Table of Contents

Searching for the best live chat plugins for WordPress?

In this post, I’ve gone hands-on with 6 great options to help you find the best tool for your needs.

For each plugin, I’ll share:

  • What the live chat box looks like
  • Key features, like how you’ll chat with visitors
  • How the setup process works

And because we always keep website performance in mind here at WP Rocket, I’ll also share more about the performance effect of each plugin to help you find the fastest chat plugin for WordPress.

Let’s go straight to the plugins, starting with…

1. Tidio Live Chat

Tidio Live Chat is a popular live chat plugin at WordPress.org, where it’s active on 40,000+ sites with a 4.8-star rating.

Here’s what the default styling looks like for the live chat box. You can also customize a lot about its looks in Tidio’s settings:

Is Tidio Live Chat the best live chat plugins for WordPress?

Key Features & Pricing

To chat with visitors, you can use the Tidio web interface. Or, Tidio also includes dedicated chat apps for:

  • Windows
  • iOS
  • Android

Other relevant features are:

  • Chatbot functionality
  • Omnichannel approach (can manage email and Facebook Messenger responses from the same interface)
  • Option to send emails to people after they leave the chat
  • Visitor/chat analytics

Tidio’s basic live chat functionality is 100% free for up to 3 chat operators. For more chat agents or extra features (like automation), plans start at €15 per month.

Setup

Tidio Live Chat is super easy to set up, which is one of the benefits of this plugin.

Once you install and activate the plugin from WordPress.org, you’ll need to create a Tido account, which you can do with the click of a button:

How to create an account with Tidio Live Chat

Then, your chat is active right away. You’ll also see another button that will take you to the Tidio website where you can enter your account information to complete the setup process:

How to configure your account with Tidio Live Chat

Then, you’ll be able to manage your chat settings and interact with visitors from the cloud dashboard:

Tidio Live Chat cloud dashboard

Performance Effect

With the default settings, Tidio added:

  • 218 KB
  • 9 requests

2. WP Live Chat Support

Unlike most live chat plugins for WordPress, WP Live Chat Support is a 100% native WordPress solution. That is, you’ll manage everything from inside your WordPress dashboard, instead of using a third-party interface.

You also have the choice of whether to host all the functionality on your own server or use WP Live Chat Support’s server, which is another unique part of this plugin’s approach.

Here’s what the chat box looks like by default:

Is WP Live Chat Support the best live chat plugin for WordPress?

Key Features & Pricing

WP Live Chat Support lets you chat with visitors from inside your WordPress dashboard. Or, with a $29.95 extension, you can also get access to apps for Windows, iOS, and Android.
Other relevant features include:

  • Desktop notifications for new chats
  • Restrictions on who can use the live chat box
  • Add surveys before/after the chat
  • See what visitors are typing before they hit send (paid)
  • Initiate chat with visitors (paid)
  • Analytics (paid)
  • Canned responses (paid)

There’s a free version at WordPress.org. After that, the Pro add-on starts at $15 to let you use unlimited agents and add other features.

Setup

As soon as you install and activate the plugin from WordPress.org, your live chat is active.
To customize its styling and functionality, you can head to Live Chat → Settings in your WordPress dashboard:

You can chat with people right from your WordPress dashboard by going the main Live Chat area:

How to use live chat area in WP Live Chat Support

Performance Effect

With the default settings, WP Live Chat Support added:

  • 405 KB
  • 31 requests

3. LiveChat

LiveChat is a popular SaaS live chat tool that’s easy to integrate with WordPress thanks to a dedicated plugin. It has a great interface and feature list, but there’s no free version (though you do get a 14-day free trial to test it out).

Here’s what the default LiveChat chat box looks like:

Is LiveChat best live chat plugin for WordPress?

