Farewell Disqus, Hello Discourse

Originally published at: http://www.sitepoint.com/farewell-disqus-hello-discourse/

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been nearly three months since we relaunched the SitePoint forums on Discourse. We’re very happy with how smooth the process has been, both from a technical and a community standpoint. So happy, in fact, that we’ve decided to take it further.

We’re saying goodbye to the Disqus, the (similarly-named) commenting system we were using for articles, and implementing a WordPress Discourse plugin. Commenting will now take place on our Discourse platform, essentially integrating comment threads into our community. You’ll see the same comment threads on the main SitePoint site, as well as in the forums.

SitePoint began as a community many years ago and grew into a publication. As such we love the idea of a platform that allows us to combine those two aspects in a cohesive way.

So what does it mean for you?

If you are a member of our forum community it means that you’ll be seeing an influx of interesting topics on the forums. If you’re not already a community member, you’ll now have the opportunity to see what it’s all about… seamlessly.

In terms of logistics, it’s pretty simple. The first time you comment on an article you’ll be prompted to log in to Discourse (if you’re not already). If you don’t have an account, you’ll be prompted to create one. You can do that quickly and easily using your email address, a social media account, or GitHub.

Existing comment threads will continue in Disqus for the next 30 days, so you can continue existing discussions before all articles move to the new platform. After the 30-day period ends, we’ll keep those comments on the article.

If you have any questions or concerns about accessing or creating your account, please email forums@sitepoint.com. You can also test out the new commenting system and let us know what you think!


Seems like a great idea. I’ve long felt like comments seem to work better as just another thread of a social/community space like a forum. Disqus-style commenting is too ephemeral and disconnected.


While I welcome getting rid of disqus, the new comment system seems a bit convoluted / disjointed. I click on the ‘Have your say’ link, and it takes me to this forum thread to add a comment here. Why not just allow adding a comment directly below the article?

This new system seems to have many of the same problems that Disqus had, though not quite as bad since the extra cruft is only loaded when you actually want to make a comment. The SEO issue is slightly different as you do now have comments on the article. But instead you now have a duplicate content issue since the article and comments are reproduced in this forum thread. (Unless you’re blocking comment threads from being indexed?)

That is the plan in the near future. In the meantime, I agree that it’s a bit convoluted, but it shouldn’t be long before commenting happens on the same page.

We’re taking precautions against a potential duplicate content penalty (for both the article page and the commenting thread, since comments now appear in both places). Overall, this should be a boost for SEO since, as you point out, the comments actually appear on the article page, not loaded separately.

I’ve been under the impression there is no such thing as a duplicate content penalty.

That is, Google will not penalize duplicate content per se, it simply shows which one it considers “best” in the SERPs.

Depending on whether or not one SitePoint page or the other is the preferred, I guess it could be an issue. But IMHO as long as they link to each other i.e. “read more” <-> “read comments” I don’t see there being a problem.

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My understanding is that while there is no explicit ‘duplicate content penalty’, the issue is that you are spreading ‘SEO signals’ across two pages, effectively diluting the signals compared to what you’d have for a single page. If you’re canonicalising one of the pages from both pages this shouldn’t be an issue though (but this didn’t seem to be the case when I checked yesterday).

As you mention, there is also the potential that Google could choose the forum page as the page to show in the SERPs, whereas I presume Sitepoint would rather it shows the main article page.

Anyway, it’s good know that the current situation with the commenting system will be further improved.