Gregory's Blog

Building your own Disqus Recent Comments Widget

Disqus's commenting system is one of the most popular free blog plugin's in the world right now. It allows blog users to log in using various social media services such as Facebook and Twitter, and offers a bevy of tools and comment moderation features. Most of the popular open source blogs (now including Galaxie Blog) have optional built in Disqus integration. However, what if you as the developer want to implement Disqus into your own custom software or blog? This article will show you a way to use the Disqus API key to build your own custom recent comments Disqus widget.

Do you really need your own custom Disqus Recent Comments Widget?

A recent comments widget is a tool that allows blog owners to show the most recent comments on a page. If you're just using Disqus on a static site that does not contain all of the blog entries, you might not need to roll your own custom recent comment widget. And, even if you do have a page that contains all of the blog entries, you may not need a custom widget- Disqus already provides one. To incorporate it, all that you need to do is replace the 'gregorys-blog' string with your own Disqus Blog Identifier (also known as the blog short name) like so:

view plain about
1<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
This is a basic widget, and it contains nearly everything that you may need. My code falls back to this approach in Galaxie Blog when the blog owner does not paste in his own API Key. However, it is not flexible. It is what you see is what you get, and I wanted to blend the recent comment widget with Galaxie Blogs themes, and needed other things, such as having to use the Disqus API to have my own statistical reporting. I'm a stickler for design- I personally determined from the outset that I need roll my own Disqus recent comments widget, and I'll share my approach...

Building your own Disqus Recent Comments Widget

  1. First, you will need to obtain a Disqus Blog Identifier (aka Blog Short Name) and a Disqus API Key. If you don't already have these keys, the following articles should help you in getting these:
  2. The code below is the style sheets that I developed for Galaxie Blogs recent comments. There is nothing interesting to note here but I am sharing to give you a starting point:

view plain about
1<!--- Styles for disqus --->
3    .userProfile {
4        margin: 15px 0;    
5        list-style-type: none;    
6        clear: both;
7    }
9    img.disqusAvatar {
10        width: 64px;
11        height: 64px;
12        float: left;
13        position: relative;
14        z-index: 99;
15        border: 0px;
16        margin: 0px;
17        /* The padding needs to be uniform, otherwise the avatar circle will be elongated */
18        padding: <cfoutput>#avatarPadding#</cfoutput>;
19        -moz-border-radius: 50%;
20        -webkit-border-radius: 50%;
21        -webkit-box-shadow: 0 1px 2px rgba(0,0,0,0.2);
22        -moz-box-shadow: 0 1px 2px rgba(0,0,0,0.2);
23        box-shadow: 0 1px 2px rgba(0,0,0,0.2);
24        overflow: hidden;
25    }
27    #disqusCommentDiv a {
28        overflow: hidden; /* Prevent wrapping */
29    }
31    #disqusCommentDiv p {
32        display: inline; /* Prevent wrapping */
33    }
35    #disqusCommentPanel a {
36        overflow: hidden; /* Prevent wrapping */
37    }
39    #disqusCommentPanel p {
40        display: inline; /* Prevent wrapping */
41    }
43    .comment-avatar img {
44        width: 100%;
45        height: 100%;
46    }

  1. The real magic happens in the javascript below. I'll try to walk you through some of the more interesting tidbits
    1. The getRecentDisqusComments function makes a call to the Disqus API invoking the listsPosts method
    2. Additionally, the related=thread argument is appended to the URL string. This argument allows us to get the URL and Title of the post. Without this argument, we would need to make another call the threads list method, which is frankly a nightmare1.
    3. We are passing our Disqus keys in the Ajax post
    4. The getDisqusCommentsResponse callback method retrieves the data, and writes out our custom HTML. Here, I am using my own custom class definitions to make the widget blend in with my own themes.
    5. The isOdd method assists creating alternate the colors of each row.
    6. The timeSince method is used to append a string to tell the viewer when the comment was made (ie '20 seconds ago').
    7. Finally, the truncateString method is used to truncate the comment string.

