A guide to the best WordPress Chat Plugin
Last updated November 21, 2023
Customers expect convenience, speed, and personalization from your brand. And an effective live chat plugin for WordPress provides all three (and more) when it’s integrated within your existing systems and workflows.
But with hundreds of WordPress chat plugins, just getting started can be overwhelming.
So to help you take the first steps to implement a live chat plugin, we’ll cover what WordPress chat plugins are, how and why to use them, and how to evaluate them. By the end of this page, you’ll know everything you need to get up and running with a WP live chat of your own.
What is WordPress live chat?
WordPress live chat is like instant messaging for your WordPress site. It allows your service agents, salespeople, and any other customer-facing teams to communicate in real-time with visitors to your website. Built with a WordPress chat plugin like Zendesk Support for WordPress, live chat is a productive way to provide instant support to your users.
WordPress live chat is often—but doesn’t have to be—integrated natively or via API with other important tools such as CRMs, knowledge bases, chatbots, automation platforms, and more. You can implement live chat WordPress plugins manually with code or with a pre-built plugin that’s usually simple enough for non-developers to configure.
How do you use live chat in WordPress?
The easiest way to use live chat in WordPress is to download a plugin. Depending on the plugin you download, you may also need an account through the vendor that provides the plugin. For example, with Zendesk, you’d need to purchase—or do a free trial—of the software. Then, you could download the Zendesk WordPress plugin. From there, you’ll need to configure the chat widget, making any customizations you want to.
Once the widget is installed and configured, usually, you’ll use your live chat software’s dashboard to manage the chats that come in through your WordPress site. So if you were using the Zendesk WordPress plugin, you’d use the Zendesk suite to track, manage, and respond to live chat messages.
Why use WordPress chat plugins?
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems in the world. And a big reason for that is the powerful yet easy-to-use extensibility provided by WordPress plugins. The best live chat for WordPress is no exception; many brands use WordPress chat plugins for the following powerful benefits:
When we asked participants what the top factor in a good customer experience was, quick resolution time came out on top. This isn’t surprising, but the point is that a WordPress chat plugin is often the most feasible way to provide the kind of instant support that customers demand. Businesses that use WordPress can invest in a WordPress live chat plugin and send their first chat messages directly from their site within a day.
Elevate customer satisfaction
When you provide support on time, customers will respond and your CSAT score will rise. Of course, providing quick support is one thing; providing it at scale is another entirely. And that’s where WordPress live chat plugins really shine. Because you can integrate your plugin with other tools, such as chatbots, you can leverage automation, AI, and machine learning to handle simpler customer queries and save your agents’ time for more complicated issues.
Increase conversion rates
Be there for your customers before they even ask. If a customer gets stuck on a page for a long time, WordPress for live chat will prompt a support agent to proactively start a chat within your website. From there, the agent can offer the customer assistance and help answer any questions they have before making their purchase. This allows agents and salespeople to be more targeted and relevant in their outreach which helps to increase conversion rates.
Increase the value of your customers
Compared to those who don’t, customers that chat with a brand are three times more likely to convert. That same group of customers also typically buys more—on average, their cart value is 10 to 15 percent higher. In this way, WordPress live chat plugins can increase your customer’s lifetime value meaning your company creates more value with each customer. By extension, your agents become more valuable too since they can spend their time on only the most relevant prospects.
What are the features that you need from your WordPress chat plugin?
The interface through which your agents chat with customers will significantly influence the quality of the chat experience for everyone. With WordPress chat plugins, you’ll encounter two types of interfaces; native and third-party dashboards. Native dashboards exist within your WordPress dashboard while third-party dashboards exist within live chat apps hosted by your live chat software provider.
Typically, third-party dashboards are more flexible and sophisticated. But how convenient they are for your agents comes down to personal preference and existing workflow. Make sure to solicit your agents’ opinions on the convenience of any WordPress chat plugin you choose.
Live chat is a unique experience that many customers prefer over other channels like phone or email. But the secret of what makes live chat so valuable for businesses isn’t just that your customer’s like it. Rather, it’s the fact that with automation rules for simple queries, your WordPress chat plugin can resolve a large proportion of customer questions on its own.
Automation makes live chat even more valuable for businesses because it enables organizations to provide cost-efficient service in a channel that customers already prefer.
Reporting and analytics
Some level of reporting and analytics is a must-have for your live chat plugin for WordPress. Not only does reporting allow your managers to provide data-driven feedback for your agents, but it also provides transparency for the rest of the business. This is critical when you’re trying to determine where and how much resources you should be investing in your business.
In fact, more advanced analytics systems can even provide data regarding customer sentiment which can help guide product development, sales, marketing, and service decisions.
