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Allowing Readers To Post Comments
Not sure if a blog is necessary

 2:27 pm on Mar 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am looking for a way to allow readers to post comments about articles on my website. Each article has its own page, and I would like to have a "Post Your Comment" section at the end of each article. I would also like to have readers register to post. To me, it seems like there should be a relatively simple way to do this. If there is, please excuse my ignorance - I'm still on the learning curve...

Also, I'm not looking to show all the articles in reverse chronological order, so I don't think I need to incorporate a blog into my website. From what I understand, that can be somewhat difficult.




 4:42 pm on Mar 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

My suggestion: Learn Perl or PHP, and then you can write this feature and just drop it in on the bottom of your pages. That's exactly what I did. I didn't have to screw around with installing a big, cumbersome, clunky CMS, and I didn't have to modify my pages, except for just dropping in the one line of code on each page that calls my script.

Yes, you will have to spend a couple of days learning Perl or PHP, but I think it's worth it. Once you know these languages you can do all kinds of things. I wrote an auction system to auction off my adspace, a mailing list manager, a logfile viewer, and a a search-and-replace thingie so I can update all my files on the server at once. It opens a lot of doors.


 6:07 pm on Mar 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the response! I've taken a couple of programming classes (Java, VB), but I know very little about Perl or PHP. I do have a PHP book, "PHP 6 and MySQL 5" by Larry Ullman. This looks promising, but I haven't had a chance to get to it yet.

Are there any books you would recommend?



 11:24 pm on Mar 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I learned mostly from the web. Picking up bits and pieces as I needed them. I had a couple of books but I don't remember what they were. Probably any book out there that's well-rated on Amazon would be a good bet.


 8:56 am on Mar 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Another alternative is JS-Kit. Try Googling for that.


Receptional Andy

 12:39 pm on Apr 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

There are quite a few "hosted" solutions (disqus is another one I see used quite widely). I don't like the hosted systems myself, since I want a greater level of "ownership" of contributions - but for copy and paste deployment they're are good bet.


 1:27 pm on Apr 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

No, that is a blog you want.

You don't need to post the articles in reverse chron order. You can post them in whatever order you like with a bit of tweaking. Wordpress will do this all day long once you figure out the control panel.

Way easier to figure out wordpress than to build that from scratch.


 2:17 am on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

I disagree. WordPress is confusing, annoying, and uses lots of resources. Dropping in my own "add-a-comment" feature was easier and more satisfactory. But, to each her/his own.


 11:20 am on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

None of those issues overcome the fact that people are suggesting "step one, learn to program" as the solution here. that's not the way to proceed for someone who's not a php/perl-head.

Wordpress is probably the world's biggest CMS these days, so the everyone else says in fact WP is the way to go - it will certainly do everything the OP is looking for, and the rest of the world finds it OK to work with.

Roll your own in this case provides little added benefit, and no noticeable benefit. Confusing and annoying is a matter of opinion, not shared by the masses and as for the resources part, that's really not an issue in most cases and certainly not for someone starting out. That's something you fix later, if necessary.


 3:15 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

There is certainly not universal consensus about WordPress not being annoying. Google "wordpress annoying" and you'll see what I mean.

Rolling my own provides little added benefit?! It's a **massive** benefit to me that I don't have to convert my whole site to WordPress just to allow commenting on the articles! I can drop in just the add-a-comment feature at the bottom of my articles and be done with it. Converting my sites to WordPress would be an unbelievable chore.

And like I said, I think there's value in learning how to do the code yourself, since it opens up a world of possibilities. It's the difference between asking someone to use a screwdriver for you every time you need something screwed, or learning how to use one yourself so you're self-sufficient. The first might be faster for that particular problem, but the latter provides the long-term benefits.

Anyway, if someone doesn't mind converting their whole site to a blog like WordPress (a big if), then that's definitely a solution. There's probably a middle ground, some off-the-shelf script that lets you add comments to articles without having to convert your whole site, but if there is I don't know about it.


 3:39 pm on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think it has to depend on your aptitudes. Custom built works for me, but that's at least partly because I like to code. Most people don't.

It's also a question of how far along the learning curve you are. If you're confident in HTML and CSS, and you've dabbled in a language such as Javascript, then it's time to approach PHP or Perl. The main thing to ask is, does this sound like you?


 2:11 pm on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm actually going the "add your own code route". Not really my code; I contracted with a developer. He was able to deliver the code pretty quickly, and it seems to be working well thus far.

One question I have: now that I have the comments structure in place, I would like to tweak the design of it. Is that just a matter of using CSS? Or is there something else I would need?

And I agree MBJ's comment about WP consensus - seems like there's plenty of folks on both sides of the fence in that debate.


 8:25 pm on Apr 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes, you can use CSS, but exactly how depends on how your developer set it all up. Are the scripts stored on your server or his? If they're on your server, you should be able to open them and find the bit that generates the HTML, and tweak it there. (Make backups of the scripts first!)


 7:08 pm on Apr 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

yeah, i guess these are on "my" server. the developer is uploading them and then i am downloading them into dreamweaver. i figured using css on this stuff wouldn't be too much of an issue - i'm just glad to get the confirmation!


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