Unrelated: my post categories suck. Moving on, I’m happy to see Absurdly Awesome is back from its seven month hiatus. And to think I finally removed it from my Friends link list not too long ago. Anyway, I noticed they switched over to Disqus for the comment system (this actually happened pre-hiatus, but whatever). After thinking about it for a bit, I decided to make the switch as well.

One of the things that I dislike about WordPress installations across different sites is that there’s no shared user base, so I’d either have to register with each to save my info across sessions, or re-type my name, e-mail, and URL each time I wanted to leave a comment. That’s the key selling point for me with Disqus: users can have one login that they use across all the sites they frequent that use Disqus. What’s even better, they can tie an existing login (such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter) to their Disqus account, thereby removing the need to remember their Disqus credentials at all.

Having installed the Disqus WordPress plug-in – which nicely took care of importing all existing comments – I started making some adjustments and poking around with it, as I haven’t used Disqus from a moderation standpoint in quite some time. One of the first things I noticed is that the plug-in can keep your Disqus comments synced with your WordPress database, so you not only have a local back-up, but it should make reverting to native WordPress comments even easier. This is a smart move on Disqus’ part as it really helps ease the fear of trying their service by giving users an easy out should they decide to switch back.

Another big selling point is that Disqus now allows server-side rendering of comments, which means they’re visible to search engines and other non-JavaScript-enabled user agents.

Those two things are pretty huge, I think, but that’s not to say there aren’t things that need to be fixed. The first is that the comments themselves are kind of ugly and just plain hard to read. The second is that, although it works on the home page, the comments link is broken on individual post pages. You can still comment, but you have to scroll down to the comments section first. For some reason it’s not getting switched from #comments to #disqus_thread. However, both of these issues are very possibly related to the theme I’m currently using, so it might just need some tweaking.

Either way, I think this is a good move, and a great indication of how things are trending towards and will be in the future: centralized user bases, integration across networks, and an easier, smoother user experience all around.