This one’s for all the regular (or occasional) Liliputing commenters. This site has used the Disqus comment system since we first launched in April, 2008. At the time, Disqus offered clear benefits over the default WordPress comment system, including support for threaded comments, upvotes, spam detection (which clearly doesn’t always work), comment moderation tools.

At the time Disqus was also completely free for most publishers. Over the years Disqus has rolled out a few different monetization options. Larger publishers can pay for premium features, and all sites can opt-in to Disqus ads, which can appear above or in the middle of the comments sections.

Starting later this week, all publishers using Disqus will have to either enable ads or pay for a subscription. So I figured I’d ask you to help me make a decision.

Disqus comments

I have no interest in enabling ads through Disqus. I’ve tried them out a few times over the years, and generally find them to be low-quality, clickbait/spammy ads that are for products and services that have little to do with the mobile tech news Liliputing is focused on.

So I plan to either pay a monthly fee or just turn off Disqus and give Jetpack Comments a try. Jetpack is an enhanced version of the native WordPress comments developed by the developers of WordPress.

Jetpack allows users to login using an email address, WordPress account, Twitter, Google+ or Facebook. Comments will probably load more quickly for most users with Jetpack than Disqus, but users would have less control over sorting comments and you won’t be able to see users comment history across all Disqus sites.

Jetpack Comments

I already have a Jetpack subscription, which includes the Akismet spam filtering service, so hopefully that would be at least as effective as Disqus at detecting and quarantining comment spam.

To be clear, a Disqus subscription isn’t actually all that expensive, at least not for a site the size of Liliputing. And I’ve been reasonably satisfied with Disqus for the many years I’ve been using it. But the new policy taking place this week provides as good an excuse as any to at least consider making a change.

There are other commenting systems, and I’m open to suggestions. But right now I’m inclined to either pony up a bit of cash for an ad-free Disqus experience or give Jetpack Comments or native WordPress comments a try.

For a more detailed comparison, pojo blog has a pretty good run down of some key differences between Disqus, Jetpack, and WordPress comments.

What system would you prefer to see on Liliputing moving forward? Keep in mind, any decision I reach will not necessarily be final, but I’d like your input before deciding whether to try out a new commenting system in the near future.

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58 replies on “Do you prefer Disqus comments or WordPress/Jetpack comments?”

  1. What ever you do, I have only two requests:

    1. Don’t bury access to comments under layer after layer of scripting BLOAT. (Disqus is now 3 0r 4-layers deep on Lilliputing, so except for this one case I stopped reading/contributing in the comments here long ago.)

    2. Allow us to comment as Guest.

  2. Yeah, don’t like the shameless advertising schemes that hail back to yahoo days. But I would like any platform that will allow comments to be searched in a search engine (like Google), similar to how message board threads can be searched.

  3. Jetpack is heavy plugin it’ll slow down the website. Just use theme’s default wordpress comments + akismet plugin. No javascripts like Disqus/Livefyre.
    Only advantage using disqus is easy to login/comment.

    Sorry for my bad english.

  4. I have a Disqus account and use it for other sites I frequent. But I don’t have strong opinions either way.

  5. Personally, I like Disqus for the fact that I use it on a few other websites, as well, so the dashboard for notifications across all sites is very nice. To be fair, I don’t comment super often on any of the sites, so I wouldn’t be completely opposed to using another system here.

  6. I would recommend you to use WordPress and setup an anti-spam plugin.
    If you dont want to go with the trouble go with Jetpack comments, disqus does a good job but I prefer that your focus stays on the site instead of generating enough revenue to cover all the expenses (disqus hasnt mention how much they are gonna charge at the moment).
    Well that’s my point of view, great blog by the way!

  7. I no longer sign into disqus anyway and appreciate the guest commenting. Using a system like disqus (and many similar others) that have crossed legal lines in terms of surveillance and tracking is being complicit in these crimes.

    Of course, I speak only for me:) I don’t agree with what they’re doing, so I don’t sign in. In fact, I think they should be fined and jailed – along with many others for these types of actions. I’m hopeful we’ll get there someday…

    Also, what happens to comments posted for older articles if you decide to make the switch – would they be lost or would you be able to backup the data?

    1. Theoretically I have local copies of them saved to my server, so i should be able to switch off Disqus and implement native WordPress comments to keep old threads in place.

