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The best and most reliable WordPress plugins

Disqus Comment System

Plugin Author: Disqus

Jay Hoffmann

November 20, 2013

Comments, Page

Sometimes, WordPress comments aren’t enough. If you’d like to give your users more options for logging in, and connect them to other comments they’ve made around the web, you might want to use the third party service Disqus. Luckily, they have a WordPress plugin which integrates your Disqus install with WordPress.

What’s It Do?

The Disqus plugin will connect your Disqus account to your WordPress install, and store all of your comments in your database. It integrates with the existing comment system, so you can view them just like you normally would, but also gives you access to your Disqus dashboard right in your admin panel. From there you customize the comment settings, such as setting up email notifications, creating a blacklist and adding moderators. You also have the ability to import your comments from WordPress to Disqus, or from Disqus to WordPress.

Beyond that, the WordPress plugin supports all of Disqus’ features, such as RSS feeds, search engine friendly comments, spam filtering, and a myriad of log-in options for your users. To find out more about what Disqus is able to do, you can view their feature page. This article is mostly concerned with how the plugin functions.

Disqus is also loaded asynchronously, so although it has a good amount of scripts and styles associated with it, it will not load until the rest of your posts are, and the files are all hosted on Disqus’ servers.

How’s It Work?

The first thing that you’ll have to do is head over to the Disqus website and sign up for an account. When you register for an account, you’ll see an option to “Add New Site” to Disqus. On the next screen, you’ll be prompted to enter in the URL of your site, a title for your site, and a shortname for your Disqus URL.

Disqus Account setup

First sign up for a Disqus account

After you have set up your Disqus account, you can install and activate the Disqus plugin. You’ll be brought to a screen to enter in the username and password of your account. On the next screen you’ll be asked to select which Disqus site you would like to sync with your WordPress install. Select the URL that you set up and click “Next.” The plugin will automatically sync the two sites together, and all of your default comment templates will be replaced by the Disqus commenting system. That’s all you really need to do to get started, but there are also ways to customize your settings.

Disqus Plugin Setup

Enter in your details to get started

There will be a new section in your admin panel under Comments -> DisqusWe will come back to the main dashboard later, but for now, click on the “Plugin Settings” link at the top right of the page. This will bring up a list of options for how the plugin interacts with your WordPress install. In the Appearance section, you can chose whether Disqus comments should be used on all pages, or just on closed comments. In the Sync section you can chose to disable automatic syncing of your comments to your WordPress database, or disable server side rendering of the comments. In general, you’ll want to leave these unchecked unless you have a good reason to do otherwise. The Single Sign On section is also for advanced users who are using SSO. If you’re not using a Single Sign On API, or don’t know what that means, then leave these fields blank.

Disqus WordPress Plugin Settings Page

A few Disqus Settings

The Import and Export section can actually be extremely useful. If you had comments on your WordPress install before you activated Disqus, you can import them into your current system using “Export Comments.” This will bring all of your comments in, and they will appear in all of their associated posts automatically. This may take a few minutes, depending on how many comments you had, but afterward you should see them appear in your Disqus Dashboard. Alternatively, if you had comments stored in your Disqus installation that you would like to import into WordPress you can select the “Sync Commnents” button, which will bring in all of your old comments right into your WordPress database, and integrate them on the site.

Disqus Import/Export Settings

Import or Export your comments

Below this you will see a Reset button and some debugging information if you are having a problem.

Clicking on the “Moderate” link at the top right of the page will bring you back to the main dashboard of Disqus. This mirrors the Admin dashboard on the Disqus site, and will list all of your recent comments, give you links to change the settings, gives you access to basic analytics, and an overview of the discussions happening on your site. These features are unique to Disqus, and there’s plenty to explore on their site, but the one tab worth mentioning is the Settings tab.

At the top of your settings, you will see options to customize the appearance of your comment form, chose how to sort comments by default, and change who can comment and how they can log in. It’s worth looking these options over, especially if you are having a problem. Other then that, the Disqus site will have more information on what can be done with their service, and how to get started with their feature set.

