Admin Note: DISQUS Comments

Just a bit over a month ago I switched over to a plugin for DISQUS comments. Recently, I decided to use some of the donation money from generous readers in enhancements to this blog. Mainly, this is under the hood stuff. Now that we just had a record number of visits in September, this blog is pushing about 50 gigs out per month. So, in order to improve performance and load pages faster, I’m having some database and server optimizations like super cacheing done by the folks at foliovision, the ones who got me up on WordPress and seem to be able to do anything.

Anyway, it turned out that one of the huge drains on rapid page loading was DISQUS. And, coincidentally, these guys have just written their own plugin for comments that runs exclusively on my own server, rather than having to incorporate another server in the loop.

So, we’re switching over to Thoughtful Comments.

Now, here’s the rub. When initially considering using DISQUS, they made a big deal about synching their comment database with the local one so that I would always have the comments even if I quit using DISQUS. Well, what we found out today is that the comment threading data is not being synched, i.e., the data that indicates when a comment is a reply to someone else’s comment and nests it there. In addition, the export file I can download from DISQUS doesn’t have the data either.

Really unconscionable, if you ask me. I know it’s a free service, but if they are going to try to lock you in by making you lose something important if you leave, they ought to be honest about it and tell the whole truth. Very bad, bad, bad business practices.

I do have emails in to DISQUS and will pursue this and hope they come through with the needed data which can then be back fitted for the nesting we’re going to lose over the last month. So, anyway, onward.

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  1. Christoph Dollis on October 2, 2009 at 23:16

    1. I’m glad you’re moving from Disqus. Nothing against them, it just seems unnecessarily complicated.

    2. I prefer flat comments to threaded anyway. Your mileage may vary.

    3. I know little about Thoughtful Comments plugin and it could be awesome… I certainly agree with them about using the WP Spam Free plugin… but what’s wrong with standard WordPress comments system?

  2. Dave on October 2, 2009 at 12:16

    Thanks for this post. We have NOT switched over to Disqus on any of our blogs just for this reason.

    The Thoughtful Comments plugin looks cool!

  3. Michael on October 2, 2009 at 12:32

    Hmmmm…..well you answered one huge question for me. I’m glad I didn’t switch.

    Nutrition and Physical Regeneration

  4. Christoph Dollis on October 3, 2009 at 21:52

    Good luck with getting it set up correctly, Richard. You seem to be a doer and I’m sure you’ll see that it’s done if it’s worth doing.

  5. Richard Nikoley on October 3, 2009 at 09:49


    I suppose threading has its tradeoffs. It’s great to keep one part of the discussion grouped together, but makes it more difficult if one reads comments by just visiting the site and goes to where they left off.

    Of course, using the comment RSS feed solves that, as one can just read from there.

    Right now, it appears we are on standard WP comments. While the new plugin is installed and activated, it does not appear to be working properly. But, the techs appear to be away for the weekend, so we’ll just have to see.

  6. alec on October 6, 2009 at 17:50

    Hi Christoph,

    The big advantage with Thoughtful Comments is that it lets you manage all your comments in the front end and is especially good at getting rid of troublesome posters. If you get a lot of comments, it lets you moderate them a whole lot faster.

    What you might appreciate about Thoughtful Comments is that it uses all core functions from WordPress so there are no compatibility issues if a site owner ever decides to uninstall the plugin. Unlike Disqus, Intense Debate, Typepad Connect and all the rest of the comment parasiteware we respect your data.

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