I Ditched IntenseDebate and Why

Posted on November 06 2012

Do You Do Blog Comments?

Since moving all my sites over to WordPress, over Christmas 2011, I've had a continual thirst in discovering how best to attract commenting visitors - there's a difference between getting random Spam comments and comments from interested people. Engagement.

The WordPress commenting section is reasonably feature-less which explains the vast plethora of Comment Plugins.

My thought process skimmed the lines of adding more features or value to the comment area and hopefully that might capture visitors in commenting.

My investigations quickly settled on replacing the comment system altogether.

Enter IntenseDebate

On first blush, great features and a community.

  • CommentLuv AddOn
  • Akismet BuiltIn
  • Threaded Comments
  • Lots of other apparently cool features ...

I ran IntenseDebate for over 4 months on a few sites including 'GeekandJock' which is my main 'part-time' interest.

Challenges I had were:

  • The version of CommentLuv was an old vintage version
  • The styling on every blog I ran it on really was poor
  • Despite a huge community using it, I failed to get any benefit in the form of actual comments. Sure, I got the occasional click-through visit but that was about it.
  • Still got Spam so moderation was still very much a needed requirement
  • The plugin also placed noticeable page load on every site. That's a disadvantage when it comes to optimal user experience as well as Google's eyes on Page Load Speeds as part of their Ranking Algorithms.
  • And the killer of them all? SEO disadvantages. It's fine for enormous sites that gain content advantages through other areas of massive content published but for smaller sites, the lack of the comments as part of your content is a real deterrent. IntenseDebate comments load through JavaScript and therefore are also difficult to manipulate for adding 'nofollow' to links and a pile more.

What's Next?

Well stay tuned for the next segment on the super-charged commenting and subscription back-end that I investigated over several months of testing and tuning. I've tied it all together for Social and Conversation.

What's Your Experience.

Thanks for reading down this far so here's what I'd like you to do next.

  • Tell me what you use for commenting at the moment
  • Have you had a look at IntenseDebate?
  • Have you looked at any other commenting plugins?

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