Andrew Connell

Retiring comments for articles on my sites

In the last two weeks I’ve rolled out a feature on two of my sites that’s quite significant… at least to me.

I should clarify that when I say I “rolled out a feature”, I mean rolled a feature out my site.

I started this blog in September 2003. Over 2,500 posts since the very first post, I’ve left commenting enabled on the site. Comments were first stored with the content on the site & later, I used Disqus .

… and when I launched my business, Voitanos , I used Disqus.

Removing on-page comments from my sites

That changed today (well, it changed last week on Voitanos), because with the commit that published this blog post, comments are no longer supported on public articles or posts on either site.

Throughout this entire time, while I’ve moderated all comments, I’ve been transparent and approved every comment except for SPAM, hateful, or inappropriate comments. I’m not hiding from the comments… in fact, I’ve added links to the footer of all articles & blog posts where you can share or discuss the post on Twitter. I’m more than happy to have the discussion!

Why make the change?

I’ve got plenty of reasons to do this. Some are relatively minor such as:

  • performance: Disqus adds a bunch of JavaScript libraries, cookies, trackers & ads to posts
  • moderation: Checking the submitted comments every few days is a pain… it’s not a lot of work, but I’d prefer to not do it

But the one thing that drove me to make this change was to address something that’s been nagging me for years… and it’s only become a bigger issue.

When you leave a comment on an article, the only people who see that comment are people who read the article; it’s not the best way to have a discussion on a topic.

If I wanted to have a 1:1 or 1:few discussion, I wouldn’t have published an article or blog post.

I write, I publish articles, I publish blog posts, to share my thoughts and news. I do it because I like starting a discussion. The best way to drive visibility is to have that discussion in a forum where the people are.

For the last few years, I’ve watched where my traffic comes from. If I exclude organic traffic & traffic from Google, a significant portion of that traffic comes from social media, specifically Twitter.

By moving the comment discussion to Twitter, I think it potentially engages more people, and makes the discussion even more open & transparent.

At least that’s my hope.

What about the old comments?

I still have all the comments exported from Disqus. I’m not deleting them or hiding them from you. I was going to use those exports and add them as historical content in the footer of each page.

But I thought “will people care?” I don’t want to go through that effort if no one would use it. So… I’ve held off for now.

What do you think? Here’s a great way to tell me: click the Discuss on Twitter button below and let me know!

Andrew Connell
Developer & Chief Course Artisan, Voitanos LLC. | Microsoft MVP
Written by Andrew Connell

Andrew Connell is a web developer with a focus on Microsoft Azure & Microsoft 365. He’s received Microsoft’s MVP award every year since 2005 and has helped thousands of developers through the various courses he’s authored & taught. Andrew’s the founder of Voitanos and is dedicated to delivering industry-leading on-demand video training to professional developers. He lives with his wife & two kids in Florida.