Listed in topic: Troubleshooting

WordPress Plugin »Troubleshooting WP Plugin

This article covers some FAQ’s about our WordPress plugin, along with some common help points.

Background Info

Our WordPress plugin is offers a unique way to integrate IntenseDebate with your existing blog comments. When you install and activate the plugin, our servers attempt to establish contact with your server to initiate our data synchronization. Once we’re able to connect properly, the plugin will begin importing your previous WordPress comments into IntenseDebate, starting with the comments on your oldest blog posts.

Importing can take several hours to complete, as we throttle the number of import requests sent to your server to lighten the load on your end. You will receive an email notification when your import is complete. That email notification also indicates that we have successfully established a connection with your server to send new comment data back to your database (so you always have all of your comments), as well as import any new comments submitted through your native WordPress comment form. This ensures that all of your comment data is not only backed up to your server, but also on our servers. Think of it as your very own automatic data backup, so your comments are always safe and secure no matter what happens.

Communication↑ Table of Contents ↑

Establishing a successful connection with your server depends on several factors, any one of which can lead to a communication error causing your import and data sync to fail. Some common causes for communication errors:

  1. You’re attempting to install IntenseDebate on a local development server – your site must be online on the “public” internet.
  2. Your site is password protected (.htaccess or similar), which would prevent our servers from communicating.
  3. Your server is behind a firewall.
  4. A caching plugin (like WP Super Cache) might be configured incorrectly.

If you receive an import error or your import does not complete after 24 hours, you can try resetting your import in your Plugin Settings page in your WordPress admin panel. But make sure you give your import sufficient time to run (at least 24 hours) – resetting your import prematurely will move your import request to the end of our queue causing further delay.

If you continue to encounter issues, please contact us at

Configuration Issue↑ Table of Contents ↑

When you activate the plugin you will be prompted to enter your IntenseDebate or account information. If you find yourself in a repeated loop where you enter your account information, proceed to the import stage, but are bounced back to the initial configuration step, then this indicates an inability to establish primary communication with your server. This can be caused by any of the four reasons listed in the section above. If not, please email us and we will take a look.

Data Synchronization↑ Table of Contents ↑

Just like your import, our data sync back to your server (syncing comments made in IntenseDebate to WordPress) depends on our ability to communicate with your server successfully. If we are unable to import your comments, then data sync will fail. Please see the above section to make sure that your site isn’t affected by four common causes for failure.

Please rest assured – as long as we are able to establish communication with your server we will be able to properly sync your comments back to your database.

We sync more comments than you can imagine every minute, and just as the amount of traffic to your site fluctuates at any given time, so does the volume of comments sent to our sync queue. Our sync queue is designed to process millions upon millions of comments, but keep in mind that IntenseDebate is growing rapidly, and with the addition of each new site upgrading to IntenseDebate, a new set of comments is added to the queue to import.

IntenseDebate is built by the best, and monitored 24/7/365 by the rockstar System Engineers at Automattic that are responsible for the rock solid performance of 13 million+ blogs. We are constantly working to improve sync time and consistency, and we are always working on the next version of our plugin, along with new backend updates to better manage our sync queue.

Sync Issues↑ Table of Contents ↑

While our synchronization between IntenseDebate and WordPress is designed to be as fast and seamless as possible, there is a chance that you might encounter a delay in the the time it takes to sync a comment from one comment system to the other. Sync delays or sync errors can be manifested a couple of different ways:

1. Comment links show a higher count of comments than displayed in the IntenseDebate comment section.

  • What: This indicates that comments are submitted directly to your WordPress comment system, possibly via mobile devices, but are not being imported into IntenseDebate.
  • Why: This discrepancy is caused by either an import delay or an import failure. Import delays can occur if we are currently processing an over-average number of comments. Import failures can occur if communication between our respective servers is interrupted (see the above section for common causes for communication errors).
  • Solution: Try resetting your import in your Plugin Settings in your WordPress admin panel.

2. Your WordPress moderation queue displays a higher number of comments than your IntenseDebate moderation queue.

  • Issue is the same as #1 above.

3. Comment links show a lower number of comments than displayed in the IntenseDebate comment section.

  • What: This indicates that there is a sync discrepancy between IntenseDebate and WordPress, where comments submitted via IntenseDebate have not yet synced back to your server.
  • Why: Possible sync delay or interruption in communication between our respective servers.
  • Solution: Our system checks for discrepancy and will re-queue any comments that have yet to be synced. We will attempt to re-sync the comment 10 times. If you notice a persistent discrepancy, email us and we will take a look.

4. Your WordPress Recent comments widget does not update.

  • What: Same as #3, there is a sync discrepancy from IntenseDebate to WordPress.
  • Why: Your WordPress recent comments widget pulls data directly from your database, so in order to display the most recent comments made in IntenseDebate, the comments need to sync from our servers to your properly.
  • Solution: Check out our Recent Comments Widget, which is available through your WordPress Widgets page in your WordPress admin panel.

Managing an Issue↑ Table of Contents ↑

Commenting doesn’t stop just because there is a sync or import issue. If there is an issue you can rest assured that we are working to correct it. The best way to proceed is to rely on the IntenseDebate moderation queue in your account at, to manage your comments. This will ensure that comments are displayed and moderated properly.

We want you to have the best possible commenting experience. If at the end of the day the issue is causing too much headache, you can disable IntenseDebate comments and come back at any time to resync your comments (either from IntenseDebate to WordPress, or WordPress to IntenseDebate) to clear up any remaining discrepancy.

Export/Import↑ Table of Contents ↑

If you’d like to, you can export your comments from Tools -> XML Export in your control panel, then import them using the IntenseDebate Importer plugin.

FAQ↑ Table of Contents ↑

1. Can IntenseDebate be hosted locally?

  • Unfortunately no. IntenseDebate is a hosted comment service. However, our WordPress plugin features full data synchronization, so all comments are copied over to your server.

2. Does IntenseDebate support “NoFollow” link attributes?

  • IntenseDebate is written in JavaScript, so this isn’t an issue since JavaScript isn’t indexed.  However with the WordPress plugin we output the standard WordPress comments in the noscript tag, so if you had nofollow before it will still be nofollow.  The inclusion of nofollow is potentially modified by your WordPress comments template, which is still used to output the comments from your WordPress installation, they are just overridden by IntenseDebate (via JavaScript).

3. Why aren’t my comment links loading on my blog?

4. Are comments submitted in IntenseDebate indexed by search engines (SEO)?

  • All comments submitted in IntenseDebate are synced back to your WordPress comment system, so all comments are still indexed by search engines.

5. How do I remove IntenseDebate from my static WordPress pages?

6. How much does IntenseDebate cost?

  • IntenseDebate is a free service provided to you by the great folks at Automattic.

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Last modified: February 24, 2011 by Michael

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