Searching for the best WordPress live chat plugins to connect with your site’s visitors?
In this post, I go hands-on with seven popular live chat plugins to help you find the solution that’s right for your needs.
For each plugin, I’ll share the following:
- Key features
- A hands-on look at the setup and interface — I’ll use a WooCommerce store powered by our free Botiga theme for the example screenshots
- Pricing information
- The most unique thing about each plugin, to help you differentiate between them
But first, let’s start with a quick discussion of how WordPress live chat plugins work.
How Do WordPress Live Chat Plugins Work?
Before getting to the list, I want to briefly talk about an important detail of how most WordPress live chat plugins work.
With most WordPress plugins, everything that the plugin does happens on your own server that, in most cases, you’re renting from a hosting company. All the code is processed on your server, all the data is stored on your server, and so on.
Because of the nature of live chat, however, most live chat plugins work a little differently.
Typically, the live chat service will use its own servers for the live chat — in other words, it’s a “software as a service” (SaaS). This is because a live chat server has to be constantly “on” and working, which can consume a lot of resources if you try to use your own server.
- The chat functionality will be powered by the service and chat data will be stored on their servers.
- The live chat plugin helps you integrate that functionality into your WordPress site.
With that being said, I will share one service that lets you self-host everything on your WordPress site’s server. If that functionality is important to you, that might be the best option for your situation.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the best live chat plugins for WordPress sites!
In terms of the features and general “polish” that you get, the creatively named LiveChat plugin is one of the most powerful live chat plugins on this list.
However, there’s no such thing as a free lunch because it’s also one of the more expensive live chat plugins in this collection.
It’s a great option if you’re willing to pay for top-notch quality and user experience, but there are cheaper solutions if you’re on a tight budget.
- Omnichannel chat – chat via your website, chat apps (WhatsApp, FB Messenger, etc.), email, Apple Messages, and more
- Chatbots – via the separate ChatBot service
- Really nice UX – the frontend and backend user experience is top of the line
- 200+ integrations – including a dedicated WordPress plugin
- Conversion-boosting features – for example, if you have an eCommerce store, you can insert stylish product cards into chat
- Productivity tools – canned responses, message sneak-peek, agent transfer, and lots more
- Analytics – view detailed analytics to see how your customers and agents are doing
This is just a brief summary — LiveChat has a ton more useful features.
Setup and Interface
To get started with LiveChat, you can register for a LiveChat account (there’s a free trial — no credit card required) and then integrate it with WordPress using the dedicated LiveChat WordPress plugin. Creating the connection is as simple as clicking a button.
If you have a WooCommerce store, there’s also a dedicated WooCommerce live chat plugin.
In terms of configuring your live chat, you’ll do everything from the LiveChat website.
Here’s an example of the frontend LiveChat interface:
You can respond to people using the following methods:
- Web browser
- Mobile apps (iOS and Android)
- Desktop apps (Windows or macOS)
- Slack or Microsoft Teams
Here’s an example of responding from the web interface:
You can try out LiveChat with a 14-day free trial (no credit card required). After that, paid plans start at $20 per agent per month with annual billing.
What Makes LiveChat Unique?
LiveChat’s key differentiator is its deep feature list. It’s not the cheapest option, but it is incredibly powerful if you want advanced functionality.
For even more features, there’s also a third-party app marketplace, kind of like how you can install plugins to extend WordPress. This is a feature that you won’t find in other live chat plugins and it gives you a ton of flexibility.
By the numbers, tawk.to is the most popular live chat service on the internet. It achieves this with a unique approach — it gives you every single live chat feature for free!
That’s tough to beat. You get a feature list that compares to a paid SaaS tool but without paying any money — and that’s why tawk.to has grown to become so popular.
Despite being free, tawk.to has pretty much every feature you’d expect from a live chat tool.
