Comment system with backend?

I (Hugo beginner) need advise! I look for a comment system with some type of backend to see/moderate all comments. A bit like Wordpress. Or in other words, it seems difficult to go through lots of pages and reply there.

I don’t like the “Disqus” look. “Graph Comment” look fine, have a backend (on their server) but are a bit sluggish. Other option I don’t know.

What I like is:

  • “clean” looking
  • Some SPAM prevention
  • Moderation hold
  • Free
  • a import function (any format) would be great
  • Some type of backend to see comments from a pages would be good

I’ve decided to go with isso since it is free and can be hosted locally. There is no central administration, you have to check the specific pages where someone has commented, but I’ve configured it to notify me via Telegram bot so I get a link to go directly to the comment. You could even ignore the default CSS and give it a custom style if you prefer, should you like it a bit cleaner.


I can recommend Cusdis


We’ve been using Commento++ (a maintained fork of Commento) on a couple of blogs.

It has integration with Akismet for anti-spam protection, and it has export and import options.


ISSO looks lice. I have no Telegram, but I could simply setup a dedicated email account as “dashboard”. I will try a test install.

Looks also good. But the “Start for free” sounds scary. So once it’s fully installed it’s a modest $19.95/m :wink: And seems no Wordpress import (and in case the start charging I see no export).

Looks also interesting. Again no Wordpress import.

I think I give ISSO a try, the Wordpress import is a big plus for me, the missing dashboard I can overcome with a dedicated mail account.

Since I didn’t try anything so far I wonder if SPAM is a problem. It’s certainly with Wordpress, but I doubt there are many spambots designed for “ISSO”. The occasional life user SPAM doesn’t worry me.

It also now has native TLS/SSL support, which was a requirement for me. (Which is why I wrote native SSL Support, submitted the PR, which was merged into Commento++. The regular Commento seems not to be well maintained.)


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ISSO looks nice, but quite a nightmare to install. No success and their server installation guide seems not to work, errors left and right and lots of information missing or unclear. Can’t work that part out. And no support forum. Pity.

Yes, it wasn’t easy and it took me two attempts to get it to work.
Here is a link with someone elses howto: Them’s Good Broth! | Adding Isso Comments to Hugo (

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That looks detailed. Thank you. Hope I can do that over my half installed installation. Will try it later. Hope that 2017 data is still valid.

Well, later… I tried, it went ok with some little errors. But finally failed. I believe 2017 might be a bit too long ago. I don’t really like half stuck installations.

There is a more general and clear one here: Add comments to your blog with Isso - Stan's blog

And a very detailed Hugo specific one here: Create a Hugo Blog, along with Isso comment server - OmicX

Probably need to clean my server of all the failed installs and will try the OmicX one.

After many fails, this instruction worked for me:

I won’t use it, too scared the Docker will make my VPS bad. But It gave me some ideas how it works, and how the server end is supposed to look - and that you do not have to install anything on /var/www at all. The dashboard not working though. I can get to the ISSO login page - but can’t login.

Special thanks to Upcloud, that give you a free VPS for 3 days. I think I must restarted the container delete and new install 10+ times.

I know I mentioned Isso to you… But… I actually just noticed that I indeed experimented with Isso, but really am not using it. What I am actually using is remark42 (GitHub). Sorry, totally forgot about that change. Oh well, another software to look at…