What’s The Best WordPress Live Chat Plugin? 6 Options Compared

If you browse around our site, you’ll probably notice that we’re pretty big fans of knowledge bases. But we recognize that sometimes your customers need to talk with a real person. And that’s where live chat apps come in.

Live chat gives your customers a chance to get immediate help without you needing to hire a full-time call center. But much more importantly – live chat is also the human support channel that leads to the most satisfied customers.

Two different surveys have pegged live chat as the satisfaction leader – one from Zendesk, and another from Econsultancy.

But if you want to offer live chat to your customers, you need a tool that can get the job done. Which is why we’re going to dedicate this post to some of the best live chat software out there.

And because we make knowledge base themes and plugins for WordPress (and WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system), we’re going to make sure that you can integrate every single service with WordPress. Some are also standalone SaaS tools, though.

Here’re all of the live chat plugins and tools that we’ll be looking at in this post:

Plugin / Tool Free version? Price for Pro Get It
HubSpot Yes $50 per month Visit
3CX Live Chat Yes Free Visit
LiveChat No. 30-day free trial $19 per operator per month Visit
Zendesk Chat Yes $14 per operator per month Visit
Olark Yes $17 per operator per month Visit
Tidio Yes $15 per month for 3 operators. $10 for each additional Visit

1. HubSpot

HubSpot’s WordPress plugin is an easy way to add live chat or 24/7 bots to automate lead capture & support. With the plugin, you can easily add live chat to pages, set targeting and display settings, and start engaging with the visitors as they navigate across your website.

Plus, with HubSpot’s plugin, you get a ton of other tools that can help you grow your business. Add forms and popups, get built-in analytics on your site’s performance, and set up email marketing campaigns — all without leaving your WordPress dashboard. Plus, everything is built on top of the HubSpot CRM, so you’re able to get a unified timeline of a contact’s activity — page views, live chat conversations, form submissions, and more!

Installation and Use

After installing and activating the HubSpot WordPress plugin, connect your existing HubSpot account or create a free account from within the WordPress dashboard. 

Once you’ve created an account, navigate to the live chat tab to start setting up your chatflows. The step-by-step builder will help you create the live chat window your visitors will see once on your site.

You’ll have many configurations such as adding a welcome message, integrating knowledge base search, asking visitors for their email address, routing conversations, and more. You also can figure different behavior for mobile and desktop, set triggering rules (such as exit intent, time on page, and % scrolled), and choose the URLs onto which you want to display your chat window. 

All messages from your live chat are sent to a central inbox in your HubSpot account where you’re able to get full context on a visitor’s interactions with your site and chat in real-time.

Features and Pricing

Cost Free to use the WordPress plugin; $50/month for Starter plan
Chat Restrictions? Unlimited
Agent Restrictions? Unlimited
Design Control Full control
Administration WordPress dashboard, HubSpot website & mobile app
Conversation History Unlimited
Analytics Yes, built-in to WordPress plugin
Notable Integrations HubSpot integrates with over 500 apps including Slack, WooCommerce, Stripe, and others!
Reviews 4.5-star average at WordPress.org

Pros and Cons of HubSpot

  • Pros:
    • Clean and customizable design
    • Additional marketing functionality (live chat, forms, popups, CRM, and analytics) from the same plugin
    • Automatically route conversations to certain team members
    • Target chat based on URLs, visitor properties, or visitor behaviors
    • Choose triggers like time on page, page scroll, and exit intent to launch chatflows
    • Over 500+ integrations available with HubSpot
  • Cons:
    • Other features within HubSpot are gated behind paid plans (Starter or higher)
    • Not all free HubSpot tools are accessible from the WordPress dashboard

Get HubSpot for Free

2. 3CX Live Chat

3CX’s live chat plugin is an easy way to get started with a complete customer communication solution. While the plugin is available as a standalone product for WordPress, its strength is in its ability to be integrated with 3CX’s phone system software.

In doing so, the user can not only get a full business communication solution, but they can also enable voice and video in their website live chat. This means that customers can easily elevate chat conversations to voice or video at any time, and for free. What’s more, all website live chat conversations are delivered to agents via 3CX’s free web client and smartphone apps.

Installation and Use

To use 3CX as a complete communication solution, you’ll first need to install 3CX and complete some simple configuration to get it up and running, and to get it ready for setting up live chat. This includes creating extensions and/or queues that you will direct live chats to. 

Once you’ve done that, you can install and activate the 3CX live chat plugin on your website. During activation, you’ll be prompted to complete a few steps to connect the plugin with your 3CX PBX. 

Once complete, your users will be able to start chatting with you right away:

And agents can respond easily from the 3CX Web Client. It’s worth noting that any other incoming messages, e.g. from Facebook or SMS, will also be delivered here: 

For the standalone plugin, agents can login to WordPress and respond to messages from there. 

The great thing about receiving chats in the web client or smartphone apps is that there is no need to be logged into WordPress or have the WP dashboard open. Agents will also receive notifications when new chat messages are received, just in case they happen to have another tab or window open. 

