With More Intensity

by Christopher Paul on February 23, 2009

Over the past few weeks, I’ve learned a lot about WordPress optimization and how to boost performance. I think that with the few steps I took, I’ve seen a noticeable difference between how the site performed before to how it does now. To get the speed increases, I’ve enabled compression (something I would have thought would have been enabled by default), installed WP Super Cache, and PHP Speedy. Now, I’m beginning to offload some functions to 3rd party sources. For the comments, I decided to use IntenseDebate and install its WordPress plugin.

For those not in the know, IntenseDebate is a comment management system with some social aspects to it. You can ‘friend’ particular people and follow them as they comment around different sites. It also uses Akisment and its own spam moderation system to prevent bots from ruining your site. Recently purchased by Automattic and the two could not have complimented each other more.

Surprisingly easy to setup and install, IntenseDebate will bring an extra social aspect to my blog but it does much more. It includes Gravatar support if the commenter is registered with IntenseDebate – even if they haven’t signed up with the Gravatar service; the avatars also work if you just use IntenseDebate. It adds threaded comments. But what’s most important to me, it offloads the database, image, and HTML lookups to some other site saving me some SQL and Apache cycles that can be otherwise used for serving up more important aspects of the site.

So while I don’t get a lot of comments on the site, I hope the 3rd party comment system will make things more enjoyable for those that do. And hopefully, there will be a decent performance improvement, too.

photomatt March 1, 2009 at 8:57 AM

Sweet, I hope you like using IntenseDebate. If you have any problems with it let me know.

SoItsComeToThis March 5, 2009 at 4:36 AM

Matt, So far I love IntenseDebate. I am having one problem with it, on my computers, I can't seem to stay logged into the system. Either in the blog dashboard or on the site itself, I always have to reenter my username & password.

Let me know if I can help debug this in anyway.

SoItsComeToThis March 6, 2009 at 1:57 AM

I figured it out: Safari 4's default behavior is to block 3rd party cookies. Changed that and everything was good. BTW, Love the plugins!

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