Why I REALLY don’t like Disqus

I really don’t like the Disqus commenting system.

If you use Disqus as your comments plug-in, not only will you not be getting any comments from me, I’ll also avoid reading your posts. I use BlogLovin’ to follow my favorite blogs and I absolutely refuse to follow any blog that uses Disqus.

Why I really don't like Disqus

Here’s why.

1. It wants me to register an account with them.

I have plenty of accounts in so many services. I see no benefit in registering for one more just so I can comment on your blog.

2. It won’t let commenters add a link back to their website.

No, I don’t comment on blogs for SEO benefits. I know very well that WordPress comments have a “nofollow” attribute and that’s just fine. I hate comment spam as much as anyone.

When I see an interesting comment by someone, I want to follow through to their blog. It’s very frustrating not having a link to go to other than their very boring Disqus profile. Why should I care about their Disqus profile and why should you generate traffic for Disqus which does not benefit your readers in any way?

These two reasons make Disqus very frustrating for me as a blog reader, whether I want to comment on your post or even if I don’t.

I don’t understand why bloggers use Disqus in the first place. Yes, I have read about their “advantages” but I see more disadvantages there.

1. They store the comments on their server.

I want to contribute content to your blog. Not to Disqus. I would never use that plugin on any of my blogs because I want full control over content, comments included. Now and in the future too. Even if down the road they decided to charge for the service.

2. It deters some users from participating in the conversation.

Those without an account, like myself, are far less likely to add a comment.

Why would anyone choose Disqus in the first place?

I do wonder.

WordPress has a perfectly ok system for commenting.

  • It allows users to add their email address without publishing it, so you can contact them while keeping their privacy.
  • It allows fellow bloggers to present their blog in a non-obtrusive way, helping develop a community around your topic.
  • It lends itself beautifully to various template designs.
  • It handles spam very well once you activate Akismet.
    I don’t see how Disqus is any better in that respect. I have seen blogs where spammers filled the Disqus comments section with links to their sites. Left open to links and unmonitored, there’s little Disqus can do to stop spammers.
  • It’s there already. No need for additional plugins.

With such an effective and useful system already in place, why use a plugin? The only motivation I can see is that Disqus pays bloggers a small fee when they activate the built-in ads. Is it really worth it though?

Why won’t I even follow your blog if you use Disqus?

I’m the kind of person who likes to engage others in conversation. I’m the one who can’t help but respond to people’s Facebook posts, or tweet back when something catches my eye on Twitter.

I do the same with blogs. When I read an interesting blog post, I like to leave my paw mark and reply with my own insights and thoughts. I also appreciate the opportunity to present myself to the blogger and to other commenters by adding a link to my blog. I want this process to be simple and I don’t want to have to create an account with a third-party just so I can comment.

If your blog uses Disqus, you’re in effect shutting me out of the conversation. Even if I have something that’s very useful and interesting, or if I want to ask something. That’s not nice and it means I won’t go back to your blog. There are TONS of great blogs out there where I can speak my mind, so why waste my time on the ones who don’t let me do so?

Why should you care?

I’m just a grumpy old web publisher (not really! I’m awesome!) and your blog will do just fine without my comments or my readership (not really! You want to hear what I have to say!)

I’m not the only commenter you’re losing though. People who engage with a website tend to return and to stay for longer. Commenting adds stickiness. To get them to engage with your blog, you need to keep things simple. Disqus complicates them.

When you use Disqus you may be losing commenters and readers. I doubt I’m the only one.

10 Replies to “Why I REALLY don’t like Disqus”

  1. Preach it!
    I dislike Disqus for many reasons, though I had to install it on one of my old blogs which I coded all by myself, because spambots were cracking every layer of protection I’ve put on, so I had to find another solution.

    What I dislike the most about Disqus is that I have no idea whether those blogs are forwarding any visitors to me. I check my referral traffic to see how people behave when they visit my site (whether they stay or bounce, sign up or not..) so I know if someone’s audience is a good fit with my blog, and where the best places for me to build relationships are.

    I also think it’s a waste that these comments are indexed on Google. Sometimes comments provide a very valuable discussion that could be accessed via search. Disqus prevents that.

  2. I tried commenting on one of those yesterday said nope when I had to sign up. I created a blogger profile so I could comment on blogger posts because when I enter my wordpress stuff it says open Id can’t be verified. Just put my wordpress website under websites and walla done.

