Thursday 22 February 2018
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
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
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.
The software also deals with the renewal of the certificates as they are only valid for 90 days.