Self-service options like knowledge bases are a vital complement to live chat. Like automation rules, self-service helps your customers find answers to frequently asked questions which saves your agents for the customer who really needs them. Plus, even when your live chat is offline after working hours, your customers always have a place they can go to resolve their issues.
What is the best live chat plugin for WordPress?
WP Social Chat
1. Zendesk live chat for WordPress
Any company aiming to convert more visitors into buyers, reduce support costs, and raise their CSAT scores can benefit from adding WP live chat to their service channel mix. And Zendesk is the most simple, flexible, and comprehensive way to offer WordPress live chat to your customers.
Zendesk’s live chat plugin for WordPress streamlines your service operation with smart features like action-based prompts. For instance, suppose a customer is stuck on the checkout page; Zendesk’s best live chat plugin for WordPress will prompt one of your service agents to start a chat with this customer. From there, your agent can provide the assistance the customer needs to complete their purchase.
As you can imagine, this results in higher conversions and more productive agents.
The Power of Zendesk—for WordPress
Zendesk is an excellent way for companies to offer live chat for WordPress because it includes:
Proactive chat support: Triggers in chat notify agents when a customer has met preset conditions, like time spent on a certain page. Your agents can reach out, offer support, and provide a better user experience, increasing sales as a result.
Zendesk tracks key metrics: From real-time monitoring to agent performance, so you can identify areas to improve and what tactics are working in your favor.
Uninterrupted support: Access all your customer data and conversations from one place, so it’s easier for your team to switch between channels and provide the best experiences with Zendesk.
WordPress Live Chat, Plus Much More
If you’re only looking to add live chat, Zendesk’s plugin can help. But it’s worth knowing that Zendesk’s WordPress plugin covers a lot more than just live chat. Among other things, you can use Zendesk to turn WordPress blog comments into tickets, add knowledge base articles to your site, and manage tickets from your WordPress dashboard.
Essentially, everything you need to fully integrate WordPress into your service operation is at your fingertips when you install the Zendesk WordPress plugin.
To get started with Zendesk live chat on your WordPress site, you’ll need a paid Zendesk plan (or a free trial). Once you have your account, you can follow these setup instructions for the Zendesk Support for WordPress plugin. After completing that step, you can add your chat widget to your site with an embed code.
Features of Zendesk WordPress Plugin (Paid Plan) include:
Support for email, voice, SMS, and live chat
LiveChat’s plugin for WordPress is a flexible, yet powerful option for implementing live chat on your WordPress. It works with plenty of WordPress site builders, which makes it simple and intuitive to implement. LiveChat also has partnerships with major e-commerce software such as WooCommerce, BigCommerce and more. So if you’re in e-commerce, LiveChat’s WordPress Plugin could work for your site.
While you can download LiveChat’s WordPress plugin for free, you’ll need a paid LiveChat plan to use the plugin. Their standard plan is the Team plan which includes functionality beyond the scope of a simple live chat plugin such as ticketing. If you’d like to test the plugin out, you can by starting a free 14-day trial with LiveChat.
LiveChat WordPress Plugin Features (Paid Plan)
Third-party app integrations
Shareable direct chat links
Support and agent ratings
Reports and analytics
iOS and Android apps
Olark’s live chat software is known for its elegant blend of sophistication and simplicity. Its live chat WordPress plugin is similarly intuitive yet powerful; all you have to do is install the Olark plugin on WordPress, refresh your site, and your chatbox will be ready to use. Once it’s installed, you’re free to create workflow rules, customize your chat widget, save chat transcripts, and more.
From within your WordPress dashboard, you can also add API calls and set your Olark live chat to localize any communications to your website visitor’s local language. You can try out the Olark WordPress plugin for free but for more advanced features and no limits on your number of chats, you’ll need to opt for a paid plan from Olark.
Olark Plugin Features (Paid Plan)
Live chat analytics
Customizable agent alerts
Tidio’s free live chat for WordPress plugin is quick to install, mobile-friendly, and it provides support for email and Facebook Messenger. Plus, you can take much of the heavy lifting off of your service agents because Tidio also includes chatbots. One of Tidio’s key features is its incoming visitor notification, which enables your agents to engage visitors as soon as they arrive.
And, to help you save time, Tidio provides a no-code, drag-and-drop chatbot building and templates for common chatbot flows, such as an abandoned shopping cart. You can get access to Tidio—and most of its features—with Tidio’s free plan and plugin. But the free plan does come with fairly limited visitor counts, email volume, and chat operator seats.
