Disqus vs. Intense Debate

I recently made the move to install Disqus here on GeekLad. I had been running it on WealthBoy for a while and decided to go ahead and install it here as well. I did also take a look at IntenseDebate, but in the end Disqus won out.

First, let’s take a look at the major common features between them:

  • Comment Threading – By default, WordPress comments do not allow threading, and all comments appear in a single thread. With Disqus and IntenseDebate, a thread is created when responses are posted to other comments.
  • Reply by Email – When responses are made to other comments, they are sent via email. A reply to the email sent will post right into the comment thread. There is no need to revisit the post to reply.
  • Comment Synchronization – Comments are synchronized between WordPress’ built-in system and Disqus/IntenseDebate
  • Comment Voting/Ranking
  • Importing Existing Comments
  • Commenter Profiles
  • Moderation
  • RSS Feeds
  • Gravatar Support

All of these features make sense and are relatively comparable between the two. Here are the IntenseDebate features that are lacking in Disqus:

  • Twitter and FriendFeed integration
  • Visual Appeal – I think that IntenseDebate comment threads have a better overall look and feel to them.

Not a particularly long list. Now for the features in Disqus that are lacking in IntenseDebate:

  • API
  • Full Comment History in Profiles
  • Community Page – The community page mirrors post/comment activity on the blog, but also allows Disqus members to start new discussions.

Not a particularly long list either. I think they are both great products. If you like the Twitter and FriendFeed integration that IntenseDebate offers, that feature may be what sways you toward IntenseDebate. However, if you’re concerned about search engine optiimzation, then Disqus is probably the better choice.

The community page for your blog will contain backlinks to your posts. That can help to boost your status with the search engines. The profile pages of the folks that comment on your blog will have backlinks to the posts as well. The more folks you have commenting on your blog, the more backlinks you will receive from profile pages.

IntenseDebate was recently acquired by Automattic (creators of WordPress.com), so they will most definitely be working on tightening up the integration with WordPress. I believe that they recently updated the WordPress plugin to have WordPress display the comments, rather than displaying them via JavaScript. That’s definitely a good step towards making it more search engine friendly. I’d like to also see them make changes to the profile pages, to allow people (and search engines) to see all of the comments that IntenseDebate users have posted.

About GeekLad

Geeklad is a technology enthusiast and programming hobbyist. Occasionally he will put together useful little bits of code (be it JavaScript or PHP) and share them with the world. He also enjoys creating and sharing howtos, describing how to do the things people want to do with their computers.
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