Ask the readers: Commento or Discourse to replace Disqus (blog comments' system)?

This article may seem geeky but not at all so keep reading because your opinion will impact the future of the blog ;)

When I launched my blog in 2014, I had to choose a comment system (the section at the end of each article) in order to be able to debate and open a dialogue with you, dear reader.

At the time, the most popular system among bloggers was a tool called Disqus. Easy to use, included anti-spam, no ads, and free. The decision was quickly made.

Until this year, I didn't follow their evolution too much because everything worked as usual. Except they started wanting to put ads but I was able to disable the option. Again everything was tip top and I didn't follow their service more than that.

But last September, while I was editing a draft article, I found that my page was loading really slowly. I had already noticed the phenomenon but I had put the blame on my internet connection. So I took the time to look at what was slowing down the page for so long and then, surprise, it was Disqus!

A Google search later, I learn the following three things:

  1. Disqus was bought by a large media company
  2. This company is active in data reselling and uses comments as an input source for their machine learning algorithms
  3. Disqus greatly slows down the loading time of the sites on which it is installed

So I did some more research and saw that I wasn't the only one wondering what I was going to do to replace Disqus on the blog.

Alternatives to replace Disqus

After scouring the forums and other in-depth reviews of the commenting tools out there, I came up with a top 2: Commento.io or Discourse (if you ever know of another great tool that I wouldn't have seen, please let me know).

And that's where I'd like to hear from you as a reader who is a regular user of comments.

As a reminder, in case you've never posted a comment so far (boooh!), here's what Disqus looks like:

Disqus on the Mustachian Post blog

Then here are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the blog commenting tools that I evaluate:

Commento.io

  • Advantages
    • Respects privacy: all comments will always belong to the blog and no one else - i.e. they will not be sold to advertising companies for profiling
    • Super fast to load: this will bring my blog back to "rocket" status as far as loading time is concerned (for geeks: my blog is a static site, and it hurts me that Disqus turns it into something slow like these big companies' CMS...)
    • Automatic import of old Disqus comments into Commento.io
    • As many features as Disqus (anti-spam, etc.)
    • User interface for readers and for me (admin) simpler
  • Disadvantages
    • No indexing of comment content: in human language, this means that search engines like Google cannot know the content of comments, and therefore other potential readers cannot come across our great discussions... (Disqus has the same problem anyway)
    • Commento.io is the work of only one person. He has automated a lot of things and is therefore logically not ready to close shop. But it's not a whole team behind so... Nevertheless, the project is open-source and at worst I could take the code and install it on my server (rather than using its service which is hosted and updated automatically) if he decides to stop everything

Discourse

  • Advantages
    • I would only have one platform to manage for the forum and comments as Discourse is the web platform I use to host the forum
    • All comments would be searchable via Google, which would only increase the benefit for the Swiss FIRE community, as well as the people who would discover it
    • Quick to load (there are fewer stats than Commento but I don't worry about that side knowing that it is the founder of Stack Overflow who is behind the project ;)
    • As many features as Disqus (anti-spam, etc.)
    • Respects privacy (see Commento.io above)
    • Project maintained by a team (more reassuring than Commento.io)
  • Disadvantages
    • If you want to comment on an article, it will redirect you to the forum and so it feels like you're out of the context of the article
    • From what I've seen, there is no official importer to take over all of Disqus' comments on Discourse

I also put below screenshots of the two solutions in action:

Comments via 'Commento.io'

Comments via 'Discourse'

What is your favorite commentary solution as a reader?

I really have a hard time deciding because both solutions have advantages that I like. So I thought I'd ask you for your opinion before I made a decision.

Do you vote for Commento or Discourse? (you can vote by putting a comment below, if possible with the why, but not obliged ;))


Note: I wanted to thank you as a member of the Team MP because thanks to you and the other readers, the Google friend has referenced the blog well. And then Corinne Portier, one of the TTC journalists contacted me to do a report on RTS. You can watch it by clicking on this link.


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