If there is one question I receive more than any other this has to be it. How do I get comments on an iWeb blog without hosting it on MobileMe? I did publish a few tutorials regarding this very subject way back when All About iWeb was in its infancy and I recommended to you all JS-Kit.
Sadly they have been taken over and the free service is no longer available (as far as I can see) so I set about trying to find an alternative, and here it is.
Why do you want comments on your iWeb blog?
Adding interactivity to your web-site, whether it is built with iWeb or not is a fantastic idea. Getting people involved always helps to get your visitors coming back, they start conversations and help to build a community. In addition it is another way for your site visitors to get in touch with you and to tell you what they think of your site.
Adding the comments to your iWeb site
To begin with you need to open your favorite browser and point it in the direction of Disqus.com and sign up for an account. It’s free and simple to do and you can even have a play with a live demo.
You have to enter your site’s URL, its name along with a username, password and contact e-mail address. Easy!
Step 2 lets you customize your comments form allowing you to change the language and add things such as Twitter or Facebook buttons. In addition you can choose whether or not to allow users to add attachments and if you want trackbacks to show up.
The final page of the sign-up process asks you to choose your blogging platform. As you are an iWeb user you have to choose the ‘Universal Code’ option at the bottom of the page.
You will then be taken to a final page which contains all of the code you will need to add to your blog posts to get the comments to show up.
It was about now that I realized that ‘Mail’ had just gone ping and I had received one of those activation e-mails from Disqus, so complete that before continuing.
You don’t need the bottom two bits of code to add comments so just select all of the code in the top box and copy it.
Open your iWeb blog and find the page you want to add comments to. Add a HTML Snippet and drop the code into the transparent black box that opens, then click ‘Apply’.
We are now presented with 2 problems. The first is obvious, your comments don’t seem to be working and you get an error message like the image below.
This really isn’t a major issue. You are getting this message because your iWeb site is not published to the internet yet, it is still stored locally on your Mac. Your comments will (should) work when you publish your site.
The second problem isn’t so obvious but could well be an issue for you. The HTML snippet will not expand as more and more comments are added. The only way for you to have these comments on your site is to stretch the length of the HTML snippet a fair length down the page. The length is entirely up to you; how popular do you think your post will be? Only you can be the judge. You can always comeback and drag the length down a bit more if you get inundated.
You can see in the image below I have altered the width and height of the HTML snippet to match the page width and to allow for at least a few initial comments before I alter the page.
Now all you have to do is publish as normal. If you are not happy with the look of your comments section then check out your ‘Account’ settings on the Disqus web-site, there are options for customization, that shouldn’t mean a change to your code; which is always a good thing.