view plain about
1function getRecentDisqusComments(){
3    // Submit form via AJAX.
4    $.ajax(
5        {
6            type: "get",
7            url: "",
8            data: {
9                // Passing my own keys.
10                api_key: "<cfoutput>#application.disqusApiKey#</cfoutput>",
11                forum: "<cfoutput>#application.disqusBlogIdentifier#</cfoutput>",
13                limit: "<cfoutput>#numComments#</cfoutput>"
14            },
15            // jsponp is supported as well.
16            dataType: "json",
17            cache: false,
18            success: function(data) {
19                setTimeout(function () {
20                    // Callback function
21                    getDisqusCommentsResponse(data);
22                // The timeout ensures that the data will be available to the callback function.
23                }, 250);
24            }
25        }
26    );
27}//..function getRecentDisqusComments(){
29function getDisqusCommentsResponse(data){
30    var html = "";
31    // Loop through the json structure.
32    for (var i = 0, len = data.response.length; i < len; i++) {
33        // Isolate our post (or entry).
34        var post = data.response[i];
35        // Set a current row value from our index. I need a whole number to determine the alternating row color. I could just use [i]+1, but I am setting this for readability.
36        var row = parseInt([i]);
37        // Get the data for the post.
38        var authorName =;
39        var authorProfileUrl =;
40        var authorAvatarUrl =;
41        // We need to strip the HTML out of the comment. It has links that are not useful and will take up our space.
42        var comment = stripHtml(post.message);
43        var commentPromoted = post.isHighlighted;
44        var approved = post.isApproved;
45        // Get the timestamp and convert it into a proper js date object.
46        var created = new Date(post.createdAt);
47        // Find the link to the actual article. Note: for this to work, you must have related=thread appended to the ajax link (ie
48        var pageLink =;
49        var pageTitle = post.thread.title;
51        // Create the HTML. We will try to keep this nearly identical to the recent comment widget, but put in our own kendo classes here.
52        // Crete the table on the first row.
53        if (row == 0){
54            html += '<table id="disqusComment" align="center" class="k-content fixedPodTableWithWrap" width="100%" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">';
55        }
56        // Create the row and alternate the k-content and k-alt class.
57        if (isOdd(row)){
58            html += '<tr class="k-alt" height="50px;">';
59        } else {
60            html += '<tr class="k-content" height="50px;">';
61        }
62        // After the first iteration, create a row with a border. Javascript arrays (which is our 'row') start at 0.
63        if (row == 0){
64            html += '<td align="left" valign="top" class="userProfile">';
65        } else {
66            html += '<td align="left" valign="top" class="border userProfile">';
67        }
68        // Wrap the avatar with the authors profile link
69        html += '<br/><a href="' + authorProfileUrl + '" aria-label="Profile for ' + authorName + '" rel="nofollow noopener">' + authorName;
70        // Place the avatar into the cell and close the anchor link.
71        html += '<img class="disqusAvatar" src="' + authorAvatarUrl + '" aria-label="Profile for ' + authorName + '"></a><br/>';
72        // Add the comment. The comment is already wrapped with a paragraph tag.
73        html += truncateString(comment, <cfoutput>#lenComment#</cfoutput>) + '<br/>';
74        // Create the HTML to insert into the page title.
75        html += '<a href="' + pageLink + '" aria-label="' + pageLink + '">' + pageTitle + '</a> - ';
76        // Add the timestamp to quickly identify how recent the post is.
77        html += timeSince(new Date(created)) + ' ago<br/>';
78        // Close the cell and the row.
79        html += '</td></tr>';
80        // Close the table on the last row
81        if (row == <cfoutput>#round(numComments-1)#</cfoutput>){
82            html += '</table>'
83        }
84        // Append the html to the page.
85        $(document).ready(function() {
86            $("#recentCommentsDiv").html(html);
87            $("#recentCommentsPanel").html(html);
88        });
90    }//..for (var i = 0, len = data.response.length; i < len; i++) {
94// Helper function to determine if the number is even or odd. This is used to create alternating row colors.
95function isOdd(num) {
96    return num % 2;
99function stripHtml(html){
100    html.replace(/<[^>]*>
?/gm, '');
101    return html;
104// Function to write out the time since the post.
105// Source:    
106function timeSince(date) {
107 var seconds = Math.floor((new Date() - date) / 1000);
108 var interval = Math.floor(seconds / 31536000);
110 if (interval >
1) {
111    return interval + " years";
112 }
113 interval = Math.floor(seconds / 2592000);
114 if (interval >
1) {
115    return interval + " months";
116 }
117 interval = Math.floor(seconds / 86400);
118 if (interval > 1) {
119    return interval + " days";
120 }
121 interval = Math.floor(seconds / 3600);
122 if (interval > 1) {
123    return interval + " hours";
124 }
125 interval = Math.floor(seconds / 60);
126 //alert(interval + ' minutes date: ' + date);
127 if (interval > 1) {
128    return interval + " minutes";
129 }
130 return Math.floor(seconds) + " seconds";
133truncateString = function(str, length, ending) {
134    if (length == null) {
135        length = 100;
136    }
137    if (ending == null) {
138        ending = '...';
139    }
140    if (str.length > length) {
141        return str.substring(0, length - ending.length) + ending;
142    } else {
143        return str;
144    }
147// Call the method to populate the recent comments.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Happy commenting!

