Gone are the days when only ads were the means of generating digital publishing revenue. Nowadays, monetization models like paid subscriptions and paywalls are chart-topping. This is a great opportunity, especially for publishers, to build an online community through their content. They should work towards transforming engaging readers and visitors into paying members/subscribers.

However, most publishers are compelled into disabling comments on their website. The reasons are that comments sections are filled with unreasonable criticism, hate speech or impolite reviews. If they want to make a viable community, a constant moderation process is required, which needs extra work and for them to hire new employees. Making money through the said model seems difficult now, doesn’t it?! But not anymore, you have a tool like Disqus.

What is Disqus?

Disqus is a networked community platform that hundreds of thousands of websites use for efficiently moderating comments. Disqus provides a feature-rich commenting system along with advanced moderation and administration options, social media integration, and other functionalities. It works for almost all websites and blogs and can be either integrated using the plugins that are available on their website or it can be installed with a simple drop-in code snippet. There are a lot of JavaScript hooks and APIs available to custom-tailor Disqus for your website’s usage.

Advantages of using Disqus

  1. Convert the causal visitors on your website into regular contributors.
  2. It helps websites build communities and moderate them efficiently.
  3. It also provides Audience Analytics which helps publishers to better understand their visitors and create a strategy accordingly.
  4. You can turn your visitors’ engagement into revenue using the Disqus inventory and ad service
  5. It is intelligent enough to automatically adapt to your site’s design and you also have the option to manually customize it.
  6. In addition to Image and GIFs, Disqus also supports other media contents for comments.
  7. Uses machine learning to automatically detect and remove spam from your website, even before it lands.
  8. It increases direct traffic to your website, time spent by the visitors and the page views per visitor.

How to Use Disqus?

We are only going to talk about how to add Disqus into WordPress. Adding it to other sites should be easy and similar if you can follow this guide.

Create a Disqus Account

Go to Disqus official website and click on “Get Started”. Create your account by filling in information like name, email, and password. You also have the option to sign up with your social media account. There are two types of Disqus users:

  1. People who use Disqus as publishers and want to moderate comments on their site.
  2. People who want to comment on any website on the Internet and use Disqus as a managing tool.

You can choose either one, but if you are a publisher/blogger then the first option is for you. Then select “I want to install Disqus on my site”. After that, fill in the website name and category(Business, Culture, etc.). Now select a plan according to your needs: basic, plus, pro, business. After that, you will see a list of the platforms where Disqus can be installed. This list includes platforms like Blogger, Drupal, Hubspot, Wix, Tumblr, etc. Since we are installing for WordPress, click on ‘Wordpress’ and you’ll see installation instructions, which we have explained below.

Download and Install the Disqus Plugin for WordPress

Go to the WordPress Dashboard. In the left pane, choose Plugins > Add New. In the search box, enter “Disqus”. In the list that you will see, select “Disqus Comment System” and click “Install Now”. After the installation, click “Activate”.

Plugin Settings

The newly added plugin should appear in the left pane. Go to the settings page by clicking on the plugin icon. There will be two options to install Disqus: Manual and Automatic. The manual method is faster but it is quite time-consuming. If you are a new user, we’d recommend selecting the “Automatic” option.

At this point, the Disqus has been added to your website. Congratulations!

How Does Disqus Work?

In this section, we talk about how Disqus works, both from an in-depth and a conceptual point.

Although there are two methods of adding Disqus to your website(Manual and Automatic), the comment system is loaded onto your website using the same code-snippet. When a user visits the webpage, on which Disqus is installed, the page makes a request to the Disqus servers.

Disqus uses the information from the request(which contains the information about the website) and locates the comment thread in the database. Then this thread, along with all its comments, will be embedded on the webpage that made the initial request. If there was no thread present in the database, Disqus will make a new empty thread and at the same time make an entry in the database with the related variables.

When a user posts a comment in the thread, it is sent directly to the Disqus servers. To the user, this entire process is seamless and feels native to the website.


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