I’ve been using the default WordPress comment system ever since I switched my blog over to WordPress last year. The default comment system has worked well for me in the past, although it wasn’t without it’s shortcomings, so today I’ve installed the Disqus comment system and here’s my first impression.
One of the biggest problems with even a not so popular blog as my own has been comment spam. If your blog is out there, the spammers will find it. Now Automattic (the company behind WordPress) offers the Akismet spam blocker, and after installing their Akismet plugin, spam comments were definitely reduced and almost completely eliminated. Disqus does its own spam filtering, and even has the option for other commenters to flag/report a comment that is inappropriate or spam.
Comment Follow Up
Another problem with WordPress is the inability for comment authors to subscribe to a specific post, or group of comments, to be notified of follow up comments. This can make it a real pain to try and keep up with your comments (especially if you comment on many different sites), and makes it hard to have a back and forth conversation within your comments on a post. To achieve this functionality within WordPress another plugin, Subscribe To Comments, which can send you an email when there are new comments. With Disqus not only can you follow up with comments, but you can track and view other user’s comments on your blog (as well as others) on the Disqus site.
Not necessarily a problem with WordPress’ default comment system (although it can be added with the Comment Karma plugin), but a very nice added feature when using Disqus for comments. Similar to the functionality you see on Digg and other popular sites, Disqus allows commenters to rate each others’ comments (and even bury comments with too many negative ratings).
The one place where I can honestly say that WordPress has the edge on Disqus is the install/setup process. Disqus does require some additional special steps to get everything configured correctly for you blog, but luckily Dale Dietrich has a handy guide on installing Disqus with WordPress version 2.7. Following Dale’s guide I was able to have everything up and running without a hitch in a matter of minutes, and once my existing WordPress comments were imported into Disqus, the new comment system was ready to roll (the comment import process did take about an hour).
The best thing about using Disqus for comments? I was able to delete 3-4 different WordPress plugins and replace them all using only the new Disqus plugin.
So what do you think of the new Disqus comments? Would you rather use WordPress’ default comment system? Or something else like Intense Debate perhaps?