Further Reading: 1Raymond Camden has an excellent article at I wished that I had read this earlier before going down my own rabbit hole. To get the related post, I initially tried to call the thread list method (at within a nested ajax post. My initial code was just... ugly. Finally, I stumbled upon this article and found out that I could simply use the related=thread argument to attach the comment to a thread.

This entry was posted on October 7, 2019 at 9:06 PM and has received 310 views.

Adding multiple Disqus comments on one page

While incorporating comments into my main blog page, I found out that Disqus does not provide a native way to place multiple comments on a single page. The Disqus commenting system includes an embedded javascript at the end of an article. The javascript writes out the commenting interface using global variables and it can't be included twice. This poses a problem as my main blog page contains all of my blog posts, and I wanted the readers to be able to comment without having to go to each individual entry page. After research, I figured out way. I'll share my approach and give the reader other resources so they can do the same.


While researching, I found a promising lead... Most of the folks that have skinned this cat referred to an article written by mystrdat that is now long since dead. I dug it up using the wayback machine at It is an excellent article, and if you're trying to do the same thing, it is worth a read.

There were other helpful resources that I found. Shawn Zhou provides a list of articles that solved this issue. Shawn uses iframes to encapsulate the Disqus comments. Tsachi Shlidor shared his approach using inline comments. His demonstration and code is on github at

Since I already built my own commenting system using the open sourced Kendo Core UI window widgets, I chose a different approach. I am encapsulating Disqus logic into various Kendo windows. You can use the same approach that I used with a different windowing library, such as jQuery UI.

Using multiple Disqus comments using a Kendo window widget

  1. First, I took the Disqus universalcode script and saved it as a new ColdFusion template. Note that the and are dynamic variables. These will be passed to the window via the URL.

view plain about
1<!--- Note: the disqus_shortname, URL and identifier are passed to this page via the URL. --->
2<div id="disqus_thread"></div>
3<script type="text/javascript">
4    /**

8    var disqus_config = function () {
9    var disqus_shortname = '<cfoutput>#URL.alias#</cfoutput>';
10 = '<cfoutput>#URL.url#</cfoutput>'; // Replace PAGE_URL with your page's canonical URL variable
11 = '<cfoutput>#URL.Id#</cfoutput>'; // Replace PAGE_IDENTIFIER with your page's unique identifier variable
12    };
14    (function() { // DON'T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE */
15        var d = document, s = d.createElement('script');
16        s.src = '';
17        s.setAttribute('data-timestamp', +new Date());
18        (d.head || d.body).appendChild(s);
19    })();

  1. Second, I created the scripts to create a new Kendo window. The only thing of interest in the code below is that I am passing the URL and Identifier variables that the universal code script needs ( and in the code above):

view plain about
1// Disqus comment window ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2function createDisqusWindow(Id, alias, url) {
4    // Remove the window if it already exists
5    if ($("#disqusWindow").length >
0) {
6        $("#disqusWindow").parent().remove();
7    }
10    // Typically we would use a div outside of the script to attach the window to, however, since this is inside of a function call, we are going to dynamically create a div via the append js method. If we were to use a div outside of this script, lets say underneath the 'mainBlog' container, it would cause weird problems, such as the page disappearing behind the window.
11    $(document.body).append('<div id="disqusWindow"></div>');
12    $('#disqusWindow').kendoWindow({
13        title: "Comments",
14        actions: ["Minimize", "Refresh", "Close"],
15        modal: false,
16        resizable: true,
17        draggable: true,
18        // For desktop, we are subtracting 5% off of the content width setting found near the top of this template.
19        width: (getContentWidthPercentAsInt()-5 + '%'),
20        height: "60%",
21        iframe: false, // Don't use iframes unless it is content derived outside of your own site.
22        content: "/blog/disqus.cfm?id=" + Id + '&alias=' + alias + '&url=' + url,// Make sure to create an absolute path here. I had problems with a cached index.cfm page being inserted into the Kendo window probably due to the blogCfc caching logic.
24        close: function() {
25            $('#disqusWindow').kendoWindow('destroy');
26        }
28    }).data('kendoWindow').center();
29}//..function createDisqusWindow(Id, alias, url) {
31// The mobile app has a dedicated button to close the window as the x at the top of the window is small and hard to see
32function closeDisqusWindow(){
33    $("#disqusWindow").kendoWindow();
34    var disqusWindow = $("#disqusWindow").data("kendoWindow");
35    setTimeout(function() {
36     disqusWindow.destroy();
37    }, 500);

