GuestStory: Why I Switched from IntenseDebate to Disqus

One of the first things I noticed when I started my blog on Blogger was the default commenting system. It was—to say the least—atrocious. At the time I didn’t know much about coding or widgets, though, so I figured I’d just make do. How bad could it be?

When I only got three or four comments a post, it worked pretty well. Sure, I didn’t have the ability to answer a comment directly and create a thread that way, and if I happened to have a typo I had to delete my post and re-write it, or else hope no one noticed, but it worked. Sort of.

As I started getting more comments, however, I realized just how ugly the commenting system was, after all. What bothered me the most was the inability to reply to someone’s comment directly, and instead I found myself @ replying to two or three people in a single a comment. It wasn’t pretty, but I didn’t think I had any other options. I’d chosen Blogger and now I had to just wait and hope that they would update it.

They didn’t.

But then one of my fellow Twitter friends told me she added IntenseDebate to her Blogger-hosted blog. I was skeptical—if it was possible to change the commenting system on Blogger, why hadn’t I heard about it before? There would be glitches for sure. It couldn’t possibly work.

She revamped her commenting system. I waited it out. There would be bugs, I was sure of it. It wouldn’t work.

Well, I was wrong. It worked. So I made an account with IntenseDebate and installed it on my blog.

From Blogger to IntenseDebate.


Installing IntenseDebate on my blog opened me up to a whole new realm of possibilities. Suddenly I was able to reply directly to comments, if I made a typo I could—*gasp*—fix it, I was able to reply to my comments by e-mail (a very handy feature) and, my favorite feature, I now had CommentLuv integrated into my comments.

For those of you who don’t know, CommentLuv is an application that links to a commenter’s previous blog post and adds it to the bottom of their comment. It encourages people to comment (because it gives a little extra exposure to their posts) and makes it easy for you—the host blogger—to see some of your readers’ blogs, which is something I like to do anyway.

I was ecstatic—so much so that I completely ignored these little red flags I encountered:

  • I couldn’t import my previous blogger comments — Maybe it’s possible to import previous Blogger comments into IntenseDebate, but I couldn’t figure it out. That could be my fault, I’m not sure, but when IntenseDebate installed on my blog it hid all previous comments, making it look like I didn’t have any comments on my previous posts. After fighting with the system, I finally found a way to keep the old Blogger system on my old posts and IntenseDebate on my new posts. *phew*
  • Glitches! — I encountered glitches more often than I care to admit. Some days the commenting system worked fine and other days comments from the day before would—*POOF*—disappear, only to reappear a few hours or days later.
  • Reverting back to Blogger — This didn’t happen to me (yet), but one of my fellow blogging buddies who also installed IntenseDebate had her shiny new commenting system just evaporate. She had no idea what happened or why, and I immediately ran back to my blog to make sure it was still there. It was. For now.

But I mean, three red flags aren’t enough to dump an entire system, right? At least it was better than Blogger.

From IntenseDebate to Disqus.


But the red flags were there and I recognized them, even if I was in denial. Ironically, when I read Tim’s Satan’s Guide to Blog Comments post (a great read if you haven’t checked it out, by the way), I even mentioned the glitchiness of IntenseDebate, but I stood by it and said I was happy nonetheless. I’d certainly seen an increase in comments after I installed IntenseDebate — why wouldn’t I be happy?

Three days later, IntenseDebate disappeared from my blog. In the middle of the day. With no reason or explanation. I gave it twenty-four hours to try to work itself out, as it had done in the past, and even posted an ultimatum to Twitter.

The next day the system was still gone and I knew I had to make changes.
Because I commented on blogs with the Disqus platform, I already had an account. I uninstalled IntenseDebate from my blog and uploaded my site information into Disqus. The very first thing I noticed was a little button called “Import/Export.” Could it be? I clicked it and found this:

I could hardly believe my eyes. I could import my comments from Blogger and IntenseDebate? I didn’t have to lose any comments? My entire blog could have my new shiny Disqus commenting system? I began importing my comments immediately. Blogger went through without a problem. IntenseDebate put up more of a fight (go figure).

I didn’t have anything to lose, so I mentioned the problem on Twitter and e-mailed Disqus customer support. They went above and beyond. Not only did they answer my e-mail the next day (on a weekend, no less), but they answered my tweet, too. I was thrilled. Within a few days I had my IntenseDebate comments imported into Disqus and the entire system was up and running on my blog.

So Which is Better?

I’m not going to stand here and tell you that you won’t encounter any glitches if you install Disqus on your blog. There are always glitches (I’m still working out how to get it to show up on every page, for example) and I’ve only had the new system up for a week, so I don’t really know what will happen.

I’m not going to tell you that one is better than the other, either—they’re both fantastic services and in the end, I can only tell you my experience. IntenseDebate and Disqus are both great options if you have a blog.

And I’d choose either one of them over the default Blogger system in a heartbeat.

