When your website is a bunch of html, css, image and js files with no backend and is a blog (like mine) and you are expecting your readers to give feedback on your content and be interactive, you definitely need a comments section for your posts. Without an actual server for storage, it is impossible to implement user comments. With non revenue generating sites like mine it would not be an option to spend money every month to maintain few user comments if any.
- Simple to implement: Has to integrate well with my hugo site generator
- Free or Freemium
- No ads/trackers
- Prefer to own comments data
- Prefer open source projects
There are a lot of options out there for comments hosting that can be used across not just static web sites but also any web application. The most popular one being Disqus which is used in most of the website you see comments implemented. There are also others like Commento, CommentBox, justcomments, fastcomment, remarkbox and many more. All these are either only paid at around $5 a month or inject ads/trackers for providing the limited service for free or store the comment data and may increase the price in the future.
Options that stood out are
- staticman: free, comment stored in github issues, need to host the service.
- isso: free, open source, need to host a python web application
- Utterances: free, open source, requires no hosting
To start with all the services are free as its our own hosting, open source and you own your data. Both staticman and utterances stores the comments in github issues making everything related to the website in github where as isso requires hosting a SQLLite database to store the comments.
Chose utterances to begin with as it is very easy and requires no hosting. In the future would definitely give staticman a try and hoping the comments generated by utterances can be reused by staticman.