Support » Plugin: disqus » [Plugin: disqus] Showing Disqus comment counts without the comments_popup_link function?

  • Resolved chinasmack



    According to Tyler Hayes’ response here (, we understand that the Disqus plugin will hook onto WordPress comment functions to display updated comment counts without waiting for the actual comments to sync back to the local WordPress database to update the local database counts. In our tests, this wasn’t always reliable, sometimes showing the latest count but sometimes not. However, at least it sometimes works.

    Our question is, is there any other way of displaying the comment count without relying on the comments_popup_link() function?

    For example, the default TwentyEleven theme uses:

    <?php comments_popup_link( '<span class="leave-reply">' . __( 'Reply', 'twentyeleven' ) . '</span>', _x( '1', 'comments number', 'twentyeleven' ), _x( '%', 'comments number', 'twentyeleven' ) ); ?>

    We have a custom theme that made extensive use of:

    <?php comments_number('0', '1', '%'); ?>

    However, this function won’t work with the Disqus plugin.

    Are there any other methods for displaying Disqus comment counts that will only show the number of comments, without an appended “Comments” and without the comments being wrapped inside a link? This would make it easier to manipulate and work into our design.

    We understand we can continue using the comments_number() function and just wait for comments to sync from Disqus back to our local WordPress database but syncing is not instantaneous and could potentially take a long time (we get hundreds of comments a day, our site gets ~1.4m visits a month). For example, even on our staging environment, the syncing of comments can take anywhere between 6 minutes and 45 minutes (in our observations) from after they are posted until they appear in the local database.

    Moreover, our current live environment isn’t syncing, but we’ve found this post ( and have asked our system admin to look into it. This is likely an issue on our end.

    Still, we really need a more flexible way of calling or displaying the latest comment counts for each post on our home and archive pages. Are there any solutions to be had? Our search on the Disqus website yielded nothing and Google search results all reference older comment count issues with older versions of Disqus (we’re using 2012).

    Thanks for your help.

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  • chinasmack


    An update in case anyone else will benefit from our experience.

    comments_popup_link and comments_link appear to be WordPress functions that the Disqus plugin hooks onto. Both create links and append the word “comments” regardless of how you customize the variables for the original WordPress function.

    We got around this by using a lot of CSS trickery, similar to how TwentyEleven does it, which involves setting the comment link to display as a block, dictating the size of that block, and using the overflow property to hide everything except the number. So, if anyone wants to use Disqus and display comment counts with only the number, that’s the way to do it unless Disqus ever adds to their plugin another hook and javascript that will return just a numeral.

    With the existing method, you’ll literally see the WordPress comment count for a moment before the Disqus javascript kicks in and changes the comment number to the updated number. It isn’t instantaneous, there’s some delay between when a comment is made and when the counts (outside the comment module itself) will reflect it, and sometimes it won’t work at all or takes quite a bit of time before the javascript resolves. It’s quite easy to click off a page before the javascript has replaced the number, unless the rest of the site renders slowly as well.

    We’re still trying to figure out our syncing issue but that’s a more advanced topic and not so relevant here. Hope our experience and eventual solution helps anyone else initially stymied by the same issue.

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