How to Add Disqus Comment System in WordPress

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Disqus pronounced “discuss” is a popular third-party commenting system for WordPress. If you’ve been browsing the web for more than a week, then you’ve probably come across a site that’s using Disqus. A lot of popular sites including CNN, The Next Web, Bloomberg, CNBC, The Atlantic, and now WPBeginner are using Disqus. In this article, we will show you how to add Disqus comment system in WordPress. We will also discuss the reasons why we switched to using Disqus.

Why did we Switch to Disqus?

You’re probably wondering why should anyone use Disqus? Doesn’t WordPress have a perfectly good built-in commenting system?

Yes, WordPress does have a built-in comment system, and it worked well for us when our site was smaller. As our site grew, we started to experience growing pains. Disqus helped us solve the following problems:

Spam Comments

For those who’ve used WordPress comments for more than a month know that it attracts a lot of spam comments. Some of it can be mitigated with Akismet, but not all of it.

Few months ago, for some reason Akismet stopped working on our site for 2-3 minutes. This resulted in over 30,000+ spam comments in our pending review queue. Yes, we were able to take care of that problem, but it took some time.

Using Disqus, all comments have to go through their spam filter. This makes moderation easier.

Scalability and Site Performance

Comments are resource intensive. If you have a lot of comments on a post, then it will take a long time to load.

If a lot of users are leaving comments at the same time, then it would also impact your server load. The advantage of using a third-party commenting system like Disqus is that you shave that server load off from yours and send it their way.

Even if your site is getting attacked by a malicious user, it won’t impact your server because it has to go through Disqus first.

Redundancy and Syncing

Unlike Facebook comments, Disqus doesn’t lock you in. You can always revert back if you don’t like the platform because it syncs with your WordPress database.

If you’re running a fairly large site across multiple servers, then having a third-party commenting system helps with redundancy. You don’t have to worry about syncing comments because it’s not tied to your database. Disqus comments are tied with the URL of the post or page.

Better Comment Subscription Options

While you can add subscribe to new comments or only replies in WordPress comments, Disqus makes it a whole lot easier.

Users can easily subscribe / unsubscribe to comments.

Easy Moderation Interface

We’ve always wanted to have some of our active community members take part in comment moderation and fostering the community. However it wasn’t as easy in WordPress despite this plugin. Disqus allows us to invite our active members to take the moderator role.

If you’re interested in volunteering, then drop us a line using our contact form.

Now not everything that Disqus offers is good. There were some cons that we had to accept that came as part of the package.

Generic comment interface – We couldn’t keep our old comment style. We had to switch to the generic Disqus layout.

Overrides comment count – Disqus tries to override the comment count, but we fixed it using this code.

Can drive traffic away – Disqus related posts widget can drive traffic away, so we simply turned it off. It’s important that you keep an eye out for this because “Content Discovery” is not available for everyone at the start, and they automatically enable it once their algorithm approves your site.

Lack of Control – When you outsource your comments, you lose control. This was the hardest part for us because we like to fine-tune every aspect of our blog. However the pros outweighed the cons for us.

We’ve been using Disqus for a few months on List25 and finally made the switch on WPBeginner as well. If you’re looking to add Disqus on your site, then follow the tutorial below.

Adding Disqus Commenting System in WordPress

Adding Disqus commenting system to WordPress is very easy. First thing you need to do is go to Disqus website and login or sign-up for a new account. Once you are logged in, click on For Websites link next to the Disqus logo.

Disqus for websites

On the next screen, you need to click on Add Disqus to Your Site button next to your profile pic on the top right corner of the screen.

This will take you to a sign-up form where you need to provide your website information. Provide the title of your blog or website and then choose a unique URL for your website on the Disqus commenting system. This unique URL will be the place where you can access all your comments after you have installed Disqus on your site. Lastly choose a category for your website. Once you are done, hit theFinish Registration button.

Registering your site for Disqus commenting system

After the registration, you will be asked to choose your platform. You need to click on WordPress, and it will show you further instructions to setup Disqus commenting system on your WordPress site. Don’t worry we will walk you through these instructions.

Now that you have registered your site for Disqus commenting system, it is time to connect your WordPress site to the Disqus platform. To do this, you need to install and activate the Disqus Comment System plugin. Upon activation, go to Comments » Settings and sign in with your Disqus account.

Login with your Disqus account

Once you are logged in, you will be shown the site you registered for Disqus commenting system. Select the site and click on the next button to finish the set up.

Select your site to install Disqus comments

That’s all. You have successfully added Disqus comment system to your site. You can see it in action by visiting any post on your site, and you will see Disqus comments instead of WordPress comments on your site.

Exporting Older WordPress Comments into Disqus

Since Disqus commenting system takes over the display of comments on your WordPress site, this means that the comments stored on your WordPress site will not be visible to users. To fix this, you will have to export those comments to Disqus commenting system. In WordPress admin area, go to Comments » Disqus and click on the plugin settings tab on the top right corner of the screen.

Disqus Plugin Settings

On the plugin’s settings page, scroll down to Import and Export section and click onExport Comments button. This will initiate the import process and all your old WordPress comments will be exported to Disqus commenting system.

Export WordPress comments to Disqus Commenting System

Moderating Disqus Comments

You can moderate Disqus comments by visiting Comments » Disqus. There you will find a button linking to your comment administration page on Disqus. This is where you can approve, spam, or delete comments.

Disqus comment moderation page

Troubleshooting Disqus Comment Display Issue

On some WordPress themes Disqus comment area may appear wider than rest of the post and page area. To fix this, you need to figure out the width of the content area in your theme and then add this CSS into your theme or child theme‘s stylesheet.

1 #disqus_thread {
2     margin0 auto;
3     max-width604px;
4 }

This CSS sets max-width of the comment area to 604px and centers it to the screen. Your theme may have different width so you will have to adjust it accordingly to meet your needs.

Another great post from our friends at wpbeginner!


Michael Musto

Just following my passion for cooking & helping Retailers, Restaurants, & Food Industry companies with Marketing Strategies. Along the way sharing recipes from amazing food bloggers, The love of great wines, artisan spirits, craft brews and of course Bourbon.

I grew up in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother and it's where I love to be every day cooking for my wonderful family. I hope you enjoy!

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