When you’re operating a blog you want to make the most of the commenting features. Many years ago when I built some of my first websites, I’d search for solutions which would allow ways for people who visit my pages to interact with me. Back then, one of the best options was to use a program called Matt’s WWWBoard. When I first found this script I felt like I had landed on a goldmine. And as it had turned out, Matt had many other scripts that I started using at the time as well. FormMail, GuestBook and the Free for all Links were some of my favorites. The crazy thing is that many of these scripts is that are still used today!
A lot has changed since then. Today, we have blogs… mainly WordPress. These broadcast and publishing platforms are much more powerful, automatic, and economical compared to the methods of the 90′s (aka. NotePad.exe). Out of the box, WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr provide a commenting system that offers more ease in interacting with site visitors. But, things have stepped up even higher. Today we have systems that enhance things even further. The question remains, which system is the best for your blog?
Two of the more popular ones that I have tested are called DISQUS and IntenseDebate. Both have the same goals in mind, but both also have their own unique flavors. I’ll point out a few of their features, but in the end, it’s up to you to decide which one is best for your blog. To rest your mind, I’ll tell you up front that I prefer IntenseDebate. The reason why is because in my experience, DISQUS simply didn’t perform well with fighting spam. That might not be the case with your blog, so if you decide you like the features offer by DISQUS better than the ones offered by IntenseDebate, you should give it a shot.
I’ll start by mentioning some of the things I like about DISQUS. For starters, I really enjoy how they split their system into DISQUS Comments and DISQUS Profile. This is clever because not everyone has a blog of their own and yet these people comment on an array of others. The DISQUS Profile system keeps track of comments made on multiple blogs and the discussions within. The DISQUS Comments system is for blog owners. Inside here, you’re able to moderate comments (something I found myself doing a lot), reply directly to comments made on your blog, and a few other tasks. All in all, I am impressed with DISQUS; however, their lack of support with preventing spam caused me to eventually switch to IntenseDebate.
IntenseDebate offers some very promising features unlike DISQUS. For starters, IntenseDebate offers a quick and simple way for readers to subscribe the the RSS feed and comments. Something else worth mentioning is the fact that IntenseDebate is practically native to WordPress. The Automattic team (creators of WordPress) had a hand in developing IntenseDebate. As it turns out, it works very nicely in WordPress. Secondly, it fights spam hard! When I removed DISQUS from my blog, it literally took me hours to review existing comments and remove spam comments.
IntenseDebate, in many ways, might be too strong. Meaning, I spend a little more time approving comments that I would like. But in my opinion, I would rather approve comments rather than remove comments. I feel like once a spam comment is approved, slight damage is done. While it’s obvious that I like IntenseDebate more than DISQUS, don’t let that influence your decision. I recommend that you try both and see which one is best. To level the playing field, IntenseDebate doesn’t offer the Comment / Profile system like DISQUS. Give both a try, and then drop a comment and let everyone know which one you like the best.