If you’d like, you can further dig into the plugin’s settings to configure styling, required information, and lots more functionality:

You can get 3CX’s Standard Edition free for 1 year including hosting. The 8 concurrent call option is then free perpetually after this. 

Features and Pricing

3CX IntegratedStandalone
Cost$0$0
Chat Restrictions?UnlimitedUnlimited
Agent Restrictions?UnlimitedUnlimited
Design ControlBasic customizationsBasic Customizations
AdministrationWordPress Dashboard + 3CX Management Console WordPress Dashboard
Conversation HistoryUnlimitedUnlimited
AnalyticsStats, ratings and more in 3CX integrated version. None in standaloneNone
Notable Integrations3CX Communication SoftwareNone
Reviews4.6-star average at WordPress.org

Pros and Cons of 3CX Live Chat

  • Pros:
    • Completely free
    • Available as complete customer communication solution with 3CX
    • Unlimited active agents without paying more
  • Cons:
    • Can’t send images – soon to be included in next release
    • No voice or video without integrating with 3CX

Get 3CX Live Chat for Free

3. LiveChat

LiveChat is a standalone SaaS live chat service. But it also includes a WordPress plugin that makes it easy to integrate the two.

LiveChat is the most expensive option on this list but backs that price up with a gorgeous interface, plenty of productivity tools, and heaps of helpful integrations.

Installation and Use

Most of LiveChat’s functionality is contained at LiveChat’s website and associated desktop and mobile apps.

That’s where you’ll sign up for your account, manage your settings, and respond to chats.

To sync up with WordPress, you can use LiveChat’s dedicated WordPress plugin. The plugin is lightweight – literally all you do is sign in to your LiveChat account – then everything else happens in the LiveChat interface:

Once you sync WordPress to LiveChat, your visitors can start chatting right away:

And you’ll be able to respond to chats from LiveChat’s web interface:

What’s nice about the web interface is how easy it is to switch between chats, especially when compared to WP Live Chat Support.

If you’d like to customize how your live chat window functions, you can go to the settings page inside LiveChat:

LiveChat will automatically push any changes that you make to your site.

Features and Pricing

Cost Starts at $19 per active agent per month, billed month-to-month
Chat Restrictions? Unlimited (but can set your own limits)
Agent Restrictions? Unlimited, pricing restrictions only apply to agents logged in at the same time.
Design Control Limited on cheapest plan, detailed on others
Administration LiveChat website + desktop and mobile apps
Conversation History 60-day on cheapest plan, unlimited on others
Analytics Yes, but depth depends on specific plan
Notable Integrations Huge list of integrations. HubSpot, SalesForce, Woopra + lots, lots more
Reviews 5-star average at WordPress.org (small sample size)

Pros and Cons

  • Pros:
    • The chat interfaces are incredibly well-designed
    • A huge number of integrations, which is great if you’re using other tools
    • Productivity tools like chat transfers, canned responses, file uploads, and more.
    • You can create tickets for tasks that couldn’t be solved during the live chat
  • Cons:
    • It’s expensive, especially if you need to have multiple active agents at the same time
    • Some features are locked behind higher tier plans, which makes the already high price even higher

Get LiveChat

4. Zendesk Chat

Formerly known as Zopim, Zendesk Chat is a standalone service that exclusively handles live chat functionality. It includes an extremely limited free plan, as well as more robust paid plans for those who need more flexibility.

Installation and Use

Like LiveChat, you’ll need to create a Zendesk Chat account before you can get started. Then, you can quickly sync it up to your WordPress site using the dedicated Zendesk Chat plugin.

Once you sync the two, your live chat is ready to go. Users can start chatting right away, though the default live chat widget isn’t especially attractive:

To respond to chats, you’ll use Zendesk Chat’s site (currently still housed at Zopim.com):

You can switch back and forth between multiple chats by using the tabs at the bottom.

And to further customize your chat box and other settings, you can dig into the detailed Settings options in Zendesk Chat’s interface:

Features and Pricing

  Free Version Pro Version
Cost $0 Starts at $14 per active agent per month, billed month-to-month
Chat Restrictions? 1 concurrent chat Unlimited
Agent Restrictions? 1 agent Unlimited
Design Control Basic customizations Advanced customizations
Administration Web, Android, and iOS Apps Web, Android, and iOS Apps
Conversation History 14 days Unlimited
Analytics None Agent, chat, conversion + more
Notable Integrations Salesforce and Jira
Reviews 4.2-star average at WordPress.org

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Pros:
    • Has a free plan, albeit severely limited
    • Automatic chat translation, powered by Google Translate
    • Transfer chats between agents or departments on paid plans
    • Automatic chat routing on paid plans
  • Cons:
    • Interface feels dated when compared to something like LiveChat
    • Chat forms look similarly dated
    • Still fairly pricey, though cheaper than LiveChat

Get Zendesk Chat

5. Olark

Olark is another standalone live chat SaaS tool that integrates easily with WordPress. It’s highly translatable, includes heaps of helpful integrations, and its pricing sits right between LiveChat and Zendesk Chat.

