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Goodbye Disqus, Hello HTTPS with Lets Encrypt

Published on Thursday 22 February 2018
Categories: General |

Lets Encrypt

I have decided to remove the disqus comment system from my blog posts. I have had a few issues with the disqus system including:

  • Post order – oldest posts not always on top.
  • Links to other sites and spam.
  • Long load times
  • Lot of external requests to different and insecure domains.

Using the GTmetrix website I ran tests on blog pages using the disqus comments and with the code disabled and with the disqus comments there were 137 requests and a load time of between 4 and 8 seconds and total page size of 876Kb.

GT Metrix With Disqus

GT Metrix With Disqus

With the disqus comments replaced with the new version this was reduced to 27 requests and only one of those is external for Google Analytics, a load time under 2 seconds and a total page size of 424Kb.

Removing disqus has resulted in a Google PageSpeed score going from 63% to 98%.

The disqus admin has an option to export an xml archive of the posted comments and I have spent several hours copying and pasting these into the new blog comment system.

GT Metrix With Disqus Replaced

GT Metrix With Disqus Removed

Change to HTTPS

I have been planning to apply a secure certificate to the blog for some time and with the planned change on Google Chrome later this year to show all non https sites with a “Not Secure” banner in the address bar, I decided it was time to add a secure cert to the site.

In the past I have used several paid certificate providers for my ecommerce websites but as I do not take any payment or have any login pages on the blog I decided to use the free open certificate authority Let’s Encrypt for the blogs secure certificate.

Let’s Encrypt do not have their own software to generate the certificates but there are a lot of third party applications available as ask my website runs on a Windows IIS server I used Windows ACME Simple (WACS) from https://github.com/PKISharp/win-acme to setup and install the new certificate.

Install the secure certificate

The software also deals with the renewal of the certificates as they are only valid for 90 days.

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3 Comments


Mike

23 February 2018 at 8:35 am

What blog commenting system did you end up replacing Disqus with?

Brian

23 February 2018 at 9:19 am

I wrote my own basic comments system. The site runs from a MS Sql server database so I added a new table for the comments and this form to submit them and a new admin section to moderate the comments.

Stuart (programster)

23 February 2018 at 11:06 am

Seems like the world needs an open source self hosted comment system similar to disqus in terms of how easy to integrate and the LaF but uses "login with Google" or "login with Facebook" that everyone on the net can use.

It probably already exists and I just don't know of it yet.


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