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Changing our comments system again: This time from Disqus to WordPress

featurephone-nokiaMost of you regular readers probably noticed that our comments system has changed. We removed Disqus last week and this week gradually migrated to what we have now, just WordPress’s inbuilt comments system. Yes, it doesn’t look as pretty, but here’s why we’re doing it:

  • Disqus doesn’t like mobile. Especially the feature phone type of mobile that uses Opera Mini to browse.
  • Disqus would slow down the comment delivery because it would need to fetch comments from their servers.
  • The syncing of comments wasn’t working so well so sometimes you would comment and the comment would ‘disappear’ only to show 3 hours later.

We did consider just using Facebook Comments again, but Facebook has anonymity issues as well as it essentially being a walled garden.

In the end, the most realistic option became WordPress itself, which is the platform this whole website sits on. We’re excited about what it offers and we are doing our best to make it look even prettier than Disqus. At a glance:

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  • Anonymity Choice: You can use your real name. You can leave the name and email fields completely blank if you don’t want your name shown.
  • Identity: if you choose to identify yourself, use an email address that has a gravatar and it will show with your comment. If you don’t, a random avatar will be assigned.
  • Great on mobile: It loads great on mobile devices, both the very smart ones and the Opera Mini loving feature phones. If you’re reading this from Opera Mini, You can now contribute your thoughts!

Apart from that, we also love the speed. We don’t have to wait for the comments to be sourced from some place else to see them! This is an on going process ofcourse, so if you have any feedback or suggestions, do let us know.


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50 thoughts on “Changing our comments system again: This time from Disqus to WordPress

  1. me again….. yes it works now you are going to have to keep this article on top for the next couple of weeks so most people can get to see it. Why ? Because I am a regular visitor to the site nd I had long given up on trying to comment on your articles cos disqus just didn’t work out so for everyone to get the message don’t let the news get buried by new articles for at least a week or so. …..then after that we’ll see

  2. lo nd behold ! Now keep the article on top for the next couple of weeks so that everyone can see the latest development.Why ? I am a regular visitor to the site nd I had long given up on trying to comment on the articles cos disqus just didn’t work right so once everyone has gotten the news tried it and seen difference you can let ut be buried by new articles

  3. delete button nd on title of articles add number of comments sort of like
    Econet new product
    (45 comments)
    it tends to attract more feedback nd discussion if people know it’s a hot topic

  4. Why Lumbikani do you make your current site responsive instead to just build a separate mobile site (m.techzim.co.zw)? I hate gravatar integration, Drogo is losing credence with Techzim.

    1. We’re not a fan of Gravatar integration either… just part of the new system we’re using. We will find ways to include Twitter & Facebook integration over the next couple of days. Thanks for the feedback Drogo!

        1. Just coz we now have anonymous comments doesn’t mean spam and trolls. Spam filtering is actually not one of Disqus’s strong points. Akismet does that pretty well.

          1. Appreciate the effort yo,I’m always on mobile when I read your articles and never saw comments till now.There is definitely going to be more discussion going on here.

  5. Please TechZim, Bring Back DISQUS.
    I understand, from your post on FaceBook, that one of the reasons why you have disabled DISQUS is because it is not mobile friendly – specifically, opera mini friendly. Given, as you claim, that most of your readership is on mobile phones, this seems a plausible argument. However, given that you cannot find a decent alternative at the moment, isn’t it more logical to continue with disqus whilst you search for an alternative? Or you could even throw a $500 or so contest for a mobile friendly commenting system. I am pretty sure many a Zimbabwean Developers would pounce on the idea 🙂
    Just saying, but I really hate this new commenting system. One of the strength of disqus is that it enables us to track comments from multiple sites elegantly.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Disqus has a lot of positives. We loved those things too dearly which is why we stuck with it for such a long time and largely ignored reality.
      But it wasn’t just the mobile friendliness. That was just the main reason. A local developer has told us they are building a Javascript free Disqus for Opera Mini. We’ll try it out when it’s ready.

  6. hehehe leyi commenting system isharp, mina discuss ngiyaizonda pela. it takes alot of time to publish

  7. Hi there, you have gone the easy route to just use the wordpress function. whilst you have elaborated more about the benefits of this wordpress commenting system you have forgotten to mention some of the cons, with this wordpress comment you are going to see so much spam, very soon we will start to see people advertising these I make 100 dollars per hour kind of spam, your servers can also get attacked especially when you dont upgrade to newer version of wordpress in time, you must also expect your disk space to increase with the comments. However if you were to go the tough route in resolving this problem you could have just simply called for a hackathon to make a disqus module, there are so many people I once spoke about this idea, this problem is not only a Zimbabwean problem but a worldwide problem and here techzim you have not been able to see this problem as an opportunity

    1. “…with this wordpress comment you are going to see so much spam, very soon we will start to see people advertising these I make 100 dollars per hour kind of spam,your servers can also get attacked especially when you dont upgrade to newer version of wordpress in time, you must also expect your disk space to increase with the comments.”

      Are you sure you know what you’re talking about?

      Did you not lose your self?

      1. tinm you just reproduced what I wrote and made a few questions at the bottom without making any meaniguful argument of what I wrote. I have managed a a website that used wordpress comment function and used to find so much spam, some comments that came on almost every post soon after I posted something. Also you must know that there has been website attacks carried from the comment textboxs with code inputted in such boxes especially if you leave allow html formating.
        Your question tinm@n shows that you are someone who has never managed a CMS website or if you did maybe it wasnt a high traffic site

    2. I prefer this commenting system bcoz it encourages discourse on this community. As for developers making a replacement disqus,they can work on it now there is plenty of time to do it, in the meantime we can work with this since it’s compatible with different types of devices.

  8. Disqus was great guys. Apa takungofirawo yekuti vana LSK and team have phones that run Opera. Now how will i keep track of various discussions?

  9. This is a major step backward from one of the more progressive Zim sites. Disappointed

    1. Thanks for the comment, and feedback. We actually think this is one of the most progressive moves we’ve ever made and we curse ourselves for taking this long to.

      If I may ask, why do you say so?

  10. hey @L.S.M. I was having a discussion with this other person yesterday and it got to the question whether the writers at techzim get paid for the articles they write or rather its a passion.

  11. Love this system….hated disqus it was very slow on my windows mobile.wish more local websites used this system

  12. This new system is terrible, its a nightmare for those of us using mobile devices, because the comments sections, disappears time and again. One post has the section another does not.

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