The 4 Best Live Chat Plugins for Wordpress …And Our Favorite!

Live chat is hot. In the world of marketing, it’s spicier than a scotch bonnet caramelized in vindaloo and dipped in jalapeño sauce.

It’s hot because it accomplishes the two most important objectives in business. Live chat:

  1. Transforms people into customers (conversion) — By allowing you to respond to sales queries in real-time and eliminate buyer friction.
  2. Keeps customers happy (retention) — By allowing you to resolve customer problems instantly and continuously improve your product from their feedback.

Live chat also inserts a human presence where a digital interaction would otherwise be. If you’re lazy and don’t want to sit around waiting for people to talk, some live chat software even come with built-in artificial intelligences that will do it for you.

But you already all know that, right? So let’s talk about the how. How do you get this awesome feature putting money in your company’s bank account?

Truth is, setting up live chat for WordPress is as simple as installing a plugin. The difficult bit is choosing the right one.

Every live chat plugin comes with three basic features:

  1. A live chat widget that sits on top of your website design. Visitors can click it to open up a dialogue with one of your team.
  2. A dashboard that lets you manage conversations and — in some cases — see analytics.
  3. Settings for tweaking things like the design and functionality of your chat widget.

These features are but the tip of the iceberg. Sifting between the millions of live chat providers’ different offerings is enough to make you want to sink the ship before it sails. Luckily for you, we’ve done all the hard work already.

When used properly [link to how to… blog], all of the live chat plugins below deliver high returns on investment. That being said, none are perfect — and every business is different. So focus on finding the one that’s best for you.

The Best Live Chat Plugins

If all you want is free, easy-to-use, no-frills chat functionality, look no further than WP Live Chat Support. It comes with all the features you need; from unlimited simultaneous live chats through an easy-to-use interface and a responsive chat dashboard that controls the entire operation.

It is completely free, so don’t be surprised that the design is whack. You get what you don’t pay for.

Zopim / Zendesk Chat

Upgrades begin at $11.20 per month.

With 150,000 business customers, Zopim is The Daddy of live chat software. Its most potent weapons are its cool, seamless graphics and super-slick design, which can be customised to your business and brand.

But Zopim is pretty cool in other ways too — like by allowing you to chat on the go via iOS and Android apps. That’s pretty vital if you want to respond in optimal time, before your customers get bored of waiting (well under one minute).

The free subscription lets one chat agent handle unlimited chats — so if you’re small and don’t expect too many customers, Zopim is what you need.

Key Features

  • Mobile optimised. Customers chat with you from any device. Manage chats from any device.
  • Proactive chat. Increase the chances of high value engagement (and more sales) by using triggers to automatically reach out to engaged visitors.
  • Analytics. Monitor visitor flow, usage patterns, and jump in whenever a customer might need help.
  • Simple / highly customisable. Design a chat widget that complements your website, taste and audience.
  • 24 hour support. Handy, especially in the early stages when you’re iterating best practice.
  • Reliable. Average uptime is 99.8%.
  • HTML5 dashboard

Works with…

  • UserVoice, Salesforce, Highrise, Batchbook, Zendesk, vTiger + many more.
  • WordPress versions: 3.1–4.4.6
  • Browsers: Internet Explorer 6+, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari.

Best for: businesses large and small that care less about endless feature lists and more about a hassle-free, beautiful chat solution.

Live Chat

30 day free trial, after which monthly subscriptions start at 16 bucks.

Face it: People are complicated. Every customer is different. No matter how well you think you know your audience, there’s always more to learn.

If you want to build your marketing strategy around the things to which your customers really respond, Live Chat is a great option. Not content with collecting feedback about your product, Live Chat gives you a way to get feedback on your feedback too.

At the end of each chat, customers are given the opportunity to rate each conversation they have with your team — allowing you to get better at talking each time.

