Disqus, the enhanced blog commenting system, has launched a 2.0 version of its software that includes a host of new features, including a new plugin for WordPress, an improved developer API, and an overhauled UI for its main site.
One of the biggest concerns many people have had about Disqus is that the service stores comments remotely, which could cause issues if users ever decide to stop using it. The new 2.0 release of the Disqus plugin for WordPress remedies this issue by automatically syncing comments back to your WordPress database, though the comments are still pulled from Disqus servers when a user browses to your blog. This way, users who decide to stop using Disqus can move on to another comment system without losing any data.
Other new features from the plugin include the ability to moderate comments directly from the WordPress dashboard and to import or export comments at will. The plugin also allows search engines to index comments (another concern with external comment systems).
Disqus has redone the interface for its main site, which users can use to track their conversations on blogs across the web. CEO Daniel Ha says that the new version has been tweaked to make everything more intuitive for first time users (it’s also much easier on the eyes). The other main adjustment is a shift in the focus of the user profile page, which is now more of a life stream of a user’s comments on the web rather than a traditional profile.
Disqus’s improvements – most importantly the allowance for comment backup to your own server – makes it an appealing alternative to the standard WordPress comment system. There are a number of other comment systems available, including SezWho, Intense Debate, and JS-Kit.