Comments are both a love and a hate of mine. I love hearing back from people. It’s great to hear suggestions, arguments, opinions, etc. What I hate is the spam from comments and the not so great WordPress comment system. Don’t get me wrong WordPress, I know how much writing a good comment system sucks. I’m looking at doing this for some other sites that I coded from scratch, and let me tell you, I’m not looking forward to it.
So today I finally decided to install the Disqus plugin for WordPress. For those of you that browse a lot of blogs, chances are you’ve run across Disqus on a site. I’ve been wary of using a 3rd party for something as integral to a site as a comment system as I’ve been burned in the past. The latest Disqus plugin allows you to sync comments back to WordPress. This means that if sometime down the road I decided that the Disqus system isn’t for me, then I can switch back to the default WordPress comments without skipping a beat.
The installation of Disqus was almost painless. I downloaded the .zip file, extracted it into the plugins folder and activated the plugin. The configuration screen asked me for my username/password and then found my account and this blog. That was it. Disqus was setup. If this had been a brand new blog, I would have been done. However I wanted to import all my old WordPress comments into Disqus. So under the Advanced Options, I clicked Import. After a second of working it spit out text from all my comments, and an error saying php had run out of memory. I realized that Spam Karma 2 (a now outdated spam plugin) had marked a couple hundred comments as spam that Disqus was attempting to address. I went into Spam Karma, cleaned everything out and then ran an import again with success.
So what’s so great about Disqus? Well it uses a single sign-in across all the blogs that use it, so you won’t ever have to re-register on a new blog that has it installed. It also ties into FriendFeed for those of you that know what FriendFeed is. I hear it has good spam filtering, which I hope is 100% true. And it also integrates Seesmic, the video comment system that I’ve been meaning to get installed on here for awhile. So, leave me a video comment if you can! And the thing that sealed the deal was the ease of installation and the ability to rollback instantly should I hate it. If Disqus lives up to the expectations, I may also look into using it on my other sites since they plan to have an API soon and that would be great for integrating into my existing code. Let me know what you think of the new comment system.