  3. I can’t stand Disqus!
    I don’t know why any blogger would want to incorporate it into their site. I’ll comment through disqus occasionally for bloggers I am in support of, however, most of the time it makes me not even want to comment. It’s just an extra inconvenience. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Fellow Disqus disliker here.

    I do use Disqus on my main blog, but I opted against it for all my other sites. Disqus has some advantages (I can literally only count 2) but the pros definitely don’t outweigh the cons.

    Another thing to consider:

    They recently started monetizing with ads and it’s been a pain to opt out. The latest ads they’re pushing are “in-comment” ads which is just ridiculous.

  5. Well, in some occasion (when you don’t use a CMS for instance), and need a commenting system, you have to decide either for one solution or the other.
    A while back I tried a Russian solution that was adding gamification to comments (I forgot the name). It was just awesome, commenters could win points by commenting more, then they could add their website with enough points and so on. This was (to me) a brilliant idea. However, it was a bit messy at the time, and I had to go back to the original mainstream … Disqus system.

    Now that I’m commenting here, I realize that livefyre was bought by Adobe and changed scope.
    There is also discourse, but between Disqus and Discourse, honestly, I prefer Disqus way better.

      1. Interesting – thanks for sharing that! Definitely something to look into once I get more commenters. For now, I think I’ll stick with the built-in WordPress’ commenting system.

  6. Thanks for the feedback, Anne. I work at Disqus and really appreciate your honest thoughts about your experience. You mentioned a lot of fair points which I wanted to respond to below:

    > I have plenty of accounts in so many services. I see no benefit in registering for one more just so I can comment on your blog.

    We provide a simple way for you to create a Disqus account using any popular social account such as Facebook and Google. In other words, you don’t have to create a new password for your Disqus account to remember.

    > When I see an interesting comment by someone, I want to follow through to their blog. It’s very frustrating not having a link to go to other than their very boring Disqus profile. Why should I care about their Disqus profile and why should you generate traffic for Disqus which does not benefit your readers in any way?

    You raise a good point here. We need to do a better job of highlighting the referrer traffic that Disqus circulates back to your site. Currently, we show you the traffic from people reading the comments but I can see the value of knowing how much traffic Disqus is contributing back to your site.

    The main benefit of having a Disqus profile is you now have a single place for all the websites you comment on the web. A commenter’s profile showcases a lot of interesting tidbits about their interests, what communities they frequent, and more. You can also personalize your profile including a short bio and link to your blog/website. I personally have discovered a lot of interesting sites on the web from reading someone’s Disqus profile that I otherwise would not have heard about.

    > They store the comments on their server.

    We sync comments back to your WordPress database so that if you ever decide to switch back to WordPress comments or migrate to a different commenting system, you have a simple way to export your comments easily.

    > I don’t see how Disqus is any better in that respect. I have seen blogs where spammers filled the Disqus comments section with links to their sites. Left open to links and unmonitored, there’s little Disqus can do to stop spammers.

    We’re constantly making improvements with our spam filter. In addition to our own internal spam fighting software, we also leverage Akismet for reducing spam across our entire network. We highlighted some of those improvements in this blog post https://blog.disqus.com/tackling-spam-in-the-comments

    One last benefit with Disqus vs WordPress comments is that we auto-save your comment as your composing on the page. On WordPress, if you’re Internet connection suddenly drops when you submit your comment or you accidentally refresh/close the active page, the comment is lost. I mention this because that happened to me as I was writing this comment! Anyhow, thanks for letting me share my comment. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed comment! It sounds to me like some things have improved. I wonder if blogs showing spam links in Disqus comments have an old version of the plug-in that doesn’t stop spam. I still think allowing commenters to show a direct link to their blog is important. Users should not have to click through to the Disqus profile to see the link to the blog on a user’s profile page. It needs to be accessible immediately. Think of something like Commentluv where people can see a link back to the commenter’s blog and even a direct link to their last blog post. It’s a perk for the commenters and can help readers get to know them better and in a more direct way. Maybe Disqus would consider showing a link back to a commenter’s blog alongside the link back to the profile? Something along the lines of having this at the bottom of a comment : Username Blog: Blogname. The word username would link back to the Disqus profile and the name of the blog would link back to the blog. Both nofollow, of course, to deter spammers and improve SEO. I think this could be a nice option that would encourage more bloggers to comment using Disqus.
      Thanks again for taking the time to reply to the post – much appreciated!

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