Nov 27, 2011

Why I uninstalled Disqus from Blogger

UPDATE
After posting this entry I was contacted by Disqus via Twitter & Blogger. They offered me help, because the duplication was something that shouldn't occur:

"The duplication error only occurred during a specific time period which is why you can't reproduce it. We're looking into a more automated way to remove duplicate comments for forums so you don't have to go through and manually remove them. We'll be in touch again once we know more about that. "

17 days after this e-mail they informed me that they had removed the duplicated comments. I asked them if I could remove Disqus just by removing the widget and the answer was positive:

"Nothing will happen to your Disqus account -- if you'd like to remove the widget you will just need to find the Disqus widget in your Blogger layout editor, open it, and then click "Remove" along the bottom, and your Blogger comment box will be restored.

Sorry for any hassles, we do plan on some major integration improvements with Blogger so keep us in mind :-).
"
THE ORIGINAL POST
Last night I opened Disqus widget and clicked "remove". I didn't even know if that was the official way to get rid of the system (because they don't have proper information about it), but after some serious issues I just had to do it.

I'll describe my experience with Disqus because I know that the Blogger comment form is terribly basic and a lot of people will tempted to change it.

First, the good things. Disqus nails it with its:
  • Overall clean interface 
  • "Reply" button that forms threads inside the flow of comments
  • Cool system to show "Reactions" or who shared your post over Twitter or other sites.
  • System to display attachments like pictures or videos linked in the comments.
  • Option to save a copy of your comments in your Blogger dashboard and also an option to Import/Export your comments.
  • Help reply timing: if you have a problem with Disqus and write to the staff during working days, they answer you really quick.


Now the things that make you want to kill yourself:

1. It doesn't fetch all your Blogger comments:

I was really happy with Disqus until I noticed some weird things. Before it loaded I could see the original Blogger form and noticed that it said, for example, "10 comments". Then when Disqus officially showed up, it said "9 comments"!! I checked my Blogger dashboard and noticed that there were some comments correctly added there but not in Disqus and therefore not in my site.

I wrote to the staff, and after following some steps like checking the "Spam" folder they informed me that:

Perhaps these were made from a phone or other mobile device? Blogger doesn't yet allow Disqus to work on their mobile templates, so that would be one way to get comments on Blogger and not Disqus. If you do an import from Blogger again that'll bring them in. Blogger will also be adding Disqus support soon, so they say. 

Why didn't they inform me about this tiny issue before installing the system? Well, I know why.

2. Importing comments can be tiring:

So each time I noticed there were some comments that weren't correctly published I had to go to my Disqus account and re-import all the comments again. Sometimes this didn't take more that a few minutes, in other occasions it did.

This meant that if someone left a comment he/she had to wait for me to notice the problem (because if Disqus doesn't save it, you obviously don't get a notification via e-mail) and then for the import.

Importing comments on a daily basis was something I didn't have to do with my old Blogger comment form. 

3. Disqus comment form is not really easy to get:

I remember when I first saw Disqus in other sites I thought I had to create an account to comment or use my social media accounts. And that's what a lot of my readers thought too when I installed it in my blog. Some of my readers told me that they preferred to send me e-mails commenting a post than using Disqus; others took part of their time to create an account; others didn't see that they could leave their url when posting as guests (the option font was too tiny), etc.

So, extra task: I had to invent new ways to clarify all these issues, like adding a description box on the top of my site, creating posts, etc. I think that they should modify the design: leaving a comment using just an e-mail and an username should be the main option, embedded under the form and not in a pop up window, because this leads to confusion. If you want to use your other accounts then you should click a button like "Use an account".

4. It adds some extra seconds to your site loading time.

No comments.

5. Importing comments can go crazy:

This was the last straw! Last week, as usual, I noticed that there were two comments that weren't published so I tried to import them. After some hours, I checked my site and noticed that ALL THE COMMENTS I'D EVER RECEIVED WERE DUPLICATED. That meant that if I wanted to change to another system and export my comment file they would be duplicated anyway. So, again, I asked for help  to the staff. The answer, another challenge:

Unfortunately this was due to an error that we made. There's no way to remove the duplicates automatically, but if we can put together something we'll contact you. Otherwise they can be deleted manually -- we're very sorry for any hassle this has caused.

