Monday, June 20, 2011

How to set up Disqus Comments in Blogger

Have a blog (or two or three?). Disqus is a free online service that easily manages your site's comments. Disqus features include:

[1] Compatible with multiple sites such as Blogger, Wordpress, and tumblr.
[2] Compiles the comments history on your disqus site.
[3] Allows for moderation of comments via email. When comments are made, you receive an email that shows the user and comment. If you reply with 'approve', the comment gets posted. If you reply with 'delete', the post gets deleted. If you want to post a reply to the comment, you simply reply to the email with your comment, which Disqus will post. All without having to visit a third party site! It's great!
[4] Nice aesthetics.
    [A] You can set up default icons for your users. This is a huge plus. Those ugly gray silhouette icons mar even the cleanest of site layouts.
    [B] The appearance of comments looks very nice. Each comment gets its own rectangular block.

If any of this interests you, read on!

Set up a disqus account. 
[1] Visit Click on Sign up and enter the appropriate information to create your free account.

Add your site to your Disqus account
[1] Go to your Dashboard by clicking on the Dashboard link at the top of the page. On the left under Your sites, click on the +Add button.

[2] Type in your site's information. Click Continue

Customize Your Disqus Account
[1] Set up spam protection using the free web-based service Akismet. After you typed in your site's information on disqus, you should see the following screen:

[2] Click on the Akismet icon. Visit to set up your free spam-protection account. Click on Sign up for Akismet.

[3] Select Personal site (Akismet is free for personal sites). 

[4] Type in the appropriate form information. **Make sure to move the slider under What is Akismet worth to you? to $0.00/yr. Don't be discouraged by the frowny face. Click Continue

You will receive a confirmation that your Akismet account is set up.

[5] Check your email for the Akismet API key that you will enter on your Disqus page. Click Continue.

Type in the API key here on your Disqus Dashboard.

[6] Decide on your moderation settings. After you've set up your Disqus account, you can now customize your page. Moderation means that comments must be approved by you, the administrator, before they can be published. Under the Settings tab and the Moderation heading, you can either Enable or Disable moderation. For those who are interested in moderating, I recommend applying your settings to From all commenters.

[7] Change the settings for who can post comments. There are three options: anyone, registered only, and registered only with email. Like most people, I avoid extra online registrations as much as possible. Keeping my audience in mind, I chose to allow Anyone to comment. This is good for both me (more visitors! more comments!) and good for the users (no registrations! no new username and password!). Save new settings.

[8] Set up a default icon for all users. Under the Settings tab, in the Appearance heading, upload a new file to the Default avatar. I like having this option because I think those gray default silhouette icons are too plain and boring. Your default avatar can be simple! I made mine in Microsoft Powerpoint using the Shapes tools. I then took a screenshot clip of my icon and saved it as a .png file, which I then uploaded to the Disqus site. Remember to Save your changes.

Install Disqus on Blogger
(Disqus can be installed on other sites, but I am more familiar with Blogger, so I will provide Blogger-specific instructions).
[1] On the Disqus site, go to the Install tab, and select Blogger.

[2] Read the instructions. Click on the Add site 'Yoursitename here' to Blogger button. You will be directed to a Blogger-based link. Choose Add widget.

After you've added your Widget, you should see Disqus for Yourblognamehere show up on your Blogger Dashboard page. It will appear in the Design tab under Page elements on the right hand side.

[3] Turn off Google's own comments. After you've installed Disqus, there's no need to have two sets of Comments on your page.

Go to your Blogger Dashboard. Under the Settings tab, go to the Comments section. Choose to Hide comments. Save changes.

When you're done, at the bottom of each post, you will see the following setup for comments:
When you have more comments, it will resemble this: 
Woohoo! You've successfully set up Disqus for your website. You can now manage comments with the greatest of ease, and visitors will be impressed by its simple and sleek look. 

This is 'What the tech?!' signing off. 

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