Key Features & Pricing

To justify its price, LiveChat has a lengthy feature list, including:

  • 130+ integrations
  • Dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android (in addition to a cloud dashboard)
  • Canned responses
  • Message sneak-peek to see what people are typing before they hit send
  • Visitor profiles
  • Analytics
  • Automatic greetings
  • Ticketing
  • …plus a lot more.

After the 14-day free trial, LiveChat’s plans start at $16 per month per logged-in agent.

Setup

To set up LiveChat, you can install the free LiveChat plugin from WordPress.org and then follow the plugin’s prompts to create your LiveChat account and sync it with WordPress:

How to use LiveChat plugin settings in WordPress

Then, you’ll do everything else in the LiveChat cloud interface. LiveChat also includes a setup wizard to help you configure the most important settings:

How to use LiveChat plugin configuration wizard

And then you can respond to visitors and manage other settings from the dashboard:

How to use Livechat plugin settings dashboard

Performance Effect

With the default settings, LiveChat added:

  • 375 KB
  • 23 requests

4. Tawk.To Live Chat

Tawk.To is a popular free live chat service that you can easily add to your site thanks to its dedicated plugin at WordPress.org.

The most unique thing about this tool is that it gives you all the features for free, which is why Tawk.To is used by more than 1 million websites.

Here’s what the default widget looks like:

Is TawkTo the best live chat plugin for WordPress?

Key Features & Pricing

Tawk.To is 100% free for all the features. You can pay $12 per month to remove the Tawk.to branding – but you do not need to pay for a single feature.

Here are the most relevant features:

  • Unlimited agents (yes – for free)
  • Dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
  • Initiate chats
  • Visitor analytics
  • Automatic triggers
  • Canned responses
  • File uploads
  • 100+ integrations
  • Ticketing

Setup

Setting up Tawk.To is easy. First, you install the free plugin from WordPress.org. Then, it will prompt you to sign in to your free Tawk.To account (or register a new account):

How to use Tawk.To plugin settings in WordPress

Once you do that, you’ll manage most other settings in the Tawk.To cloud dashboard, which is also where you’ll chat with your visitors:

How to use Tawk.To plugin dashboard

Performance Effect

With the default settings, Tawk.To added:

  • 964 KB
  • 33 requests

5. Drift

Drift is a WordPress live chat plugin that’s more focused on marketing and sales than customer support. So if your goal is to engage with prospects to make a sale, you might prefer Drift as that’s what its feature set is tailored towards.

Is Drift the best live chat plugin for WordPress?

Key Features & Pricing

Drift lets you chat through the cloud dashboard, as well as dedicated apps for iOS and Android.

Drift’s other features lean more towards marketing/sales with features for:

  • Detailed visitor profiles/history
  • Chatbots
  • Automated sales sequences
  • “Drift profile” feature that lets people book meetings via chat
  • Account-based marketing

Drift has a limited free plan for a single user. After that, paid plans start at $50 per month.

Setup

Drift has a dedicated WordPress plugin, but you’ll still need to manually paste in the Drift JavaScript code snippet (which you get after creating a free Drift account):

How to configure Drift plugin in WordPress

When you create your Drift account, it will take you through a basic setup wizard:

How to use Drift plugin settings wizard

Then, you’ll be able to manage other settings and chat with visitors from the Drift cloud dashboard:

How to use Drift plugin dashboard

Performance Effect

With the default settings, Drift added:

  • 564 KB
  • 27 requests

6. Support Board

Support Board is another live chat plugin that’s a native WordPress offering (there’s also a PHP app). It has a super simple setup process – just activate the plugin and start chatting. It also looks great out of the box, as you’ll see below.

You can either chat directly from your WordPress dashboard. Or, you can use a Slack integration to respond to inquiries directly from Slack. If you don’t want to respond yourself, there’s also a Dialogflow integration to help you create smart chatbots.

If you’re worried about privacy, one nice feature of Support Board is that all of your chat conversations and user details are stored on your WordPress site’s server – not a third-party service.

Here’s what the live chat box looks like by default:

Is Support Board the best live chat plugin for WordPress?

