CommentLuv, DISQUS, or IntenseDebate?

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Comment System DebateYesterday, I announced a new commenter appreciation program in my post, Comments Are a Blogger’s Best Friend.  Lately, I have been hearing some grumbling about DISQUS in some comments that have been left on this site, and from what I’ve been reading other blogs.

When I originally thought about writing this post, it was simply going to be a comparison between DISQUS and CommentLuv; however, there have been some recent developments which have made IntenseDebate a viable option.  Of course, there is always the option of just sticking with the vanilla WordPress comment system, but I prefer the features the other comment systems provide.

Why I Chose DISQUS for This Site

I hate it when people say this, but I chose DISQUS as the comment system for this blog because Keller Hawthorne uses it.  Starting out a few months ago, I tried to mimic as much as I could from Keller.  Given her success, can you blame me?

It’s been over two months since I’ve started using DISQUS, so now it’s about my experience with it.  Overall, I am very satisfied; however, the past few weeks it’s been pretty erratic which is causing me some concern.

Things I Like About DISQUS

  • The way the comment box and comment section is formatted
  • How commenters can go from blog to blog without re-entering their information
  • Get to know commenters better by reading other comments on their DISQUS profile
  • Social media integration with Facebook and Twitter
  • Multiple options available for signing in
  • Moderation and spam filtering features
  • Includes widgets like robust recent comments and popular posts
  • Ability to edit your comments

Things I Don’t Like About DISQUS

  • It uses an iframe for the comment box (antivirus software issues)
  • Too many of the links take you to the DISQUS site unexpectedly
  • Can slow loading times for my pages when DISQUS server is slow
  • Reactions have been very erratic for last several weeks
  • Widgets have not worked for several hours at a time recently
  • Does not have option to show commenter’s latest blog post

Why Not CommentLuv?

CommentLuv seems to have two features that draw people to it.

CommentLuv Benefits

First, it gives you the ability to DO FOLLOW comments which is a great motivator for people to leave comments. Giving away Google link juice is always popular.

Second, it provides a message below the user’s comment displaying their latest blog post.  I love this, but from a blog owner’s point of view a great comment could be ruined by the title of the commenter’s latest post.

Does CommentLuv Develop Community?

From a comment marketing point of view, there is nothing better than a relevant DO FOLLOW CommentLuv enabled blog.  If you want a ton of comments, this works well.  How great are the comments though?

I must confess to posting on some of these type blogs solely for the links, and I really struggled to come up with comments that added to the conversation.  I don’t want that to happen here.  While CommentLuv encourages comments, I’m not sure it really encourages community.

CommentLuv for DISQUS?

I could add some of the features DISQUS provides to CommentLuv with other addons, but then you have to worry about them causing issues.  There was hope earlier in the year that CommentLuv would be integrated with DISQUS, but here’s the latest…

Twitter Conversation with Andy Bailey about CommentLuv for DISQUSAndy Bailey's Response via Twitter about CommentLuv for DISQUS

What About IntenseDebate?

IntenseDebate has many of the same benefits as DISQUS; however, the major issue I have is that the aesthetic qualities are not great.   The other comparisons with DISQUS seem to be a wash with any lost features made up for by a feature DISQUS doesn’t have.

I’ve only seen IntenseDebate used on two other websites that I’ve visited, but the number of DISQUS websites has not been much higher.  The overwhelming choice among blogs that I have visited is plain vanilla WordPress or CommentLuv.

Andy thinks the new integration with IntenseDebate will be popular.

Andy Bailey via Twitter about IntenseDebateI am more concerned with what you think about the comment system here though.

What Say You?  Help Me Decide.

Okay, so here are the options as I see them.

  1. Keep DISQUS as my comment system.
  2. Switch to CommentLuv giving up the features of DISQUS.
  3. Change to IntenseDebate with CommentLuv.

I am okay with #1 as long as DISQUS stabilizes soon.  I don’t like the idea of giving up so many features for #2, but am not completely opposed to it.  I am intrigued by #3, but I don’t know too much about IntenseDebate.

Please help me decide.  Let me know what you think.

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Brad's Big Feet Marketing helps people on a limited budget enlarge their online footprint using blogging & social media. His other blog, Marketplace Christianity, examines faith's role in how we earn and spend money.

