Welcomments

A better comment system for static websites.

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I needed a comment system for my personal blog.

My blog is based on Jekyll, which uses markdown files and renders static HTML out of them. It made sense to me to use a similar approach for the comments as well.

April 21, 2021 March & April 2021 recap

During the past 5 weeks, Welcomments got 14 new users. This translated to 8 new websites where Welcomments was integrated.

One of the most notable ones was GDQuest.com - a website, built with Hugo, teaching how to develop games with the Godot Engine. Two other notable ones were samui-samui.de and Dan MacKinlay’s personal website, both also built with Hugo.

For a more in-depth walkthrough:

March 21, 2021 Finding the first users

This week was a very busy one!

I decided to reach out to people on the Jekyll & Jamstack subreddits. From the Jekyll subreddit, there was a pretty mild response, but r/Jamstack had a few people interested.

Then I finished my Hugo template and decided to post about it on the Hugo subreddit. That wast the best out of the communities so far! I got 20 upvotes and 7 comments and so far, the post is the top post on r/gohugo for this month. It has been on the top of the subreddit for 4 days now. Then someone made a post on the Hugo forums. It received more comments.

I got some criticisms and objections, but I also got very enthusiastic responses. There was even one person that started fine-tuning the Hugo template and making it ready for i18n, from whom I also got some great feedback about some of the pain points.

Out of all of this, I got 6 new signups, out of which 1 finished integrating Welcomments on their site, and the rest gave up somewhere in the process. One obvious reason might be that the Hugo template wasn't working on older Hugo versions, but I fixed that.

This week in bullet points:

  • 6k impressions on Twitter posts
  • 11 new Twitter followers, notably "Hugo Newsletter"
  • 6 new user account signups, 1 new live Welcomments integration
  • 1 very enthusiastic user, a lot of positive responses
  • some criticisms about the pricing model - I might have to revise that

All in all, I'm happy that I followed my friend's advice and decided to reach out to people even though my product is not "perfect" yet.

Right now, I'm looking for reaching out to more people, creating more templates, and streamlining some of the backend code to be more manageable.

Let's see how it goes!

March 15, 2021 Public beta launch

Based on feedback from two of my successful maker friends (hi there @flschweiger & @deltabadger !), I decided I should just open up my signup page and reach out to people.

So I did.

I thought I would have to implement support for Hugo & Eleventy templates, but turns out I was overthinking. I already had strong Jekyll support, and Jan & Frederik both pointed out that I could start reaching out to Jekyll users.

Obvious, right? Well, yes it is, but for some reason, I couldn't see that at the moment.

The moral of the story: have two successful IndieHacker friends that talk sense to you when you're being stupid.

February 13, 2020 Landing page

I created a simple landing page for collecting emails of people interested in trying my product. It also has a survey that asks some specific questions, so that I can better prioritize my work based on what my future users want.

What's weird is that I never told anyone about my site and it wasn't indexed by Google, but I still got a handful of signups!

The only explanation I can come up with for that is that those people must've seen the comment system in action on my own website, inspected the source code, and seen where the comment form points to.

If they really did go through all those hoops, it's pretty cool and makes me wonder how many interested people I'd have if I advertised my landing page!

I needed a comment system for my personal blog.

My blog is based on Jekyll, which uses markdown files and renders static HTML out of them. It made sense to me to use a similar approach for the comments as well.