Comments with or without a blog
July 28, 2007 1:53 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any thoughts on the best way (and the best script?) to implement a commenting system for normal web pages? I am currently torn between setting up WordPress as a CMS which would provide that functionality or trying to find a script I can add to a page (and there are to be 40 or so separate pages each needing separate comment fields).

My thoughts thus far: WP as a CMS
  • Never done it before
  • Could be difficult to modify a theme to be none 'bloglike'
  • Would integrate with Akismet to stop the spam
Comment script added to existing page
  • Might not integrate that well with look and feel of rest of page
  • Need only be a more professional 'Shoutbox' type script, no real need for commenters' location, email etc though I guess it cuts down on nonsense posts simply because it takes longer!
posted by dance to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You might try something like haloscan to add the comments to the pages that way.
posted by toomuchpete at 2:43 PM on July 28, 2007

Best answer: Judging from your description, I'm going to assume that your website is just regular HTML/CSS.

With both options, you're going to have to transition to setting up a more dynamic website - you'll need to set up a database (e.g. MySQL), and need a scripting language to interact with it (e.g. PHP).

Now, with WP, once you've set up the database, that's pretty much the hardest part done. You edit a file, upload everything, go to a URL, and you have your site. You also have the benefit that WP's actively developed, so any security issues are dealt with relatively promptly, and there's plenty of people you can ask for help if you run into trouble.

With a script, there are more hurdles. You've got to find it. Which might be tricky, as there's tons of stuff out there. You might find one that's at the top of Google, but only because it's really old. This might mean that there are insecurities (e.g. vulnerable to cross-site scripting). You have no real way of determining what's a good script (unless someone here points you in the right direction).

Then, you have to get it playing nicely with your site. The script will probably require a database. It may require you to do more database-related stuff yourself (e.g. set up all the tables etc.). You may have to play around with your site files to get them to use the script. There might be all sorts of things going on.

Of course, if you're comfortable with PHP/MySQL or equivalent, that might be easy for you, and right up your alley. Or you may wish to learn about this sort of stuff. It's dead easy to set up this sort of thing, but difficult to get it done nicely and securely, but it's a cool learning experience, and it's great to be able to look at something that you've made.

Personally, even though I've dabbled with this sort of thing, I'd go for Wordpress. It's my go-to CMS, really, and you'll find it's really easy to mess about with the templating system to create sites that look nothing like blogs.

Whatever you do, best of luck!

Man, that was an essay...
posted by djgh at 2:56 PM on July 28, 2007

A huge advantage of using wordpress is that it has two excellent tools for automatically dealing with comment spam. Askismet ships with wordpress, and Spam Karma 2 is a plug-in that does a great job on it's own.
posted by Good Brain at 3:08 PM on July 28, 2007

Best answer: To add to djgh:

If you don't need the features of a CMS, using a CMS just to get comments is a HUGE waste of time and resources. Using something like haloscan would also allow you to just add a snipped of code to each page as opposed to doing any sort of conversion to some other system.
posted by toomuchpete at 5:52 PM on July 28, 2007

Response by poster: Haloscan it is, thanks for pointing me to it, it's just what I was looking for.
posted by dance at 4:43 AM on July 29, 2007

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