s comments in one XML file.
Anyhow, as you can tell, I’ve been very pleased with Disqus. The best part about the service is comment moderation is much easier on my blog which means more time for blogging.