8 Best WordPress Live Chat Plugins 2019

On the hunt for the best live chat plugin for your WordPress site?

In this post, I go hands-on with 8 popular live chat plugins to help you find the solution that's right for your needs.

I'll highlight:

  • Each tool's key features
  • What the setup process is like, and how the live chat interface looks on both the frontend and backend
  • Pricing information

Finally, it's important to note that most of these live chat tools are technically external services that are easy to integrate into WordPress thanks to dedicated plugins at WordPress.org. Most of the time, that's actually good, as you get the reliability of their servers to power your chat (and you won't waste your own server's resources).

Ready to get chatting? Let's dive in…

LiveChat

livechat

LiveChat is a feature-rich premium live chat service that, in terms of depth of functionality and interface, is probably the best all-around live chat plugin on this list.

Of course, that doesn't mean another tool isn't better for your unique situation – this one just does a lot of things well and has a great interface.

While LiveChat doesn't offer a free plan, it does have a 14-day free trial (no credit card required), which means you can test everything out without spending a dime.

LiveChat Key Features

  • Great design throughout the interface, as well as the chat widgets
  • Customize the looks/colors of the chat box
  • Chat via web app or mobile/desktop apps on all major platforms
  • Automation, including automatic greetings and triggers
  • Canned responses
  • Message sneak-peek to see what a visitor is typing before they hit send
  • File sharing
  • Visitor tracking/analytics
  • Show a chat feedback survey after a chat
  • Personalization that lets you greet customers by name
  • Built-in ticketing support
  • Reports and analytics
  • eCommerce-focused features, including a sales tracker
  • Integrates with 130+ tools

LiveChat Setup and Interface

Once you install and activate the LiveChat plugin at WordPress.org, it will prompt you to connect to your LiveChat account or create a new account.

After syncing the two, the plugin gives you a couple of options in WordPress to hide the chat for mobile or guest visitors, but you'll perform most actions in the LiveChat web dashboard which, again, is really well designed.

Here's what the chat widget looks like on my test site with the default settings:

Livechat example

And here's what it looks like to chat with people from the web interface:

Livechat interface

This interface also houses a bunch of other helpful stuff, like a lightweight CRM and a built-in ticketing desk.

LiveChat Price

After the 14-day free trial, LiveChat's plans start at $16 per month (annually) or $19 per month (month-to-month). That price is per “seat”, which is basically a “logged in agent”.

So for $19 per month, you can have as many agent accounts as you want, but only one of those agents can be logged in at a time.

The “per seat” prices go up from there if you want more features.

More Info / Download Integration Plugin

Olark

Olark

Olark is another premium live chat plugin that offers a detailed set of features, though I don't see a ton that differentiates it from other tools, and it can quickly get pricey.

An enterprise company that I used to work at used Olark because of its easy localization/translation, so that might be one benefit for you.

Olark has a very limited free plan, but it also has a two-week free trial that you can use to test the premium features before you pay.

Olark Key Features

  • Chat via cloud dashboard or desktop/mobile apps (these are not official apps, but Olark gives you instructions for how to connect to third-party apps)
  • Automation rules to send custom messages based on users' behavior
  • Customize the chat box design
  • After-chat transcripts
  • File uploads
  • Screen sharing (costs an extra $99 per month)
  • Visitor insights, including lead scoring (extra $59 per month)
  • Automatic live chat translation (extra $29 per month)

Olark Setup and Interface

Once you install the Olark live chat plugin from WordPress.org, you can sync it to your Olark account by adding your site ID. The plugin also lets you configure basic settings, like whether or not to show the chat box to mobile visitors.

However, like LiveChat, you'll do most of your work from the Olark web dashboard:

Olark interface

Here's what the default live chat box looks like on my test site:

Olark example

And here's what it looks like to chat with visitors from the web dashboard:

Olark example

Olark Price

Olark's free plan offers basic features and lets you have up to 20 chats per month. So…that might work for a very small site, but most people will need to pay.

After the two-week free trial, you'll pay per agent for the premium plans. Here are the prices:

  • $17 per agent per month billed month-to-month
  • $15 per agent per month billed yearly
  • $12 per agent per month billed every two years

There are also optional “power ups” that cost extra, which I noted in the feature list above.

More Info / Download Integration Plugin

Tawk.To LiveChat

tawkto

Tawk.to is one of the most popular live chat services in the world thanks, in part, to this one very attractive feature:

All the functionality is free!

What's more, it actually has a good feature set that can rival pricier tools. No, it's not a non-profit, and I'll explain how they make money at the end.

But if you're specifically looking for a free live chat plugin, Tawk.to is definitely going to be one of your best options.

