Alternative to Disqus Needed More Than Ever

this looks very interesting. my only other consideration was Isso but that’s a lot of setup work and self-hosted. Of course it’s free and works on any number of websites. Have you tried Isso and how would you compare your offering to it? Yours looks like it has a bunch of useful features. Can it support people making comments without logging in? I feel like people having to sign up for another service to leave a message is a stumbling block. many already have Disqus and Isso requires no login.

What is required of a beta tester?

1 Like

I have reviewed Isso - it’s a pretty cool open source project for people who want a DIY solution. Both Remarkbox and Isso borrow the essence of how Wordpress does comments. My hope is that Remarkbox lowers the barrier of entry for people to comment.

With Remarkbox, a visitor may interact with your content without an account. When a user leaves a comment we collect their email address and send a verification email to log them in. The end result is a visitor can comment right away without needing to signup or remember a password.

What you have to do for the Beta test is directly related to what you require from Remarkbox. If you request a feature and I implement it, I will likely have you test it to make sure it meets or exceeds your expectations. If you need to import comments, I might have you work with me on testing that process. etc.

What is your expected realistic sustainability for this project? Is it something that would be a struggle to keep running? would you need a new account for each domain you want it to work on? What is your backend solution (servers and all that)? Can it handle big traffic (just asking cause i don’t have big traffic, lol)?

Great question, Remarkbox is already profitable (if I don’t count my personal time). This is not my first service offering, I launched LinkPeek a web page screenshots service 6 years ago and I still continue to operate it today.

You do not need a separate account for each domain. Each of your Namespaces will show up on this dashboard:

The back end uses a standard architecture of horizontally scaled web application servers and a central database cluster. I’m confident this will scale up as growth occurs.

So one would pay the standard rate PER namespace (domain)?

yes, however I definitely plan to have discounts for customers who have multiple domains or need multiple moderators. I have not figured out pricing at that level yet.

How long do you expect the beta to be running? I’m not ready to implement anything yet but I’d like to in the nearish future.

Thanks for all the responses and well done on the product. A really great alternative!

1 Like

I have just (today) started beta testing Remarkbox. So far it is looking good.

Thanks @Russell_Ballestrini for all the work you put behind this, and being super responsive to comments and suggestions on

Except for one major missing feature (email notifications) and minor kinks, I see this to be a really good Disqus replacement and more!

I checked some of the mentioned alternatives but are not able to install since I use rented webspace.
Now I found this:
This seems to operate on any PHP capable server (?).

Thoughts/experiences about this?

I was able to configure isso, but the setup is too complex…

Correct and I’ll probably use it as well since I, anyway, have to use PHP for Piwik on my hosted web space.

Not yet, but let me add there is a new version in development…

You may be interested in Schnack.js: A new Disqus-like commenting drop-in for static websites.

It is fully open source, written by Gregor Aisch of the New York Times.


EffectiveDiscussions (ED) is another commenting system, new this year 2017 (well 2018 now). Demo:

It’s free and open source, + there’s blog comments hosting for €2 if you don’t want to maintain your own server. Gmail and FB login, and email & password. (I’m developing it.)

There’re many Disqus alternatives on this page, but all of them — either they don’t provide hosting so you need to provide your own server. Or they’re not ready, lacks moderation features. Or they’re proprietary, closed source. (StaticMan requires GitHub which is closed source.)

… EffectiveDiscussions is the only alternative that’s open source, is ready to use, and also provides hosting. It actually has improvements over Disqus (work in progress), look here.

It’s lightweight, just 140 kb javascript, in comparison to Disqus, about 750 kb.

What are your thoughts about this? I think I’ll give Hugo + ED a try now :slight_smile: So far I’ve used it with Gatsby only.

To get started, go here: and click Create Forum, and then click Blog Comments. — Please tell me if you want to install ED yourself on your own server, because so far I have written getting-started installation instructions only for the forum software parts of ED (not the embedded comments parts).

1 Like

Your commenting system seems promising but I read your Privacy Policy and your Data Processing is not compliant with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that comes into force in May 2018.

You have to make your service compliant with the GDPR, before you start spreading the word about it in forums.

@onedrawingperday: I’ve read about GDPR and yes I’m planning to do that before May — and May 2018 is about 4 months in the future, the law is not live yet, so in my opinion it’s the right thing to do to tell people about this software now. Being silent for one or two months, hiding what I’ve built, whilst I develop GDPR stuff, would be a disservice for other people I think. Also it’d be dangerous for me — it’s important to get feedback early so one knows if one is on the right track. Thanks anyway for the feedback I got from you, i.e. that you consider GDPR important :- ) Maybe I should update the privacy policy and clarify it’ll be GPR compliant.

I don’t mean to be harsh and I understand how every cent matters for an indie developer, but the thing is that 5 months is a very short amount of time. And you just cannot keep logged in IP addresses indefinetely etc.

Do that. I’m not a lawyer also. But I’ve been reading a lot about the GDPR lately because there will be hefty fines coming up for anyone who is non compliant.

Anyway I sincerely wish you all the best.

1 Like

@onedrawingperday Thanks! Ok yes then I’ll update the privacy policy. Maybe I should start right now with the GDRP stuff then. I could spend half an hour or an hour each day the nearest weeks, thinking about what I need to do :slight_smile:

1 Like

That’s what I’m doing already. And I plan to talk with a lawyer. That’s what everyone who is based in the EU should be doing.

Again I wish you all the best on your software! Happy New Year! :four_leaf_clover:

1 Like

I have created a fork of Isso that allows users to authenticate with OpenID, Facebook and Google+, much like with Disqus, but with self-hosted comments and minimal tracking.


For heavy-duty commenting there’s Coral Talk which is used on the Washington Post and other big news sites. Setup and customization is not for the faint of heart but it’s a great open-source option for sites that receive a high volume of comments and need robust moderation tools.

I created a hosted comments service powered by Isso for those that like Isso but find it too technical or too much work to host themselves. The site is