Disqus, Intense Debate or what?

Some time ago I have been using an external comment management system in my personal blog but I still maintain the internal comment system of WordPress in others, and this dissension with myself is not because I have not seen the advantages of outsourcing comment management but rather because of technical issues that are not relevant, but I will explain at the end of this article.

And I say this because outsourcing the comments management, using systems like Intense Debate or Disqus is a decision most of the time successful, although not for all situations. Let's see advantages and disadvantages …

In favor: Integrated management

It seems an incongruity but when you externalize the comments one of its biggest advantages is that you can manage in a unified way the comments of all your blogs, if you have several. From the page of your profile in Disqus or Intense Debate you can moderate and configure the comments of all your blogs.

With this you avoid having to access each of your blogs, each one with your access data, and with only one "Login" you can manage the comments of all your sites.

In favor: Bandwidth

One of the activities that consume the most bandwidth and requests to the database of your blog is the management of comments and , by outsourcing, you limit this type of slowdowns and resource consumption of your server, relegating them to the service used.

In favor: Advanced features

One of the virtues of external comment systems is that they have all the technologies modern comments management, in this way, without touching a line of code or install dozens of plugins, you have instantly:

  • Comments nested
  • Access from social profiles
  • Share in networks social
  • Sort comments at will
  • References and separate comments
  • Inbound links from social networks
  • Gravatar
  • AJAX effects and Javascript
  • Page comments
  • Personalization of comment form

] In favor: Moderation and antispam

By this I mean you can unify moderation rules for comments, tagging and marking as spam, all from the same interface and for all your sites. In addition, this type of services offer advanced moderation tools, including by users (mark as inappropriate), which you do not usually find in other systems, at least natively.

In favor: Integration

Both system that I have proposed have a full integration with the native system of comments. Therefore, it is very easy to change from an external system to a native one at any time. When installing one of these external comment management services, the first thing you are offered (almost) is to export the existing comments with the account in the service and, at any time, you can synchronize both systems of comments (internal and external) so as not to lose anything if you want to change.

As an additional advantage, you do not have to wait for the export and / or synchronization processes to finish, you start them up and leave the page without any problem. When the process ends, the service sends you an email confirming the end of the action.

Against: Veteran Blogs

Despite what was said in the previous paragraph, I have encountered several problems when trying to export and synchronize comments in veteran blogs, with many comments (let's say more than 10 thousand or so). Sometimes this synchronization process gets so long that it gets stuck if there are a lot of comments. The good thing is that you do not lose anything in the process so to try you will not suffer a misfortune.

Against: Personalization

There are times when, if you are very picky about the design of your blog, these external services they do not manage to satisfy your personalization needs, of adapting to the template of your site. Although they offer different customization settings, such as retouching the CSS, choosing the language of the form and adapting to your tastes of the appearance and behavior of the form, the adjustment is not always perfect.

There are small details that you can not easily change (if you know CSS if you can do wonders) and that may not offer an aesthetic result and adapted to the design of your blog to the level of personalization you want.

Against: Dependency

All the virtues offered by an external management system Comments may be your biggest problem because you are actually depending on an external service that, if they decide to close it, will leave you lying and you will have to go back to the native system. Fortunately, these systems that I have been talking about allow you to recover your blog conversation at any time, so you would not lose any of the content, but you would have to get used to "the old" again or look for an alternative service if you closed the service

Both Intense Debate and Disqus reserve the right to modify the terms of service if they so choose, so keep this in mind before making the decision.

] In summary …

As you can imagine, the decision is yours, but since you expect me to get wet I'll do it …

  • If your blog has thousands of previous comments, I almost do not recommend it, most of the time both systems fail in the export and that does not give you guarantees that, in case of wanting to change, you can synchronize without problems.
  • If your blog is new or does not have thousands of previous comments, I highly recommend it. You enormously reduce the requests to the database, you offer your readers all the current features of integration with social networks and the operation is outstanding.

My decision has been, for the above reasons, to install Disqus in Navigating with Network (my personal blog) and here, and maintain the native system in CiberPrensa (at the moment, and due to synchronization problems). I was tempted to install first Intense Debate (being a service purchased by Automattic, a company that coordinates the development of WordPress) but at the time I made this change the system was more advanced Disqus and I opted for it, and the truth is that I am very satisfied with the decision.

(Originally posted in Neumattic which I reproduce here because of its interest in WordPress)

NOTICE : This publication is from two years ago or more. If it's a code or a plugin it might not work in the latest versions of WordPress, and if it's a news story it might be obsolete. Then do not say we have not warned you.

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