Brad has written 95 awesome articles for us at Bradley A Harmon

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Karl Foxley December 10, 2009 at 11:44 am

Hey Brad, I'd go with IntenseDebate with CommentLuv. I'm a CommentLuv fan and I'd like to think that the majority of our comments are quality comments from our visitors (especially the guys and gals that visit from the BE community).

I'm someone who harps on about testing and measuring, set yourself a trial period, if you see an increase in comments but a decline in value, switch back. The comments you aren't happy with can always be deleted.

I look forward to reading what other people have to say and seeing what way you swing on this.



Alison Moore Smith December 10, 2009 at 11:53 am

My quick vote:

Love CommentLuv
OK with Disqus, although didn't like the setup process, so put activation on hold
Don't like IntenseDebate (only from a user perspective, never looked to install)


Alison Moore Smith December 10, 2009 at 11:54 am

Oh, also like KeywordLove but wish it had slicker integration.


Brad Harmon December 10, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Great points. I think my biggest concern is someone that leaves a great comment, but their last post was something like “Why I Like Women with Big …” or “GOD is …”

I just have no way to control that as a blog owner with CommentLuv, except to delete the comment. I think your suggestion of a trial period is a great idea. This probably won't be a huge issue.


Brad Harmon December 10, 2009 at 12:14 pm

What didn't you like about IntenseDebate?


Brad Harmon December 10, 2009 at 12:16 pm

I've heard very little about KeywordLove except as a passing commnet. I don't think I have even visited a site that has it installed.


Karl Foxley December 10, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Hey Brad, if you use the standard WP comment box like my site you can remove the CommentLuv URL if you don't like the look of it. At the end of a comment you have some code that looks like this:

.-= Kelly Foxley´s amazing last blog ..5 Time-Tested Tactics To Boost Your Christmas Sales =-.

As you can see, you'll be able to instantly see whether you are linking to a post you are unhappy with and remove the code, allowing the comment to still be approved.

However, I cannot comment if you will have the option in IntenseDebate.



Brad Harmon December 10, 2009 at 12:43 pm

I've never used the standard WP comments before. Can you remove that code from just a single comment?


Karl Foxley December 10, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Absolutely. I'm not sure if you see the code I shared to demonstrate or Disqus striped it away before the comment is sent to you but yes, you have the code at the bottom of each comment. You simple click on edit, remove the code and then approve the comment. Hope that helps Brad.



Karl Foxley December 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm

I was just looking at the comment above where I demonstrated the CommentLuv code that you would remove per comment; it has hyperlinked and I just wanted you to know that this wasn't intention.




Brad Harmon December 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Awesome! That removes that worry completely!


Brad Harmon December 10, 2009 at 3:08 pm

No worries. I moderate all links. I knew your intention. :)


Jeevanjacobjohn December 10, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Hi, Brad

I would say you go for Intense Debate because it has more features..I have tried all the commenting systems for my site : JS-Kit Echo, Intense Debate and Disqus. Of all 3 Js-kt has more features, but they no longer accept new free sign-ups. From my experience Js-kit is the best, but its not free anymore. So I would go for Intense Debate, mainly because of CommentLuv feature…Go for it. Trust me.

Jeevan Jacob John


Brad Harmon December 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Thanks for the input. I think I am going to go play around on some sites with it and see what I think. I've seen some site add editing capability and twitter to CommentLuv, so I'm also warming up to that idea. I appreciate the insight.


whatawebsite December 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Hi Brad, I've just changed to CommentLuv and so far so good. I understand the slight reservations that you had – but Karl provides some pretty good answers ( as usual). I also went for Disqus due to the “Keller Factor” – and in the light of all this debate it'll be interesting to see if she stays with Disqus or not in the long-term. Cheers, Will


Brad Harmon December 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm

That tip from Karl really helped calm my concerns. Other than Keller's and David Risley's sites, there aren't many site that I frequent that use it. That doesn't help with the whole portability feature. So far, nobody has said DISQUS so maybe I should do some preemptive plugin browsing.


Karl Foxley December 10, 2009 at 5:54 pm

I'm glad I could help Brad.

