How to Migrate Disqus Comments after Changing URL Structure

Disqus provides means migrating comments to and from its platform be it through importing, exporting or syncing. Sometimes however you may be the one migrating your site, for instance when you change the domain name or update your URL structure.

Since your Disqus threads are linked to specific URLs, these two changes will cause your comments not display in their respective pages. Nevertheless, your comments will be left intact and can be migrated to point to their new URL destinations.

Case in point after moving this blog from Blogger to WordPress, I successfully updated my Disqus threads since I had changed my URL structure so that the permalink only used the postname as opposed to the Blogger standard of including the year, month and a trailing html at the end of the slug.

https://www.journeybytes.com/2019/08/postname-here.html into https://www.journeybytes.com/postname-here/

Disqus Comment Migration Tools

To update the URLs for the threads Disqus provides the following three tools:

  • Domain Migration Tool
  • URL Mapper
  • Redirect Crawler

In our case we need to make use the latter two since the domain name will not be changing. If its only the domain name that has changed, use the Domain Migration tool.

On the other hand if you just changed from HTTP to Secure HTTPs you don’t need to do any migration. Disqus will load the comments irrespective of the protocol used provided the rest of the URL is identical.

Option 1: Migrate Comments using the Redirect Crawler

Assuming your old URLs are set up to redirect to the new URLs using 301 redirects, using the redirect crawler method is significantly less demanding compared to using the URL mapper.

In case redirects are not possible for you please check Option 2 on how to use the URL mapper.

  1. Go to Disqus Admin > Community > Tools and select Migration Tools.

    migration tools
  2. Beside the Redirect Crawler (Advanced) option click the Start Crawler button.

    redirect crawler
    Disqus will now crawl your URLs and update them according to the redirects it finds. When it’s done crawling they will send you email to notify you.

Disqus claims the crawling and updating may take up to 24hrs to complete however in my case it took longer than that. You can monitor the progress by checking the URLs in the Link column provided in the Discussions Editor (Disqus Admin > Community > Tools > Discussions).

Option 2: Migrate Comments using the URL Mapper

  1. Go to your Disqus Admin > Community > Tools and select Migration Tools.
  2. Beside the Upload a URL map option click the Start URL mapper button.

    url mapper
  3. In the next page download the CSV file Disqus has of your threads.

    download threads csv

    Disqus will send you an email containing the CSV packaged in GZip archive.
  4. Extract the archive and edit the CSV with Excel or another Spreadsheet editor. To do this just enter the new URLs in the second column (B) beside their corresponding old URLs in the first column (A) then save it.

    url mapper csv

    Note:
    • You can exclude URLs whose threads you don’t want to be migrated by not including them in the CSV .
    • You can merge comments on two URLs into one thread by using the same URL for their new URL.
    • If you CSV contains tens of thousands of URLs, Disqus recommends you split them into smaller CSVs and upload them individually.
  5. Save the CSV file then go back to the URL mapper page and upload the CSV. Click the Next Step button to proceed.
  6. Disqus will scan the CSV and display a table containing Before and After columns on how it will map the new URLs.

    mapped urls

    At the bottom of this table click the Submit Migration button to finish the process.

Now you just have to wait for Disqus to process the new URLs. Once it’s done processing, you’ll receive an email to notify you.

Meanwhile if you have 301 redirects in place you can also run the Redirect Crawler to speed up the process.

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