WPWeekly Episode 269 – Interview With Daniel Ha, CEO and Co-founder of Disqus

In this episode, Marcus Couch and I are joined by Daniel Ha, CEO and co-founder of Disqus. Ha explains why he created the service, what his thoughts are on large sites disabling comments, and the state of comments on the web.

We also discuss the company’s monetization strategies and what opportunities exist to generate revenue around comments. Ha shares what the company learned from its Sponsored Comments experiment and what it’s doing to improve communication with customers.

Plugins Picked By Marcus:

Woo Cashback provides each user with their own personal wallet with a way to purchase items from your store while using their wallet money or credit.

Export Comment Emails allows you to export the emails from comments to a CSV or XML file allowing you to import to MailChimp or ConvertKit.

WP Monitor adds a dashboard to the WordPress backend that displays updates, site, and server information in one convenient place. You can monitor one or multiple websites on the go.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, April 5th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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2 Comments


  1. Interesting chat, guys. I’m no fan of Disqus (their privacy terms, the data mining, and the UX of the platform itself), but some nice points from Daniel re. the state of engagement and content.

    One thing I would say is that I’m surprised comment developers haven’t come up with a way (yet) to make the experience native to the platform experience.

    For example, a written post would have written comments; a video post would have an option to leave a video comment; and a podcast post would have an option to leave an audio comment.

    Thoughts?

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  2. Thanks for doing this interview!

    And, btw, I was the one who asked the question about removal of the sync functionality. To clarify, I was hearing from some bigger Disqus users, who were in touch w/ support due to issues with sync, that there were plans to remove it. So, hopefully this misinformation will be corrected, and I’m really glad to hear that (it makes a big difference in my decisions… sync is *crucial*!)

    Also, since I can’t comment on the last WP Tavern post (where this was all debated at length) anymore, the news about pricing that had been floating around was that the $10 -> $99/mo jump was at 50k pageviews per month… which seemed rather steep. Instead, I see that it is *per day* which seems way more than reasonable! (cf. https://help.disqus.com/customer/en/portal/articles/2759918-disqus-pricing-and-plans )

    While, as previously noted, I’m a big fan of seeing native commenting being brought to Disqus level (and beyond), it just isn’t there yet. The best, IMO, is wpDiscuz with some add-ons. After experimenting with it some, I think I could make do with it instead of Disqus. But, it still has a way to go to be as smooth of a user interaction. All other considerations aside, that’s the most important aspect to me. UX

    All that said, it does bother me that Disqus’ focus seems so heavily on the advertising side of things. I’m all for (the option of) monetizing sites/blogs and I’m fine with advertising if it is a good match. But, I’d rather just pay one-time or a monthly fee to have the best comment system for my users.

    If this new fee accomplishes that, bravo. But, I’d rather see even more movement towards paid plans than ads as a form of revenue for Disqus. I could swing $10/mo if need be to remain ad-free, and I’m guessing others could as well. But, if push comes to shove, *please* consider even lower-priced plans (i.e.: too good to resist) over pushing more in the ad direction.

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