Several months ago, I decided I had had enough of the default Blogger commenting system. I looked around for an alternative and finally settled on Disqus. While it was an improvement over what I was using, I think it was a bad choice for my blog, and I discourage other bloggers from using it. Today I'm going to give you a few reasons why you shouldn't use Disqus. Whether you're thinking about using it, you're already using it, or are just looking for something to be grumpy about, this article is for you.
It's too complicatedI chose Disqus because I thought it looked nice, and the style went well with Template Faerie. But I soon learned that when it comes to commenting systems, looks aren't everything. I think it's more complicated than other systems. Even when you want to comment as a guest, you have to click on the "Post as..." button, which opens a window for you to log in and comment using one of the services listed, or type your name and email address, but you can't add your website address. It's lousy.
EDIT: I just realized that with Disqus, you actually can add your website when commenting as a guest. But it's such a small link that I didn't realize it at first!
First-time commenters may not understand how it works. They may not be the sort to try hard, which means you could be missing out on a lot of comments. Other systems such as Intense Debate have the name, email address, and website fields right next to the comment box, and this, I think, is superior. It's very fast and not a hassle for commenters.
It slows down the pageYou probably already have enough images, styling, scripts, and widgets slowing down the page, and you don't need any more of that. I think Disqus is slower than a commenting system should be, and unless your blog is a bland page of text (not that that could attract commenters anyway), it could drastically effect your load time—in a bad way, that is.
Some people avoid DisqusI've heard from several places that some people won't comment on blogs using Disqus. I find this odd, and I've never understood why, but if it's true—and I expect it is—why would anyone want to use Disqus? If you're one of those people who avoid Disqus, I hope you'll leave a comment and tell me your reasons.
You'll lose your comments if you want to remove itIf you decide to use Disqus and change your mind later, you'll experience even more lousiness. I don't know about other blogging platforms, but with Blogger, there's no tool on Disqus's website for removing it. Fortunately, you can easily remove it from your blog by deleting the widget you installed, but it's still lousy.
To make things worse—and even dreadful, if you've been using Disqus for a long time—there's no way to save your Disqus comments. When Disqus goes, the comments go with it. At least, that's the case for Blogger users, but I expect it's the same for all blogging platforms. Yeah, it's that lousy.
EDIT: David Cramer left a comment and reminded me that you can export your Disqus comments. It's been a while since I switched from Disqus, but now I remember that the reason why I lost my comments was because Blogger doesn't have the option for uploading comments. So, it was actually Blogger's fault. If you decide to use Disqus, and you're also using Blogger, keep in mind that if you eventually decide to revert back to the default system, there's no way to keep your Disqus comments on your blog!
What's a good alternative?Disqus isn't what I would call horrible, because it does its job, and if you can overlook its problems, you could live with it. But when there are better systems out there, I see no reason why you should be using Disqus. Overall, I think it's lousy, but you probably already know that by now because I've used that word more than necessary and it's getting repetitive. At least I got my point across, or so I hope.
If you're using Blogger, I recommend that you use Intense Debate, which is what I'm using. It's a big improvement over the default commenting system, and over Disqus too. The main problem with any non-default commenting system used with Blogger is that right now, there's no way to import your comments to Blogger. Hopefully Blogger will add this must-needed feature very soon!
If you're using Wordpress, you can use Intense Debate, or you can use the default comment form.
I'm sure some of you disagree with me about Disqus. I'd love to hear your opinion of the best commenting system, why you think it's good, and why you use it instead of anything else.