  1. Then, on the web page itself, I am showing the following button that calls the createDisqusWindow function above. I am adding this button for every single blog entry on the page. In the button, I am adding the entry ID as the first argument (the, the 2nd argument, the entries 'alias' (disqus_shortname), and the entry URL is passed to the

view plain about
1<button id="disqusCommentButton" class="k-button" style="width:125px; font-size:0.70em;" onClick="createDisqusWindow('6C04DC8C-FF58-C02F-8C38E2BEEBCA282B', 'Incorporate-Disqus-into-Galaxy-Blog--Part-3', '')">
2    <i class="fas fa-comments" style="alignment-baseline:middle;"></i>&nbsp;&nbsp;Comment

  1. To display the comment count, I am placing the disqus-comment-count with the URL of the entry. Note: if you want, you can replace the span tags with an anchor tag ('a href') and include an onClick event to open up the comments window.

view plain about
1<span class="disqus-comment-count" data-disqus-url=""></span>

  1. Finally, at the very bottom of the index.cfm page, I am adding the disqus comment count script:

view plain about
1<script id="dsq-count-scr" type="deferjs" src="//" async></script>

For a demonstration, go to, click on a comment link, and make a comment or at least say hi!

Happy coding!


This entry was posted on October 7, 2019 at 2:10 PM and has received 633 views.

Incorporate Disqus into Galaxy Blog - Part 3

Use your Disqus Blog Identifier and your optional API key to incorporate Disqus into your own Galaxie Blog.

  1. Once you have your own Disqus Blog Identifier, you can immediately incorporate Disqus using Galaxie Blog. In the current version of Galaxie Blog (version 1.45 or above), open the index.cfm template found in the root directory. Search for the 'application.includeDisqus' string using your IDE, and set the includeDisqus variable to true. It should be around line 26, a code example is provided below:

view plain about
1<!--- Determine whether to include the disqus commenting system. If you set this to true, you must also set the optional disqus settings that are right below. --->
2<cfset application.includeDisqus = true><!--- true or false. --->

  1. Now, search for "application.disqusBlogIdentifier". It should be down a few lines. Copy and paste your Disqus Blog Identifier, also known as the Disqus Short Name, into the disqusBlogIdentifier variable.
  2. Next, if you have a Disqus API Key, copy and paste that into the application.disqusApiKey variable. For now, the other Disqus settings below should be left alone.
  3. In an upcoming version, I'll add Disqus integration to the administrative interface.

view plain about
1<cfset application.disqusBlogIdentifier = "YourFreeDisqusBlogIdentifier"><!--- Required if you're using Disqus. --->
2<cfset application.disqusApiKey = "YourFreeDisqusAPIKey"><!--- Optional --->

That's it! Upload the file, and your Disqus commenting system should be in place.

Happy Blogging!


This entry was posted on October 6, 2019 at 7:13 PM and has received 387 views.

Obtaining a Disqus API Key - Part 2

After you register your Disqus account, you should also consider signing up for a free Disqus API Key. A Disqus API Key allows you to build your own widgets, such as a recent comments interface. For Galaxie Blog owners, the optional API Key allows Galaxie Blog to display my own custom recent comments interface that blends in with the Galaxie Blog themes. It also allows Galaxie Blog to have an accurate comment count in the administrative interface. The API key is free, and the free version generously allows for 10,000 calls per hour at the time of writing. The limit is sufficient on immensely popular blogs, such as Raymond Camdens blog. The free API key should suffice.

