Why OfficeToolTips Blog Ditched Disqus Comments and You Should Too
We started the OfficeToolTips blog ten years ago, and Disqus was a natural choice then. This commenting system was easy to set up, and it was free. Users needed to register only once in Disqus and use it everywhere over the Internet. We had to switch to the premium plan after 2017 when they started to put ads into the comments section, but the premium version wasn't different from the free one. This year, we completely removed Disqus comments and replaced it with the system that brings more value to our readers and us.
Many people complain about the performance costs of the Disqus comments system and promote other alternatives:
- Why I Replaced Disqus and You Should Too
- Ditching Disqus Comments
- Why I Deleted Disqus And Why You Should Too
However, we weren't affected by performance issues. Page bloating is a real issue for mobile users, but most of our visitors are desktop users, and they don't even notice this extra payload. The actual problem is user engagement:
- We removed hundreds of rude comments like "I hate MS Office" and thousands of links that promoted other Web resources.
- We received hundreds of "Thank you" comments, but people with problems didn't want to ask questions.
- People that posted questions received rude, irrelevant and promotional comments instead of help.
At some point, we were tired of fighting with bad comments and advertising posts. We wondered how to help our visitors solve their problems, and came to a straightforward solution. We added the email contact form Ask a Question to every article:
This form is a simple client/server script that posts user question to our support group on Gmail. We only need to click the Reply button in Gmail to start the conversation with the visitor.
Now, we have 1-2 questions per day from people that need help and no rude or inappropriate comments at all. In some cases, they need a link to our article. In other cases, we create new content that helps them and attracts new visitors.
Why such a simple idea works brilliantly well for us and will work for you?
- Most people in need of help don't want to look stupid. Many people are sensitive to the critic and prefer to stay silent.
- Most people writing rude comments in Disqus can't and don't want to help other people. Such commenters only wish to express their offending opinions.
- Link spammers can't benefit from posting content to the Ask a Question form. We don't publish our email conversations on OfficeToolTips blog.
- The Ask a Question form sends emails to our support group on Gmail. We don't need Disqus or another tool for handling comments.
Our experience with the Ask a Question form was so successful that we decided to create a service support@all that synchronizes all support group incoming and outgoing messages between team members. However, you can use it only if you have a GSuite subscription.
Those who still believe in the power of comments need to try the Shut Up plugin for Chrome for one week. The Web becomes a better place if you see only the opinions of people who have spent enough time to elaborate on their thoughts.