HOW TO – Enable Disqus comments on a Tumblr blog

As my Fall 2014 students found out the hard way, Tumblr lacks the kind of full-featured comment system you can find in other blog platforms like WordPress or Blogger.

Once you enter the settings for your blog in Disqus, you’ll get a shortname you can copy and paste into your Tumblr blog’s customization settings. Then visitors viewing your blog from the front end can leave comments for you, as long as they’re willing to authenticate using a social media account (like Google, Facebook, or Twitter).

If you don’t want to give up on using Tumblr for other reasons, you can enable comments by signing up for a free account on, which is a third-party commenting platform that works on a variety of blog platforms.

If you want to try this option, watch the screencast below to help setup and read the tips further down to make sure you know how the system works.


Getting Disqus set up for a blog only takes about 2 minutes, once you know the steps involved. Watch the screencast I made to see a demo of each step, with written instructions included (but no audio). Pause the video as needed so you can follow each step yourself in a separate browser window.


(brief version for now; will expand soon)

How Disqus works on your blog depends a lot on the theme you selected for the blog.

Don’t see a space to put your Disqus shortname?
If you follow the steps in the screencast but don’t see a spot where you can paste your Disqus shortname, that means the designer of the theme you chose didn’t enable that feature, and your best bet is to choose a different theme.

Don’t see a Disqus comment box on your post?
Here are a few possible reasons:

  • You created the post using a post type other than Text. Use Text from now on, but you can still put images, links, and quotes in your post.
  • The post is a re-blog from someone else’s blog. Disqus only enables comments on your own original posts.
  • You’re looking at your post on the dashboard instead of on the FRONT END of your blog
  • The theme you’re using won’t display the Disqus comment box unless a visitor clicks on “comments” (or possibly “notes”)

Visitors to your blog can only comment on the front end of the blog, not from their dashboard pages (where your recent posts will appear if they “follow” your blog). Visitors will also need to authenticate with a social media account in order to leave a comment using Disqus, but if they associate their social media account with Disqus, they’ll stay logged into the system and can make additional comments without the extra step of authentication.