  1. Don't look for the API key after registering your site with Disqus. It is not available using the default Disqus interface. You will have to go to the Disqus API page.
  2. Navigate to and click on Applications
  3. Enter your site information and register your application
  4. On the next page, leave the default settings as they are. You don't need to add or change anything, just click Save changes

  1. The next screen is a little confusing. At the time of the writing, it seems as you have just refreshed the page. Here, just click on the Details link at the top of the page. I am attaching a screen shot.
  2. Your new Disqus API Key is found underneath the OAuth settings on the Details screen.
  3. If you are here just to obtain your Disqus Blog Identifier (aka short name) and API key for Galaxie Blog, continue to the next page. If you're a developer looking into incorporating Disqus into your own site, you may want to take a look at the Common Libraries page.

Next up... how to use the Disqus Blog Identifier and API Key to incorporate Disqus in Galaxie Blog.

This entry was posted on October 6, 2019 at 5:13 PM and has received 465 views.

Register your site with Disqus - Part 1

In this series of Disqus articles, you will learn how to incorporate Disqus into your own site, or incorporate it into Galaxie Blog. Galaxie Blog requires two keys- the Disqus Blog Identifier (or Short Name), and optionally, a Disqus API Key. I will try to write this for Galaxie Blog users of course, but also for others who may want to follow along the same footsteps to incorporate Disqus into their own blog. I will walk you through the steps to register with Disqus, and share my approach and code that I used here. I will also show you how to use multiple Disqus comments on one page, how to get the comment count, and walk you through the steps to build your own recent comments widget.

To incorporate the Disqus comment system into your own blog, you first need to create a Disqus account to obtain your Disqus Blog Identifier, otherwise known as your blog's short name. You should also create a free developer account in order to acquire a Disqus API key. I will briefly walk you through the required steps to obtain both keys. If you already have a Disqus blog identifier and API key, you should skip this article and read part 3.

Register your site and obtain your Disqus Blog Identifier

  1. First, sign up for a free Disqus account at
  2. Click on the get started button
  3. Enter your name, email, and create a password. You will need to verify your email with Disqus before you continue.
  4. Once you're done creating your profile, click on I want to install Disqus on my site.

  1. Register your site by including the name of your site, and choose an appropriate category.
  2. Prior to clicking on the Create Site button, you'll notice the short name of your site. I highlighted the short name with a circle. If you didn't notice this before registering, don't worry- you will be able to look it up later.
  3. Click on Create site.

  1. For a personal blog, I recommend selecting the Basic plan. The basic plan does have a Disqus label at the bottom of the comments interface, but it is free. You're welcome to choose a paid plan if you want, but it is not necessary.
  2. You don't need to do anything on the Select Platform interface. I have integrated Disqus into Galaxie Blog. We need to move on to the configuration settings.
  3. In the configuration settings, enter in the website name, url, category and description. You don't need to enter pages for your own policies right now, you can come back to this later.
  4. Click on Complete setup button

  1. On the next Setup Complete page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Configure your sites community settings link.
  2. Take note of your blogs Short Name in the 2nd setting. Copy this string. You will need it later to paste into Galaxie Blogs disqusBlogIdentifier setting.
  3. Make sure that the color scheme is set to automatic. This is needed to have Disqus adjust the comment interface with Galaxie Blog's multiple themes.
  4. Click on Save button

That's it, your set! In part two, we'll go over the steps needed to get your own Disqus API key.

This entry was posted on October 5, 2019 at 8:52 PM and has received 493 views.

Footer Logo

Your input and contributions are welcomed!

If you have an idea, BlogCfc based code, or a theme that you have built using this site that you want to share, please contribute by making a post here or share it by contacting us! This community can only thrive if we continue to work together.

Images and Photography:

Gregory Alexander either owns the copyright, or has the rights to use, all images and photographs on the site. If an image is not part of the "Galaxie Blog" open sourced distribution package, and instead is part of a personal blog post or a comment, please contact us and the author of the post or comment to obtain permission if you would like to use a personal image or photograph found on this site.


Portions of Galaxie Blog are powered on the server side by BlogCfc, an open source blog developed by Raymond Camden. Revitalizing BlogCfc was a part of my orginal inspiration that prompted me to design this site. Some of the major open source contributers to BlogCfc include:

  1. Peter Farrell: the author of 'Lyla Captcha' that is used on this blog.
  2. Pete Freitag: the author of the 'ColdFish' code formatter that is also used on this blog.


Galaxie Blog Version 1.50 November 22 2019