WCS screen low

Installing a Reader Comments System on an NOF Website

A while back, I realized that visitors to this site really could use an opportunity to ask questions, make suggestions and report their experiences with the various projects. This site is built in an easy-to-use WYSIWYG web editor called NetObjects Fusion (NOF) and I will be doing an article about that in the future. To me, it’s all about the content and I try to stay as far away from arcane code (like server scripts and PHP) as possible.

The industry buzzword for a reader comment feature is a guestbook (GB). So I searched for GB solutions which would support separate GB’s for every article on the site and which would integrate well with NOF. It turns out that finding a suitable solution wasn’t easy. However, I ended up with an excellent and free package called Website Comments System® (WCS). A small donation is asked for the top version.

While WCS can drop-in without having to hack any code, I needed to make some simple tweaks which would make it look and act just the way I wanted. With kind help from the developer (with whom I am not affiliated) I was able to achieve the perfect solution, which you can see in action, at the bottom of this page. (Feel free to experiment with it!)

This article is about how you can install and customize WCS on your site, taking advantage of what I learned about the system. Read it here (free):

WCS article icon

View the reader comment system article. (0.5MB)

Alternate header image WCS_head_fp.gif


Reader Comments

Posted by Steve L. March 16, 2010 - 12:56 pm
Hi Denis,

Thank you for the kind words.

I used the $20 WCS version. By the way, I took the "HTML" in the product name to be just part of the name and not indicating anything different about the structure of the code. My impression is that the lower versions are subsets of the top version.

I haven't had much of a problem with spam but my site has relatively low traffic. I have only had a couple of spam postings, so far. Also, I am adding to the banned-words list to deflect future attacks. WCS does come with a long list of words it detects, to deal with spam and other issues. Operating with the captcha test, it seems to take care of the problem. The fact that I can extend it shows promise of retaining control. Also, it makes me feel a lot better, being able to fight back, instead of being helpless.

Regarding the input form space, you can easily adjust the text area in the code which WCS gives you (or my modified version on p.7 of the article) to paste into an NOF text box. Look for the "rows" and "cols" attributes to set the number of rows and columns.

I will be happy to help if you have further questions.

Posted by Denis G. March 16, 2010 - 12:59 pm
Hi Steve and good article, many thanks for posting the link(s)

Like yourself I am a big believer in the KISS format and I have tried this
sort of thing in the past but spam has always made me remove them after only
a few days. Few questions:
1) When you say you used the top version of WCS, did you mean the 'Extended'
version at $10 or the WCS html version at $20?
2) Have you found any spam problems so far?
3) The input page seems to take up a lot of space and extends scrolling
somewhat, easy to compress?

Sorry if the questions are all answered in your article, just had a quick
'speedread' of it at the moment but will read it in full later once I know
which version to download :)

Posted by Steve L. March 04, 2010 - 01:45 pm
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