November 2021 update

Is Welcomments still being developed? Why yes it is!

What’s new?

Although there is still stuff to be done, a lot of the core features are there today.

In April of 2021, Welcomments already had all of the following features:

  • automatic spam protection
  • email notifications for new comments and replies
  • full functionality with no Javascript
  • a base CSS file to get you started while offering full customizability
  • optional Javascript snippet for more interactive experiences
  • admin panel and easy setup for new websites

The pace has slowed down a little bit compared to the start of this year, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve been sleeping for 6 months!

Let’s see some of the new stuff.

Dark mode!

Nowadays, I’m a big believer of dark mode.

Most websites implement it, but Welcomments didn’t. This meant that every time I wanted to use the Welcomments admin console, I was blinded by the sudden change in brightness. No more! The Welcomments landing page now adapts to dark mode too.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find a sane way yet to add dark mode support for the Welcomments starter CSS template. Switching to dark mode automatically based on the system dark mode would break existing websites that only work in dark mode.

For adding dark mode support for your own Welcomments comment section, you can use our CSS file for getting started.

Manual comment moderation

Since the very beginning, Welcomments has used Akismet for automatic spam protection. And that’s still the case. However, support for manual comment moderation has been requested quite a few times.

You can now opt-in to that.

A screenshot of enabling manual comment moderation for Welcomments.

In the settings tab of your website, you can check a checkbox to disable the automatic spam protection and manually approve every comment yourself.

Every new comment will appear in the moderation queue tab.

Viewing spam comments

Now there’s a new tab called “Spam” in your website’s details page in the Welcomments admin console. Here you’ll find all the comments that were automatically flagged as spam.

If for some reason, a comment was wrongly classified as spam, you can publish it with a click of a button.

Experimental like counter

For my personal blog, I wanted a simple like counter for each of my articles, so I created one.

It’s fully customizable, but here’s one way it could look like with copy-pasted Tailwind UI component classes:

If you’d like to try it out, it’s simple - add any element in your page with an id of welcomments__like-button:

<div id="welcomments__like-button"></div>

Style it in any way you like.

You also need to have the https://cdn.welcomments.io/welcomments.js script tag in the same page - this is automatically added when creating a new Welcomments project.

Work-in-progress documentation

We now have a documentation section.

It still needs some love - we’ll keep on updating and improving it.

Miscellanous improvements

Welcomments also has gotten tons of bugfixes and small improvements over the last six months.

Notably, but not limited to:

  • Users can now unsubscribe from comment reply notification emails by following a link at the bottom of each email
  • We’re now adding rel="nofollow external" and target="_blank" for all links in comment message bodies
  • Blockquotes were not previously working - that’s now fixed
  • Faster response times - we moved our servers to Frankfurt, and will add new locations in the future so that the admin console & comments are handled really fast wherever the users are.
  • The admin console should now feel way snappier, but we’re still working on it!

We’re continuing to add some cool features and polishing the existing experience. Stay tuned!

24 comments

Iiro Krankka

Don’t be shy, write something!

Since this blog is using Jekyll, all the posts will be rendered as prebuilt static HTML. And since we’re also using Welcomments, the comments are treated the same way.

Each comment will be committed to this folder on GitHub and Netlify will rebuild the site, resulting in fully static SEO-friendly HTML.

Reply to Iiro Krankka
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Iiro Krankka

Right now, after posting a comment, you can’t delete it yourself, but the site administrator can.

Would you be interested in commenters being able to delete comments themselves?

Reply to Iiro Krankka

Hi Iiro!

Did you get a chance to look into providing a Welcomments js-snippet for showing comment counts for each article in blog post listings (for example, blog index page)? :)

Cheers!

Reply to Juha
Iiro Krankka

Hey Juha!

With eleventy, you could do something like this:

{% for post in posts limit:10 %}
  
    <h2>{{ post.data.title }}</h2><p>...</p><p>{{ (welcomments[post.fileSlug] | objectValues).size }} comments</p>
  
{% endfor %}

I’ll incorporate a nice way to do this into all of the templates eventually :-)

Reply to Iiro Krankka

Hi Iiro,

Thanks for the suggestion! For some reason, that always returns 0 for the comment count, even though the article in question would have comments.

Probably some misconfiguration from my part.

But it’s not that big of a deal really. I’ll be happy to wait for the baked in templates approach, whenever that comes available.

Cheers! :)

Reply to Juha
Iiro Krankka

The 11ty template is a bit flawed to begin with - I’ll rethink it some time and maybe make all of the starter templates open source so that they will have examples of all common use cases :-)

Thanks for being patient and Happy New Year!

Reply to Iiro Krankka

Oh, one feature suggestion. Would you consider adding support for Gravatars?

It could be a feature that the site author can enable/disable from Welcomments admin panel. If the commenter typed their email and the email hash would match a user in Gravatar, their Gravatar image would show instead of the default name initials.

I feel it would create more community like feel in the comments section, when commentator would have a “face”. I guess it’s also something I’ve just so used to, coming from the WordPress world initially :)

Thanks!

Reply to Juha
Iiro Krankka

I did consider Gravatar, but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea in 2022 to expose the md5 hashes of users’ email addresses to everyone visiting a given site.

I will have to look at the “proper” way to add avatars, maybe it’s Gravatar, maybe it’s something else.

Reply to Iiro Krankka

Yeah, that’s certainly true. Privacy first for sure.

If it could be done in secure manner, then great, if not, it’s not that big of a deal (the current avatars are good too).

Thanks for looking into it! :)

Cheers!

Reply to Juha

GitHub-flavored Markdown & a sane subset of HTML is supported.

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