Comment Sidecar: A self-Hosted Commenting Service and Alternative to Disqus

Comment Sidecar: A self-Hosted Commenting Service and Alternative to Disqus
Photo by RetroSupply / Unsplash

Comment-sidecar is a lightweight, tracking-free, self-hosted commenting service that aims to work in restricted self-hosted webspaces where only PHP and MySQL are available. It is easy to embed into statically generated sites created with Hugo or Jekyll, and it serves as an alternative to Disqus.

Unlike Disqus, which leads to 110 additional requests, comment-sidecar only requires two additional requests. For more information about Disqus' tracking greed and performance impact.

With Comment-sidecar, anyone can leave comments. No registration is required to write a comment. Admins also cannot edit or delete a post after it has been submitted.

Comment-sidecar in action (src. Phauer.com)

Why no avatars?

The developers removed individual avatars due to privacy concerns with Gravatar. Visitors' data could be exposed, and email addresses obtained through the MD5 hash in the image URL.

It is also possible to import your existing Disqus comments with ease. Additionally, you can receive email notifications for every new comment.

Features

  • Tracking-free and fast. The comment-sidecar only needs two additional requests. In contrary, Disqus leads to 110 additional requests. Read here for more details about Disqus' tracking greed and performance impact.
  • Privacy and data protection. Comment-sidecar only saves the data that is required. The e-mail is optional, only used for notifications and will be deleted if the users unsubscribes from notifications. The IP is only saved for a short amount of time and can't be traced back to the e-mail. It's only used to enable rate limiting.
  • Easy to integrate. Just a simple JavaScript call. This makes it easy to use the comment-sidecar in conjunction with static site generators like Hugo or Jekyll. You don't have to integrate PHP code in the generated HTML files.
  • Lightweight: No additional PHP or JavaScript dependencies. Just drop the files on your web server and you are good to go.
  • No performance impact on TTFB (Time To First Byte), because the comments are loaded asynchronously.
  • Spam Protection.
  • E-Mail Notification.
  • Admin receives mail for every comment.
  • Users receive Mail if there is an direct reply to their comment.
  • Use one comment-sidecar installation for multiple sites.
  • Replying to a comment is supported.
  • Multi-language support (pull requests adding more languages are highly welcome).
  • Customizable form HTML
  • Import existing Disqus comments.
  • Simple rate limiting based on the IP address ($_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'])

License

Comment-sidecar is an open-source project that is released under the MIT license.

Resources

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