Suggestion for Adding Comments to Joomla Blogs
Posted on 25.04.2009
OK, this is a jump from the discussion about domain registration tools that I mentioned in my last post, but I just wanted to save for posterity the process I went through deciding between IntenseDebate and Disqus.
A couple days ago, I was at a meeting with Basil Peters who mentioned among other things, Disqus to me. I was a bit behind the curve on 3rd party comment extensions so I decided to put in some time and was intrigued to see the “intense debate” (good branding) taking place over which is better. You can do your own Google search if you’re curious about how they stack up for WordPress and other blogging platforms. But for Joomla, there really isn’t much of a discussion.
I first installed the Disqus extension supplied by JoomlaWorks. The reason why I went here first is I’ve used some of JoomlaWorks’ stuff before and I’ve been blown away by both their back-end intuitive admin interfaces as well as their polished front-end aesthetics.. However, I think their Disqus extension needs a bit of work. It has some formatting issues and needs some css work to match my template (but that’s my responsibility to fix not theirs). The major drawback is that you can’t select which content on your site you want to allow comments for. The current extension enables comments everywhere on the site which, for my Yarstick Services content, doesn’t make sense. So I uninstalled it and I’ll keep an eye on them.
I then went back to my old reliable supplier, Rockettheme, who have an IntenseDebate extension. I’m not sure that they’re supporting it anymore as there appeared to be little chatter on their site except for a few forum posts. Nonetheless, I tip my hat to the team at RocketWerx (Rockettheme’s extension shop) for putting together yet another pain free solution for me. I installed the plug-in and I signed up for an account at IntenseDebate. Then all I needed to do was figure out what to put in the Joomla plug-in field that says “IntenseDebate Account”.
You need to go to your IntenseDebate dashboard (ie. login to intensedebate.com). Then click on Blog Tools -> Reinstall IntenseDebate. The code you want is the set of characters in the field labeled “var idcomments_acct”. Put this in the “IntenseDebate Account” field in the Joomla plug-in and your set. Then all you need to do is remember to press the “IntenseDebate” button at the bottom of your WYSIWYG editor and your post is ready for comments. Extra bonus – I didn’t need to do a thing and the whole comments area matches my site’s template and formatting. FYI, their comments template is appropriately called Chameleon.
I also wasn’t aware that IntenseDebate included a bunch of sharing and social bookmarking functions. While I’m sure Disqus is equal to this task, it did mean that I could uninstall ShareThis and reduce a bit of my site’s weight which increases load time. Feel free to add comments and share this article to test this sucker out. (I’m allowing all comments for the time being).
Now if only I could bring myself to jump on the twitter bandwagon…