The Disqus Module for DotNetNuke was originally just something I thought would be fun to try. It was a little side project to waste a little bit of time while taking a look at the benefits of the Disqus platform and service. It’s an incredibly great discussion engine that can be used in a large number of ways. This includes comments of course, but think about anything on a website that requires or can allow people to discuss your content. The possibilities are exciting! It’s been a while since this module has had a useful release of new features, so I am proud to say that you no longer have to wait!
Thank you Beta-Testers!!!
Before I list out the features and benefits, I want to first thank those of you that have taken a look at the 3 pre-releases and offered feedback. Your help was instrumental in getting this release completed. It would not be this stable and awesome without you. I say this, because there were indeed a great many changes and enhancements to this module. Speaking of enhancements…
The first update I want to talk about is one that allows you to be much more productive in using the module. No longer do you have to enter and re-enter settings that should be used across the entire site. Those settings are now saved and re-used site wide. This should save you a ton of time when deploying and using the module, as well as allowing one person that knows the right settings to deploy it once, and everyone else that manages your site will just be able to use the module.
Force End-User Login Option
One thing that was asked for a lot was to remove the comments altogether until someone logged in. When they do, display the ability to interact with the comment engine. This is now incredibly easy to enable and disable using a site-wide checkbox setting.
Search Engine Optimization
Probably the most commonly asked for feature was the ability to store and display comments in the HTML mark-up for search engines to see. By default, this isn’t typically possible with Disqus, because the engine runs and displays the comments after the page has loaded. This is no longer an issue. You can get all of your SEO goodness since the module now can download and store your comments locally, then display them to search engines in a static way. However, your typical website visitors will continue to have the exact same user experience they’ve been enjoying already.
The comments that are imported are done through a scheduled job that runs in the background at whatever schedule you would like. It can be enabled and disabled easily from within the module itself. But, if you want to change any other schedule attributes, simply view the Scheduler page in your Host menu.
As you might imagine, this setting is a host-level setting due to its potential impact on the site. As a result, it requires that a “host” or “superuser” manage it. Admins and other content editors will not be able to manage this setting. Once you enable this feature though, your SEO benefits are just switched right on for you. No other configuration is necessary!
Single sign-on (SSO) is a feature that allows a website visitor to login once, and then have access to other resources on a site that would otherwise have required an additional step to login again. By default, this is how Disqus operates. It will require you to login through either Disqus, or one of its third party SSO providers that are integrated into their services.
But what about DotNetNuke? Wouldn’t it be nice to have your users login, and their login just work and be applied to your Disqus comments? This would remove a step that might otherwise keep them from interacting with your website content. This module now implements the Disqus SSO to allow you and your visitors to not have to worry about logging in again.
WARNING: The Disqus single sign-on feature requires that you have a paid account. This is one of their premium or VIP features. For a business, this should be no problem and maybe even a no brainer to invest in, but any hobbyist site or any site that doesn’t generate revenue will not be able to enjoy this feature.
FYI – I would’ve included a link to their pricing, but they no longer post their prices publicly. I am personally not a fan of such a thing, but it is what it is. Before they switched their website around, the first level of paid service was $299.00 per month. I have no clue what it would be now that they hide the pricing.
Download & Install the Disqus Module
This blog entry is cross-posted from my personal blog site.