Wordpress & Web Development

4 Disqus Widgets That Will Encourage More Comments On Your Blog

Ryan Dube 21-09-2012

disqus commentsBlogging is really hard work. There’s no getting around that fact. Between the technical work involved in designing and maintaining a website, producing regular content on a frequent basis, and editing the work of any writers that you have working for you, the effort is massive.


That effort really starts to pay off once you have a regular, steady flow of lots of visitors every day – visitors that interact with the site and comment on your articles. Getting that to happen isn’t always easy, but once it starts, it’s like a snowball effect. No one likes to comment on a dead blog, but people do feel encouraged to comment on a site where it’s clear other people have already felt compelled to comment.

This makes encouraging comments a nearly impossible task.  You need people to comment more in order to have more comments on your blog, but you need more comments in order to get more people to comment.

Thankfully, Disqus finally offers a few widgets that you can install on your site that will encourage your visitors to post their own comments – and get that commenting snowball-effect started.

Using Disqus to Promote Commenting

I’ve used Disqus for years. The reason I first started using the commenting service was because I was so sick of the standard WordPress commenting feature, and the mass number of spam comments that I’d keep getting on a daily basis, no matter what I would do.

Disqus more than relieved those problems. In fact, the service doubled the number of comments that my blog received on a daily basis, just due to the fact that there was already a substantial number of users at Disqus, making it very easy for people to comment with their existing Disqus account.


Now, Disqus has offered four more ways that you can encourage even more comments by carefully placing certain widgets on your site. These widgets use human nature to get people inspired to comment. You can find these widgets by logging into your Disqus account, click on “Admin” and then click on the “Tools” tab.

One of my favorite Disqus comment widgets is “Top Commenters”.

disqus comments

Using these widgets is simple enough. Just modify the settings, copy the code snippet, and paste it in your blog. In the case of the “Top Commenters” widget, you can define the number of commenters to list in the widget, whether to show avatars or block moderators from the list. Then, you just copy the code snippet and paste it in your blog. In my case, I wanted to list my top commenters right in the footer of my blog.


Here’s what the widget looks like once it’s inserted.

disqus comments blog

It’s clean and very fast-loading. I might do well in my case to block moderators from being listed, especially since I’ve commented on my blog using two accounts. This would also give regular commenters more visibility. Being listed as a “Top Commenter” is really encouraging for a lot of people – it’s the whole “gaming” mentality where people feel a very strong sense of pride when they make it onto the “leaderboard”.

My absolute favorite of all four Disqus widgets is the “Recent Comments” tool. This lets you insert snippets of all of your most recent comments into some area of the site.


disqus comments blog

Again, you can customize the look of the widget by adjusting how many comments to show, how long of a comment excerpt to display, and the size of the avatar. Once again, copy the code at the bottom and paste it on your page. Ideally, you’ll be pasting these widget codes into your site template – either a sidebar, header or footer that makes up part of every single page on your site.

In this case, I want all of the most recent comments to show up in the sidebar of my site. This gives the site a feeling like it is filled with life and conversation. As people read articles, they’ll notice these comments off to the side – it’s a hint to them that it is a site that has a growing community, and that they should take part in the conversation and become a part of that community.

disqus comments blog


It’s a good idea to try it out with certain settings, and then modify it so that it has the look and feel you’re looking for. In my case, I feel like 5 comments that show up to 200 words is a bit much. It makes the sidebar feel almost too busy. So, it’s back to Disqus to modify the settings and copy new code. With 4 comments and a max of 100 words per excerpt, the sidebar widget looks much more clean and professional.

disqus widget

The “Popular Threads” widget also offered by Disqus is a little bit different than the “popular threads” widget that you’ll find as standard in WordPress.

disqus widget

The Disqus widget displays not only the articles with the most comments, but it gives priority to the most recent articles with comments.

disqus widget

This prevents the problem where you have articles written 3 or 4 years ago that are consistently displayed on this list, only because it has more comments than any other article on the site. By giving priority to more recent articles, Disqus keeps this list fresh and always-changing.

Disqus also offers one more widget called the “Combination” widget. This one does everything above in one single widget – with tabs for top commenters, most recent comments and most popular threads.

disqus comments

You can customize the color scheme of this widget as well so that it blends in well with your site theme. This is a good widget if you just want to have everything listed in a single sidebar location, rather than breaking up the information on various areas in your site. Personally, I like using the individual widgets, but what you choose really comes down to how you want to lay out comments in your site.