Disqus Plugin General Settings

General Disqus Settings

If you navigate to Comments -> All Comments you will see all of your comments that are made in Disqus displayed as they normally would be. This is because Disqus stores comments in your WordPress database, and automatically syncs comments between the two platforms. That means if you delete or move a comment in your admin panel, this will be synced back to your Disqus install, so you can keep using comments as you normally would.

Costs, Caveats, Etc.

Disqus is a free service, and it’s plugin is free to use. It was developed in part by CrowdFavorite, so it has a reliable foundation and makes full use of both the WordPress and Disqus API. It is not updated all that frequently, but it is still actively maintained. If you are looking for help with the plugin, I would go to the Disqus support site, you should be able to find help there. The code for the plugin is also open sourced on GitHub if you’d like to get directly involved.


Download Disqus Comment System Now!

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  • Vanessa Blaylock

    Hi Jay! My comment isn’t really about your core issue of plugin functionality, dependability, load times, etc, but just my latest feelings on Disqus et al. I’ve spent a lot of 2013 wandering in the Comment plugin desert. I started with native WordPress comments, then moved to Disqus, then back to WordPress, then to Facebook, and finally, just this week, back to WordPress comments with Jetpack. Along the way I’ve read about a lot of other comment engines including some of the options that turn your comments into a whole forum. I actually really like Intense Debate, but unfortunately Automattic bought them and then moved all the people to “more pressing projects,” so ID appears dead in the water ATM.

    Pretty much all the other comment engines are good and have their values, but they all seem to have more friction that native WordPress comments, which is why here at the end of 2013 I’m back where I started. I’ve kept a single site on Facebook comments because it’s a site where my students post and none of them bother to log into anything, but they’re almost all logged in to Facebook all the time, so the comments have nice icons instead of blockheads. For the other sites I’ve been surprised given Facebook’s unprecedented ubiquity, how many people bristle at the idea of Facebook comments. And worse, it was hard to have FB notify an author that they had a comment on their post, and there’s nothing more critical to discussion that that. Disqus is good and I do use it on all the Tumblr sites I set up, but for WP it still feels like a bit more friction.

    It actually took me a while to figure out what the difference between WordPress comments and Jetpack comments was. They’re essentially the same (I think) but Jetpack adds the signin options of Twitter, Facebook, Google+, to the standard Name & Email. It’s the easiest way to let people interact. I had some conflicts with WooDojo in the past, so I tried to avoid it, but now I am using WooTabs to put Comments (and Popular Posts & Tags) in the sidebar with nice Comment Author Icons. WordPress comments with Jetpack login and WooTabs recent comments feels like a nice way to feature and promote discussion. It’s sort of frustrating to have spent so much time and research and no doubt pissed off a bunch of users along the way, only to wind up back where we started. Of course, as T. S. Eliot noted, sometimes you have to do a lot of exploring just to wind up back where you started and “know the place for the first time. “

    • Danish Muneer

      wow you just wrote an article about commenting system in a comment =) loved it! thank you for such a detailed insight. @vaneeesa:disqus i would love to be in touch with you.

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    What i realy hate ist the font-size, color and design i cant controll. Here in the blog the same…. to dark color and the post are grey font-color.

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    How to manage the all disqus comment. And i have register in disqus account .When i try to test comment as a guest i cannot delete my comment .Please help !! Link will be appreciated .

  • Zoraakh

    Great Article , i am using disqus please read my questions i am blogging since 2 years and applied for adsense account and it was approved but since than i am earning daily just 1 to 2 $ but after reading this article i will must focus on what mistakes i am doing.. and hope that i will increase my earning .. i heard of this blog from . thanks for such great post..

  • Asif Ali

    You can also Read Related below Post.

    How To Add Disqus Comment System In Blogger – Visit Below Post Link

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  • rachmanmarangga

    i can’t get the moderator dashboard… please help me…

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