      That’s the theory. We may find out how well it works in practice this week. 🙂

      1. If you setup a copy of the site on a subdomain or in a local install (127.0.01) you could check that before making the change

  8. I have found disqus to flaky as shit in the past on other sites. But it does seem to work ok here. What ever works, if one is free and works well , then go for it

  9. I like Disqus, but as a WordPress user and sometime plugin developer, I’m fine with you switching to WordPress comments. There are a ton of plugins to enhance the WordPress comment experience, though obviously you should start cautiously since they can cause performance issues if you use too many.

    WordPress comments are threaded, and you can control the depth of the threading up to 10 levels deep, so you won’t lose any of that functionality. Plugins can probably cover any other functionality lost (or a bit of PHP programming).

    I would recommend trying the Anti-Spam plugin from webvitaly. Akismet is okay, but every spam comment ends up in the spam folder which makes the spam folder kind of useless for checking for non-spam on a site your size. Anti-Spam blocks all the spam-bot spam that used to plague my (very small) sites 100%. Assuming it works for you, Akismet should only have a handful of spam left to process.

    If you have any questions or need a bit of coding help with the WordPress comments, send me an email via my Disqus id. Happy to help given the amount of enjoyment I’ve had from following the site over the years.

  10. I created a disqus account a while ago but have not logged into it in quite some time. Being quite privacy minded, the way they tied comments from different sites together just didn’t sit too well with me. I have absolutely no problem with disqus trying to make some money off of the service that they provide, but considering the ads they are pushing, according to you, are somewhat dubious in nature my vote would be to switch to something else. I know you would be using the paid version of disqus so we wouldn’t be seeing their ads, but I am a firm believer in voting with your dollars/clicks and if disqus can’t be bothered to provide reasonable ads to those who chose to pay for their services via ads, then I would personally prefer to not do business with them.
    Rest assured, regardless of what you decide to do, I will remain a loyal reader. Any website that not only makes an effort to ensure that the ads they are showing are reasonable and, more importantly, safe but that also actively seeks reader input on an important topic such as this is just the kind of website that I can support without any reservations.
    Keep up the great work and I will continue to allow ads on every device I visit your site with despite the fact that I have an ad blocker running on them all.

  11. I have an account on Disqus; just realizing that i haven’t received emails related to that account; in other words, it seems they DO NOT sell their user’s emails to other third parties. Congrats to them.

  12. Thanks for the heads up on this development. Simply put, fuck these guys. Nothing like the classic bait and switch. Give away, let everyone set things up, become accustomed, and then start rolling in the subscription fees or assorted other monetization methods. How much will you make on their ads provided you run those? I can’t imagine it’s worth the while, otherwise why would they be doing it? Must be the ball in their court.

    1. You mean they want to capitalize on their market position to maximize their investment? How disgraceful!

      1. Ask Brad how convenient it is. I see your morals or ethics. Not very deep, that’s for sure. I’m sure Brad love taking his thousands of comments elsewhere right? You’re likely the kind of person who loves firing people a week before Christmas.

        1. Nah, it’s been pretty clear for ages that they were going to be moving in this direction, and quite frankly it’s remarkable how long I got away with using the service for free. They sort of flipped this switch last year, but allowed you to opt out for a while.

          I was a bit caught off guard when they announced that ads would roll out this week, but I contacted them and asked about paid options and got a response pretty quickly.

          Seriously, I have no grudge with Disqus, and they’re hardly price gouging. But I’ve been considering trying something different for a while, and figured this would be a good time to ask the community what y’all think.

          I’ll probably make a decision tomorrow or the next day.

          1. Whelp, with the hassle it sounds like you’re quite forgiving. Subscriptions always can and will go up. If you knew it was headed in this direction I wonder why start in the first place give the hassle of moving around a massive database of comments and hoping that everything goes seamlessly. Cheap today, but greed isn’t top of mind? Get ready to pay more.

        2. Actually, you couldn’t be more wrong. I’m not a socialist, but my position on the free market is probably at or to the left of Bernie Sanders — i.e. national healthcare system, worker protections, regulated free market, consumer protection, net neutrality, strong anti-trust regulation, etc.

          However, there is a place for the free market, and what Disqus is doing is neither unethical nor immoral. It may turn out to a bad business move, but that’s a different issue entirely. There are only two ways to make money off websites on the Internet — ads or subscriptions. Disqus is a private company, so we don’t know what their finances are like, and it could easily be that their current business model simply does not support their growth. If there are too many free users and not enough paid subscribers, then what are they supposed to do? They also face stiff competition from Facebook and Livefyre (owned by Abode) which have much deeper pockets.

          But even if they are profitable, what they are doing is no different from what hundreds of other growing Internet companies have done before them. It’s tough to make money when everyone expects everything for free (just ask Brad!).

