Three Alternatives To Disqus For Blog Comments

Disqus For Blog CommentsSome time ago we looked at alternatives to using Disqus on WordPress. Disqus is an excellent comment system and it’s easy to install on WordPress and any other site, but I thought it was worth the effort to take a look at what else is out there. In recent days, since Disqus announced that they were to begin serving adverts in comment threads, the topic has come to mind once again. There’s nothing wrong with advertising, of course, but it puts a fine point on the way that Disqus, a free service, generates revenue; namely, by using the data it collects from publisher’s sites to target advertising. My data because I write posts, but also that of the people who are commenting so the adverts can be better targeted.

I’m not paranoid about exchanging my private data for services: I’m an enthusiastic user of Google’s services and I understand the payoffs involved. What I’m slightly more hesitant to do is to make that decision on behalf of readers who make comments on blogs I write for. As you can see we use Disqus comments on this blog, but without the advertising turned on.

But Disqus isn’t the only game in town. It’s certainly one of the best hosted SaaS commenting systems and it has an enormous number of users, but for site owners and bloggers who want to take control of their data, there are other options.

In this article, I’d like to take a look at self-hosted alternatives to Disqus that can be integrated with any site (provided you have some coding ability).

HashOver

HashOver is a self-hosted commenting system that bills itself as a replacement for “Disqusting” third-party comment services. HashOver is hosted on a server and can be included on any web pages with a snippet of JavaScript, much like Disqus. Although the examples on the HashOver site aren’t much to look at, of course, it can be styled with CSS to match the site to which it is added.

HashOver include much of the functionality of a third-party comment system, with the advantage being that the date remains firmly in your possession.

Isso

Isso is another self-hosted commenting service designed to take the place of Disqus. The comment server is written in Python with an SQLite backend and the project can be added to any site with the inclusion of a JavaScript file. It has many of the features that bloggers have come to expect from comment solutions, in addition to some nifty extras like Markdown support and a Disqus comment importer.

Vanilla

Vanilla is an open source forum and commenting platform. It’s probably one of the most mature and feature rich of the options I’ve discussed here today. At heart, Vanilla was created for building forums, but it also has an excellent comment system.

As you can see, if you have any concerns about entrusting your commenters’ data to a third-party, you have plenty of options for implementing feature-rich and private self-hosted open source alternatives.

Matthew Davis is a technical writer and Linux geek for Future Hosting.

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  • Great post and I was not aware of all these mentioned blog comment platform, But i think disqus is best, as it is easy to avoid spam.

    • It might be easy to avoid spam, but for an older demographic is is SUPER difficult to login to.

    • Tazru333

      From my perspective Disqus *is* Spam, they are decidedly Right Wing and keep trying to sell ideas and products. It might be OK for Blogs, but many news sites I like have already dropped Disqus. FaceBook is getting worse by the day, and the FB alternatives have yet to become populated enough to be worthwhile.

      • R. V. Datmir

        What exactly makes Disqus spam? Of course there are a lot of bad comments and not just on Disqus; the opposite is also true—there are many good, well-considered ones too. As to a right wing bias, once again, when all and sundry can use the platform, there are bound to be some very controversial statements. Besides (at least when religion is not involved), I have found the Right Wing to be much more polite with dissenters, particularly when disagreement is politely voiced. Right wingers may not always agree with me, but they are more likely to hear me out before criticising my comments.

        Then there is trying to sell things; you do realise that PEOPLE run Disqus, and they have to have things like food, shelter, and basic comforts, right? And since it costs money merely to exist as a human being, all that selling makes sense. That does not even begin to enumerate the costs of running a large website.

        And let us all please ignore the lunatic fringes. Let us not strive to suppress the alt-right but either ignore them or ridicule them. Censorship says we take them seriously and they will exploit that. It will convince them further that they are right. Alt-righters should be made to ask uncomfortable (for them) questions. When that is not possible, they are best treated as a slideshow attraction, for all and sundry to gawk and point at.

      • William Munny

        “they are decidedly Right Wing”

        LOL! Yeah, sure. They’re SO “right wing” that they just pulled their service from Infowars.

        • Bob–Louie

          EXACTLY! They’re as leftist as the other censor-hungry speech controllers out there: Facebook, Alphabet (Google, YouTube, et al), Twitter and way too many others.

