alex sysoef

Why I Switched To Intense Debate Plugin

Go to IntenseDebateLast Tuesday, after careful evaluation and weighing in Pros VS Cons I have decided to add Intense Debate WordPress plugin to my blog and in this post I want to outline what lead to this decision and why you might want to consider doing same.

There is at least couple negative impacts I have already noticed and before you make the decision to switch – you might want to read about my discoveries and reasons.

One main thing you need to understand when thinking about switch to Intense Debate is that it works by replacing your WordPress standard Comment System through javascript. But if a visitor OR spam bot comes to your blog with Javascript disabled – they will be presented with a standard WordPress Comment System provided by your blog.

This approach has its own pluses and minuses you have to be aware off…

First I Want To Mention Negative Factors You Might Want To Consider

  1. Loss of some CommentLuv generated links. An unfortunate side effect of installing Intense Debate plugin I have discovered is that some of the newest blog posts with a lot of comments lost all backlinks to commenters latest blog posts, generated by CommentLuv. I actually had to go back couple of months to locate comments where those links remained intact.

    I apologize to those impacted but I think that benefits that Intense Debate provides will overwrite this negative impact.

  2. Increased Comment Moderation overhead. Or at least this is what I’m experiencing. As I explained above this plugin provides its comment options to all visitors with Javascript enabled in browser,  as well as simpler way to moderate comments using its own interface within your blog.

    Because I don’t like to jump from site-to-site just to moderate comments and reply, I choose to use Intense Debate comment moderation interface within my blog. But those comments made by people with browsers that have javascript disabled or even spam bots that still require moderation are not accessible and in order to moderate them I have to modify intense Debate plugin options and switch to WordPress Standard Moderation:intese-debate-1

  3. I still have to keep Anti-Spam plugins active on my blog. Directly associated with my point #2 – I have to keep Akismet and WP-SpamFree plugins active on blog to deal with spam bots and reduce moderation as much as possible.

Intense Debate Plugin Benefits

This list could be quite large as this plugins comes with a list of features that will blow your mind! I highly recommend you review the features yourself as I will provide only those that I considered as largely beneficial to my blog and reasons why I implemented it.

  1. Your Blog Comments Are retained on your blog! Unlike many other similar plugins – Intense Debate simply keeps a copy of all of your comments and serves it with Javascript on appropriate posts and provides all the enhancements. But visitors without Javascript or if later you choose to disable ID plugin – all your comments are back and you don’t loose anything!

    To me this was HUGE! I’m strong believer that comments are a content that belongs to the blog where they were created, as it is discussion directly tied to the post even though authored by other people.

  2. Intense Debate is part of the Automattic Network of services. To me that simply means that same people that develop WordPress put their weight behind this service and see it as essential and I can be sure it will continue to be developed and updates provided in timely manner!

    I don’t need to worry if developer choose to continue support or just sell of the company once it gets popular as I have seen before! Stability combined with functionality is very important!

  3. I was able to replace a LARGE list of plugins previously used on my blog! If you already taken a look at ID Features you know that you can enable multiple options and even additional plugins that come with it.

    Functionality previously provided by plugins installed on my blog replaced by Intense Debate. Idea here is simple – less code is loaded from my hosting account – faster my blog loads. Since ID is hosted by Automattic – they have a LOT more hosting power 🙂

    Not only that means code loaded if from elsewhere but because they use CDN – it is geographically dispersed and provides optimal performance without me doing anything! Check out the list of plugins I was able to disable on my blog by ID functionality:intense-debate-2

    I could have also disabled TweetMeme plugin but decided to keep it in order to display at the top of the blog post.

And here is some functionality now provided by Intense Debate on my blog:

  • Anti-Spam: plugin has its own integration with Akismet and offloads that functionality off your blog. But please read my notes above on hwy you should still keep your own plugin enabled. It also has an internal filtering list that helps with reducing comment spam.
  • All Links DoFollow: I believe in rewarding commenters for adding to my blog by providing backlinks. ID does it for me and I was able to disable custom plugin LLV I previously used.
  • CommentLuv integration: Same as above but providing DoFollow link to latest blog post! It also allowed me to remove plugin from my own blog while still rewarding my commenters!
  • Facebook and Twitter integration: You can now comment not only using standard option but also your Facebook account and Twitter account and have you comment posted on those networks, not counting ID login option. Gives option for people to keep all their social activity available to followers – word of mouth marketing for my blog.
  • TweetMeme, Facebook Like, Google Buzz integration: Extra functionality I don’t need to have plugins for anymore! Pretty cool!
  • Subscribe to Comments and Reply Notification: another plugin I can remove because now its all done via ID. Allows me to keep conversations active but notifying people.
  • Ability To Rate Comments and commenters: Build your social authority by getting ranked by other people. No longer you comment is just another one. It can now add to your overall reputation score. I do recommend you get yourself Intense Debate account in order to benefit from it, even if you have no intentions to use plugin!

