In the past, disqus was the solution to go for when you needed a functionality for your static website that would enable people to post comments and ask questions under your posts.
With it's free tier, you would get a package with basic features. It comes with a price though of it being relatively heavy solution.
It's ads supported and increases page weight by factor of
10! Not to mention it lets other applications like Facebook to track your visitors.
So recently when I was in middle of integration of
disqus plugin to this blog, I decided to revisit my product of choice and explore other options in nowadays product driven market.
Scroll down for DLDR;
It did not take long to find few very interesting alternatives.
For example Talkyard and Commento are open-source projects with focus on privacy and come with all major features. You can host them eg.: on
heroku for free or pay reasonable price for product as a service.
Although they are both robust solutions which I do not need for my use case.
However, Staticman was the project that cough my eye:
Staticman is a Node.js application that receives user-generated content and uploads it as data files to a GitHub and/or GitLab repository. In practice, this allows you to have dynamic content (e.g. blog post comments) as part of a fully static website, as long as your site automatically deploys on every push to GitHub and/or GitLab.
It'd still require me to host my own server though.
At this point I got an idea - since I host this blog on GitHub, I could create a comment system which would integrate with
When somebody comments on my blog I'd use
GitHub API to create an issue and store the discussion there. For my target audience this would be ideal solution!
It turned out that there is already a
GitHub widget for that. It's called utterances.
Here is how it works:
- You as a blog owner install Utterances GitHub App on the GitHub repository that hosts comments.
- You as a blog owner include simple script where you want the comments to load:
<script src="https://utteranc.es/client.js" repo="fogine/blog" issue-term="pathname" label="Comment" theme="github-dark-orange" crossorigin="anonymous" async> </script>
- The script uses the GitHub issue search API to find the issue associated with the page based on post's
- If an issue does not exist, utterances-bot will create it first time someone comments.
- To comment, users must authorize the
utterancesapp to create issues (for the blog repository only) on their behalf.
- Alternatively, users can comment on the GitHub issue directly.
Considering limitations of using GitHub Issue tracker service to power blog comments:
- It's features are basic. For example, you can't reply to someone's comment (You can quote him though).
- GitHub's Search API is
5000requests/hour. Which is a little really. So if (I mean When) this blog gets popular enough, I'll have to come with solution that actually scales.
You can see it in action, bellow ⌄⌄⌄
You can comment directly below, but you would need to authorise the Utterance's app to post issues to GitHub on your behalf.