Key Features

  • Message sneak-peek. Everything customers type is visible to you in its chat window, even if they don’t send it over. Prepare your answer better and discover problems that normally would go unnoticed.
  • Mobile optimised. Customers chat with you from any device. Manage chats from any device.
  • Built-in ticketing system. Handle all support activities from one place. Get feedback on your feedback.
  • Analytics and Chat Tags. Track conversations by department / user — get smarter data in your analytics dashboard
  • Canned responses. You don’t have to type in the same answer over and over again. Work smart by creating a canned response: a pre-made answer to a popular question that can be recalled with just a few keystrokes.

Works with…

  • Google Analytics, Facebook, Salesforce, Mailchimp, Dropbox, + many more.
  • WordPress versions: 3.4–4.5.5
  • Browsers: Internet Explorer 6+, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari.

Best for: businesses that really care about providing awesome customer service — and want to use it as a key differentiator in their market.


$110 per month.

If you want live chat to be part of a wider integrated CRM strategy, take a look at Intercom.

Optimising for simplicity and collaboration, they offer a suite of products that do pretty much everything sales and marketing teams require. At its core Intercom gives you the lowdown on your users, helping you reach out, get instant feedback, and track your relationship with them over time.

While their ‘platform’ is free, the products don’t come cheap — but if your business is on the verge of making it big, Intercom would be a wise investment.

Key Features

  • End-to-end CRM system.
  • Team inbox. View, manage, and respond to conversations in a collaborative inbox.
  • Assignment rules. Create rules to automatically assign conversations to the right team or teammate.
  • Notes and mentions. Loop in teammates and work together behind the scenes to answer questions.
  • Proactive chat. Increase the chances of high value engagement (and more sales) by using triggers to automatically reach out to engaged visitors.
  • Stickers, emoji and gifs. Targeting millennials? Inject life into your conversations.

Works with…

  • Facebook, Slack, Salesforce, Zendesk, Mailchimp, Trello + many more.
  • WordPress versions: 3.8–4.5.5
  • Browsers: Internet Explorer 6+, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari.

Best for: bigger businesses needing a total CRM solution that helps their growing teams work together and respond to customer needs/leads seamlessly.


Free, or $50 per month

If you’re one of those entrepreneurs who is savvier than most, check out Drift. Their freemium offer is the best in the market, getting you everything from 100 active contacts and offline chat to email fallback, a mobile app, and user profiles.

Key Features

Real-time notifications. Does your team use Slack? Drift lets you integrate, meaning your people can respond lightening-fast.

Offline mode. This option is a godsend if your team isn’t big enough to support 24×7 chat.

Browser targeting. This is smart. It allows you to automatically contact customers as soon as they take meaningful actions like visiting your pricing page repeatedly. With little effort — but a little imagination too — you can set up any rules you want, and customise chat pop-ups to the customer/prospect behaviours unique to your business.

AI Bot. You’re busy, got better things to do — we get it. That doesn’t mean live chat is too time intensive. Bring the power of Artificial Intelligence to your chats instead.

App integration. If your business has its own mobile app, Drift will integrate right in, giving you an easy way to communicate everything from just-released app features to product launches.

Works with…

  • HubSpot, Marketo, Mailchimp, Zapier, Intercom, Salesforce, Segment + many more.
  • WordPress versions: 3.4–4.6.2
  • Browsers: Internet Explorer 6+, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari.

Best for: SuperBusinesses like WhatArmy!

Funnily enough, live chats at WhatArmy are powered by Drift. For tailored-to-your-business live chat advice, click the chat icon to the right of this text and one of our team will personally walk you through your options.

We’re all WordPress experts here — so while you’re chatting, feel free to tap our brains on other website topics too. Maybe you want info on live chat options not listed above? Help with coding? Site security?

Don’t sweat it. Whether your query concerns maintaining, protecting or improving your website, we’re the guys you want to talk to.

Originally published at on March 6, 2017.

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