Django + Disqus or Intense Debate… Fight!

Update (3/4/2012): Since this article was posted in early 2010, Disqushas continued to improve. IntenseDebate has made some progress, but hasn’t been able to keep up with Disqus as far as continued development goes. As of this week, `I have switched to Disqus`_. This article is out of date (by a few years), so treat it as an artifact from the past.

As most Django blogs seem to be going with Disqus these days, I set out to try it for myself. The install was simple enough, but Disqus was unable to reach my production site (the one you’re looking at) most of the time. Every once in a while, it’d decide that it felt like working, which left me with the normal Disqus comment box. Great.

I tested my shiny new comments by leaving one, and all was good… Until I browsed to another one of my posts and found my comment from an earlier post repeated there. Lots of diving through configuration, submitting a help request, and double checking everything many times lead to nothing. I even tried arthurk’s excellent django-disqus Django app with the same result.

So I debated… Intensely

Having ended up pretty frustrated, I decided to give Intense Debate a shot. Installation was very simple, the instructions were clear like Disqus’. However, when the moment of truth came to test and render comments, Intense Debate worked.

Not only that, but Intense Debate’s configuration and settings dialogs are much cleaner, polished, and respond in ways that are predictable. With Disqus, I found it very frustrating that I was unable to change/save certain fields (Time Zone is one that sticks out to me) without doing goofy things like Tabbing and hitting Enter.

For now, Intense Debate is looking pretty good, and offers pretty much the same functionality. I realize that most of the Django userbase seems to be moving towards Disqus, but if you haven’t checked out Intense Debate, it’s definitely worthwhile now. I get the sense that last year the feature gap was much wider in Disqus’ favor, but looks to have closed somewhat.

Category Winners

A Disclaimer: I have no particular allegiance towards either of these services, I just wanted comments for my Django blog. I still don’t really care either way which is “better”, but figured I’d share my experience with other Django bloggers out there. For those that are considering Disqus, arthurk gets major props for his django-disqus project.

  • Installation: Intense Debate. Even if Disqus worked for me as intended, Intense Debate’s installation was a little easier for a custom install. This is only by a small margin, since it’s pretty much the same thing for both, but ID required less copy/pasting.
  • Appearance: Disqus by a narrow margin. I like the comment display a little bit better.
  • Administration: Intense Debate. Some will disagree here, but I like the cleaner, faster, minimlistic look.
  • Page Loading: Disqus by a small margin. I think some of this may be in rendering, not net time. There’s just a little bit more page movement on loading in ID.