Tidio WordPress Plugin Features (Paid Plan)
Free iOS & Android mobile app
Live typing preview
Over 20 integrations
Customizable chat widget
Support for email and Messenger
WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world and WP Social Chat (formerly WhatsApp Chat WP) by QuadLayers allows your customers to start a WhatsApp conversation right from your WordPress website. WP Social Chat has over 100,000 active installations, and for good reason; their paid plans equip your team with unlimited agent accounts, customizable chat widgets, and pre-set greeting messages.
Plus, you can target your website visitors with chat boxes displayed on all your pages, or just a selection. WP Social Chat’s WordPress plugin also includes a free plan though you only get one agent and there is no customization available. The paid plans range from a one-time payment of $19 to $79.
WP Social Chat Features (Personal Plan)
Multiple agent accounts
6-month personalized support
Customizable agent messages
Set the first user or agent message
Support Board’s live chat for WordPress plugin provides a solid set of must-have features for any live chat solution, including the ability to manage and respond to chats from directly within the WordPress dashboard. What sets it apart is its extensions that connect Slack and/or Diagflow. So if you’re loyal to either of those tools and plan to use them in your live chat implementation, Support Board is worth a look.
Another unique feature of Support Board is its one-time, fee-based pricing structure. Unlike many WordPress live chat plugins—which are free with a paid monthly plan—Support Board charges a one-time fee of $59. And if you want the Diagflow, Slack, or another extension, you’ll need to pay another one-time fee between $9 and $29.
Support Board WordPress Live Chat Plugin Features
Automations and triggers
7. Pure Chat
Pure Chat’s simple Live Chat plugin for WordPress can have your site equipped with a live chat widget in less than an hour. Once it’s installed, you’ll use the browser-based or mobile app version of Pure Chat to interact with your prospects and customers. The mobile apps are available on iOS or Android.
And Pure Chat doubles as a lead collector because when you’re offline the chatbox becomes an email form. Pure Chat offers two paid plans, Growth and Pro, that you’ll need to purchase (or do a free trial of) to use their WordPress plugin. Both plans include all the foundational features you’d expect in a good live chat plugin for WordPress.
Pure Chat Features (Growth Plan)
4 chat operators
Unlimited chat history
Mobile-friendly with AI-powered chatbots, visitor monitoring, and more, Formilla is a full-featured live chat WordPress plugin that’s also available for WooCommerce users. From Formilla’s live chat app—which is available on your mobile device or browser—you can respond to and manage chats, configure your chatbots, analyze live chat performance, and more.
To install this plugin, you’ll need to sign up for an account with Formilla. Fortunately, Formilla starts you with a 14-day free trial of their Premium plan, after which you’ll be downgraded to their Standard free plan if you decide not to upgrade.
Formilla Live Chat Plugin (Premium Plan Features)
Unlimited live chats
3rd party integrations
A.I. chat bots
Up to 2 chat agents
Formerly called WordPress Live Chat, 3CX Live Chat is a plugin for WordPress that enables you to easily install live chat on your site for one year free. With 3CX, your chat widget and its settings are fully customizable, and if you’re a 3CX user, your chat plugin will be fully integrated with 3CX’s entire communications system.
3CX can work well for service agents, salespeople, and anyone else who needs to converse with customers via WordPress live. With no limits on your number of agents, 3CX is designed to scale with you as your team grows. After your first year with 3CX, you’ll be charged $145 per year for the Pro plan while the self-managed Standard plan is free.
3CX Live Chat Plugin (Pro Plan Features)
Microsoft 365 integration
Chat, video, and voice integrations
iOS, Android, desktop, and web apps
Surveys and polls
10. WP Telegram
Telegram’s end-to-end encryption is a notable feature that attracts many valuable customers to its messaging product. And WP Telegram is the live chat for WordPress plugin you need if you want to improve your ability to reach these customers. WP Telegram enables you to communicate with Telegram groups and channels automatically with a Telegram bot.
Perhaps the only downside is the implementation; you’ll need to follow the plugin’s instructions for creating a new bot, adding it to a group, and configuring the bot’s rules for sending content. If you have any trouble, though, you can get help with setup in WP Telegram’s public group @WPTelegramChat.
Automatically send posts to Telegram
Send featured image along with the text/excerpt
Add inline button and delayed posts
Bot automation rules
Support for WooCommerce text fields
11. Facebook Chat
While it’s still behind WhatsApp in terms of global popularity, Facebook Messenger is immensely popular. And it’s the messaging app of choice in the United States. The Facebook Chat plugin enables you to extend the Facebook Messenger experience into your WordPress website. Once it’s set up, your prospects and customers can interact with your business the same way they do on Messenger.
