UPDATE 1: Michael from IntenseDebate saw the tweets about this post and he has not only participated in the discussion, but he's also helping solve the issues I'm having with IntenseDebate. I love real-people-customer-support!
I'm a big fan of commenting systems for websites. My love for them is the features they offer to my website visitors, making it easier for visitors to join in the conversation:
- login with Twitter, Facebook, and other accounts;
- easy guest commenting;
- extra spam protection;
- threaded comments (irrelevant to some themes, such as StudioPress Genesis);
- reply notifications to commenters;
I had been using and recommending IntenseDebate over alternatives for primarily two reasons.
- Made by the makers of WordPress, so integration would seem to be tight.
But I've been having problems with my website, and I traced them to IntenseDebate.
- If you use LastPass on Google Chrome, then you may have seen my website layout break when LastPass offers to autofill a form.
- When I would receive email notices of new comments, the links would take me to my post—not the actual comment on the page.
Additionally, I think that a comment entry form above the comments makes it more convenient for someone to comment. As opposed to how IntenseDebate places the comment form below the comments. This also made replying to a comment not as intuitive to visitors.
I was also challenged to rethink my decision when I heard Syed Balkhi from WPBeginner mention several commenting systems in his presentation “Facebook and WordPress – A match made in Heaven” at WordCamp Louisville 2011 (I was also a speaker).
So I see two main alternatives, which I have already been testing (as you may have noticed):
I'll write more about my experiences with each of these, and I'd love to hear your thoughts! I know CommentLuv is also a reasonable option, but it doesn't offer some of the primary features that I want a commenting system for in the first place. I know there's also a CommentLuv plugin for IntenseDebate, but that doesn't solve my problems.
What do you like as a blogger or podcaster? What about as a website visitor? Are you more likely to leave a comment with one system over another? What do you like to see on the websites you read?