Support for Webmentions

Webmentions: Webmentions: Enabling Better Communication on the Internet – A List Apart

Webmentions are an W3C spec that is a way to bring @-reply style communication to platforms outside of the typical social media platforms. They allow the publication of ‘responses’ across websites/publishing platforms, with support for notifications to the author of the original post, and ability to embed/extend information from the original post. I believe Ghost would benefit greatly from support them.

That new W3C standard can be really good. From the above link:

  1. Alice has a website where she writes an article about her rocket engine hobby.
  2. Bob has his own website where he writes a reply to Alice’s article. Within his reply, Bob includes the permalink URL of Alice’s article.
  3. When Bob publishes his reply, his publishing software automatically notifies Alice’s server that her post has been linked to by the URL of Bob’s reply.
  4. Alice’s publishing software verifies that Bob’s post actually contains a link to her post and then (optionally) includes information about Bob’s post on her site; for example, displaying it as a comment.

A Webmention is simply an @mention that works from one website to another!

Seems similar to what WordPress does with pinbacks, but it has been abused a lot by spammers.

Not saying it’s not a good feature, but it needs to have some security measures in it to minimize spam.

Yes, but W3C’s webmentions seem safer than the old pingbacks, by using Vouch (something like “the friends of my friends are my friends too”). Pingback’s repentant inventor enabled webmentions on his static site.

I talked to one of the authors/contributors to the spec about a year ago and it sounded like it was getting interesting. However, I’m still yet to see a single compelling implementation of it - which IMO is the main thing holding it back.

I asked the authors last year if they had any examples or would be willing to build any prototype implementations in open source projects - but apparently that’s not a thing they do

Based on the ALA article linked above, it seems to have gained a bit of steam. Would still be interested in some more practical info/spec/docs/examples about specific use cases for how it could be used in Ghost, however.


Max Böck has a nice working example of Webmentions on his personal website. The implementation is built on Eleventy (static site generator), but it could be nice to see similar thing implemented for Ghost.

However, I’m still not sure whether I’d enable the feature or not personally. My concern is in, whether it adds real value to the actual blog post or if it’s just added noise. I do like the fact that it gives the feeling of community involvement / conversation is happening around the blog article though :slight_smile:

Like John, I’d love to see more real world usage and implementations. The idea does seem promising, hopefully it will evolve into something great!


So how would one go about implementing this themselves?

just personal opinion here but … before we talk about cross domain mentioning systems/communication between commenters … a baseline, internal commenting system should be in order first.

With memberships coming, one must wonder if the comment system is also being built to support members ability to somehow comment and communicate with one another.

1 Like

Personally I’d rather do it with webmentons than internal comment. But that’s just my opinion

1 Like

@John Looks like this is gaining some more traction, and I’ve seen a good implementations of it on Andy Bell’s site. Andy references Max’s site, which also has a good implementation and tutorial.

It would be really great to have something like this that worked ‘out of the box’ and didn’t really on a 3rd party script.


FWIW, I implemented webmentions in my ghost blog (see one of the blog posts on It’s really an inefficient implementation, though, since I need to fetch the mentions each time someone views a page. My blog is pretty low traffic, so “it’s fine” but I’d prefer to have the mentions stored in ghost so I could just fetch new ones when someone visits the page (or have them pushed).

I like the idea of webmentions because I long ago abandoned commenting on my blog; I push all my ghost posts to my ( which then get pushed all all my current social media accounts. I would like the discussion to occur in those places, not on the blog, and this allows me to aggregate some indication of activity. So I tend to agree with @MayanMisfit, but I understand that others might like comments, and I don’t see them as incompatible (even if I have comments, I’d like to have and show some record of external mentions).

I suspect there was big updates related but I’m still without understanding what is need for using webmentions as is on our blogs.

Please, can someone more experienced point this out? I suspect we are more than a few wanting to implement it :)