- Productivity tools – canned responses, message sneak-peek, agent transfers, agent-to-agent messaging, and more
- Automatic triggers – use these to automatically engage visitors
- Analytics and reporting – see how your live chat agents are doing
- Multilingual – supports 45+ languages (there’s also a beta feature to enable automatic translation)
Note – tawk.to does not support chatbots.
Setup and Interface
To add tawk.to to WordPress, you can register for a free tawk.to account and then use the integration plugin at WordPress.org.
Linking the two is as simple as entering your tawk.to username and password in the plugin’s settings.
Here’s an example of what the live chat looks like:
To respond to visits, you can use the tawk.to web dashboard, along with dedicated mobile apps (iOS and Android) and desktop apps (Windows and macOS).
Here’s an example of what the web app looks like:
Tawk.to is 100% free to use the live chat and all live chat features.
You only need to pay if you want to remove the small “Chat by tawk.to” branding from the bottom of your chat box. That will cost you $19 per month.
You also have the option to pay for tawk.to agents to help you respond to customers. You can also pay for upgrades to add video and audio communication in addition to live chat.
What Makes tawk.to Unique?
The most unique thing about tawk.to is its pricing model, which gives you access to every single live chat feature for free and only charges you to remove the tawk.to branding.
If you’re ok with the small tawk.to branding, you won’t find a more functional free live chat plugin, which makes this one great if you’re on a tight budget.
With the HubSpot WordPress plugin, you can easily set up live chat on your WordPress site and also view all of your customer details without leaving your WordPress dashboard.
- Full-service live chat – while live chat isn’t the only focus of HubSpot, its live chat functionality is just as functional
- Full CRM – store all customer details and conversations in the free HubSpot CRM
- Chatbots – create automatic chatbots to engage users
- Other automations – set up other automations, such as automatically adding a CRM tag to users who initiate a chat
- Activity tracking – track a user’s history in detail, including not just their live chat history but also their other activity
- Email marketing – send marketing emails using a drag-and-drop builder
- Form and popup builder – create forms and popups to connect with customers
Setup and Interface
To get started with HubSpot and live chat, you’ll need to register for a free HubSpot account and then install the free HubSpot plugin from WordPress.org.
After connecting your account, you’ll get a setup wizard to configure the live chat:
Once you set everything up, you’ll be able to access your CRM and other features from inside your WordPress admin area.
Customers can initiate chats just like any other live chat tool:
You can then respond from the HubSpot website or the HubSpot mobile apps:
The HubSpot live chat feature is available for free, along with the CRM and WordPress plugin (and other features such as popups and forms).
You’ll only need to pay if you want access to enterprise-level marketing, sales, or customer service features such as more advanced automations and chatbots.
These plans are divided into different “Hubs” — e.g. Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and so on. The Customer Service Hub starts at $45 per month for up to two users plus $23 per additional user.
What Makes HubSpot Unique?
The most unique thing about HubSpot is that it’s not just a live chat plugin — it’s a full CRM. If you want to connect with customers in other ways, too, it’s a great option.
It also gives you a lot of functionality for free, which is nice if you’re on a budget.
However, if you have no interest in the CRM features, you’ll be missing a lot of the value that HubSpot offers.
Support Board is a 100% self-hosted WordPress live chat plugin. If you don’t want to use a SaaS tool (like pretty much all of the other options) and you’d rather keep everything on your site’s server, this is the best solution that I’ve found.
It’s also a one-time fee with lifetime updates via Envato’s license, which offers excellent value.
- Chat from the WP dashboard – respond to chats from your own WordPress admin area
- Progressive web app – chat from iOS or Android, along with Windows and macOS
- Dialogflow support – create your own custom chatbots
- Slack integration – respond to live chat messages from Slack
- WooCommerce integration – see shopper details in the chat
- Multi-channel chat – also chat from WhatsApp, FB Messenger, Twitter, Telegram, WeChat, and other channels
Setup and Interface
Because Support Board is a self-hosted plugin, all you need to do is install it like any other WordPress plugin. You can open the settings area to configure everything about the plugin.
