Monday, February 16, 2015

Disqus - A new comment system for transients.info

I have just very easily and quickly installed a completely new comment based system for the site here. This system replaces the blogger commenting system altogether. (https://disqus.com)

Within 24 hours, all comments will be imported into this new system, but at the moment you will notice that all previous comments have been lost. Don't worry, they should be back soon. (actually, it looks like this has now been done, as I post this... so comments should still be there)

I have replaced the recent comments side menu with a recent comments widget designed just for Disqus. This means it's going to look a bit different.

So, why did I do this? The default blogger.com commenting system is very basic and lacks many important features that a decent commenting system should have.

  • With Disqus you can manage your own registered profile, which includes various settings
  • It's more reliable so you should never loose a comment
  • There are layered reply options, so this means you can respond to one person and your comment will go directly underneath their comment, not at the bottom of the entire page
  • You can vote comments up or down, so this is a bit like a 'like' feature found on Facebook
  • There are many options within the home page, where I can manage the commenting system. For example, I can determine what happens if a comment is 'flagged' a certain amount of times. I can turn on comment moderation if there is a link included, etc
  • You can edit your own comment now. This is useful for when you make a mistake. (I usually delete my comment and post it again if I make a mistake)
  • I can assign moderators to moderate comments if required
  • It looks better and fits more into the site style
  • Hopefully that character limit on posts no longer exists as well...

As you can see below within the image I included, in the bottom left corner there is a subscribe option so you can get email alerts if you wish to when new comments are added. There may be another option within your profile for this as well.


There is also a sorting option near the top left, where you can sort by best (the number of votes), newest or oldest. The default at the moment is Best. 

I am still getting used to this system, so I can't provide too many tips just yet. You can access your Disqus profile as shown below, once you are logged in. 


So, what are the options for logging in? We now have the following choices,


You can use your Facebook account, Twitter, Google or an account directly created through the Disqus site. Once you do this for the first time, if you are not going through the process of signing up with Disqus directly, you will be presented with an OpenID authorisatoin prompt/window, and then a window to enter in your basic details such as your name, email, and a password. So what this means is that you are signing up for an account with Disqus, but Disqus will grab your details from those other sites to make the process faster. You may find other sites out there already using this commenting system, so you may of course already have an account with them.

Until I migrate the entire site away from blogger, this will likely be the last time I modify the commenting system. I hope to keep it for after that migration as well as it's the best one I have run into so far.

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