WordPress’s default comment system isn’t exactly the greatest, and whilst you can improve the comment system manually, not everyone has the time or skill to do so. Thankfully, one of Automattic’s recent acquisitions, IntenseDebate can help.

Before we dive into installing IntenseDebate (which is really easy!), here is why you should use it, according to the IntenseDebate website:

So IntenseDebate is pretty much everything you could want from a comment system, so next we’re going to walk through the installation.

First thing is to go to www.intensedebate.com and signup. Next you’ll be asked to enter the URL of the site you want to install IntenseDebate on. Do so and click next. Assuming you’re running WordPress, you’ll be told you need to install the plugin:

Before you intsall the plugin, make sure you backup your database.

Once you’re backed up, follow the instructions above to step four. Once you’re at the tab, login with the account you just created, and then on the next screen click the big ‘Import Comments’ button. Sit back whilst your comments import themselves. When it is done, this screen will appear:

You’ll find a whole load of options to fiddle around with, so fiddle away, and then you’re done. Told you it way easy!

Hi, I'm Alex Denning. I run a site called WPShout.com where I publish WordPress Tutorials. You should follow me on Twitter @AlexDenning!

  1. Deca says:

    What’s the advantage of IntenseDebate?

  2. Tschai says:

    Although I agree with the theory that it is easy to install I had a lot of issues with it and my current blog has now ID for new comments, but I could not import the older posts.
    And I considering it using for my next projects, but I discovered it slows down my site.
    Some advantages of ID, why I chose for it:
    If you have more than 1 blog, you’ll have 1 common commenting system,
    No (re)designing of the commenting section,
    Existing ID users are already logged in,
    And I expect Automattic to implement it as a default commenting system in the near feature…

  3. Chung Bey Luen says:

    Although it is very feature intensive, but I still prefer to keep the comments in my blog server. Any recommended comment plugin which can do that?

  4. Vin Thomas says:

    I wonder how screwy things would get once you uninstall the plugin. Would it delete all the comments that were made while you had ID installed? Has anyone tried uninstalling this plugin?

  5. Kyle Eslick says:

    Wow, this post has already sparked an intense debate! (c’mon, someone had to say it)

    Automattic has made it very clear they are focusing on improving comments as their top priority (besides security) in upcoming releases.

    I think some very fair questions were raised above. I personally believe that if Automattic purchased it (which they did), they intend to build it into WordPress at some point in the future, just like they did with Gravatar, Poll Daddy, and other similar purchases.

    I personally am planning to wait until that day to do so!

  6. Alex Denning says:

    It’ll probably be implemented into WP some time later, or thats the natural assumption.

    @Deca – er. I thought the post pretty much had that covered.

    @Chung – can’t recommend anything off the top of my head afraid.

    @Vin – post had that covered too – see Importing/Exporting.

  7. This is a great plug-in, I installed it, but it didn’t go well with my theme. As for the uninstall, it doesn’t affect nothing. So there is no issue there.

  8. Thanks for the post love Alex – much appreciated!

    Just wanted to jump in here and address some comments.

    @Tschai – I’d be happy to help with getting your WordPress comments imported. Feel free to email me at support@intensedebate.com

    @Chung – IntenseDebate syncs all of your comments back to your WordPress comment platform so you’ll have all of your comments on your server.

    @Vin – (continuation of my response to @Chung) …since all of your comments are synced back to WP, you’ll have all of your comments if you uninstall.

  9. It’s safe to say that IntenseDebate is freaking awesome. I mean, it has tons and tons of advantages over regular comments, but I was having problems from readers that they couldn’t access the forms via Opera and some other browsers. I’m waiting for the next release of the software, then I’ll see if I can permanently install it. :)

    Great post!

  10. WillBlogForFood says:

    This looks like an awesome plugin in. I especially like the fact that you can twitter sites that you have commented on.

    I was also wondering if there is a working demo of the plugin – so i can test it out before installing it?

  11. Alex Denning says:

    @Michael – its me who should be thanking you! Seriously, on behalf of the WPHacks readers (can I say that?), thanks for creating IntenseDebate.

  12. Alex Denning says:

    @WillBlogForFood – check it out on my site – http://www.nometet.com

  13. Dieta says:

    The functionality is amazing. However it doesn’t look all that great with all themes. It could really benefit from being a little more customisable.

  14. Goob says:

    Dieta’s hit the nail right on the head. I’ve got ID currently installed on my site, but it’s the sum of a many little things that has me on the verge of uninstalling it.

    Take gravatars for instance. Yes, they support them, but if a user doesn’t have one set, you’re stuck with a default silhouette. Maybe you like the goofy default shapes or monsters that you can pick to display in place of a default silhouette or maybe you don’t, but the choice should be there regardless.

    Or how about when you are logged into the WP admin panel and you go to comments. Before, you could edit them on the fly. Now with ID installed? The edit function has vanished. Anybody wondering why I’d want to edit my user’s comments clearly has never run a blog where the average reader is unskilled in HTML.

    The list goes on, but the cold truth is that ID is far from being an optimal choice for managing comments.

  15. faydaliweb says:

    This is wonderful plugin for comment system. This is more better and useful than standart wordpress comments.Thanks for article.

  16. hitfive says:

    This is wonderful plugin for comment system. This is more better and useful than standart wordpress comments.Thanks for article.