There are a lot more benefits that so far overwrite any negatives I have encountered but you be the judge!

Use The Intense Debate below And Let Me Know What You Think!

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21 Responses to “Why I Switched To Intense Debate Plugin”

  1. TheSpotter says:

    Yeah, I like it so far, just added moderation is pain, I get quite a bit of spam…

  2. _Hoosier_Daddy_ says:

    Good luck

  3. TheSpotter says:

    Joel, ID is been fast and reliable for me… so far

  4. Queen007 says:

    Awesome …
    I just started to use this tool.
    I think if you recommend it,anyone who knows you should try it because
    you do not place crap into your blog.
    thanks for the info.

  5. Hi, Alex!!
    I don't really understand why people are not using the Intense Debate platform for comment in my blog.
    Also I have seen an increase in the spam comment although I have try everything to stop them.
    What I have done wrong?
    Am I missing some additional step in order for ID to work ?
    How can I have more control over the spam comment beside Askimet and ID?

    Thanks in advance for your help

    • TheSpotter says:

      Well, what I have found out with the Intense Debate is that you still have to use the local plugins for comment spam control – when spam bots come to your site – they are presented with standard Comment System, by design of the plugin it shows itself only to real visitors. I use: Akismet, WP SpamFree, Peter Custom Anti-Spam plugins to control this type of spam and yes – there is an increase in comment spam – I have seen it as well. I guess when you blog becomes more popular – spam bots tend to find you …

  6. I installed Intense Debate but when i clicked on 'comments', I immediately got an error: "You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page". I figured i better uninstall it. Does anyone know what other plugin may have caused the error?
    My recent post Christmas Versus healthy lifestyle news!

  7. JefTek says:

    If ID is supposed to Sync WP comments to ID and vice versa, why does it fall out of sync? I don't understand why I have to run in WP moderation mode, since shouldn't those Spam posts sync upto ID as well?

    My recent post Using the Motorola Xoom tablet keyboard

    • TheSpotter says:


      Some spam comes in form of bots – which doesn't get javascript loaded and by default presented WP original comment form, ID never actually sees it.

      • JefTek says:


        It makes sense that the Spam was not posted through ID, but I thought WP<>ID sync together?

        If a user doesn't have JS, and they posta "Real" comment on the wordpress form, does that sync to ID so tha others who have JS can see it?

        That's what is confusing me….what syncs and is it working?
        My recent post Using the Motorola Xoom tablet keyboard

  8. mek says:

    nice article, I'm also using ID. I like the scoring system and the layout. Plus, you can log in with any popular social media sites like FB, twitter, etc. Flexible and easy.

    My recent post NBA Cards- Kobe Bryant 97-98- 02-03

  9. Mark says:

    I guess I am having trouble understanding how Facebook IDs are integrated. Perhaps I need to download intense debates myself and test it; but does this mean that instead of using my e-mail to sign in, there is an option to sign in with FB? And would this result in my FB Gravatar being displayed?
    My objective is to increase Gravatars or at least FB faces on my comment threads as many people do not have these and it defaults to ‘mystery man’ icons or something.

  10. Tony McGurk says:

    Thanks for explaining about the javascript & the need to keep antispam plugins active. I switched off my GASP plugin which worked fantastically before ID installation just recently. I started getting SPAM quantities showing as a number on main dashboard page but not showing on ID spam page. I now realise these were left vis the standard comment form & if I temporarily deactivate ID I can see them in my WP spam filter. I had me baffled what was going on before I came across your article. Thanks a lot. I have reactivated GASP just now so hopefully it will fix the spam problem.

  11. Can you let us know why you disabled Intense Debate and went back to self hosted comments? I just installed it after a lot of back-and-forth thinking about it and now I’m still not sure.

  12. Well, to be honest, my site gets an incredible amount of Spam as well so I’ve always been looking at better options to minimise all the rubbish.

    I’ve installed IntenseDebate on 3 of my sites, including my main one and very happy with it. One thing to remember is to also look at the Layout and button colours. I found changing from the innocuous pale white button to something a little more standout’ish drew the readers eye towards that always ellusive ‘Reply’ button.


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