Key Features & Pricing

Support Board is a premium plugin – you can purchase it for $59 at CodeCanyon. If you want to use the Slack or Dialogflow integrations, those cost an extra $29 each.

As for the features, you can chat from inside your WordPress dashboard or via the Slack integration, as I mentioned above.

Other relevant features include:

  • Dialogflow integration to create chatbots
  • Rich messages and surveys
  • Option to require registration for live chat
  • Canned replies
  • User tracking (e.g. see user details, including location, user account, etc.)
  • Built-in translation options for localization
  • Scheduled office hour availability
  • Queue control

Setup

Setting up Support Board is super simple.

As soon as you activate the plugin, you’re ready to start chatting from your WordPress dashboard right away.

Here’s what the in-dashboard chat looks like:

Support Board plugin in-dashboard chat

If you want to adjust the default settings, you can go to the gear icon tab to access settings to control:

  • Basic chat features, e.g. whether or not to allow uploads
  • Chat notifications
  • Whether or not to require registration to start a live chat session
  • Style and design
  • Scheduled office hours
  • Integrations with Slack or Dialogflow
  • Etc.
Support Board plugin default settings

Performance Effect

With the default settings, Support Board added:

  • 70 KB
  • 12 requests

What’s The Best WordPress Live Chat Plugin?

Now for the million dollar question – which of these tools should you use?

Well, based on our testing, Tidio is the fastest free chat plugin for WordPress in terms of the file size and requests that it adds. At just 218 KB and 9 requests, its “weight” was much lower than all of the other live chat plugins. It’s also free for up to 3 agents and has a great modern design.

Overall, Support Board was the most lightweight plugin, adding just 70 KB and 12 requests. If you’re willing to pay, it’s a great option.

If you want a WordPress-specific solution, WP Live Chat Support is definitely the best option for you. And if you want the most features for free, Tawk.To definitely has the most generous free feature list of any live chat plugin out there.

Finally, LiveChat is pricey but has a deep feature list, and Drift is a great option if you’re more focused on sales.

Any other questions about these WordPress live chat plugins? Let us know in the comments!


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Comments (13)

Drfit's interface looks a lot like something I used in the past; Freshchat (https://www.freshworks.com/live-chat-software/) by Freshworks (the people behind also FreshDesk and FreshSales).

But that was not the reason I wanted to reply; I wanted to throw another thing into this Facebook Messenger; https://developers.facebook.com/docs/messenger-platform/discovery/customer-chat-plugin/

It might lack some things other chat clients have but ... it directly integrates for the company / website as a backend and for the enduser as a front end.

Anyway wondering how that holds up compared to the others.

The plugins you listed are good. I'm expecting the chat plugin that integrates my watsapp. So that if any of my customer starts a chat then notificayion should come to my watsapp or any other IM. So that I can reply back easily. Is there any plugin like this for wordpress?

I’m surprised Intercom was left off of this list. How does it compare?

Thanks for this great blog post !

I always complain about the fact that the live chat solutions that i use, add too much bloat to the websites i am working on.

This blog post is really pushing me to try Tidio and see if i see any improvement :)

Cheers

What about Zendesk? Any comment?

Actually testing Tidio, thanks to you. Inbelievable quality for a freemium. Thanks

Best evaluation

Yes, thats why I use Tidio a year ago on all my woocommerce. Fast, light, nice and feature rich. Thanks for your post.

WP Live Chat has a virus/malware issue now are there any other replacements ?

Hey Collin!

Great blog. It’s quite in-depth and you’ve done a splendid job on comparing the five live chat software plugins for WordPress based on price, features and even setup.

Except, I feel as if you could have added more options like ProProfs Chat and others to the list to give readers more options to choose from. Plus, you could have added a setup video for each option. I mean as a reader I felt that what if there were videos that explained the setup process. Just a suggestion though.

Kudos for coming up with such a detailed blog!


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