Open-source self-hosted comments for a static website

This comparison table is inspired by Contribute at github — add the missing data. Github-related data (stars, open issues + PR, etc.) are updated daily automatically. Want different columns? Noted a bug? Submit an issue.

What’s wrong with Disqus

Disqus loads absurd amount of tracking services, which exposes your visitors’ personal data and significantly increases loading time. See, e.g., this post.

What’s not covered here

For a static website, one usually wants a lightweight commenting server with as little dependencies as possible. Few commenting engines listed on the page are provided by heavy applications (e.g., discourse, talkyard), but the majority are relatively lightweight applications designed specifically to provide comments for the static pages.

This page prioritizes information on self-hosted comments. However, there are other open-source solutions, including implementations of third-party services (e.g., Github issues, such as [1], [2], [3], [4]).

There are also dokieli and hypothesis, that provide annotation-like functinality.

Also, there is an echo-chamber.

When a user submits a comment, echochamber.js will save the comment to the user's LocalStorage, so when they return to the page, they can be confident that their voice is being heard, and feel engaged with your very engaging content. It does not make any HTTP requests. Since LocalStorage is only local, you and your database need not be burdened with other people's opinions.

Stars vs. time

The figure below shows some of the top competitors except for Discourse (as it's not just a light commenting server like others). The figure is useful to indirectly estimate how active the project is.

Plot stars vs. time

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Share your experience

Please share your experience if you are using one of the commenting systems listed in the table. Write a short summary and provide your "Likes" and "Dislikes" to help others to decide which commenting system suits them best.