Yeah, I have the time to manually delete more than 2,000 comments! 

The good news is that I noticed that my Blogger comments dashboard correctly showed my comments, without the duplicates.

6. Getting rid of Disqus means losing information and formats

The bad news is that after removing the Disqus widget all the direct "Replies" to users I wrote using Disqus are now messed up, because Blogger displays them in chronological order (TIP: if you're using Disqus and replying to your readers, address them, like @Someone to have clearer comments in case you uninstall it). Of course, I also lost the "Likes" the readers' comments or my posts received, the "Reactions", etc.

Conclusion

After all, I guess I made the right decision, Disqus wasn't really making my blogging experience easier. I only hope the guys at Blogger can work on their comment system, to make it more functional and pretty. I modified a bit the basic form, hope you like it :)

37 comments:

  1. I've had problems with Disqus, too. BUT, I've probably had more with Blogger. I wish Blogger had a comment interface similar to Wordpress. That one seems really nice and easy to use. I'm not a Wordpress blogger, but whenever I've commented on sites that are, it works very well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Audrey Since I was the first comment, I just saw how it looked when I published mine. Great job! I love what you changed. The reply button is nice, too. You are so good at this kind of thing. I would have no idea how to tamper with the template like that!

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Audrey HI, Audrey! Hope everything's OK over there :) Thumbs up to Wordpress comment form, really efficient :) Oh, I'm glad you liked the design, I just followed a tutorial for the Reply button and made some small modifications on the html template :) I can send you the links if you want. Glad to 'talk' to you again, girl!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the animated GIFs. The second one says it all. What film is that from?

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Michael Troutman Hi Michael, glad you liked the gifs! The second one is from "Two for the road", starring Audrey Hepburn & Albert Finney. Jacqueline Bisset has a small part in it. Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Via,

    My name is Giannii and I work at Disqus. I saw you had trouble with your site and we can help resolve these issues. I have a couple questions and answers below. Feel free to send us the requested details at http://disqus.com/support

    1,2, & 6. That's not true, it just sounds like there might be a hang up with the import and syncing from blogger to Disqus. As I mentioned before I'd be more than happy to help you re-sync those comments.

    3. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback, we really appreciate it.

    2. Did you ever get an error message? If so, could you include that in your email? Typically, when there is an issue with importing it means we're having trouble talking to blogger.

    4. Disqus is usually the last element to load on your site so it sometimes comes off as "slow". Also since Disqus basically overlays when the rest of your site is slow, your previous comment might show for a brief second.

    5. Duplication shouldn't occur, could you provide a couple links to posts with context of the duplicated comments in your email?

    I hope that information was helpful and we'll be looking for your email. If you do not get a response soon let me know. g@disqus.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the information. I was thinking about using Disqus but not anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Giannii

    Hi Giannii, I think we've talked before via e-mail :) First, thanks for the personal reply over here and Twitter. Like I said, the replies timing is one of Disqus' best features.

    Anyway, I sent you guys an e-mail on Friday (#71765) asking how to delete Disqus. I was waiting it to be replied on Monday. I'll write another one with this same content anyway.

    1, 2 & 6. How can it be not true? All I know that there were comments left over my site, that were stored on Blogger dashboard but didn't show on Disqus dashboard nor in my blog. I sent you these screenshots (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QRkCPj24lIY/TnwNxSUg3-I/AAAAAAAAC8k/KhRCww2lvrk/issue.png) and the solution you guys gave me, to this a "hang up with the import and syncing from blogger to Disqus", was to re-import all the comments, and that was what I had to do everytime someone left a comment using a mobile device.

    For a common user like me, saying that Blogger's mobile templates doesn't allow Disqus is the same that "Disqus doesn't fetch all your Blogger comments". The rest is a problem between companies.

