How to Add Disqus Commenting to WordPress
You can never have too many ways to customize your WordPress website. It all starts with the theme. Choosing a multipurpose WordPress theme, for example, gives you a wide array of options you can use to modify the look and feel of your website. Plugins can go a long way to change not only your website’s appearance and behavior, but also how time-intensive it is to manage some of its aspects.
The comment section is one of those aspects. If you want to try a different commenting system, you can always add Disqus to WordPress. In this article, we’ll show you:
WordPress has its native comment feature, and it’s pretty good. It can help you stay GDPR-compliant, for example. It allows you to moderate comments, which can come in handy for keeping your comment section squeaky-clean. And if it really comes down to it, it even lets you turn the comments off entirely or on some posts.
But even with all the control that you have with the native comments, you might still wish for more from a commenting system. And that’s where Disqus comes in with exciting features that include:
Several commenter sign-in options, including social logins with Facebook, Google, or Twitter.
Real-time commenting with rich-media support.
Adaptability to your website’s visual identity.
Support for syncing between Disqus and the native WordPress comments.
A variety of engagement tools that include notifications and subscriptions.
For select websites, monetization options in the comments section.
On top of it all, Disqus has a robust comment moderation system of its own. If you decide to install Disqus to your WordPress website, the moderation system of the native comments might be the last thing you’ll miss.
Disqus is far from being a perfect commenting system for WordPress, though. For one, you can easily be mistaken that its WordPress plugin has been abandoned — as of June 2020, it’s been at least a year since the plugin’s last update.
While the basic version of the account allows you to use the core features of Disqus without paying, you will have to put up with ads in your comment section. To get rid of them, you’ll need to shell out at least $9 per month (when billed annually) for the Plus plan.
And before you commit to a paid plan, you should first check whether your WordPress theme supports Disqus at all. Some don’t, and Disqus doesn’t have a handy workaround for all of them. So maybe check your theme builder’s support forums first.
Finally, the plugin’s been known to hog server resources and bog things down. You can rectify the issue with the use of third-party plugins such as the Disqus Conditional Load. Make sure to check it out if you decide to install Disqus.
To add Disqus to your WordPress website, you’ll need to create an account with the system first. Head over to their website, click the “Get Started” button and choose one of the four signup options.
In the next step, you’ll be prompted to choose whether you want to create the account so you can comment on the website, or if you want to install Disqus on your website. This time, you should choose the latter.
Next, you’ll see a page asking you to give your website a name and choose a category for it. The website name you want will become a part of your website’s shortname, which you’ll need later. You’ll also be able to edit the shortname by clicking the “Customize Your URL” option. After you’ve done, select a business category, and press the “Create Site” button.
Disqus will next ask you to choose which plan you want to use. After picking the plan, you’ll be asked to select your platform. You’ll see there’s quite a few of them, and the one we’re looking for is usually the first. Click on it, and you’ll be moved to the installation page.
Open your website in a new tab, so you don’t have to navigate away from the installation page. You’ll need to get back to it during the installation process.
To install Disqus on your WordPress website manually, you’ll need to use something called the Universal Embed Code to rewrite your theme’s comments.php file. Since playing around with the theme’s files usually requires the additional step of creating a child theme, this isn’t the most practical way of installing Disqus on a WordPress website.
Still, you should know it’s there because it just might help you install the plugin on a website sporting a theme that doesn’t support Disqus. The two conventional ways of installing Disqus involve downloading the Disqus WordPress plugin. So, head on over to your website and navigate to Plugins > Add New. Search for “Disqus Comment System” and install the plugin with that name.
After you’ve installed and activated the plugin, head on over to the Disqus options and choose whether you want to install Discus automatically or manually. You should only opt for the automatic installation if your website is publicly accessible. After answering the question posed to you on the page, you’ll be given a sync token, which you should copy.
After copying it, either press the “WordPress installation page” button and choose the website, or simply switch to the Disqus installation page if you left it open in another tab, and copy the key into the appropriate field on the page. Click the “Install” button, and you’ll be done.
If you have comments you want to sync, the automatic method is much better than the manual way, as it takes care of setting it up for you.
For the manual method, simply go to the “Site Configuration” tab, click on the padlock in the bottom of the page to unlock the form field, and enter the shortname you’ve chosen in the appropriate field. Click “Save,” and you’ll be done.
If you navigate to a post on the website, you’ll see that the look of the comment section has changed drastically.
After you’ve installed the plugin, you should set it up. You’ll be able to perform some configuration actions on the Disqus website, and that’s also the place where you’ll be able to moderate the comments. You’ll spend a lot of time there, so you might as well get familiar with the panel.
As for the options which you’ll be able to access in your website’s backend, the Syncing tab will probably be the most important to you. That’s where you can enable auto-syncing, or sync comments manually so that nothing is lost if you choose to remove the plugin. You’ll also be able to import any existing comments into Disqus.
And finally, after you’ve given the plugin a spin, you might consider installing a third-party plugin such as the Disqus Conditional load. It might make an already great system even better for you.
Let’s Wrap It Up!
When looking for ways to improve your website or simply mix it up a bit, changing the comment section can be an excellent direction to take. Not only will the right alteration make your website look different, but it might also have lasting effects on how easily your visitors engage with your content.
If you choose to add Disqus to your WordPress website, you’ll open a world of exciting options. Still, you should be prepared to do some troubleshooting in case it doesn’t work right from the get-go. And don’t be too shy with relying on third-party apps for improvements, either.