Have you used IntenseDebate or Disqus before? What was your experience like?



Ava Jae
is a writer, digital artist and X-men geek. You can find her weekly musings on her blog Writability, follow her on Twitter or check out her Facebook page.


 

UPD:

You may have noticed that the avatars in DISQUS comments here at BloggerJET were slightly misaligned. Well you know what? After tweeting this post Mr. Ryan “The Magician” Valentin (who’s BIO says he’s Bear Grylls of DISQUS) fixed them! That’s what I call “customer care”! The problem was fixed before I even contacted them about this! Definitely another plus goes to DISQUS!

…I couldn’t stand asking for more…

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This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see the author information at the end of the article.

44 Comments

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  1. Saksham

    I see you are considering Blogspot here. For Blogspot its always good to use Intense Debate as the default Blogspot comment form is *boring*

    Well if you use WordPress, I think the default form rocks!

    Thanks for the detailed post! :)

  2. Ava Jae

    Thanks for hosting my post, Tim! I really appreciate the opportunity to guest post here. :) 

    • Tim Soulo

      the post is great! thanks for the contribution :)

  3. Susan Sipal

    I’m so glad to see this post from you, Ava. I’d wondered why you’d switched. So far, I haven’t had any glitches with CommentLuv, but maybe I haven’t paid enough attention.

    Are there any features on Disqus that CommentLuv did NOT have, besides the ability to import other comment system?

    • Ava Jae

      I think by CommentLuv you mean IntenseDebate. I only make the distinction because that’s the one thing so far I’ve noticed Disqus doesn’t have–CommentLuv. 

      What I mean by CommentLuv is the link at the end of every comment that links back to the commenter’s blog post (something I love about your blog and that I liked when I had IntenseDebate). 

      There could be a way to integrate it. I honestly don’t know, I’ve tried to look it up and haven’t had much success so far, but there could be a way out there I don’t know about. 

      Anyway, to answer your question, I personally think Disqus looks nicer on the blogs (though that’s a matter of taste). I’m not entirely sure how it does it (I’m not a coder) but when I loaded Disqus onto my blog it made the links blue which looked really nice. Here on BloggerJet they’re red (which fits the color scheme) and I’ve seen it green on other blogs. 

      As for other features, I’m relatively sure that importing was the main difference. They both offer really similar features and if you haven’t had any glitches I’d say stick with your system. It seems to be working great on your blog and well…you can keep those lovely CommentLuv links. :) 

      • Tim Soulo

        Hey Ava, I see you’re doing great with answering all the comments your post receives :)…. told you the post is cool :)

      • The JackB

        Unless something has changed DISQUS is incompatible with CommentLuv.

        • Ava Jae

          Well that answers that question. Hope that’s changed in the future.

          • The JackB

            I used to use DISQUS on my Blogger blog and was told that there weren’t any plans to change that. It is part of why I switched to Intense Debate. I really like DISQUS and had it not taken interminably long to load I would have kept it.

            • Ava Jae

              That’s too bad. CommentLuv was definitely one of my favorite features on IntenseDebate.

  4. Maria Jose @verybusymama

    Thank you so much for this! I have been fighting with Blogger and Intense Debate for the past few weeks. I couldn’t bear to lose my comments. I had the same issues, so I am going to try Disqus now. 

    • Ava Jae

      I’m not sure why some people experience issues and some don’t (I’ve seen Blogger blogs that integrate the IntenseDebate system just fine) but if you’re experiencing the issues I had, I highly recommend Disqus. Haven’t had any problems so far. :)

  5. AllieRambles

    I LOVE Disqus!  I don’t have it on my blog but as a commentator I love that I can see my commenting history.  I can “like” a comment, which makes commenting more engaging for everyone.  And I can share my comment on Twitter easily.  Disqus is great!

    The only downfall is that you need to require anyone who wants to comment to enroll in Disqus.  Many times people are not that serious enough about blogging or commenting to register.  That is the only reason I don’t install it on my blog. 

    ~Allie

    • Ava Jae

      I actually don’t think you need to create an account to comment on blogs with Disqus. I’m relatively sure you’re able to log in through Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Open ID or just comment anonymously (I just logged out of Disqus and looked at a blog with Disqus to see, and those are the options it offered me).

      Nonetheless, I agree. Disqus has some pretty great features. :)

  6. Liza Kane

    I’m happy that you bring up commenting on blogger blogs. I think I would comment more if it were easier to comment! I hate all the hoops I have to go through just to leave a comment.
    As a commenter, I prefer disqus…I like the features available, like sharing on twitter and the “like” feature (though, that may be available on intense debater? I’m not as familiar with that system…)

    Thank you for sharing your perspective!

