Why I pulled the plug on Disqus

Note: Since this post was published in September 2011, Disqus has sufficiently improved their product that I have decided to re-enable it. But in the interest of intellectual honesty, I’m leaving this post intact.


 

DisqusRegular readers of this site may notice that I am no longer using Disqus to handle my commenting. And if you haven’t noticed, well, that’s one of the reasons why. Allow me to explain.

I installed Disqus to replace the native WordPress comment functionality on this site, oh, at least a few years ago. My little blogger head was filled with the promise of even more interactivity and ease with regards to commenting, as well as more traffic.I liked Disqus enough that as recently as April 2011 I listed it as one of my 10 favorite WordPress plugins.

The thing is, none of those promises ever really amounted to much. As of this writing I have 828 posts and 1,660 comments, for an average of two comments per post. That sounds like a decent ratio for a minor internet destination like mine, but I can tell you anecdotally that quite a few of those comments are mine — I do try to be a responsive and friendly writer — and that a large percentage of posts receive no comments at all.

This certainly isn’t the fault of Disqus, but it simply shows that at least for me, it did nothing spur people to leave feedback. But there are other, more concrete reasons why I went back to native WordPress comments.

Disqus, despite how easy it is to set up, doesn’t always play nice with other plugins and themes. I ran into a rather ugly layout issue several months ago that turned out to be a conflict between Disqus and W3 Total Cache. It was essentially solved with a minor coding change to Disqus, but it was a red flag for me. Disqus also tends to slow down the load time of my site — not always by a great deal, but enough to notice. And with Google now taking load times into even greater account in its page rankings, I felt that potential SEO hit wasn’t worth the hassle.

Lastly, I never really became entirely comfortable with the notion of having all my comments hosted by a third party. Disqus seems to have staying power, but in the back of my mind I was always waiting for the day when the whole operation went up in smoke and took my comments with it.

Maybe one day, when each one of my posts gets dozens of comments, I will consider moving back to a third party commenting system like Disqus (or a competitor like Intense Debate, Livefyre, or even Facebook). But until then, I will just have to hope that if someone feels strongly enough to leave some feedback for me they’ll be OK with the few clicks necessary to do so through WordPress.

People found this post by searching for:

    "disqus slow", "disqus vs wordpress comments"

13 Comments

  • Will Killyou

    I am using Disqus to comment and found your site by searching “disqus is slow”. I have no patience for slowness in any form, so for me I look for speed over features. The least amount of hoops and the fastest response, everything else is way lower an the proverbial totem pole. I was commenting on another site, the disqus circle started, the page lagged, typo-matic rate slowed and I bailed… BYE! Don’t comment if it is too slow, don’t fight it, leave and make better use of your time. Eventually some of these stupid new is better coders might get the message and consider performance first before adding their next “coolest new function”.

  • mixinmax

    it is somehow funny after reading the post that i am commenting on your site using disqus. What happend

  • hank

    What drives me crazy is how aggressive Disqus is in grabbing and merging information.

    Family and friends have used my machine for years to read and sometimes comment on various blogs, and we have widely varied and often contradictory opinions.

    Disqus has managed to grab a lot of comments by other people — who carefully did change the pseudonym on the posting — probably because they’re tracking IP address or other stuff.

    The combined result from DISQUS — total tracking of each individual — is the kind of thing the NSA must really be glad to have available.

  • alok gupta

    i also tried disqus .all this make my site too slower on mobile devices. now i have removed it and return back to wordpress comment system and now feeling good with my site performance

  • Hey Chris,

    Great post!

    What were the minor code changes you made to get Disqus to work with W3TC? I am currently having a couple of issues with it not working properly or displaying profile pics on my site all of a sudden after I setup W3TC. Can you help me out with this?

    Thanks so much!

    -Mike

  • I too pulled the plug on Disqus, primarily because I was having some page load speed issues. Disqus also does not work well with WPTouch which I use to make the site more touch screen friendly.

    I’m back to the native WordPress comment system. One thing I did to was add the “Spam Free WordPress” plugin to reduce the amount of spam from bots.

    • Buddy I’m thinking about doing the same thing

      too much javascript is injected into my site and it does slow down the website –

      I’m still a fan of disqus but i’m now actively looking for a replacement

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