Visitors can start sending chat messages right away — here’s what it looks like with the default styling:
You can then respond to chat messages directly from your WordPress dashboard:
The core Support Board plugin costs $59 via Envato’s CodeCanyon marketplace. That purchase price gets you access to lifetime updates on a single site, along with six months of support.
There are also additional extension plugins to add other features and integrations, such as WooCommerce, Slack, WhatsApp, and more. These cost $9 to $39 each, depending on the extension, and have the same license terms.
What Makes Support Board Unique?
Support Board’s key differentiator is that it’s a 100% self-hosted solution where all of the functionality and data stays on your server.
It’s the only live chat plugin on this list where that’s true (and it’s the only quality live chat plugin I could find that meets this criterion).
MyAlice is a live chat solution that’s specifically marketed towards eCommerce stores, so this one can be a great option if you’re using WooCommerce to run an online store.
However, if you’re not running an eCommerce store, then you’ll want to pick a different WordPress live chat plugin as MyAlice is specifically built for eCommerce use cases.
- Omnichannel chat approach – chat via your website and social media profiles from one dashboard
- Customer data – see customer order history and edit order data right from your live chat interface
- Automation/chatbots – automate customer conversations to save time (MyAlice claims it can automate up to 60% of eCommerce conversations)
- Analytics – view detailed stats, such as average response time, the sales numbers that different agents drive, and more
Setup and Interface
MyAlice has a dedicated WordPress plugin to help integrate it with your WooCommerce store. However, the setup process is not as seamless as other tools, and it took me a little while to figure out how to make everything work. This is one area where MyAlice could improve.
However, once you get it set up, it’s easy to use and works just like other live chat plugins.
Visitors can initiate a chat from the frontend of your store:
You’ll be able to respond from the web interface or one of the dedicated apps:
MyAlice has a forever-free plan that includes basic features. Paid plans start at $9 per agent per month with annual billing.
What Makes MyAlice Unique?
The most unique thing about MyAlice is that it’s specifically built and marketed to WooCommerce stores. For example, you can easily see order histories, edit order details, share coupons, and so on.
The other unique details are its focus on chatbots/automation and its omnichannel setup where you can chat via social media as well.
Tidio is another popular WordPress live chat plugin that uses the same SaaS-based approach as many of the other plugins on this list.
There’s nothing especially unique about Tidio in comparison to these other plugins when it comes to features, but it just generally has a very nice user experience and solid value with its free plan. I think it has one of the nicest chat interfaces/widgets of any tool.
You also get all of the key features that you’d expect from a quality live chat plugin, such as canned responses, chatbots, live typing previews, and more.
- Slick interface – the chat interface (frontend and backend) is really nice
- Chatbots – set up chatbot flows to automatically engage visitors when you’re not around
- Omnichannel – in addition to website chat, you can respond to Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and email
- Productivity tools – canned responses, live typing previews, see visitor’s current page, and more
- Chat anywhere – chat from the web interface, desktop apps (Windows, macOS, Linux), and/or mobile apps (iOS, Android)
Setup and Interface
To get started, you need to install the Tidio WordPress plugin. Then, it gives you an option to create an account with just a few clicks. From there, you get a nice setup wizard to configure your live chat:
Within a few minutes, your site’s visitors will be able to start chatting with you. Again, I think Tidio has one of the nicest chat interfaces, which is something that sets it apart:
You can respond to chats from the web interface or the dedicated apps:
Tidio has a forever-free plan that includes basic features, live chat conversations with 50 users, and 100 monthly chatbot conversations. It’s one of the best free live chat plugins that you’ll find.
The full-featured live chat plan costs $19/operator/month, or you can pay for the chatbot plan which includes 40,000 chatbot conversations for $39 per month.
What Makes Tidio Unique?
There are two things that stand out about Tidio.
First, it has one of the more generous free plans on this list (though it still doesn’t match tawk.to in terms of free features).
Second, it has a pretty slick, modern interface. At least personally, I really like the design of the Tidio chat widget.
