October 26, 2021

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6 Best WordPress Live Chat Plugins Compared in 2021 (Free & Paid)

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Want to add a live chat feature to your WordPress site? 

With a WordPress live chat plugin, you can start chatting with your site’s visitors in just a few minutes. With most tools, you’ll be able to respond from your computer or even when you’re on-the-go via dedicated smartphone apps.

In this post, I’ll be comparing six of the best WordPress live chat plugins. Most of these tools are actually standalone hosted services that you can easily integrate into your WordPress site via dedicated integration plugins.

The advantage of this approach is that you’ll get dedicated third-party servers to power your chat service, which makes it more reliable and means your WordPress site’s server won’t need to dedicate its resources just to powering your site’s live chat.

Even so, you’ll still be able to find several quality options that are 100% free.

Page Contents

Six Best WordPress Live Chat Plugins

Here are the six plugins that I’ll be looking at:

  1. LiveChat
  2. Olark
  3. HubSpot
  4. tawk.to
  5. Chaport
  6. Tidio

1. LiveChat

LiveChat is a popular premium live chat service that’s easy to add to your WordPress site thanks to its dedicated integration plugin at WordPress.org. It’s used by lots of big companies including McDonald’s, PayPal, and more.

Though it lacks a free version, LiveChat justifies its prices with an excellent feature list and great interfaces on both the frontend and backend.

You can chat with users via a variety of methods:

  • Web browser
  • Desktop apps for Windows and macOS
  • Mobile apps for iPhone and Android

Depending on which plan you have, you’ll get access to advanced live chat features including the following:

  • Canned responses
  • Message sneak peek to see what visitors are typing and respond faster
  • Chat transfer between agents
  • Chat archives
  • After-chat ratings/surveys
  • Detailed reports/stats
  • 170+ integrations with other tools, including CRMs, help desks, and more

In addition to live chat, LiveChat also helps you create chatbots to respond when you’re not around.

All in all, if you’re willing to pay for a premium experience in terms of features and interfaces, LiveChat is a great one to consider.

While LiveChat is a premium plugin, you can test it out for free for 14 days with no credit card required. After that, paid plans start at $19 per active agent per month. Higher tier plans offer more features.

To get started, you’ll need to:

2. Olark

Olark is another popular premium live chat tool with a dedicated WordPress plugin to help with integration.

As a premium tool, it comes with advanced tools for automation and analytics to help you save time and learn more about your customers. For example, you can automatically start chats based on visitor behavior, customize how chats are routed to agents, show/hide your chat box for certain visitors, and more.

You’ll also get all the “standard” live chat features like:

  • Customizable chat box
  • Custom chat forms
  • Canned responses
  • Message sneak peeks
  • Chat transcripts

One thing to note is that Olark doesn’t have dedicated apps – the only official app is the web interface. However, it does integrate with a number of third-party desktop apps and mobile apps if you want to chat from outside the web interface. Olark is also beta testing its own mobile apps, which might be released by the time you read this post.

Olark technically does have a limited free plan, but it only allows for 20 chats per month and limited features, so it won’t work for most use cases. With that being said, you can test out any premium plan with a 14-day free trial.

As with LiveChat, Olark’s paid plans start at $19 per active agent per month. There are also some PowerUps that cost more – you even need to pay an extra $59 per month to remove the Olark branding, which is a little pricey.

To get started, you’ll need to:

3. HubSpot

HubSpot is probably best known for its popular free CRM tool. However, beyond the CRM, it also has a suite of other products to help you interact with your customers, including a live chat feature.

To add the live chat to WordPress, you can use the dedicated HubSpot plugin, which also integrates the CRM into your WordPress dashboard and lets you create lead gen forms/popups.

Because everything is connected to the HubSpot CRM, all of your live chat conversations are stored in your CRM alongside the appropriate contact. You can easily pull up a transcript or chat history at any point in the future, which is great for managing your customer relationships.