    And you do lose information like formatting after uninstalling Disqus, for example, there's no way to recognize which comments were replies to a specific user. After deleting Disqus, Blogger shows them in chronological order, therefore messing up all the conversations.

    This could be mended by automatically adding the text "@username" every time you reply to a specific user using Disqus. That way comments would have some kind of order even after removing Disqus.

    2. When importing it didn't always show me an error message, but it did take more than a few minutes (by this I mean +10) to re-import them. The last time I tried to re-import, it automatically said "100% complete" when it wasn't (again, no error was recognized by the system). I tried to re-import my comments again and the next thing I knew was that all my comment were duplicated.

    3. No problem, I'm glad to send you guys feedback.

    4. Yes, you're right. But I didn't know this before installing it.

    5. I know duplication shouldn't occur, that's why I decided to remove Disqus.

    And because I removed Disqus widget, I don't have links to the duplicated items IN my blog, but you here's a screenshot of my Disqus dashboard (http://bit.ly/tSQxU4).

    I think that covers all the questions.

    Thanks for your attention, I really appreciate it. I do hope you guys can fix all the issues you have with Blogger (or Blogger has with you), because I really liked Disqus at the begininng.

    Best,
    --Clara

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Clara

    Thanks! I might email you sometime if I decide to switch up the comment form.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Clara

    I hope I'm not butting in here, but I have had trouble with the same thing you mentioned about people leaving comments in the Blogger system before Disqus loads. Then when it does finally load, those comments disappear. So it's not just you! And I also wish that there was an easier way to log-in.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The gifs are priceless. They really say what you're feeling. Welcome to the club. I was tinkering with my blog site, and almost deleted the thing by accident. How do spell heart attack ?

    When things are ok thats fine. But when they're aggravating it's murder !

    ReplyDelete
  12. I found your article very interesting. I'm a fan of Disqus, but some of the points you made are very valid. I guess not system is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Clara!
    I've had problems too, and I wonder how can i remove the disqus widget, without losing the comments....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there. Well, what I did was to remove the Disqus widget from my layout. If you have a copy of your comments in your Blogger Dashboard you shouldn't have problems.

      This is the answer I got from the guys at Disqus when I ask them how to remove it: "Nothing will happen to your Disqus account -- if you'd like to remove the widget you will just need to find the Disqus widget in your Blogger layout editor, open it, and then click "Remove" along the bottom, and your Blogger comment box will be restored."

      Thanks for visiting, hope my answer was useful.

      Delete
    2. Thank you Clara!!!!!
      I just removed it and my Blogger comment box restored :)

      Delete
  14. Thank you for this post! I just uninstalled Disqus about 2 min. ago. My concern was also Blogger posts that I knew had comments but were not or could not be pulled through to Disqus. I'll just keep with Blogger's format as well.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for this post! I just installed disqus as well!

    Roni

    ReplyDelete
  16. @gvarvakis
    @msjazz79
    @Style & Poise

    You're welcome guys, I'm glad this post was helpful. Hope you can find a better way for your readers to leave comments :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. @Clara

    I want to uninstall Disqus too but I'm afraid to lose all of my comments. Is there a way to uninstall it without losing comments? I have contacted Disqus but haven't heard anything back. Any help would be appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  18. @Magan

    Although I'm not an expert, I can give you some tips based on my experience and what other bloggers have commented here:

    1. Check your Blogger comment dashboard. Check that you have a copy of your comments there.
    2. If Blogger correctly saved your comments there, you shouldn't have problems.
    3. Then remove your Disqus widget from your layout, as you normally do with your gadgets.

    Good luck, and just comment if you have any doubt or share your results with us!

    --Clara

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for this post. I looked all over Disqus to find out why the mobile commenting wasn't working on Blogger, as well as how to uninstall Disqus and return to Blogger comments. Totally unhelpful! I finally Googled it, and that's how I found your post on the subject - best thing I found! I've uninstalled Disqus and am happily back at Blogger (and a friend told me how to direct respond to Blogger comments, which is really why I switched in the first place). Thanks for all the info!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. @Clara
    Hi Clara, thanks for this post. I've had similar issues with Disqus and have also researched how to uninstall and found your article.