          If they were a monopoly and using their power to illegally or unfairly capitalize on their dominant position in the marketplace, I would be right there with you, but as Brad has already pointed out, there are perfectly good (and free/nearly free) alternatives out there.

          My previous comment might have been a little snarky, but I tend to get that way when I see knee-jerk comments like yours.

  13. I quite often deeply enjoyed disqus, I didn’t know about their business model switch. If that’s too much for you to support, well then change. I think I enjoyed your site enough even without commenting, but I feel sad picturing liliputing without disqus at the bottom. Best of luck.

  14. I don’t know which, but some commenting platform requires me to click a link in a subscription email in order to subscribe to followup comments. I hate that! If that is Jetpack I don’t want that! If not, whatever is best for you is fine 🙂

  15. Personally, I am ambivalent. So I don’t really care which one you select. Whatever is easiest for you seems to make the most sense to me.

  16. Brad, what blogging platform are you using for liliputing? I am thinking of making a sports blog in my native language and I want to know what my options are. I know this is totally off topic and I hope you don’t mind answering me.

  17. One thing for you to consider is I currently have Adblock allow ads through for your site. I might have to change that if it also means allowing Disqus ads through (if you’re even considering that as an option–it doesn’t sound like you are).

    1. Nope, that’s definitely not in the cards (at least not long-term. There’s a slight chance that they might show up automatically for a day or two before I either switch systems or pay Disqus to shut them off).

  18. It’s less about what your site uses as what the majority of other sites I visit use. Most seem to use Disqus so I’m happy with that. But if a majority of them move off of it to something else, I prefer one system. But I will remain a Liliput reader in any case.

  19. I would be thrilled if you dumped Disqus. I am glad you currently allow us to post as a “guest”. Otherwise I would never add to the discussions (some may think that is a good thing). I do not like that they track users everywhere they go. Companies like Disqus make things like Privacy Badger, Ghostery, No-Script, and other add-ons necessary. I have Liliputing white listed on some of my machines because I want to support your web site. However, the tracking around the web is getting out of hand.

    1. Disqus also tracks any links you click within the comments. I have a couple of accounts with them but stopped logging in altogether several months ago. Agree with you completely.

    2. I deleted my Disqus account because of this tracking. As a result I never comment on Liliputing any longer.

  20. I prefer Disqus as it’s like the one account I use across multiple sites and thus more convenient. I’d rather not have to create another account on top of the tons of accounts I now have for other things. But i suppose it wouldn’t be the end of the world if Disqus had to go.

  21. I’m fine with whatever, I seldom comment on Blogs in general and I rarely comment here. The main reason I will comment here though is that I already have a Disqus account so it is easy enough to do. As long as it is easy to comment I’m fine.

    I have several sites I have read daily for years with active comment sections and I have never once joined in the discussions as I have to make and remember a special account just for them and it is not worth it to me.

  22. I would be willing to give the Jetpack a try. But the sign-on with Google feature in Disqus is very nice.

  23. I think the answer to your question will be answered in a month from now. If you change the messaging system and you notice replies taking a nosedive, the answer would be “better to stay with disqus”. I don’t know the advantages or disadvantages of the other systems, but I think the major advantage of disqus is that no one will have to change his habits. It’s a risk to change the messaging system.

    That being said, if the money disqus asks is significant, I would probably give a try with another messaging system. You can always announce a testing period of a month and see how it goes.. But I wouldn’t try the ad supported version of disgus because people who have whitelisted liliputing might reconsider that option.

  24. Give the change to Jet Pack a shot. If it doesn’t work out, you can always change over. Fortunately this isn’t an irreversible thing. Also, tracking someone’s replies on other topics on other sites… stalkery “feature”.

  25. Go for the ads, these days anyone who isn’t blocking the worst of them obviously doesn’t care and has learned to ignore them. All I see is “Comments continue after advertisement” scattered through the comments on sites that are using them. If the ads on the Internet these days weren’t vile and often outright hostile I’d enable some of them to show support…. but they are and aren’t likely to change.

    But longterm it was obvious disqus was going to monetize, everything on the Internet lives to monetize eyeballs.

    1. Oh yeah, I have no problem with them monetizing, and I’ve gotten a ton of value out of the service for free over the years. But there are plenty of ads on Liliputing (even if about a quarter of our readers never see them) and I have no interest in adding any more ad units without removing existing units at the same time.

      But that’s not something I’m willing to do with Disqus ads. They’re low-quality, and low-paying compared to the other ads on the site. So I’m 100% certain that I’ll either pay for the service, or switch services. But I don’t want to subject visitors without ad blockers to the kinds of ads that I personally can’t stand on other sites.

