Exploring Isso: A Disqus Alternative for Dynamic Comments

In the ever-evolving landscape of online discussions, having a robust commenting system is crucial for engaging with your audience and fostering community interaction. While platforms like Disqus have long dominated the market, there's a rising interest in alternative solutions that offer more flexibility, control, and privacy. Enter Isso – a lightweight, open-source commenting server designed to provide a seamless commenting experience while putting users' privacy first. In this in-depth exploration, we'll dive into the features, installation process, and community around Isso, shedding light on why it's gaining traction as a viable Disqus alternative.

Introducing Isso

Isso, derived from the German phrase "Ich schrei sonst" meaning "I would otherwise scream," is a Python and JavaScript-based commenting server that aims to be a drop-in replacement for Disqus. Developed with simplicity, privacy, and user control in mind, Isso offers a range of features tailored to meet the needs of website owners and users alike.

Features at a Glance

Let's take a closer look at some of the key features that make Isso stand out:

Markdown Support

Isso allows users to write comments in Markdown, a lightweight markup language that's easy to read and write. This enables users to format their comments using familiar syntax and create rich, well-structured content.

SQLite Backend

With a focus on simplicity and efficiency, Isso uses SQLite as its backend database. This lightweight, serverless database is ideal for managing comment data without the overhead of more complex database systems.

Import from Disqus & WordPress

Migrating from Disqus or WordPress to Isso is a breeze, thanks to its seamless import functionality. Website owners can easily transfer their existing comment threads to Isso without any hassle, ensuring a smooth transition for both administrators and users.

Configurable JavaScript Client

Isso provides a configurable JavaScript client that can be easily embedded into any website. With a single JS file weighing in at just 65kB (20kB gzipped), integrating Isso into your site is fast and effortless.

Getting Started with Isso

Ready to give Isso a try? Here's how to get started:


Before installing Isso, ensure you have the following prerequisites:

  • Python 3.8+ (with devel headers)
  • SQLite 3.3.8 or later
  • A working C compiler


Install Isso from PyPi using pip:

pip install isso

Then, follow the Quickstart guide and installation instructions provided in the Isso documentation.

Using Docker

For those who prefer Docker, Isso offers a Docker image with the latest stable release. Simply pull the image from ghcr.io/isso-comments/isso:latest and follow the instructions for using Docker provided in the Isso documentation.

Contributing to Isso

Isso welcomes contributions from the community. Whether you're a seasoned developer or new to open-source, there are plenty of ways to get involved:

  • Submit pull requests for bug fixes or new features.
  • Participate in discussions and provide feedback on GitHub.
  • Help translate Isso into different languages to make it accessible to a global audience.

Join the Isso Community

Connect with other Isso users and contributors by joining the Isso community:

  • Join the #isso channel on Matrix or IRC to engage in real-time discussions.
  • Ask questions and seek assistance on GitHub Discussions.


In conclusion, Isso offers a compelling alternative to traditional commenting systems like Disqus, providing website owners with greater control, privacy, and flexibility. With its Markdown support, lightweight architecture, and easy installation process, Isso is well-positioned to meet the needs of websites of all sizes. Whether you're a blogger, developer, or website owner looking to enhance user engagement, Isso is definitely worth exploring as a Disqus alternative. So why not give it a try and see the difference it can make to your online community?

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