I used to love Disqus. Once upon a time, it was a great ad-supported commenting system that allowed for rich interactivity, and even had a profit-share for site owners. But times change, companies change, and Disqus is now an ugly hindrance to my website instead of a help. The profit-share is gone, the ads are wildly off target even after specifying a business category, and the plugin is s-l-o-w to load.
Here’s an example of the ads in the “business” category. See if you think these are business-related ads:
I firmly vote no. None of these ads are remotely business-related. So, Disqus, it’s time to go.
First, we want to back up our data, our existing comments. This requires syncing all our existing comments to WordPress, from Disqus. First, we’ll need an API key from Disqus. Navigate to the bottom of their admin page:
Next, sign up for an API key:
Once you’ve got the key, open a new tab (don’t close the API settings page!) and navigate to site configuration in the Disqus plugin:
Click the lock to make changes. Copy and paste the API public and secret keys, and the API access token from your Disqus API settings tab you left open.
You’re now ready to begin syncing. Switch to the syncing tab, right next to the site configuration tab:
Set your start date and end date, then hit manual sync. If your blog is older than a year, you’ll need to do start/end dates a year apart and go back in time, hitting manual sync for each year increment. I had to do this 12 times since my site first began in 2007.
Once your sync is completed, it’s time to validate that it worked correctly. Go to your plugins and deactivate Disqus – do not delete it yet!
Next, navigate to a blog post that you know has comments on it and verify that the comments are intact:
Once done, we’re good to delete the Disqus plugin from WordPress. At this point, I would suggest installing Akismet as well as Jetpack from WordPress to provide some comment spam blocking, and once that’s set, we are free of Disqus’ terrible ads.
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