Receiving comments on your blog is extremely important for a blogger.
- It is first of all a source of motivation to know that your article evoke reactions.
- It adds a valuable source of information about your visitors: through comments, you learn to know their expectations, experiences, problems. It can feed your inspiration and enlighten your vision of a subject.
- It lets your enrich your article. When someone posts a relevant comment, it is a good opportunity to add the answer to the content of the article.
What software should you use to receive comments?
Ghost does not natively support comments. You will need to integrate other software into your blog. When it comes to comment sections, there are a few options available, each with its advantages and disadvantages. In this tutorial, we will use Commento, for some reasons that I will highlight below.
Most bloggers use Disqus or Facebook to add a comment section to their blog. Did you know that these companies track your visitors and create a profile based on what they read?
"We have the largest and deepest audience profiles on the web." - David Fleck, general manager of advertising at Disqus
As I care about the privacy of people who read my articles, I started looking for privacy-focused alternatives. The two most promising I found were Isso and Commento. Both are open-source and I decided to use Commento because it looks better.
If you're not familiar with server management (or do not know what it means), I suggest you to subscribe to their hosted services, available here.
This tutorial won't cover the installation of Commento, however, we published a tutorial that will help you setup Commento on your own server with Docker.
Integrating Commento into your Ghost blog
Step 1 - grab the Commento HTML code
Login to your Commento account and add a new domain. Then, click on your domain and navigate to Installation Guide. You should see something like this
Save the HTML code somewhere, we will need it in the 3rd step.
Step 2 - Grab your ghost template
Login to your Ghost admin area and navigate to the Settings/Design page. At the bottom of the page, download the currently active theme on your computer by clicking the "Download" button. Then, extract the zip file on your desktop.
Step 3 - Edit the template
In the folder you just extracted, open the file called "posts.hbs" with a text editor.
In Casper, Ghost's default theme, there is a line of code specifically reserved for inserting comments. This is where you'll want to paste the code you saved in the first step:
On the screenshot above, first remove the first and last line, then, replace the sentence with the HTML code you saved in the first step.
Your file should look like this:
Save the changes and exit the text editor.
Step 4 - Upload the new template
Create a ZIP file containing the theme and rename the file to
casper-commento.zip. Then, in your ghost admin panel, click on "Upload a theme" and select the zip file you just created.
Finally, navigate to one of your blog articles, you should see a beautiful comment section at the bottom
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