    I just checked blogger comments and none of my disqus comments are saved there, which makes me nervous about uninstalling. I'll try writing Disqus, but I'm curious why blogger would save them on some blogs but not others. Seems odd.

    Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  21. @Wanderlust

    Hey Kristin,

    Nice to hear this post was helpful to you. Uhm, if I remember correctly, there was an option over Disqus to save a copy of your comments on Blogger dashboard, but I'm not quite sure.

    You're the first commentator that doesn't have a copy of the comments on Blogger. In this case, I wouldn't recommend uninstalling Disqus right now, but waiting for the official reply from them.

    Let us know about their explanation. If you have more doubts, just leave a comment :)

    Good luck!
    --Clara

    ReplyDelete
  22. Just ran across your blog...having the SAME issue of Blogger comments on the dashboard not showing up on Disqus (and no way to reply to the comments). Mine isn't a mobile issue either because I asked one of the people that commented. We work too hard to interact and build relationships online for that to happen. Since you had the problem quite some time ago I am thinking I need to switch back to Blogger comments! Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
  23. thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas, this will help to decide to chose between the two.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Congratulations on getting some help from Disqus. We've had problems in our comment section, in which hundreds of comments (all valid) wouldn't show up; they were all flagged as junk. When we tried to activate them, they disappeared. We contacted Disqus repeatedly for assistance, but never heard a thing from them. Apparently you have to complain publicly to get their attention.

    ReplyDelete
  25. @Clara

    Hello there! I just ran across your helpful blog and I too am having problems with Disqus. It has recently been brought to my attention that readers using Internet Explorer cannot see the comments on my blog and much less comment themselves. The worst part is that this has been going on for at least two months now! Argh!

    I'm so frustrated with this news that I just want to uninstall Disqus. However, I dont believe I have a copy of the Disqus comments on my blogger account. Where can I check if I have a copy?

    And do you know how to make a copy of them on Blogger? Thanks so much!

    --Marie
    www.thejoyoffashion.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. @Marie McGrath (The Joy of Fashion)

    Hi, I'm so sorry to hear you're having problems with Disqus too. Uhm, let's see.

    To check if you have a copy of your comments in Blogger, you should go to your Blog's Dashboard > Comments > Published

    Example: screenshot of my dashboard

    There check that you have the list of your comments correctly added.

    Example: screenshot of my comment list

    Good luck, if you have any other doubt, just leave a comment :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. thanks for post. very helpful

    i like disqus. though anonymity is very important with a blog like mine, i like it's layout and forming a profile therefore holding people accountable to spam/trolling. unfortunately, it hides blogger comments. i removed disqus and the comments returned, even comments made while disqus was installed.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Disqus comment form doesn't load in Nokia Mobile phone. A very big minus!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I have had. Similar experience with discus, and my comments don't appear at all !! The comment box totally disappears like playing hided n seek. I tred ninstalling discus,m bt funnily all comments started appearing in my name !! When I reinstalled disqus, the old comments disappeared !! It heir support team is of no help at all , with perfunctory replies..

    If you have any idea how to export disqus comments back t blogger without any duplication or errors, pl do drop me a line at momchef77@gmail.com

    Many thanks

    ReplyDelete
  30. i don't like to use disqus comment sistem in my blog.. because, it's made tho blog to slowly wen loading.. but, you can use google plus now... !

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have same issues with Disqus, but when I go to remove it my post a comment doesn't come back. Do you know how to fix that?

    ReplyDelete
  32. hi.. how do i uninstall disquss? will i lose all the comments that has been written with disquss? please helb! im subscribing thanks :D

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks, Clara. I just deleted my blogs's Diqus widget without any hitch.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Clara,
    Sorry I know this post is a bit old, but I just removed disqus from my site too and now all the comments from the past year and a half on my blog shows that I commented on them all....so it literally looks like I've been personally having a conversation with myself for the past year and a half...any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete

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