Is there anything we can do/contribute to help you guys build this? Are there any blockers or it’s just a matter of time? If it’s the latter, is there anything we can PR to push this up?
+1 for this. Actually, just native commenting ability would be very excited addition to the already excellent platform. It’s the single biggest thing I feel is missing from Ghost right now. All the paid subscriptions, user / reader history, etc. are great bonuses, but I’d be very happy to see “just” the comments ability!
In the meantime, I guess I’ll be playing around with Discourse a bit…
We’re currently evaluating different CMS solutions for one of our clients (a popular author). This missing feature would be a key part in the project and is currently the deciding factor for not using Ghost.
I hope this gets implemented soon, even if it’s just a first MVP that allows paid subscriptions / 1-time purchases of articles tied to a user account. Even without all the other great features mentioned by John, this would be a winner.
We are at a similar point as @kompakd
We would need a membership/paywall solution as well. I have worked out a proof-of-concept for a solution that would work in front of Ghost, mostly at the web server level. Feature wise it would be only a small part of what @John proposed in his initial post above. It should only decide on whether someone is allowed to view the content or not.
For those interested in the concept: First of all, I am unhappy with the blogging/CMS plattform having to do all the “heavy lifting”. For example, with all the membership and paywall plugins for WordPress that I looked at, one has to disable caching if the user is logged in. This means: Slower responses exactly for the ones that are most important to us - paying readers.
Therefore, I was looking how the Varnish Cache dealt with membership/paywall solutions. Well, they do offer the Varnish-Paywall. But only to subscribers of their hosted service (starting? at 12 000 USD/year) and then for an extra fee, of course.
However, I found an outline of how a self-built solution with the opensource Varnish could work. Now, we do not (yet) use Varnish and therefore, I was trying to think of how this could be achieved with our favorite webserver (h2o). h2o has built-in support for mrbuy (a subset of the Ruby language). In my proof-of-concept a small Ruby app caches pages in two version, free for everyone and free only for paid subscribers. The “free” version has parts of the page scrambled/pixelated - based on markers in the post template or the post text itself. If a post has the tag “free”, the two versions are identical.
The version that is delivered to the reader depends on a cookie. That cookie is created when the user logs in and has a paid subscription. Not yet implemented, but this info will be stored in Redis so that a very quick lookup can be achieved. If the cookie does not exist, or if it is not known in Redis the reader only gets the “free” version and he can log in again to have the cookie set.
The “free” tag can be set manually to mark a post “free for all” or we could “free” old content via a cron job (e.g. posts older than X days).
Another part that is not yet implemented: When someone works in the backend (writes/edits/publishes a post), the relative page cache needs to be emptied (possibly also tag pages etc.). This should be relatively easy to implement: h2o identifies the objectid, checks the Ghost API and lets a script delete the cached pages.
This is not ready yet. And we may in the end decide for a different plattform, but I wanted to let you know that we are seeing options even outside the Ghost code (the same mechanism could be used also with e.g. WordPress membership plugins but allowing the caching of pages).