Disgusted with DISQUS

disqus-signI tried the alternative comment system DISQUS for a few months here and have just grown tired of it. Since installing it in October, I have noticed:

  1. A decrease in the number of relevant comments on my blog
  2. An increase in the number of spammy comments that get approved
  3. An increase in the number of complaints about the difficulty of commenting on my blog
  4. A substantial increase in the the time it takes for pages on my site to load

I turned off DISQUS commenting this morning and while I lost a number of comments that have been posted to my site, I also notice that some of the comments posted on DISQUS actually were preserved. I also did some speed testing of my site and was blown away by the results. In fact, I turned DISQUS on again to confirm. All stats are provided by WebSiteOptimization.com.

Site stats with DISQUS installed
Global Statistics

Total HTTP Requests:64
Total Size:232497 bytes

Object Size Totals

Object typeSize (bytes)Download @ 56K (seconds)Download @ T1 (seconds)
HTML:262245.630.54
HTML Images:8251718.452.44
CSS Images:7662223.278.41
Total Images:15913941.7210.85
Javascript:273236.651.34
CSS:198115.151.30
Multimedia:0.000.00
Other:0.000.00

External Objects

External ObjectQTY
Total HTML:2
Total HTML Images:10
Total CSS Images:40
Total Images:50
Total Scripts:6
Total CSS imports:6
Total Frames:
Total Iframes:1

Download Times*

Connection RateDownload Time
14.4K193.00 seconds
28.8K102.90 seconds
33.6K90.03 seconds
56K59.14 seconds
ISDN 128K26.99 seconds
T1 1.44Mbps14.03 seconds

Site stats without DISQUS installed
Global Statistics

Total HTTP Requests:37
Total Size:204415 bytes

Object Size Totals

Object typeSize (bytes)Download @ 56K (seconds)Download @ T1 (seconds)
HTML:247285.330.53
HTML Images:8251718.452.44
CSS Images:5883014.723.31
Total Images:14134733.175.75
Javascript:253176.051.13
CSS:130233.601.07
Multimedia:0.000.00
Other:0.000.00

External Objects

External ObjectQTY
Total HTML:2
Total HTML Images:10
Total CSS Images:15
Total Images:25
Total Scripts:5
Total CSS imports:5
Total Frames:
Total Iframes:1

Download Times*

Connection RateDownload Time
14.4K165.83 seconds
28.8K86.62 seconds
33.6K75.30 seconds
56K48.14 seconds
ISDN 128K19.88 seconds
T1 1.44Mbps8.48 seconds

Clearly a great improvement. The home page loads 11 seconds faster for a 56K reader than it did with DISQUS comments installed. There are only 37 HTTP requests rather than 64. This may not make much sense to most of my regular readers, but it’s dramatic improvement for such a simple change. Even at a super fast T1 connection, 5 seconds may not seem too impressive but when you consider that the site loads in 60% of the time it previously took, it’s a pretty solid improvement.

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If anyone from DISQUS is listening, I love the comment system, but don’t like sacrificing user experience for convenience.†I’m hoping one day to find the same cool comment functionality that the service provides without the crazy slow load times.

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

2 Comments on Disgusted with DISQUS

  1. good thing you’re not using disqus right now because it’s down (again). also, i wouldn’t be able to comment on your blog!

    i was just doing a search right now for disqus being down. also, i just wanted to say hi. hi, and i agree with your post.

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