Installation and Use

Like the other SaaS live chats, you’ll need to sign up for an account at Olark to get started. Then, you can use the dedicated WordPress plugin to add Olark to your site. All you need to do is paste in your Olark Site ID, as well as configure a few options:

And then your chat is live! Users can start chatting right away:

You can chat with visitors in Olark’s dedicated chat interface.

What’s nice is that the chat interface gives you a quick summary of what’s happening right at the top:

To change up your chat box’s looks and functionality, as well as plenty of other options, you can head to your Olark dashboard and go to Settings:

Features and Pricing

  Free Version Pro Version
Cost $0 Starts at $17 per active agent per month, billed month-to-month
Chat Restrictions? 20 total chats per month Unlimited
Agent Restrictions? 1 agent Unlimited
Design Control Basic customizations Advanced customizations
Administration Web Chat App + 3rd-party integrations with mobile and desktop apps Web Chat App + 3rd-party integrations with mobile and desktop apps
Conversation History None Unlimited
Analytics None Productivity, responsiveness, customer satisfaction
Notable Integrations None in free version Tons of CRM, eCommerce, and helpdesk integrations.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros:
    • Neat shopping cart saver feature that lets chat agents see what shoppers have in their carts – nice for eCommerce stores
    • Huge list of potential integrations
    • No tiers for paid plans – you get all the features no matter what
    • Easy to translate into different languages
  • Cons:
    • Almost as expensive as LiveChat
    • Analytics aren’t quite as detailed as the other two SaaS options

Get Olark

6. Tidio Live Chat

Tidio Live Chat might seem like just another live chat SaaS…but it actually has a pretty compelling unique selling proposition:

Your account is 100% free for up to 3 operators. No chat limits. Just pure free.

It also goes beyond just live chat (if you want it to). You can also set up emails as well as marketing automation using the same tool.

Installation and Use

Tidio makes it incredibly easy to get started. You don’t even need to create an account before launching your live chat.

You can get started in just a few seconds by hitting the Integrate with your site button after activating the plugin:

And just like that, your visitors can start chatting in the quite minimalist chat window:

On the other end, you can respond to users from the Tidio web interface:

If you’re not a fan of the minimalist chat that ships with the default chat window, Tidio does also offer a more traditional looking chat interface.

Features and Pricing

  Free Version Pro Version
Cost $0 Starts at $15 per month. Different plans for different features
Chat Restrictions? Unlimited Unlimited
Agent Restrictions? Up to 3 active operators Unlimited
Design Control Style, color and more Style, color and more
Administration Web Chat App + iOS, Android, and Windows apps Web Chat App + iOS, Android, and Windows apps
Conversation History Unlimited Unlimited
Analytics Yes, by chat and operator Yes, by chat and operator
Notable Integrations Solid list of CRMs, eCommerce platforms, and helpdesks Solid list of CRMs, eCommerce platforms, and helpdesks
Reviews 4.9-star rating at WordPress.org

Pros and Cons

  • Pros:
    • Has a generous free plan – 3 agents + unlimited chats
    • More than just live chat if you want it to be
    • Paid plans are still affordable
    • Plenty of helpful integrations
  • Cons:
    • If all you want is live chat, you might not appreciate the extra features. They just clutter up the interface
    • Viewing chat history isn’t very user friendly
    • Analytics are solid, but other tools have deeper analytics

Get Tidio Live Chat WordPress Plugin


Which Live Chat Plugin Should You Choose?

As is usually the case with these decisions, there’s not one answer that fits every single situation.

Your perfect tool is going to depend on your objective(s), budget, and the size of your team. If you’re just looking for a lightweight method to engage with your customers, you probably don’t need to shell out for a monthly fee.

But those who are seriously into integrations, productivity features, and more, might want to just splash for one of the pricier SaaS options.

Take a minute to think about factors like:

  • Do I just want a lightweight pre-sales chat? Or will I be running full support via live chat?
  • How important are analytics? Will I actually use them to improve my processes or will they just be a waste?
  • How much money am I willing to spend on a live chat plugin?
  • How many active agents will I have at one time?

While the answers to those questions should guide your specific decision, here are our general suggestions:

For a Freelancer or Solopreneur

You’ll probably be best served by going with one of the free or one-time fee plugins like WP Live Chat Support or Tidio. You likely don’t need the detailed analytics and productivity features from the more heavy-duty tools, so spending money on them every month is a waste for most freelancers.

For Small Businesses

You’re kind of sitting right in the middle. If you’re only going to have one active operator, most of the SaaS tools will still offer good value for the money. But you could also cut costs by opting for WP Live Chat Support or Tidio.

For Larger Businesses

The analytics, consistency, and productivity features offered by LiveChat make it your best option. Olark and Zendesk chat are still certainly viable options, but LiveChat has the best overall experience (though it also has the highest price tag).

Leave A Comment?