    • Ava Jae

      I think the IntenseDebates version of the “like” is voting. You can vote a comment up or down. Otherwise, I agree. As a commenter, I always thought Disqus was really nicely designed and I liked the system before I knew it was available for Blogger. Having a nice commenting system certainly leaves a good impression. :)

  7. Laura Pauling

    I also love that the next new comment is right here instead of scrolling through a hundred comments. I don’t always want to read all of them. Great pos. The only thing I don’t like is now the name of the commenter doesn’t link back to their blog, but maybe commentluv takes cares of that.

    • Laurapauling

      Or maybe it will link back if you sign up for discus. I’ve just been typing in my email to comment.

      • Ava Jae

        I think that depends on how you log in. If you log in with Twitter it links to your Twitter page and I know there’s some way to log in so that it links to your blog (or at least with WordPress), but I’m not entirely sure what it is. 

  8. AllieRambles

    @Ava Jae Duh!  I am thinking old school!  You’re right.  Of course you can.  You know,  being logged in I guess I couldn’t see the options.  Thanks for letting me know. 

    Now I need to rethink the possibility of putting it on my blog.

    • Ava Jae

      No problem. :) I forgot what the options were until I logged out to take a look, so it was a good exercise anyway. 

  9. Oziel

    weird, is your site or post down? still excellent post, thanks! now im going to test Disqus xD

  10. Varinder Pal Singh

    Nice Move.

  11. Bali Hotels

    Thank you for sharing

  12. khairilfaizul

    thanks for the post.but i guess the only advantage of intense debate it has commentLuv plugin installed ,which disqus lack of.but i still prefer disqus nonetheless

  13. Aileen_A

    Reading this post has been a real blessing!  I thought I had to disable Intensedebate and have my comments not appear on the site anymore.  Having problems with script error while using Intensedebate..it’s driving me nuts…and visitors as well.  After reading this post, I made the switch to Disqus…so far, so good.  At least, if I encounter errors again, I can always go back to the Blogger comment platform  knowing that existing comments can be easily exported/imported.  Whew! 

    Thanks again!

  14. Zanzanin

    omg..thank u so much fr this post. it really helpd. im shifting to disqus too. been losing my comments on ID :(

  15. divyansh

    i too had same experience with my  intense debate account…now i m happy with disqus

  16. jearuiz111

    Okay here is what I believe,   I’m not entirely sure how it does it (I’m not a coder) but when I loaded Disqus onto my blog it made the links blue which looked really nice. Here on BloggerJet they’re red (which fits the color scheme) and I’ve seen it green on other blogs.  Franklin M.D

  17. Mindy @Road Runner Girl

    I’ve uploaded Intense Debate on my blogger blog and it has worked fine.  But I have noticed that sometimes on a post I will get intense debate comments and then all of a sudden I get a comment from the blogger commenting system…and it makes all my ID comments disappear AND you now have to use the blogger commenting system to comment.  Ugh!  And Intense Debate’s contact is ALWAYS closed!!!!!  I’m frustrated and don’t know what to do!!!!

    • Tim Soulo

      why don’t you start off with deleting your blogger account and setting up a wordpress blog with your own domain name? :)

    • Ava Jae

      Or, if you don’t want to delete your blogger account and you haven’t had much success with Intense Debate’s support system (which is what I assume you mean by saying Intense Debate’s contact is always closed), you could try switching to Disqus. Since writing this post I’ve come across a few minor glitches with Disqus, but none that interfered with the actual commenting system (i.e.: switching the system back to the default blogger commenting system). Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck!

  18. Analyst

    Anyone can let me me know what to perform if one is encountering error while importing comments from Jskit to Disqus

  19. Rachel

    What about subscribing to future comments or replies to your comment? I’m not seeing that here and I want to make that easy for my readers to do

    • Ava Jae

      I could be wrong, but I believe that if you supply your e-mail while logging into Disqus, it automatically sends you replies to your comments. At least, I know it does if you create a Disqus account.

  20. Carter Madson

    Disqus works pretty well. It’s great for an answering service too.

  21. Hampton Inn Ft Lauderdale

    Disqus comment is best for blog.

  22. Hampton Inn Ft Lauderdale

    nice article………………

  23. Natasha

    I had IntenseDebate on my blog for a few months and the only problem I have with it is that it doesn’t work on my mobile site. When I first installed it, I used the custom mobile template and it worked perfectly. But then one day I saw then when I scrolled down on a post, it would go to the next post instead of just to the end of the post I was on. So I disabled the mobile template for a while. I decided to rather switch to Disqus today even if I lose my previous comments. At least my blog will be easier for everyone to use from now on.

  24. Natasha

    I managed to import my IntenseDebate comments! I just had to unzip the IntenseDebate file before uploading it to Disqus.

    • Ava Jae

      That’s great! :) Enjoy your new commenting system!

      • Natasha

        Thank you. I was ready to lose all my comments and didn’t know it was possible to import them, so I’m very happy.

  25. Mobimas

    I use intensedebate for years and now I’m still using it. From my experience, I prefer it to Disqus. Now intensedebate has a lot of change and I am pretty sure it can rival with Disqus.

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