'Karl provides some pretty good answers ( as usual)'… ah thanks Will. :)


Brandon Cox December 10, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Brad, there are two things I'd consider as you make your decision. #1 is that people have spoken about they like and don't like. #2 is that its' your blog and you don't have to listen to any of them, haha!

Personally, I really appreciate a basic name, email, and url form rather than any system that requires me to sign in by some strange means and if I've lost a cookie, I have to sign in from scratch.

However, having said that, making quick commenting easy may not be the wisest solution either. In other words, I have no words of any real wisdom at all, but agree with Karl – experiment and enjoy the discovery process.


Brandon Cox December 10, 2009 at 9:45 pm

By the way Brad, after posting my comment, I see that I must have been signed in to Disqus with Twitter, so it left my Twitter url for my name's link. I'd probably never do that on my own, which is kind of the lesson I was pointing too.


Brad Harmon December 10, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Yeah, I've done that. Last month I think I added up 3 different users for you to get the top ten list. You weren't the only one either.


Brad Harmon December 13, 2009 at 7:42 am

Okay, so after all the feedback I tried to just install CommentLuv, but my theme overrides it and it does not show up. I think, for now, IntenseDebate with CommentLuv is the way to go. I wish it would have threaded all of the old comments, but it does not appear it does.

I still need to play around with some widgets, so the blog community area at the bottom of the page will probably change a little. I know many of you are CommentLuv fans (as am I when commenting on other blogs) so I hope you like the change. For those who don't like IntenseDebate, I am sorry; however, this was the only alternative I saw other than staying with DISQUS which most didn't like.


Keith December 14, 2009 at 1:36 am

I think you made a good choice! I was one of the "grumblers" about discus, I just prefer to leave name/url and move on to the next article when I am in "comment mode" and most sites I visit frequently "remember" me so it is already filled out and I can just start typing my thoughts/questions.

I hope this works out for you and I am sure you will keep us updated on your feelings.
My recent post Vinyl Vs Wood Fencing


Brad Harmon December 14, 2009 at 2:16 am

I think it is a good compromise. I am learning to like their widgets, but I had to move recent comments out of the blog community area and onto the sidebar. They just kept messing up the dynamic arrangement of my footer area, and I didn't know how to fix it any other way. I hope this is a compromise that gives everyone a little of what they wanted.


iwoodpecker December 17, 2009 at 1:58 pm

I'm a little too late :)))

But I'd like to pay your attention to giant-bloggers. Did you see what they use? They use nothing, but default comment system with "external nofollow" attribute. Why?

I have my own opinion why they do that:
1. SEO=PR. Crawlers easier index your pages.
2. The comments are more natural, without lie.
3. Targeted audience.
My recent post Promote Your Website or Blog with Blogging Community


Brad Harmon December 17, 2009 at 3:18 pm

You bring up valid points, and it may be what I end doing after it's all said and done. Comments have actually taken a sharp plunge since converting to IntenseDebate, but I am chalking that up to the holidays. I will most likely revisit this issue in January after ID has had several weeks on the site to see what the consensus is at that time.


Justin Wright January 21, 2010 at 2:10 am

I've been researching some different comment systems myself, but still feel that I prefer the easy interface of the default system. But who knows, I might end up giving one a try.


Brad Harmon January 22, 2010 at 12:34 am

I may ultimately end up there. I like the extra features, but I think as I grow it may slow the loading times down which will cause me to dump it.


Riju@SEM March 18, 2010 at 10:16 am

i have just removed Disqus ..believe me it is headache…i dont know…if i am the only one complaining…my blog is new…just over a month..the domain is was practically a static html waste land before…I was very moved by disqus at first…but it was a total mess..specially the Iframe…my total theme was distorted…i am a php, wordpress i design my own theme…i couldn't manage the css elements with the iframe.
So i changed to CommLuv..i think it is holy grail of bloggers…but i will try idebate…i looks cool surely..
My recent post Keyword research, The basis of Search Engine Marketing


Brad Harmon March 23, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Personally, I really liked DISQUS; however, my readers didn't much care for it. IntenseDebate was kind of a compromise, but I think it still has some drawbacks with the mobile platform (as does DISQUS). I think the trend seems to be going to just the standard comment form and adding CommentLuv – my theme just doesn't want to cooperate though. I hope you find something you like that will work for both you and your readers.


jose May 23, 2010 at 12:55 am

I tried using Disqus comments but it takes plenty of time to get loaded. Will have to try using comment Luv


Brad Harmon July 14, 2010 at 6:11 pm

That’s certainly a concern when you use an outside comment system. You are at the mercy of their server in regards to response times, as well as, hoping it does not go down leaving you without a comment system until it comes back online.


