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Integrating into the new KiteFrame site

By Tim Mortimer

As regular attendees on the London technology Meetup scene, we have always enjoyed the various conversations we have had with fellow Meetup goers over the years. They form a good part of how we grow as developers, providing us with insights and opinions from a broader range of experiences.

Approaching the redesign of our site, we naturally wanted it to also foster discussions about the topics that we are interested in, namely domain-driven design, continuous delivery and product development. Needless to say, we needed a commenting solution.


The most ubiquitous standalone commenting platform out there is most likely Disqus. However, if you think you are getting Disqus for free, think again. As is the way, it turns out that they have a little side business selling the data on your commenters to advertisers: At the time of writing, this subdomain was not even secured with HTTPS. If I worked at Disqus, I'd probably be a little insecure too. They have no shame in quoting "Every 30 days, Disqus collects 1.6 trillion data points across 2 billion monthly unique visits to our audience platform."

Furthermore, after reading a damning indictment on David Calhoun's blog, I learned that Disqus makes nearly one hundred additional HTTP requests. It turns out that not only is Disqus bad for your privacy, it is bad for your site and the planet too.

Evaluating Commento

Keen to find an alternative solution to Disqus, I started to review some of my favourite blogs for inspiration. The answer came from Marco Behler's blog, which I have always found instructional. Its clean, no-nonsense writing is backed by great commenting functionality, powered by Commento. I signed up to the trial and got to work.

Local Development

An immediate frustration with Commento was the lack of support for local development. The hosted version of Commento is configured with the domain at which you host your site, which is obviously not localhost:3000.

The solution to this conundrum came from Remy Sharp, who pointed out that the Commento script inspects the window.parent.location object. The fix is simple - simply update the object to point to your site's domain. Since our site is built with Next.js, this involved using a useEffect() hook in our guide page's component.

useEffect(() => {
  window.parent = {
    location: {
      host: "",
      pathname: meta.commentoId,

Consistent IDs

By default, Commento uses the browser's URL to determine which page's comments should be loaded. This sounds ideal, until you want to change the page's URL as part of a site restructure or an SEO optimisation. In the event that you do change a page's URL, you must update the div element containing the comments to include a data-page-id attribute as follows:

<div id="commento" data-page-id="/original/path/to/page"/>

Maintaining and keeping track of those URLs was going to be pain, and so I opted for a more robust solution.

The more eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that I set the pathname on the window.parent.location object to meta.commentoId. With all our posts written in Markdown, we opted to include an UUID4 identifier in the Front Matter of each guide, which is explicitly set as the page id. This conveniently decouples the Commento comments from the page's URL, making future URL changes much simpler.


Overall, I have found Commento to be a pretty straightforward way to support user commenting on the KiteFrame site. The $10 / month ($99 / year) pricing is a great value for money given that we don't have to worry about the servers involved in hosting it, not to mention that we also do not have to compromise our commenter's privacy in the process.

Have you, or are you considering using Commento on your site? Comment with Commento below, and let us know what you think!