As Hugo is a static site generator, the content produced is static and doesn’t interact with the users. The most common interaction people ask for is comment capability.

Hugo ships with support for Disqus, a third-party service that provides comment and community capabilities to website via JavaScript.

Your theme may already support Disqus, but even it if doesn’t, it is easy to add.

Disqus Support

Adding Disqus to a template

Hugo comes with all the code you would need to include load Disqus. Simply include the following line where you want your comments to appear:

{{ template "_internal/disqus.html" . }}

Configuring Disqus

That template requires you to set a single value in your site config file, e.g. config.yaml.

disqusShortname = "XYW"

Additionally, you can optionally set the following in the front matter for a given piece of content:

  • disqus_identifier
  • disqus_title
  • disqus_url

Conditional Loading of Disqus Comments

Users have noticed that enabling Disqus comments when running the Hugo web server on localhost causes the creation of unwanted discussions on the associated Disqus account. In order to prevent this, a slightly tweaked partial template is required. So, rather than using the built-in "_internal/disqus.html" template referenced above, create a template in your partials folder that looks like this:

<div id="disqus_thread"></div>
<script type="text/javascript">

(function() {
    // Don't ever inject Disqus on localhost--it creates unwanted
    // discussions from 'localhost:1313' on your Disqus account...
    if (window.location.hostname == "localhost")
        return;

    var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true;
    var disqus_shortname = '{{ .Site.DisqusShortname }}';
    dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + '.disqus.com/embed.js';
    (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq);
})();
</script>
<noscript>Please enable JavaScript to view the <a href="http://disqus.com/?ref_noscript">comments powered by Disqus.</a></noscript>
<a href="http://disqus.com/" class="dsq-brlink">comments powered by <span class="logo-disqus">Disqus</span></a>

Notice that there is a simple if statement that detects when you are running on localhost and skips the initialization of the Disqus comment injection.

Now, reference the partial template from your page template:

{{ partial "disqus.html" . }}

Alternatives

A few alternatives exist to Disqus:

Kaiju

Kaiju is an open-source project started by spf13 (Hugo’s author) to bring easy and fast real time discussions to the web.

Written using Go, Socket.io and MongoDB, it is very fast and easy to deploy.

It is in early development but shows promise. If you have interest, please help by contributing whether via a pull request, an issue or even just a tweet. Everything helps.

txtpen

txtpen adds highlighting an in-line commenting similar to Medium to your Hugo blog.

Discourse

Additionally, you may recognize Discourse as the system that powers the Hugo Discussion Forum.