You may or may not be aware of a highly useful and engaging third party comment platform called Disqus. Disqus was created and founded in 2007 to allow websites to replace their comment engines with one that offers a much simpler and socially enabled alternative. With features like single sign on, centralized comment management and viewing, enhanced spam controls, consistent cross-site standards, and being able to use the same comment identity and information across multiple sites, it’s a no-brainer to want to use Disqus as your comment engine of choice. So, I chose to build a module to integrate it into DotNetNuke.
You can now install the Disqus Module and have your very own commenting community running in literally minutes. It’s incredibly easy and fast. However, it does require that you register to have an account on the Disqus website.
For the record, many of your might not realize this, but Disqus has been integrated into DotNetNuke since version 05.00.00. It’s been one of the built-in embed widgets that Nik Kalyani created. However, for this module, I am trying to appeal to a slightly different use case than what is supported by the widget.
Most of the features we could talk about are not actually features of the module, but rather features that have been built by the Disqus team. Here is a listing of some of the most common and useful features that this comment engine offers to you:
- Comments are actually discussions
- Integration with the most popular social networks
- Summary views of your website activity
- Connecting your various communities
- Mobile support
- Notification and reply system
- Integration with popular media services (replacing links with media)
- Community profiles
- Ratings & Reputation-building
- Common & usable UI features
- Sign in with Facebook, OpenID, Twitter, Google, and more
- Moderation & adding moderators
- Black/White lists
- Import/export comments
- CSS customization
There are additional features for the paid versions of Disqus as well, but the plans are overpriced in my opinion.
- Support from Disqus
- Real-time updating
- Theme Customization
- Analytics for your communities, administration, and moderation
Yes. That’s the short list. There are plenty more features.
The module itself has a few features too…
You can attach this module to any other module on your DotNetNuke page, allowing you to integrate the comments seamlessly with the content on your website.
Also, if you choose to attach this module to the core DNN Blog Module, it will automatically replace the blog comment engine for you! I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty sweet! :)
Should I Replace My Comment Engine Now?
This is really a decision you should put some thought into before just adding this feature to your site. In some cases, there will be more thought required than others. Here are my suggestions…
Use this module if:
- You are not currently offering any comments on your website
- You have very few comments already on your site
- You want to build or enhance the community of users on your site
- You want to allow others to moderate your comments
- You want to be able to moderate comments using your phone
Don’t use this module if:
- You already have a ton of comments and don’t have the skills to import them into Disqus
Download the Disqus Module
Disqus Module Roadmap
There are quite a few things coming in the future of this module. First, I plan to include all of the widgets that the Disqus service offers. Second, I plan to also include a tool to automatically generate a WXR file for the DNN Core Blog Module for you. This is a file that will allow you to import your existing comments into the Disqus comment engine, allowing you to migrate to use this module without losing your existing comments.
You might notice that my DNN blog site isn’t yet using the Disqus Module for the default blog comment engine. I am personally choosing to wait for the features I just outlined above. However, you should already notice that the rest of the site is indeed using the comment engine, where it makes sense.
Download the Disqus Module
This blog entry is cross-posted from my personal blog site.