Facebook Chat Plugin is an official plugin from Facebook/Meta that helps you chat with your site’s visitors using Facebook Messenger.
Is that a good thing? Well, I think it really depends on who your target audience is.
For example, I live in Vietnam, where Facebook Messenger is an incredibly popular communication channel. For that reason, a lot of sites use Facebook Messenger as their live chat solution.
However, if you live in a country where people don’t really rely on Facebook Messenger, you’ll probably want to choose a more traditional live chat plugin.
- Easy setup – all you do is click a button and choose a Facebook page; there’s no need to create an app
- Guest chat – customers can chat using their Facebook account or as a guest
- Respond from Messenger – respond directly from Messenger
- Facebook Business tools – use all of the normal tools, including auto-replies and basic chatbots
Setup and Interface
To get started, you’ll need to install the official Facebook Chat Plugin on your site.
The setup is pretty painless — all you do is click a button and choose the Facebook page that you want to use to interact with customers (you’ll need to be an admin of the page).
Then, the plugin will add a traditional chat widget to your site, but with the Messenger icon.
Customers can choose between opening a chat using their Facebook account or as a guest:
You’ll be able to respond directly from Facebook Messenger, including the web-based interface and apps.
Facebook Chat Plugin is 100% free as is using Facebook Messenger.
What Makes Facebook Chat Plugin Unique?
The key differentiators here are that you’re doing all of your chat via Facebook Messenger and customers can use their existing Facebook accounts to engage. However, they can still submit responses anonymously if they want.
It’s also 100% free, which is another big advantage. You can find omnichannel live chat plugins that support Facebook chat as one method, but those services usually cost money.
Which Is the Best WordPress Live Chat Plugin?
Now for the important question — which is the best WordPress live chat plugin for your specific situation?
Well, there’s no one single plugin that’s the best for every single user. Instead, it’s more about choosing the tool that best matches your needs and budget.
So, let’s go through a few different recommendations for different situations.
Best Native, Self-Hosted WordPress Live Chat Plugin
First off, if you do not want to use a SaaS tool and you want to keep everything 100% self-hosted, the best option that I’ve found is Support Board.
Despite being 100% self-hosted, Support Board has a very polished, SaaS-like feel. It is a premium plugin at $59 (plus maybe more for extensions). However, you get lifetime updates for that price which still makes it very cost-effective.
Best Free WordPress Live Chat Plugin
If you’re looking for a free WordPress live chat plugin, I think that tawk.to is your best option because of its unique pricing approach. Again, tawk.to gives you all of the features for free, which you won’t find in other tools. The only caveat is that you’ll need to pay if you want to remove the small tawk.to branding.
Tidio also has a pretty solid free plan because it supports multiple users for free.
If you like the Facebook chat approach, the Facebook Chat Plugin is 100% free forever.
Most Powerful WordPress Live Chat Plugin
If I had to recommend the “best” live chat plugin when it comes to features and user experience, it would be LiveChat.
It has a ton of useful features, and both the frontend and backend interface experiences are great.
The only downside is that you’ll pay for it because LiveChat is a bit more expensive than most other tools. For a serious business, that investment might be worth it, though.
Best Full Customer Relationship Management Plugin
If you’re interested in a tool that can help you fully manage your customer relationships via live chat and more, then you should consider the free HubSpot CRM and WordPress plugin.
Best WooCommerce Live Chat Plugin
If you specifically want a WooCommerce live chat plugin, you might prefer MyAlice. It’s built for eCommerce and includes lots of convenient features to help you support shoppers and boost sales.
Try One Of These Live Chat Plugins Today
At this point, you should hopefully have a good idea of the best WordPress live chat plugin for your needs.
Almost all of these plugins offer either forever-free plans or free trials, so test out the ones you find most interesting, and you’ll be up and running with the perfect live chat feature in no time.
That wraps up our recommendations. Still have any questions about how to choose the best WordPress live chat plugin for your situation? Let us know in the comments!