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Comment Widget For Website

Page created 14th June 2011

If you have a plain html website you don't have to miss out on some of the great features of proper blogs. Comments are one of the most obvious and useful features of blogs. You can get third party comment widgets which is cut and past java script, which is very easy to install, and is run on the supplier's server. The basic code is just a few very short lines, one being the link. It allow some customisation, and above all, it allows communication with your readers. And, if that wasn't enough, they are either free or low cost.

The first is a widget called Echo from It starts from $9 per year for sites with less than 10 000 page views per month. It has many built-in features, including support for avatars and images.(Sorry, now dead link).

If, like me, you have relied on email communication, you may find more visitors responding with comments, as many don't like giving out their email address. With this widget there is no need to register.

Another comment widget which has become very popular is Disqus. You can even see it added to blogs which normally have their own comment feature built in. The basic version is free and allows for a fair bit of customisation. There is an upgrade available with more features.

Both widgets draw tweets and track backs into your comment area, and syncs up with a number of social media sites and log-in IDs.

As always, read the small print. Free often comes with restrictions or some limitations. Make sure you know up front what they are.

There are many scripts available online to copy and paste into your website, and the source usually gives plenty of step-by-step guidance on how to install and customise it. It is quite easy to experiment with scripts, even if you have little experience with it. If it doesn't work, just try something else or go back to the original. Java script can be fickle, and may not work in all browsers, but when it does, it can be the icing on the cake. It can add a lot of interactive features from moving spotlights to slide shows to comment widgets. But a word of warning; before you plaster your website with falling snow flakes, flashing fairies and pop-ups, consider the visitor may not want to go to a fairground, and may (like I do in these instances) beat a hasty retreat. Use it with discretion if you want to keep visitors.

Another caveat with javascript is that it can create bottlenecks when loading the page and slow it down considerably. With Google, for example, penalising slow load time in search engine results, it is both in your, and your visitor's interest to keep things snappy. Use with discretion for this reason too.

Here are a few websites offering loads of scripts, including PHP and others, most, if not all, are free. Happy browsing.

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