After an awful lot of debate and a whole lot of trial and error over the last few months I finally decided to migrate comments on this site from the native WordPress commenting system to Disqus. Frankly, it really wasn’t an easy decision. As Bit51 has grown I needed to make sure that any change this big wasn’t just done for a any old reason but instead was done with users in mind.
While I agonized over all sorts of details throughout the decision process, when I really broke it down there were just 3 simple reasons why I think Disqus is a better platform for both myself and the folks who participate here on Bit51:
1.) Disqus has the ability to more easily manage comments and discussions from a single location
I know WordPress has it’s notifications and all but they simply aren’t easy to use. In addition, as I manage comments on a couple of sites keeping track of what is where was starting to take up way too much of my time.
Disqus puts it all together on my existing sites and gives me the ability to expand to other sites later if I need to. In addition, not only does it allow me to track comments on sites I manage, but it also lets me track comments I leave on other sites that use Disqus. It’s early yet but I think this could really help me keep in touch with folks over a wider range of platforms.
2.) I wanted to streamline the plugin base of this site
By turning on Disqus I managed to turn off nRelate, Akismet and numerous Jetpack features that were all being used to enhance comments in one fashion or another. Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t bad plugins, but how many plugins is too many? Now comments and related functions are handled solely by the Disqus plugin resulting, hopefully, in a faster and less cluttered site.
3.) User experience
Finally, and most importantly, I believe Disqus does more for the user experience than any of the competition. With instant updating, the ability to log in from numerous services (or not at all) and the ability to easily follow and interact with a site I think it is simply a better way to help encourage participation.
I’ve looked at other commenting systems. I tried Livefyre and CommentLuv numerous times in the past but the former never did work well for me and the latter really doesn’t do much but toot its own horn. Disqus just seems to be the best platform to hopefully build real conversions on without gimmicks or unneeded garbage.
So what do you think? Is Disqus worth it? What are you using on your site and why?