A great way to provide extra value to your website users and customers is to add a live chat plugin functionality to your site, regardless of the type of online business you have.
Here's an interesting statistic for you. According to this research on FurstPerson, 44% of customers consented that the most important thing for them was to have access to a live chat feature when purchasing from a website.
Of course, this makes perfect sense, right?
I mean, just think about the times you went to purchase something from a website but had a few questions you needed answers to before committing to buy.
Did you hold off or did you go to another website where you found answers to your questions through live chat communication, and therefore were able to purchase the item there?
Another study revealed that only 23% of customers preferred regular email, while 42% preferred live chat as means of communication when transacting with a website.
So, as you can see, offering live chat functionality on your website is beneficial, both from a business owner and customer perspective.
Whether you run an e-commerce website, a creative services website, or a blog, having live chat to communicate with your audience and likely customers can do wonders for your business.
The question now is, how do you add such functionality to your website?
Assuming you use WordPress for your website, you'll be glad to know that there are a handful of useful plugins you can use. So below, I've compiled a shortlist of the five best live chat plugins worth checking out.
Some of these are free to use, some come at a premium.
Best live chat plugins for your website
Let me start with the plugin that I've used in the past, Screets Chat.
Screets Live Chat is a simple-to-setup live chat plugin that comes with plenty of useful features. Benefits of using Screets include -
- Being able to access your chat history
- Ability to add an online form for when you are unavailable to chat
- Have access to a powerful chat console right in your WP dashboard
- The ability to learn more about your visitors, including the pages they're visiting, browser or device type, and Geolocation with visitor extension
With Screets, you can also choose which pages you'd like to have the live chat icon visible on, for instance, the homepage, contact page, etc.
You can customize the chat widget so that it is consistent with your website's design and branding, use multiple operators per chat, and have 100 operators at any time, plus more.
The only gripe I had with Screets is that they don't have a mobile app for managing your communication on the go and outside of your site, as many other similar plugins do.
How did using the street plugin help my business?
Having the live chat feature on my website was very beneficial for me and my website visitors, at least in the past.
I serve mostly budding SMEs, entrepreneurs, and small businesses and I've been able to use Live Chat to help answer some web design-related questions, as well as inquiries about my services.
How much does this plugin cost?
Screets Live Chat will cost you a one-time fee of $25 for a single site or $75 for unlimited sites. For this, you get access to all of the features including 6-months of premium support.
Click here to learn more.
Why did I stop using Screet?
As you can clearly see, I do not use a live chat feature anymore on Fabrizio Van Marciano. I removed the plugin because it wasn't compatible with Oxygen Builder. I've not tested recently, so this might no longer be the case.
LiveChat is another very popular plugin/service that is easy and fast to set up and begin using.
The benefits of using LiveChat include -
- Being able to help anyone visiting your website, whether they're trying to navigate to a piece of content or wanting to learn more about your products or services
- Being able to assess and improve the quality of your customer service
- Having the ability to help potential customers check out quickly and easily, thus improving your website's conversion rate
- Helping you to secure your chat data and information
One of the other benefits of using LiveChat is that you can access and chat with your visitors from anywhere using the App on your tablet or Smartphone. You can also integrate using the WordPress plugin from the repository here.
Here is a list of some of the other features in LiveChat -
- Chat tools include notifications, visitor information, and visitor banning
- Customization options include adding a company logo, adding custom CSS, and chat window themes
- Ways to engage your visitors/customers include automatic and personal greetings, ticket forms, and chat via direct link. Plus more
How much does this plugin/service cost?
You can sign up for a 30-day free trial before committing to one of the LiveChat plans. Prices start from $16 per month for an unlimited agent account. You can click here to learn more.
Purechat is a simple but powerful, and 100% free live chat plugin for WordPress.
If you're on a budget and can't justify paying a premium for offering Live Support on your website just yet, then this would be the perfect alternative.
Just so you know. There is also a pro version of PureChat which I'll talk about shortly.
Benefits of using the Purechat plugin include -
- Having the ability to reach your customers from your phone or desktop using the beautifully designed app for Android or iOS
- Ability to customize and brand your live chatbox
- Never miss a lead by adding an email form for when you or your team isn't available to chat
Now, as I said this plugin is free and comes with a host of features. However, there is also a pro version which comes with a few extra features.
Actually, quite a few extra features, including -
- Access to chat statistics, history, and reports
- Unlimited teams and agents
- Real-time visitor analytics and visitor information
- Integration options for Google Analytics, MailChimp, and Slack
- Trigger-based chat functionality, and more
How much does this plugin cost?
Again, the free plugin version comes with a ton of features that you can check out and download here and would suit most small businesses, freelancers, and solopreneurs.
The pro version comes with even more features and options, with plans starting from $29 per month (10,000 monthly visitors). Click here to learn more.
Next, on my list, we have WP Live Chat Support which is the most popular Live Chat plugin available from the repository here.
For the most part, this is a free plugin and it's an ideal cost-effective solution for all small businesses on a budget.
The features included in the free version are too ridiculously long to mention here, however, some of the benefits of using this particular plugin include -
- Having full access to unlimited and simultaneous live chats
- Use of a responsive admin chat dashboard
- No monthly subscription to tie you over
- Easy Google Analytics integration
- Visitor banning, and more
As with most of these types of free plugins, as you've probably guessed, there are also pro-add-ons available to make this plugin even more powerful.
A mobile and desktop app is also available for Android and iOS.
So, how much does this plugin cost?
As I mentioned earlier, there's a free version that would suit most smaller businesses and freelancers. To access the pro-add-ons, however, there are a couple of solutions for businesses.
You can either pay a one-time fee starting from $39.95 for a 1-site license, and that will give you access to all features, including email support and updates for 1-year.
You can also have unlimited agents and chats with zero restrictions on this plan.
Or, you can switch to paying monthly starting at $4.99 for a 1-site license with the same benefits as above, and continuous updates.
Last but not least, we get to Live Chat by Formilla.
Formilla's Live Chat software is one of the most attractive around, offering small businesses a complete solution to better communicate with their website visitors and customers with some great features.
Features include -
- Gorgeous chat console UI.
- Real-time visitor tracking.
- Create and use custom automated messages for your visitors.
- Mobile app for communicating with your website visitors from anywhere.
- Customized and personalized chats.
- Google Analytics tracking.
- Saved replies and group chats, and more.
So, how much does this live chat solution cost?
Formilla's Live Chat doesn't just integrate with WordPress, but also with other popular platforms such as Shopify, Drupal, and Wix.
When it comes to pricing, however, there are three plans to choose from. A free plan, suitable for smaller businesses requiring only one agent and with a maximum of 30 chats per month. There's also a Premium plan ($11.99 per month), and Premium Plus ($16.99 per month).
So there you have it, a few options for you to consider for your WordPress website.
The best thing to do is to figure out what kind of solution you need for your online business and how that solution is going to help you improve the communication with your visitors and potential clients.
If you're a solopreneur or freelancer like myself, then you might want to just invest in a simple plugin that will cost you a one-time fee like Screets or WP Live Chat.
On the other hand, if your business has a small team then one of the other options might suffice. Trial a few out to see which one works best for you and your team.
Whatever you decide, I hope this post has given you some great places to start. Best of luck.
I'm here to help: Psst... Need a live chat feature added to your website? Check out my WordPress web design services and get in touch for a free quote today 🙂