"Native" comments for Ghost

Hi all. I’m Dan, a blogger on Ghost and a software developer.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about Ghost’s memberships and how amazing they are for publishers looking for a way to monetise their audience.

I noticed a lack of “community” though. It’s impossible to post new articles or newsletters to your members and get feedback or create discussions around your content.

This got me thinking.

Over the past three weeks I’ve built the first version of Cove, a commenting system for Ghost that sits on top of memberships. It lets members who are signed in (for example, any member who has clicked on their email confirmation) comment on your posts. It works for both paid and free memberships, and you can even hide comments from non-members entirely if you want.

Please check Cove out at cove.chat.

I’d love for anyone here to try it on your blogs. It’s a paid service as this is independent software, however as a token of thanks for any feedback or discussion you can provided about this idea on this thread, I’d love to offer anyone reading this 30% off a monthly plan with the code FORUM30 (which is available to use until the end of June 2020).

Unlike other players in the commenting market (like Disqus, Commento and CommentBox), Cove runs on your existing member accounts and Ghost’s built-in log in system. No need to ask readers to log in with their Google, Twitter or Facebook accounts or create yet another new account on an external service. Using Ghost’s authentication system, there are far fewer moving parts and we can also rely on a solid foundation that is standard across all Ghost blogs.

If you have any questions, I’d be glad to answer them here!

Cheers, and hope you’re all doing well :relaxed:

-Dan Rowden

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This looks great, I’m excited to try it!

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Thanks John! Looking forward to hearing what you think.

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This is such a good idea. Count me in.

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Hey @dan, I really liked Cove.chat, and I think the pricing strategy is fair. I just have a suggestion: my blog currently doesn’t have many visits, but I wish I could use your Ghost Plugin.

Could you consider create a new “layer” of pricing, for free, for websites with let’s say, less than 10 comments. And after these free “10 comments”, it would need to be a paid packet in order to continue to use the plugin.

I would suggest it, even in order to popularize your great solution. I would be happy to use it in my website for free in the beginning and when my website gain traction, and comments, no problems to pay a monthly or annual SaaS plan.

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Hi @BrunoCampana! Thanks for having a look at Cove and for your feedback!

I have stayed away from offering a free, limited plan at the moment. The main reason being I want every user to have unlimited everything, and then sprinkle in useful “extra” features as you go up the plans.

I totally get what you’re saying and I will think about it some more, but maybe instead of a totally free plan, I would prefer to add a cheaper plan. Though if I go too much under $5, the payment processor fees become brutal (at $4 I would lose almost 20% of revenue to fees).

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Thanks for the quick reply, the point here is that we actually don’t know which blogs will be “very popular” in the near future, but if every Ghost Blog use your solution for free with a strong locker, say, free for up to 5 comments in total (not for month, but in total), thus, everyone who tasted the plugin and have a public, will definitely use the paid version, and those who don’t achieve this threshold, would never be a paid customer anyway.

It’s my case, by the way.

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Looks great but sadly not really accessible for smaller blogs. My suggestion would be to have a free tier for blogs with < 10 comments a month for instance.

Another option would be for Ghost to buy Cove :smile:

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@dan I love design principles at play here. Very clean and architecturally sound. I recognize that it’s a project that takes a lot of work, and you have spent valuable time developing it. I wonder if perhaps a solution to the cost issue for some, would be to offer a one-time purchase? This wouldn’t include support presumably, but might be more feasibly for non-profits for instance, that operate on grants and might not have regular cash-flow for monthly expenses.

I’m excited to see how you structure this in the future.

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I think this is fantastic. Great job man!

I understand your point of view on the pricing. Honestly, for blogs having a membership already this is the solution that makes the most sense. Other alternatives should feed the void if this is not the case.

Looking forward to see the growth of this!

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Thanks for all the input here @gregpozo @explore @AlexKalopsia @BrunoCampana :boom: It really helps me with the product, and means a lot.

For launch, I’ve positioned Cove at blogs for which $8 (less than 30 cents/day) is a no-brainer for fostering or growing a community around their content. This will either be for smaller blogs who aspire to grow an engaged readership (using Cove as the tool to do that), or medium/large blogs which already have an existing subscriber base.

At the moment, I think it’s important that Cove is a paid solution, so I can sustain it and keep it running long term. Offering a free plan and creating a potential situation of supporting hundreds of blogs for free unfortunately doesn’t make sense for an independent developer.

However, I am happy to offer anyone a longer 30-day trial to help establish the members needed to sustain a monthly plan. Just contact me through the help chat once you’ve got set up!

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Ok, now I understand your business plan. Wish you luck!

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Yeah, it’s a good point, especially as things start now. Just for the future, though, do keep in mind that some people (like myself ^^) run blogs without any commercial drive/desire. So as the tool becomes more stable in the future it would be great to have access to Cove in one way or another (like someone above suggested, even as pay-once with no tech support)

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Awesome!

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Commenting made specifically for Ghost? Yeah, I’ll give it a shot!

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This is great! Like others said, Cove is very clean.

I can see it cutting down public spam and improving comment moderation by tracking the offending member since it’s integrated.

In retrospect, I could have saved a lot of hours trying “free” scripts that seemed a little dubious and complicated. I’ve added Cove to my blog It Has Vegun (it’s bare right now, sorry), along with social buttons from AddToAny. Plays along nicely! Now I’ll just have to implement my own social buttons.

Good job so far, @dan!