Tawk.to Key Features

  • Unlimited agents
  • Chat via web interface, Windows and Mac desktop apps, or native mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Built-in ticketing support
  • Canned responses
  • Automatic triggers that let you proactively chat with visitors
  • File uploads
  • Unlimited chat history storage
  • Message “sneak peek” to see what visitors are typing before they hit send
  • Detailed analytics
  • Supports 27 different languages

Tawk.to Setup and Interface

To get started, you'll sign up for a free Tawk.to account. Then, you can sync it to your WordPress site by installing the dedicated plugin from WordPress.org and entering your username/password in the plugin's interface.

From there, you can choose which live chat widget you want to display, as well as basic visibility options (like hiding the widget on certain pages):

tawkto settings

After that, you'll do everything else in the Tawk.to web dashboard, including:

  • Customizing how your widget looks
  • Setting up automation rules
  • Configuring other basic settings

Here's what the live chat widget looks like with the default settings:

Tawkto example

And then here's what it looks like to respond to a message from the Tawk.to web dashboard:

Tawkto interface

Tawk.to Price

All the functionality in Tawk.to is 100% free, which again, is a pretty big benefit of Tawk.to. Yes – even the advanced features. I really mean 100% free.

Tawk.to is able to offer this because they use a different business model compared to other tools. There are two ways how Tawk.to makes money, and these are the only situations you'll have to pay:

  1. If you want to remove the small “Powered by tawk.to” text at the bottom of your widget, you'll need to pay $12 per month.
  2. You can hire people to answer your live chats for $1 per hour per agent. This is totally optional.

More Info / Download Integration Plugin

Drift

Drift

Drift is a live chat service that's a bit more focused on helping you generate sales, rather than just offering customer support. Because of this focus, you get some unique features, like conversational lead gen forms that can replace traditional forms on your site.

It has a limited free plan, but the paid plans are definitely geared more towards businesses based on the price.

Drift Key Features

  • Chat via web dashboard or native mobile apps
  • Customize the design of the chat box
  • Collect information from visitors via conversational live chat, as an alternative to a traditional lead gen form
  • Create automatic sales sequences
  • Visitors can book meetings via chat
  • Chatbot

Drift Setup and Interface

To get started, you'll register for a free Drift account and generate its JavaScript embed code. Then, you can paste that embed code into the integration plugin at WordPress.org to activate live chat.

Here's what the default chat widget looks like:

Drift example

And here's what it looks like to chat from the Drift web dashboard:

Drift interface

Drift Price

Drift has a limited free plan that supports live chat and meeting booking. After that, paid plans start at $50 per month for one live chat seat. Each additional live chat seat beyond that first one costs an extra $25 per month.

More Info / Download Integration Plugin

Zendesk Chat

Zendesk Chat

Formerly known as Zopim, Zendesk Chat is the live chat solution from the popular helpdesk/knowledge base service of the same name (Zendesk).

Personally, I think the chat box styling looks a little dated, especially compared to some other tools on this list. But on the plus side, it's got a solid feature set and has a limited free plan that you can use.

Zendesk Chat Key Features

  • Chat via web dashboard or native mobile apps
  • Customize the chat box
  • Automatic triggers to engage customers
  • Visitor tracking
  • Chat analytics, including metrics like “wait time”
  • Integrates with ticketing and social media to offer omnichannel support
  • Chat feedback/ratings
  • Automatic chat translation
  • Chat routing to send messages to different agents based on conditions that you control

Zendesk Chat Setup and Interface

To get started, you'll register for an account and then sync that account to WordPress via a dedicated integration plugin at WordPress.org.

After that, you'll do everything else in the Zendesk Chat web dashboard.

Here's what the live chat box looks like by default. Again, I find it a little dated compared to the other tools and think Zendesk Chat could benefit from improving the UI:

Zendesk Chat example

And here's what it looks like to respond to a chat from the web dashboard:

Zendesk Chat interface

Zendesk Chat Price

Zendesk Chat has a limited free plan that offers basic functionality and one agent. However, you can only have one concurrent chat going at a time on the free plan. That might work if your site is low traffic, but busy sites will definitely want to remove that limitation.

After that, paid plans start at:

  • $14 per agent per month billed annually
  • $19 per agent per month billed month-to-month

You can also get a 30-day free trial for the premium plans if you want to test out the premium functionality.

More Info / Download Integration Plugin

WP Live Chat Support

WP Live Chat Support

WP Live Chat Support is the only live chat plugin on this list that's truly a native WordPress plugin. That is, the plugin doesn't just connect you to a service, everything actually happens on your own WordPress site*.

So if that's what you want, give this one a look.

*With that being said, you can also choose to use WP Live Chat Support's server, instead. If you do that, you'll still be able to chat from your WordPress dashboard, but you won't be adding any burden to your WordPress site's server.

