Supercharge your Blog Comments with Disqus
In this guide we will introduce you to the Disqus commenting system which is probably the most popular 3rd party commenting system out there.. and it's VERY impressive.
Before we get into how to install etc, lets first look at the advantages that Disqus Provides.
1) In built Spam filtering
2) Moderate all your comments from 1 place. Very handy if you run multiple blogs.
3) The ability to ban users by either email address and/or IP Address.
4) You can reply to comments via email so that you don't have to go to your blog to reply to a comment. Very handy if your on the road.
5) Threaded comments.
6) Live comments. If your site is busy people will not have to hit refresh to see new comments.
7) Whenever you leave a comment on another Disqus enabled site you will be able to see and track all your comments from the Disqus profile screen. This is great if you are trying to remember where you left that comment on a blog a while ago.
8) It's FREE!
There is a LOT more to Disqus than the list above but you can discover the benefits yourself.
Ok, so how can I install this on my blog?
Well it's very simple.
First Goto http://disqus.com and create a free account. Once done click on the Comments Section
As this is your first site you will probably be prompted for your blog details. If you already have a blog with Disqus simply click on the "Register a New Site" link.
This is the main configuration screen where you can setup how you want Disqus to work. I normally select all features to get maximum benefit from it. I highly recommend that you get a free Akismet Key so that you can use their very powerful spam filtering system. Once done click continue.
Note: You can always go back after you have installed Disqus and change these settings on the fly.
Now we tell Disqus what blog system we are using. For the purpose of this guide I will be using Blogger. The operation is similar for other systems and you just need to follow the simply on-screen instructions.
First off we have to Download our Template from Blogger. You do this via the Layout, Edit HTML screen from your Blogs Dashboard. Click the Download link and save the file to your Computer.
Now click the Choose File button and select the above file that you have just saved.
You can now decide if you want Disqus to import your existing comments. I always import the comments so that I know I have a full set.
Once done click Continue
Now this is the important bit. In Step 1 below make sure you copy ALL the code in the little text window.
Hit the Save button to complete the process.
Now return back to your Disqus page and click the Import button to import your existing comments.
You will then be asked to authorize Disqus to import these comments. Click Grant
You will now be asked to confirm which of your blogs you want to import from. Select the correct one and click Import.
Now we need to ensure that Disqus and Blogger comments are kept in sync so that if you ever decided to move away from Disqus all your comments will still be in Blogger.
Click the Enable button
Again you will be asked to grant Disqus Access to do this
You then get a message informing you of any settings that you might need to make with your Blogger blog to ensure the smooth syncing of comments. Check you have these all set.
When you close the above box, you will be taken back to disqus and the button should have changed from Enabled to Disable. This means that you comments are now in sync with Blogger.
Now pop over to your blog and click on one of your posts to see your shiny new Comments System
As we mentioned earlier, Disqus is very powerful and you can customize a lot about it. The good thing is that when you make changes, you don't have to re-install the code again. All changes are dynamic.
Clicking on the Settings Tab allows you to change your Moderation Options
And the Look and Feel of your Comments Box
I hope you found this useful and hope to see more Disqus powered blogs.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate in contacting me or leaving a comment.
Do you think you'll add Disqus to your site?