Even better, this live chat plugin for WordPress retains your customers’ Messenger chat history to ensure every conversation is a seamless experience for agents and customers. Speaking of seamless, your visitors don’t even have to login into Facebook to use the Messenger interface. The plugin is free and all you need is a Facebook page to make it work.
Facebook Chat Plugin Features
Website to Messenger chat history
Auto replies and FAQ
12. Chatra Live Chat
Chatra is live chat software designed for sales. It includes features that help agents close sales like group chats, full conversation histories, and distinct colors and names so salespeople can distinguish between visitors. In addition to live chat, Chatra’s paid plans include an email helpdesk, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct, chatbots, and more.
The free plan only has live chat and its features are limited. To set up Chatra, you’ll need to create an account and install the plugin for WordPress then place the widget code on your site. From there, you’ll have access to the software through Chatra’s native interface.
Chatra Live Chat Plugin Features (Essential Plan)
On and offline chat widget
Messenger and Instagram Direct
Form and lead capture bot
Mac and Windows desktop apps
Complete conversation history
Email chat transcripts
HubSpot’s free WordPress live chat plugin enables you to use your WordPress site to engage visitors with chatbots and live chat, plus a whole lot more. In addition to live chat capabilities, HubSpot’s WordPress plugin gives you access to an email design editor, marketing automation, HubSpot’s free CRM, and built-in analytics.
The forms you use to engage leads via live chat sync automatically with your HubSpot CRM—assuming you’re using HubSpot’s CRM. From within WordPress, you can manage these new leads, segment them, and analyze their interaction with your website. You can get started with the HubSpot WordPress plugin for free but more advanced features will require a Starter, Professional or Enterprise version of HubSpot’s Operations Hub.
Features (Free Plan)
Over 400 native integrations
Forms and popups
The Smartsupp Live Chat WordPress plugin combines live chat software with chatbots and advanced reporting capabilities to help you take your service operation to the next level. You can get started and download the plugin for free with Smartsupp’s free plan but you’ll need a paid plan to remove limits on the number of chatbots and reporting capabilities.
Smartsupp has a mobile app compatible with Android or iOS devices as well as support for seven languages including English, Spanish, German, Polish, French, Czech, and Italian. And you can connect Smartsupp WP live chat to your Facebook page to provide a seamless multi-channel experience.
Smartsupp Live Chat Plugin Features (Paid Plan)
JivoChat is a live chat plugin for WordPress and so much more. In addition to live chat, JivoChat enables you to converse with your customers on the phone, over email, and through social media. Its implementation and design are customizable so you can adjust it to your messaging strategy and brand identity. Also, JivoChat provides its own native CRM and allows you to connect a CRM if you already have one.
JivoChat’s live chat features include all the basics, such as canned responses and offline messages, and many advanced capabilities, like multi-agent chats and a built-in CRM. When you sign up for JivoChat, you’ll be enrolled in a 14-day free trial of a paid plan. If you decide not to upgrade, you’ll be downgraded after 15 days to their free plan with limited features.
JivoChat Live Chat Plugin Features (Paid Plan)
Unlimited chat history
Summary of best WordPress live chat plugins
WordPress live chat plugin
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How to choose the best WordPress chat plugin?
Only someone who knows your organization, workflow, existing systems, and future growth plans can accurately say which of the best chat plugins for WordPress is right for you. And no one has the time to try more than—at most—a few different plugins. So to improve your chances of choosing the best WordPress chat plugin for you, we recommend using the following as your main criteria:
Effectiveness of integration with WordPress and other systems
It’s highly unlikely your WordPress chat plugin will be the only component of your sales, service, and/or marketing operations. Other systems, such as CRMs, customer analytics software, and so much more, will need to exchange data with your WordPress chat plugin. So before you make a decision, make sure your plugin has easy and effective integrations with your existing systems.
Current and future feature/cost fit
It’s all too common to choose a WordPress chat plugin that costs more because of features that you don’t need. But at the same time, your business will likely look far different in the not-too-distant future. So finding a chat plugin that can fit your current needs and budget as well as scale up when you need it to, is critical.
Agent and customer experience
The best live chat plugin for WordPress is the one your agents and customers love to use. After all, the quality of both their experiences will dictate the satisfaction and value of your customers. So if possible, make sure your agents have a chance to use whichever plugin you choose before you commit to any long-term contracts. Also, take the time to test the software from the customer’s side whether through user testing or by walking through the software yourself.
Frequently asked questions
Try WordPress live chat for free
Companies looking to improve conversion rates and turn more visitors into buyers, as well as companies looking to reduce support costs while improving CSAT should consider WordPress live chat as a support channel. And given that it's the best chat plugin for WordPress, you’d be well advised to start with a free trial of Zendesk.