Top 10 reasons why I'm in love with Disqus and why you should consider using it too
I've arrived massively late for the party, but I've only recently discovered Disqus - the third party commenting platform. As such, I've entirely abandoned the old commenting system this site uses and migrated.
You see, this site is a custom platform, built by my fair hand and as such, the commenting platform was also custom. Which was fine, but it eventually it was getting spammed too hard (even with a captcha and token based authentication), so I opted to turn it off entirely.
Here are my top 10 reasons why migrating to Disqus is a good idea
Since discovering Disqus I very quickly opted to move over and haven't looked back. I did however have some issues migrating my content, but you can read my tutorial on how to import generic WXR XML content into Disqus.
1. It supports loads of different accounts
One of the nicest things about Disqus is that it allows users to authenticate with so many different accounts (Facebook, Twitter, OpenID, Yahoo or Google), or create a standalone Disqus account if you'd rather keep everything separate. Or, you can simply post as a guest. This means users aren't having to authenticate with you individually or re-register, but their details are kept centrally.
Avatars, profiles, analytics, all available and easy to implement.
Again, easy. You can use CSS if you just wish to adjust a few minor aspects of the default setup, or completely re-skin it should you see fit.
You can import your old comment history from Wordpress, Blogger, Moveable Type and some other popular choices - which should cover lots of bases for lots of users. They also allow a generic WXR format so you could export your custom setup into this format to import - which is what I did. Read my tutorial on how I did it.
6. Add-Ons and Tools
There are some lovely extra widgets so you can show a summary of recent comments, popular threads or top commentors. It really feels like the guys at Disqus have thought of everything.
What's that, you've moved domain and all your threads have changed URL structure? You can simply upload a CSV and they'll map the old comment threads to the relocated piece of content. It's ideas like this which really win over users.
7. Options and Configuration
There are options to add trackbacks, Twitter replies, reactions and media attachments. Additionally, you can tie it to an Akismet API key for a more spam-free existence. You can also tie-down whether users need to be registered and verified, just registered or whether comments are a free-for-all.
8. Loads of high profile sites use it
Aside from me using them, the list of sites also using Disqus includes CNN, TechCrunch, Fox News, IGN and Engadget (there are loads, loads more though).
9. Extra tiers of functionality for more money
If you upgrade to their "Plus" package ($19/month) you get realtime reporting, analytics and a load of other things. They have two further tiers of increased functionality and support to entice more corporate/enterprise users into their midst.
10. It's free
100% free, with a good interface for moderating comments (including reply-by-email).
11. Go on then, another point: it's easy to implement
It's seriously just a copy and paste job - if you can install Analytics code, you can install Disqus.
It's just a great platform. Visit the Disqus website.
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