          • William Munny

            I like the Gadsen flag. You might like the site I’m looking for a disqus replacement for.
            http://www.fleetingfreedom.com

          • Bob–Louie

            Yes! I like it a lot! Good material, too. You could use a better site header though. They gray bar is not imaginative enough…maybe a lineup of paintings of infamous leftists painted in poses like Edward Munch’s famous “The Scream.” Obama, Hillary, Soros … throw in some good likenesses from the deep state like Mueller…he looks just like “The Scream” with little photoshop needed. Come to think of it, they all do!

          • William Munny

            LOL! Good ideas. The site is only about five months old now and totally unfunded. The owner who also writes for Downtrend is just now able to commit more time to it. I’m sure he’ll improve the site as soon as he can.

  • Wow! This is really a good post with the information about 3 alternatives of
    disqus and these are really unknown to me and I think most of the
    people don’t have any idea about these 3 alternatives. Thanks for the
    information.

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  • ATraveller

    Thanks for the information.

    I’m considering an alternative as Disqus has some strange UI quirks for me and I would rather not inflicts that on my users.

    Support of the ask a question in our community and hope someone answers with a useful response is not support.

  • Alexxthegreat

    Have had so many problems with disqus…..I have stopped commenting on those site using that forum.
    Too many ads…too many evil viruses……would rather not be bothered.

    • Dirty Dutch

      Good morning Alexx.

      • Alexxthegreat

        Morning, Dutch….
        That virus returned …and it keeps me from seeing comments on WZ….so…I was advised to stay off that site.
        Missed reading and making comments…but it is a real stinker…so….I have had to do others sites..not using discus.

        • Dirty Dutch

          Something all the time, isn’t it?

          • Alexxthegreat

            Pretty much….*snort*….went to use my cell phone yesterday and the battery had died….
            I think I want to go back in time…..to the horse and buggy……(just kidding )….but life was a bit smoother back then.

          • Dirty Dutch

            Simpler yes. Smoother, I don’t know.

          • Alexxthegreat

            🙂

          • Dirty Dutch

            <3

    • Nico

      The relation between disqus and viruses escapes me.

  • Cthulu

    So where are all these supposed sites? I’ve searched for all and there’s nothing.

  • Ziki Ivan

    cool article

  • Priyanka P

    Now commenting is becoming a great problem. Even with discus .Many time virus and spam hit and then we have to stop .

  • zakius

    I’m pretty sure that self-hosted isn’t alternative for disqus, the main reasons to use disqus are: you don’t have to store user data, users don’t need to create yet another account

    • One of the things I like but don’t really see much of in my own site is the “Also on MYSITE” feature. For a more active site it would be good because it helps link people to other content in your website.

    • Bob–Louie

      True, but it’s worth it to get your users out from under the long arm of leftiust corporate data collection and censorship.

      • zakius

        it makes sense only if they are freaks who are willing to put extra effort into this, if not… disqus it is! it’s just SO much simpler to use

        though it bothers me too, way too much bloat loaded with the page

  • But you are also running disqus comments ??

  • John T

    Check https://feedgun.com which works on pulling comments from different sources like YouTube videos, existing wordpress sites, facebook pages and even DIsqus account and combine them all together and publish them on any of your webpages, and it all works automatically once you set them where to pull and where to publish.

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  • robert butler

    I’m looking for an alternative for disqus, anyone have any recommendations.

  • Diclonius

    I was thinking yeah ok until you mentioned python, get out boi no just NO

  • Garry

    And the fact that, all users have to confirm their email…even after they login with disqus. Hardly anyone come back to comment. Specially for non tech sites even not everyone remember their disqus account if they are logout.

  • RussellBallestrini

    Hey Matt, I’m in the process of launching a Free Alternative to Disqus called Remarkbox (https://www.remarkbox.com). I’m currently in private beta, let me know if you want a beta invite.

    • I’m trying to understand the model you have for remarkbox, especially how the “Free” one compares to Disqus. For a small self-hosted blog does one still need to pay for the service since I have my own domain?

    • Thanks for your responses via e-mail, though I regret I your product didn’t satisfy my requirements, it is still a good one and hope it will be a big success.

  • Although disqus has its flaws the solutions you have provided are all self-hosted (for it to be free). I am sort of looking for something that would be off my server (since it’s just a Pi)

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  • Disqus is the great tool where we can check our whole comments in our credentials zone. You can see the approval status. This made my work very easy.
    Thank you.

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    • Jose Manuel Blasco Galdón

      Really? XD People talking about spam and you… xDDDDDDDDDDD

  • Claudius_II

    Not too much research behind this article. Disqus has a lot of limitations, contrary to what the author writes.

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