Migrate Comments from Disqus Back to WordPress

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If you’re anything like me, you’ve been fed up with Disqus and the asinine ads ruining your beautiful website. Maybe you’ve been putting off figuring out how to migrate all of the comments back to WordPress, thinking it’s going to be a nearly-impossible task.

I’ve got great news for you! It’s actually quite simple. Disqus tried to make it very difficult for you, but I’ve figured out how to bypass their arbitrary, malicious limitations.

Follow along with the steps here, or simply watch my 3-minute video walking you through it.

Steps to migrate comments from Disqus to WordPress

    1. Backup your database however you like, and also your Disqus comments from the Disqus website (we shouldn’t need these backups, but better safe than sorry)
    2. Navigate to the Disqus section in your WordPress backend, then go to the “Syncing” tab Link to click to get to the Disqus section in the backend

Screenshot of the "Syncing" tab in the Disqus WordPress plugin

  1. Click “Manually Sync Comments”Screenshot of the "Manually Sync Comments" link in the Disqus WordPress plugin
  2. Right click on the “Start Date” field and select “Inspect” (in Chrome) or the equivalent to your browser (may say something like “inspect code”)Screenshot of the interface that comes up in Chrome when you right-click the date field in the Disqus plugin
  3. Find the “min” value which will look something like min="2021-06-10" and replace the date in the quotation marks to a date long before your blog started, like min="2000-06-10" and press enter.Screenshot of changing the minimum date in the date field for "manual sync" in the Disqus plugin using Chrome dev tools
  4. Click on the date field and select any date before your blog started
  5. Click “Run Manual Sync”
  6. Screenshot of the "Run Manual Sync" button in the Disqus WordPress pluginRepeat 2-5 until all of the comments successfully copy over (the plugin is terrible and will often stall in this process)
  7. If it is having trouble completing, you may need to select smaller date ranges and work your way through all the comments
  8. Deactivate the Disqus plugin from the “Plugins” pageScreenshot showing where to deactivate the Disqus WordPress plugin
  9. Verify that that the comments are showing up on your posts, or go to “Comments” in the backend and verify there are no gaps in comments
  10. Delete the Disqus pluginScreenshot of where to delete the Disqus WordPress plugin once and for all

In theory, Disqus is supposed to auto-sync comments between Disqus and your WordPress site, but it doesn’t work at all because the plugin hasn’t been updated in years. Or, if you’re cynical like me, it’s because Disqus wants you to be dependent on their system so you are forced to pay to remove ads.

Using our method, we can manually sync the comments that are missing from the site. They have this “feature” limited to just the most recent year of comments (again, to force you to pay for their terrible service), but using my hack, you can extend that date range and grab all of your comments at once.

From there, all you need to do is ditch the plugin and your comments in WordPress should show right up.

Enjoy your life of ad-free freedom!

Note: you will likely find that you need a spam filter to prevent spam comments, now. I am using Antispam Bee for that, and it seems to be working great.

About Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is a website developer and designer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a passion for code and WordPress. He spends his days building WordPress websites for small businesses, developing new code with the online community, and living life.

6 Comments on “Migrate Comments from Disqus Back to WordPress”

  1. Thanks for this– the frustrating part is that it doesn’t sync more than a couple of comments before it gets stuck! And I have 3,000 to sync. Let me know if you found any trick to get it to finish syncing!

    1. Ah yes! That is definitely part of the process. Call me cynical, but I think this is negligence at best, and malice at worst. They really don’t want you going back.

      But check steps 6 and 7. You can work your way through the date ranges and you should eventually be able to get them all migrated.

  2. Thank you very much for sharing this trick. I’ve only had an issue. Since my blog is Italian I’ve got Polylang plugin to translate articles in English, and after the procedure I noticed that some of the Italian comments are placed wrongly on the English version of the post instead of the italin page. Some idea to fix that? Thanks.

  3. Thank you a lot for this. About three years ago I had to reinstall my website lost over ten years of comments as I didn’t want to use Disqus again (long story, but the short version is the plugin barely worked) and my backup was corrupted with the comments table. The annoying thing is the comments were backed up on Disqus but the auto sync refused to work and kept coming up with 403 errors when I looked into it.

    Thanks to changing the date, I was able to get it all back although I had to do it year by year I also agree with you that they do it to keep people within their ecosystem.

    Once again, thanks from a stranger!

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