Do you use Disqus? Have you tried out the Disqus comment widgets? If you have, let us know what you think. If you haven’t, give them a test run and share your feedback in the comments section below.

Image Credit: Transparent to the 3d via Shutterstock

Related topics: Blogging, Online Commenting, Wordpress Plugins.

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  4. jean-francois cloutier
    May 15, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Sorry i do not find these option on Disqus admin/tool

  5. Kelvin Shadewing
    March 4, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    I've tried looking at the Disqus embed code, but it's just impossible to navigate. It seems like they've obfuscated their variables with single letters so I can't tell what I'm even looking at.

    Seconding Ben Laing's post, we really need an alternative to these widgets. I suppose our best bet would be to find people who still have them active and copy the code from their page source.

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  7. Anonymous
    June 4, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    So there's no way to do it now with the new Disqus? Top Commentors seems like such a great thing!

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  9. Purvi Kapoor
    June 4, 2015 at 6:03 am

    Thanks for this article. I am a new blogger so this is very helpful.

  10. Ben Laing
    February 8, 2015 at 12:54 am

    Hi Ryan, Great article! But very disapointing about the loss of the widgets :-(

    Have you managed to find any alternatives or has there been any new additions to DISQUS?

  11. Annalea Montejo
    January 9, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Great information! I have learn a lot but still is confused why I don't have any password or email verification for disqus.

    Calgary Florist

  12. Anna17
    January 9, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I was wondering why I have registered to disqus but I can't log in to edit my profile since I don't have a password to log into?

  13. Jon H
    November 19, 2012 at 3:49 am

    ok the snippet didn't work - here's an example: h**p://www.bwidgets.com/2012/11/adding-disqus-recent-comments-widget-to.html

    • Hardeep Asrani
      January 2, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Hey thanks....that's my website BWidgets... :)

  14. Jon H
    November 19, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Here's the code - use your site's domain in place of the generic:

    You can play with these numbers if it actually works:


    If that doesn't work there's always the Disqus API - this webpage just updated their example: h**p://aaronjwhite.org/index.php/all-posts/18-updated-recent-comments-widget-in-php-for-disquss-api

  15. Kizi
    November 9, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Thanks for this article. I am a new blogger so this is very helpful. It’s hard to know how long it takes to make a successful blog, so “being patient” is among some of the best advice you can give. It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see movement, but this give me some encouragement.

    • Friv 10
      April 22, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      Written with much useful information, it helps me a lot of work. Thank you very much for your....

  16. Paul Shard
    October 6, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I can't see widgets in Disqus?? I get only "Import, Export, and Migrate Threads" ... Has Widgets been removed?

    • david
      October 8, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      me too :(

    • erikg
      October 8, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      I just heard from Disqus support and they state that while any widgets already applied to a site with continue to work, widgets are no longer officially supported in Disqus Classir or Disqus 2012 and will not show in the admin panel.

      So much for this article. :(

      • Ryan
        October 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm

        Yep, Disqus no longer supports the side widgets. I hope they bring this back eventually. Default WordPress comment widgets have issues with pulling in commenter avatars when you're using Disqus on your site.

      • Ryan Dube
        October 9, 2012 at 12:45 am

        That's really sad - it was such a great feature. Disqus must have pulled it almost immediately after this article was published. It still works on my site, but I'm surprised they will not support it on new sites - I'm really hoping they change their tune on that.

        Meanwhile, I'll try to hunt down an alternative that works as well or better and cover it for you guys - if you can be patient. I'll do my best. :-)

        • Bonnie
          October 26, 2012 at 10:05 pm

          Darn. Just installed Disqus and was really excited to read your article. I detest the hardcoded comments feature in our theme and was hoping to do something like what I've seen here. Will wait with baited breath.

      • cynthiablue
        October 19, 2012 at 6:35 pm

        Well darn, I was just looking for a comments widget for Disqus and found this thread. I'd really like if it came back.

  17. scott
    October 2, 2012 at 10:14 am

    The reason I first began using the leaving feedback service was because I was so tired of the conventional WordPress leaving feedback function, and the huge number of junk feedback that I’d keep getting on a regular base, regardless of what I would do.

  18. mike vallar
    September 27, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I installed disqus in my blog, but after doing all the required stuff, the comments only show up in my blog pages, but not in my video blogs. I can see some comments, but not all of them. I know that the exporting has been successful.

    any thoughts?