Add disqus to your react app in a glance

By Maxi |

I recently started adding more content to my blog and in the process I thought It might be a good idea to have a communication channel with my audience.

Disqus is a "comment as a service" platform that gives you all the tools you need to have comments on your application in literally 5 mins.

Update: I don't have disqus anymore. I shared why here

Straight to the point: 5 Steps to have Disqus in your react app.

  1. Create a disqus account.
  2. Add the component that loads the disqus comment box to your app.
// Comments.js
import React, { useEffect } from 'react'

const Comments = ({ fullUrl, id }) => {
  useEffect(() => {
    const DISQUS_SCRIPT = 'disq_script'
    const sd = document.getElementById(DISQUS_SCRIPT)
    if (!sd) {
      var disqus_config = function() { = fullUrl = id

      const d = document
      const s = d.createElement('script')
      s.async = true
      s.setAttribute('data-timestamp', +new Date())

    } else {
        reload: true,
        config: disqus_config,
  }, [])
  return <div id="disqus_thread"></div>

export default Comments
  1. Place it in the page you want the comment box to be displayed.
// Post.js
import React from 'react'
import Comments from './Comments'

const Post = ({ url, id }) => (
    <RestOfThePost />
    <Comments fullUrl={url} id={id} />

export default Post
  1. Make sure you add the the unique url and id to the comments component.
  2. Wait for the awesome comments from your followers.

Is that all I need? Comments up and running.

Yes! Incredible, that's all that you need to use disqus. Make sure to add comments yourself to check if you are sending the right url and id. Stay longer if you want the rest of the story...

Extra: Juice of the story

While doing some research on how to add this, I encounter a couple of options that I could try on: First, I tried adding the snippet of code that it's in the disqus wizzard.I turned into a component with the famous dangerouslySetInnerHTML and It looked like this

import React from 'react'

const Comments = ({ fullUrl, id }) => {
  const html = `
  <div id="disqus_thread"></div>
  var disqus_config = function () { = '${fullUrl}'; = '${id}';
  (function() {
  var d = document, s = d.createElement('script');
  s.src = '';
  s.setAttribute('data-timestamp', +new Date());
  (d.head || d.body).appendChild(s);

  return <div dangerouslySetInnerHTML={{ __html: html }} />

export default Comments

This didn't work out of the box. Every time the client side routing was switching components it was behaving quite awful. Also, I was adding a new script everytime the component was mounting. Yes, I know it was way to MVP. But it worked, 2 out 10 times :P

Second try was using the official npm module disqus-react but I was skeptical of how would this be much different from the web approach and if you look at the code: It isn't.

// file:

// ..lots of react code
 loadInstance() {
        const doc = window.document;
        if (window && window.DISQUS && doc.getElementById('dsq-embed-scr')) {
                reload: true,
                config: this.getDisqusConfig(this.props.config),
        } else {
            window.disqus_config = this.getDisqusConfig(this.props.config);
            window.disqus_shortname = this.props.shortname;
            insertScript(`https://${this.props.shortname}`, 'dsq-embed-scr', doc.body);
// ..lots of react code

I didn't install the npm module because at this point I had learnt enough about what I needed to do to make it work without another black box in my proyect.

So, a couple of tries more and I ended up with this small, in house component that does exactly that. - useDisqus

In this story of adding a "simple" component I hope you can relate with the thought process on deciding what to do at any given time when picking a new library. You can check my opinion here

If you read this far, thank you and give me a sign ( like, comment, email, etc) that you want to keep reading about my day to day struggles.

I have a tendency of over analyzing simple stuff which sometimes are good for stories but not that much for your productivity.

PS: it took me more than 50 mins to add disqus and I hope you can do it in 5 mins. (10x factor)?

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