Mike May 23, 2010 at 5:13 pm

One thing I have a problem with Disqus is that I can't seem to set it up so it points to my blog the the link on my name. I am sure there is a way, I just can't figure it out. What it does instead is the URL points to my Disqus account instead. this is not what I want.
My recent post Get IPcop's VPN To Work With Vista and Windows 7


ceeyels May 28, 2010 at 9:15 am

I had the same problem.. Some time the comment box gets loaded or it just point out a link to my Disqus account..!Tried using Intense Debate with Comment Luv..and its quit satisfactory..!


Brad Harmon July 14, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Hopefully you have found the solution to your problem, but I think it lies in your user settings on the DISQUS website. Unless it is set up properly, the link on your name will just direct you to your DISQUS profile. I believe the same is true with IntenseDebate.


intenseblog May 26, 2010 at 10:32 pm

I think you have choose Intense Debate, seem you are happy with this. Im my point of view, commentluv doesn't a complete comment plugin, it's an addon for your website comment. Unlike it, Disqus and Intensedebate manager complete your comment but sometimes you may loose the control on it.
My recent post Optimize the CommentLuv wordpress plugin


Brad Harmon July 14, 2010 at 6:15 pm

You’re very much correct. I should have made the distinction between plugin and comment system more clear.


ceeyels May 28, 2010 at 9:19 am there any way that I could show the comment count alone in my teaser using IntenseDebate and CommentLuv


Brad Harmon July 14, 2010 at 6:18 pm

I’m not sure I completely understand the question, but IntenseDebate has a badge showing the total number of comments and commenters your blog has received. It’s similar to twitter followers or RSS subscribers buttoms.


Gail Gardner October 17, 2010 at 11:23 pm

I found your post searching for comparisons for a blogger who is making this decision now. I am a fan of CommentLuv and the niche communities it creates and I see you now have CommentLuv. If you have written a later post to share your insights (since you are one of the few who may have used all three for a while) I would love to have the URL to share with others.

The one drawback to being a DoFollow CommentLuv blog is spam – and Andy at CommentLuv wrote a new anti-spambot plugin that blocks ALL bot spam which, as it turns out – is almost all spam. I went from 1000+ spam a day to 12-50 comments left by real people and it is now working in hundreds of other blogs too.

Many experienced bloggers have already written posts about how effective the plugin is – and there are NONE of the false positive issues we had with Akismet blocking our regular commentators from commenting.
Gail Gardner´s last [type] ..GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plugin Now Available at WordPress Plugin Repository


Robert Bravery November 4, 2010 at 2:24 pm

I use Disqus on my site, and find it very adequate. I agree that no “NoFollow” tags can get your comments high jacked by people just looking for back links.

The last blog post is a nice idea, one I wish Disqus would add in. Let wait and see, they might just do that.
Robert Bravery´s last [type] ..Most Of The Web Traffic Tips Are Completely Useless – I Can Prove It


Dymek December 24, 2010 at 5:42 pm

In my opinion commentLuv is much better. People like give some somments for good link. In commentLuv is simple and natural.
Dymek´s last [type] ..Dodaj zdjęcie


Suzzy February 17, 2011 at 3:21 am

I love the whole idea about Commentluv and especially IntenseDebate as I’ v been blogging on blogger. But, I was not able to update it trough template as it could not be parsed. Therefore I installed a widget which works fine, but has limitation. Still I want to have a template. Anyone can help?
Suzzy´s last [type] ..5 Creative Ways to Use Honey


Brad Harmon February 17, 2011 at 8:59 am

I don’t have any Suzzy, but you might check out and ask there. I’m sure someone will be able to give you some suggestions. You might also send a quick tweet to @CommentLuv asking Andy about templates. He’s very responsive, and will be able to point you in the right direction.


kelley September 28, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!
kelley´s last [type] ..stretching routine


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