To handle times when you’re not around, HubSpot also helps you create automated chatbots to interact with your customers, including creating different targeted messages based on the content a visitor is looking at.

All in all, if you like the idea of having a live chat system that integrates into a full CRM, HubSpot is a great option. However, if you just want a standalone WordPress live chat plugin, you might prefer a different solution.

The HubSpot live chat and CRM are free to use (though some advanced features require the paid version).

To get started, you’ll need to:

4. tawk.to

Tawk.to is a popular WordPress live chat plugin with a very attractive value proposition – unlike most other services, it gives you access to every single feature for free. That means you’ll get tons of advanced features without spending a penny – here’s the explanation behind their pricing strategy of “free”.

That pricing strategy has been quite effective – according to BuiltWith, tawk.to is the most popular live chat tool around. It’s also quite popular at WordPress.org, where the integration plugin has over 200,000 active installs.

Here are some of the many features that tawk.to gives you for free:

  • Chat from your web browser or desktop apps for Windows and macOS
  • Dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Canned responses
  • Message sneak peek to see what visitors are typing
  • Support for 45+ different languages
  • Reports/analytics
  • Unlimited chat history
  • File uploads
  • Create multiple departments and route chats
  • Agent-to-agent messages
  • 100+ integrations with other tools

Of course, tawk.to isn’t running a charity, so it does monetize its service in two ways:

  1. The live chat box includes a “Powered by tawk.to” link/branding. If you want to remove it, you’ll need to pay a flat $15 fee per month.
  2. You can optionally hire agents to staff your chat box for $1 per hour.

All in all, if you’re looking for the best free live chat plugin for WordPress, tawk.to is definitely one of the best options.

To get started, you’ll need to:

5. Chaport

Chaport is another well-designed tool that you can easily add to WordPress via a dedicated plugin. It offers a modern chat interface with plenty of useful features:

  • Multiple chat interfaces including web browser, desktop apps (Windows and macOS), and mobile apps (iOS and Android)
  • Canned responses.
  • Message sneak peek
  • File attachments
  • Customizable chat widget
  • Automatic chat invitations based on rules that you set
  • Group chats

In general, both the frontend and backend interfaces look great and are quite modern.

Chaport is free for a single operator and limited features. For more operators and advanced features, the paid plans start at $14 per month. You can also test out the premium features with a free trial.

To get started, you’ll need to:

6. Tidio Live Chat

Tidio Live Chat is another excellent option if you’re looking for an easy-to-use free WordPress live chat plugin.

It has a very beginner-friendly setup process along with a forever free plan for up to three live chat agents. Beyond that, it has an excellent modern interface and tons of advanced features, though some features require the paid version.

To chat with customers, you can use the well-designed browser app, dedicated desktop apps for WIndows and macOS, and dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android.

You can customize the chat interface to match your website and also reach out directly to start chats with customers.

Again, Tidio is free for up to three chat operators and most basic features. Then, there are three different kinds of paid upgrades:

  • Chatbots – from $18 per month – create automatic chatbots.
  • Communicator – from $18 per month – add more features to the live chat, such as message sneak peek, live visitor list/notifications, and more.
  • Email Marketing – from $10 per month – send emails to your customers.

To get started, you can install the free plugin from WordPress.org and click a button to complete the one-click setup. The setup process will automatically create an account for you that you can use to access the web interface.

Which Is the Best WordPress Live Chat Plugin?

The best plugin for your needs depends on your budget, how many agents you plan to have, and the features that you need.

If you’re looking for the best standalone free option, consider starting with tawk.to or Tidio Live Chat. Chaport is also a solid option for a single user. Or, if you want to use the HubSpot CRM, the free HubSpot live chat tool is a great free option (it just bundles in other features behind live chat, which you may or may not like).

On the other hand, if you’re willing to pay for a premium tool, LiveChat is one of the best options because of its advanced features and high-quality interfaces. Olark is also excellent, though it can be expensive if you need some of the PowerUps.

Still have any questions about the best WordPress live chat plugin? Ask in the comments section!

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