WP Live Chat Support Key Features

  • Native WordPress plugin
  • Chat from inside your WordPress dashboard
  • Option to use hosted server or keep things on your own server
  • Unlimited agents
  • Initiate chats with visitors
  • Message “sneak peek” feature
  • Agents can edit messages
  • File uploads
  • Reports and analytics
  • Chat ratings/feedback surveys

WP Live Chat Support Setup and Interface

As soon as you install and activate the free plugin from WordPress.org, your live chat is active.

Here's what it looks like by default:

WP Live Chat Support example

To respond to chats and configure the plugin, you can use the new Live Chat area in your WordPress dashboard:

WP Live Chat Support interface

WP Live Chat Support Price

WP Live Chat Support is available for free at WordPress.org.

It used to have a separate premium version, but the WP Live Chat Support website now says “To Unlock all Features create a FREE Account. No Credit Card Required.”

Entering your email gets you a license key and a download of the premium plugin. So it appears that, for now at least, this one is 100% free.

More Info / Download

Intercom

intercom

With prices starting at $50 per month (and going much higher), Intercom is definitely more focused towards businesses than individuals.

However, if you're willing to pay, it offers “a new and better way to acquire, engage and retain customers”.

Basically, it's not just about letting customers live chat with you, Intercom also helps you reach out to customers at the right time and place, with lots of helpful automation triggers and user tracking functionality.

Intercom Key Features

  • Really well-designed chat widgets – the user experience is great
  • Automated messaging based on visitor actions
  • Chat via web dashboard or mobile apps
  • Schedule messages in advance (good for product launches)
  • Audience targeting
  • Lead and customer profiles
  • A/B test messages (this lets you figure out which messages drive the most users to action)
  • 100+ integrations
  • …plus a whole lot more depending on your plan

Intercom Setup and Interface

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go hands-on because there's no free plan. But you can see an example below, and you've probably interacted with a company that uses Intercom:

intercom example

For example, Kinsta hosting uses Intercom to manage its support.

Intercom Price

Intercom has a ton of different paid plans depending on the exact features that you want.

The cheapest plan is the $49 per month “Engage customers” plan, but plans with more functionality can get into the hundreds per month.

You can also get started with a 14-day free trial, though it does require a credit card.

More Info / Download Integration Plugin

Tidio Live Chat

Tidio

Tido Live Chat is another live chat plugin with a generous free version. In fact, in terms of free live chat plugins, I'd rank Tidio right up there with Tawk.to.

Beyond that, it's got a great modern style for both the frontend and backend, and it also has a super simple setup process. So all around, there's a lot to like about this tool.

Tidio Live Chat Key Features

  • Great design for the dashboard and chat box
  • Chat from the web dashboard or mobile apps
  • Customize the chat box colors
  • Canned responses
  • Chatbot functionality
  • Integrate Facebook Messenger chats in the same spot
  • Visitor tagging
  • Analytics
  • Conversation ratings and feedback

Tidio Live Chat Setup and Interface

Tidio Live Chat's setup process is super easy – you click a button, enter your account details, and configure your chat box.

Tidio setup

Then, your live chat is active. Here's what it looks like by default – again, I'm a big fan of its modern styling:

Tidio example

From there, you can chat with customers and manage all the other settings from the Tidio Live Chat web dashboard:

Tidio interface

Tidio Live Chat Price

Tidio offers most of its features for free. Additionally, you can have up to three agents – also for free.

After that, they offer various add-ons that you can use to stack on extra features:

  • Communicator – $15 per month – see sneak peeks and a live visitor list.
  • Automation – $15 per month – set up automatic triggers to proactively reach out to visitors.

More Info / Download Integration Plugin

What's the Best WordPress Live Chat Plugin For Your Needs?

You definitely don't need eight separate live chat plugins on your site! So to finish out this post, let's run through some scenarios to help you pick the right tool for your needs.

First, if you specifically want a free live chat plugin, I'd say that Tawk.to is the best overall free option, with Tidio and WP Live Chat Support also being good choices if you're on a budget.

If you want a chat plugin to help you actually engage with customers and drive sales, then Drift or Intercom are probably your best options.

Finally, for the best all-purpose live chat plugin, LiveChat is a good option that combines great looks with a deep feature list. There's no free version, unfortunately, but you do get a 14-day free trial with no credit card required to test things out.

Have any questions about these live chat plugins? Ask away in the comments section!

Colin Newcomer

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer for hire with a background in SEO and affiliate marketing. He helps clients grow their web visibility by writing primarily about digital marketing and WordPress. You can hire him to write for your website.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you click on one of the links and purchase an item, we may receive a commission. All opinions however are our own and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

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