Static Sites are Great
You can host your static site for free (well, for just the price of the domain registration) on a variety of platforms, including Netlify, Cloudflare Pages, or GitHub Pages. This blog is a static site. (For information on the tools used to create this site, check out Tech Notes: How This Site was Made.
We have email – it’s a great tool and can enable communication between a blogger and their readers. But most visitors to a blog are not inclined to reach out by email. For better or worse, the popularity of social media and commenting solutions like Disqus are what people are used to, and having a form at the bottom of a post to submit a comment is pretty much expected these days.
Why not Disqus?
Forms. Yes, an old fashioned HTML
<form> that submits its contents to a URL via a POST request. You get the comment by email, weed out any spam, and then manually update the blog page.
How do you do that without your own server? There are a bunch of options, from Netlify Forms (didn’t like the autocharge for exceeding the free plan’s limit, though) and a whole slew of website forms companies that have a variety of plans (and limitations on the free plans).
After a bunch of research I settled on formsubmits.com. It’s free and really easy to set up. I even set up my static site generator to include a hidden field with the current post’s link, so when a comment arrives in my email I always know which post it’s about.
Of course manually updating a static site with comments could become tedious if you have a high volume of comments, but for a low-traffic personal blog it works just fine.
Zoho Forms: A lot like Google Forms, but not from Google. You can build a form with a custom “Thank You” page redirect for free. Deep in the form’s settings there’s an option to add URL parameters that automatically fill a field, so you could, for example, link to
Set up a serverless function on to accept comment submissions: It probably works great, but setting it up involves more complexity than I’m looking for in a handmade website.
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