DISQUS's WordPress Plugin and Duplicate Comments

1. I've installed DISQUS's WordPress plugin. I had tried it once before years ago.

Back then, I had export/import comment issues and ended up with duplicate comments in my WordPress database that I cleaned out myself.

Apparently though, another table in the database was still holding duplicate info from DISQUS even up to yesterday.

I followed the instructions over at DISQUS, and fortunately, when I synced the commenting systems here and there, all the DISQUS duplicates disappeared here but not over on DISQUS. DISQUS had imported the duplicates. It was a vicious circle (sort of).

I considered killing the blog and database table at DISQUS but opted rather to semi-manually delete only all the comments. I uninstalled everything about DISQUS here on the blog right down to cleaning the Options table, which DISQUS didn't do when I ran its uninstaller.

Early this morning (very early), I reinstalled and then did the export of all the comments here back to DISQUS. Currently, all of those comments are sitting somewhere in DISQUS's database under the status "Queued for import." Yesterday, they imported nearly instantly. Today, it's been many hours. DISQUS is indicating that 0% have been sucked in yet.

I'm hesitant to do anything because I don't want to trigger the duplicates issue if what I've done so far will have cleaned it up.

Anyway, this comment [was a test comment that I subsequently deleted] will at least test the system a bit in the interim and also serve to let those who look know that I haven't deleted every comment on this blog. They're all still there in the WordPress database. I can see them all via the admin dashboard.

2. Everything is working so far.

I think I like this system enough that even if there are duplicates, I'll get DISQUS's support involved to get to the bottom of it.

I did notice that the time-stamp on the duplicates and the text formatting was different. The time-stamp was 14 hours earlier than this blogs time. All the paragraphs were there but without any line spaces between them on a number of the dups.

I'm already missing the HTML-coding info of the old commenting system though.

3. Okay, DISQUS just finished importing 100%. It synced back to the blog, so the two comments above [were text comments that I simply copied over into this blog post] actually are in the WordPress database too. However, because all of the imported comments are still sitting in DISQUS's database as "deleted" (but can still be called back up), I believe it is clear that I must delete the blog and all comments over on DISQUS.

There's a one-button solution for that over there.

Then, I'll "uninstall" over here again and try to export from here and import over there. If all of this doesn't work, I'll get the support team involved.

4. DISQUS asked me why I'm deleting the blog and all comments from DISQUS. My answer:

I've had the duplicate-comment problem. I believe deleting and then recreating may help. Syncing got rid of all the duplicates in the WordPress database (it's a long story) but not on DISQUS. I manually deleted all the comments on DISQUS, but exporting from WordPress didn't overwrite those with approved comments.

I'm trying to fix this myself before bothering you all for help, which I will if this doesn't work.

After clicking delete, DISQUS said, "Please allow up to 48 hours for this website to be completely removed." Ugh.

5. Everything exported and imported fine with the exception of 6 comments that exceeded the 25,000 character limit. I just created 6 new comments with links to the old comments' text. That was a pain, but I didn't want to re-export/import for fear of re-creating the duplicate-comment problem.

As for that problem, just deleting the blog and comments on DISQUS wasn't enough. By the way, you do that at the bottom of Settings > General.

In addition to deleting the blog and comments on DISQUS (and waiting as explained above), I had to uninstall and reinstall the DISQUS plugin to get it to fetch the new API key. You uninstall on the Advanced Options settings page in your blog. Just go to Comments > DISQUS and click on Advanced Options. Scroll down, and you'll see "Uninstall." Concerning uninstalling, I had to click update the database and then do the "Uninstall" again before it actually showed that it had uninstalled. Then I simply hit the reinstall link, and the new API key was imported.

Lastly, I updated the DISQUS widgets I had installed previously. In the widget scripting code, I had to change the short name of the blog from "realliberalchristianchurch" to "rlcc," since I took the opportunity to change that name after I deleted the blog on DISQUS. I wanted to be sure that I wouldn't pick up any legacy database tables at DISQUS. That would have been highly unlikely, but I just figured making sure was so easy that it made no sense not to. Besides, "rlcc" is easier.

Why might this not work for you? Well, my duplicates came from exporting and importing twice impatiently many months ago. If memory serves, my system went down in mid-process. Your duplicates may be due to a different mistake.

There are some formatting problems, but a number of those are due to WordPress version changes over the years. WordPress hasn't always been backward compatible regarding html in comments and posts. I don't obsess about such things the way I used to.

Let me know via a comment if this helped you.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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