The Shifted Librarian - Shifting Libraries at the speed of byte

How to Add the YACCS Commenting System

Please note that YACCS has stopped providing accounts for new users due to the current load on their servers! Sorry, but it was necessary to maintain the existing service.

Written for Radio 8 using the Transmitter template, although you should be able to adapt it to other templates as well. Send me your comments and suggestions for improving it!

The YACCS Comment Service is provided for free by Rate Your Music. Setting it up should take you 15 minutes or less. Reasons to use this service include:

  1. Their code tracks how many comments have been made and displays the number on your page (eg " Comments [1] " ).
  2. You can subscribe to your own RSS comments feed so that they show up in your Radio news aggregator. How cool is that! Since I've done this, I don't have to check my individual posts to see if I've gotten a comment. Instead, they just appear in my aggregator and I can read them right there.
  3. It even supports browsers that don't use Javascript.

image of what a comment looks like

Please note that YACCS works with Blogger and Radio only. All of the heavy duty stuff runs on their server, which means the service runs quickly and seamlessly on your site. Once you create an account with them, they'll give you some code to insert into your Radio templates. Once you do this, your commenting system will magically appear and start working. Like Radio, it's insanely easy to get up and running.

Make note of the following settings for your blog, because you'll need them to configure your YACCS account.

  1. The URL for your blog (whether it's on the Userland servers or your own)
  2. The name of your blog
  3. Your time zone

That was hard, wasn't it? Now go to YACCS and create an account. As you're configuring your account, you can choose the background color, link color, text color, text size, text font, time zone, the order of your comments (ascending or descending), and language. You'll also have the option of adding a block of text that will go at the top of each comment window.

screenshot of yaccs config screen

Again, we're still in the no-brainer stage. After you're done filling out all of the boxes, press the button at the bottom, and you'll see the code you need to copy and paste into your Radio template. RYM provides great instructions for adding the code to your template, so I'm mostly going to show screenshots.

As noted on the screen, the first set of code goes in your Home Page Template (located in your Prefs) somewhere between the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags. Just copy it from the YACCS page and paste it right into the template. Here's where I put mine.

header code

Save the changes to your home page template and then go back to Prefs and choose Item Template. This is the template that generates each individual item that you post, so you need to copy the second set of code from the YACCS site and paste it in here. You can put it anywhere in that template, and you can surround it with font tags to alter its appearance. This is where I put mine.

image of code in item template

And that's pretty much it. Easy, isn't it? RYM asks that you note somewhere on your page that you are using their system and include a link back to them. They give you code for a text link or a logo link. Make sure you thank them for providing this great service!

When you as the administrator of your comments view the actual comments box on your site, you'll see the IP address of someone who posted a comment, as well as a "ban this host" link and a "Delete This Comment" link. Rest assured that you are the only one seeing this. Your users don't see any of these features.

screenshot of delete link

One final note: the coolest part of the YACCS system is that you can go to your Control Panel after you've created your account and find the URL for the XML feed for your comments. This means that you can copy that URL, go to your Radio News Aggregator, and subscribe to your own comments. Then you'll see them appear in your daily news, rather than having to check each individual post on a daily basis. Big score for YACCS!

*** One more final note: if you're using Javascript code to offer the option to open links in new windows (like I have on my site), you may find that it causes YACCS to open an extra blank window when someone clicks to comment. I was using a script from Dynamic Drive, and I saw this happening.

However, there is a workaround posted on the YACCS Message Boards for a similar script from RandomWalks. I've switched to it, and it seems to be working well so far.