      1. As I have said before I have this site white-listed in my ad blocker to allow ads through. I know making a living off of journalism is very difficult when you don’t have a large newspaper, magazine or TV network behind you. Without knowing how much Disqus charges for an ad-free comment section I can’t give a good answer. I happen to like the comments section here (I have experience with the WordPress comments section on an NSFW blog I have read and commented on for years — which he retired from at the end of 2016 and is now transitioning to its new owner’s server so I can’t link to it currently and would be leery of doing so anyway due to its content), it works OK but Disqus is more fluid in its operation and slightly easier to use — making it my preference if it isn’t too expensive.

  26. As long as whatever you choose has a spell checker. I don’t need to look like even more of an idiot than I already do on here.

    1. 99% of the value I derive from comments is crowd-sourced spell checking. Y’all are pretty good at pointing out my typos so I can fix them. 🙂

  27. BTW, don’t forget to vote in the poll above! (I goofed, and it wasn’t visible when this article first went live, but it should be there now!)

  28. Personally, I almost only use disqus for liliputing and dilbert. I’ve used jet pack a few times and had no issue with them.

  29. First off, thanks for asking for the opinions of your readers before making your decision. I first signed up for Disqus in order to make comments on NPR. Last year they decided to ban all comments online. Here and the Atlantic website are the last places that I use Disqus. My two cents is that you should do whatever makes you most comfortable. I trust in your good judgement, so thanks again for giving me a heads up about a possible change that is more than NPR did.

    1. Yeah, I totally understand and respect the decision made by NPR and some other news sites to disable comments. Things can get very heated, and moderation can be difficult. But I generally think comments add to the value of a site like Liliputing, and I know I regularly click through from my RSS reader to view article son other tech sites just so I can see what commenters have to add to the discussion.

      1. I’ve been reading the comments right up until I reached mine and then edited it. Please do not switch to Jetpack unless it has spellcheck and allows edits.

        1. WordPress comments (I think that is what is described as Jetpack here) only allows edits for four minutes after the comment is made. Disqus has a longer edit time. Is that worth thousands of dollars a month, no. Is it worth $50 per month, probably. Of course this site might not have a high net income (if any) after travel, computer, monitor, server rental or maintenance (I obviously am not privy to that information), most blogs I am familiar with (admittedly not aimed at the computer or electronics industry) are mainly used to bring in business to other ventures or are otherwise not intended to make a profit. I appreciate what you do and like to read this site (and comment on it) but don’t want the cost of this site to increase to the point where you can no longer afford to subsidize it and even $50 monthly expenses can add up if a bunch of them get slammed on you.

          1. Hehe. It’s less than $50/month… the only reason I haven’t said the number here is because I’m not sure if it’s the same for every site, so I don’t want to put out any disinformation.

            This website is reasonably profitable, and ads on the site have been my primary source of income for the past 7 or 8 years. Our server bill is pretty high, because we pay for managed hosting (so someone else deals with keeping the site online and I can focus on producing content). And ad revenue has been trending downward for the past few years (this is something I hear from other small-ish bloggers too).

            But I can definitely afford the price Disqus is asking. I just wanted to find out if readers care. 🙂

            As best I can tell, the upside of disabling Disqus is that comments would load more quickly.

            The down side is that we’d lose some of the features that we currently have… and it sounds like at least some of you are pretty happy with the current system.

            Right now the poll is pretty close to 50/50. You’re not making my decision any easier!

          2. I am glad to read that you are one of the lucky ones, Brad although I hope ad revenue starts to increase rather than a slow decrease. You put a lot of work and travel into this site, I am glad it is paying off for you — and hope it continues to do so. It is the same with YouTube channels with advertising attached to them. A few make good money while most don’t (I heard recently that a certain YouTuber with “Pew” in his name nets $22K per month off of his YouTube channel, I don’t watch his videos so I cannot comment on them). If you can continue to maintain the status quo for less than $50 per month and the site is providing you a reasonable lifestyle I would probably keep Disqus.

  30. Anything that allows me to post anonymously (or as a guest)… most the times I don’t want to bother with login and to keep my account available….

  31. I’d be perfectly happy to try a new system if it will save you a couple dollars.
    It’s somewhat convenient with Disqus currently that I can see a count of actions/replies which works with several sites and not just one. But that isn’t that big of a deal really.
    As you say, it doesn’t have to be permanent so give the other system a try if you want.

    1. I also might be slightly optimistic that switching platforms will be easy: there are 125,874 comments in Liliputing’s database!

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