Are you thinking of adding a free live chat feature to your website? Do you want to give personalized live chat support that will improve your visitors' website experience? Do you want your forum members to chat with each other in real time?
Fortunately, there are free PHP scripts available to help. Free PHP live chat scripts come in all sizes and shapes. Nearly all free PHP live chat scripts come with the basic features to set up a basic chat facility on your website.
Some free PHP live chat scripts stand apart because they offer enterprise-level features found in premium live chat scripts. Some even offer PHP expert online help free. These scripts are constantly updated, maintained, and improved by volunteer communities of open-source enthusiasts.
Another category is cloud-based live chat scripts run by companies that offer paid subscription plans. Some offer free plans with a generous amount of features, so that you may not need to upgrade to monthly paid plans.
Along with these free PHP live chat scripts, I encourage you to take a look at some premium live chat PHP scripts available on CodeCanyon. For a low-cost one-time payment, you can purchase these high-quality premium PHP live chat scripts that come with more features and better support from developers. Or you can even learn how to make your own live chat script in PHP!
- PHP10 Best PHP Chat Scripts on CodeCanyonFranc Lucas
- PHPHow to Make a Live Chat Script in PHPSajal Soni
With all this in mind, let's look at seven free live chat plugins that will help you set up a live chat facility on your website.
Best Free PHP Live Chat Scripts
Help Center Live is an open-source, community-driven live chat and support system that allows you to provide real-time, live support or salesperson experience.
Built in PHP with a MySQL back-end, this chat application comes with unlimited operators, unlimited departments, unlimited users, unlimited chat sessions, and chat transfer.
It has a Windows app add-on that enables the application to be minimized to your Windows system tray. Other indispensable features include an FAQ, trouble tickets, push web pages, and more.
The online documentation is updated constantly as items are always being changed.
Live Chat Helper boasts over 10,000 downloads and is used by banks, healthcare organizations, universities, and gaming companies, where data protection is a top priority. This open-source, live support chat script comes with a long list of free enterprise-level features, including extensive third-party integrations.
You can have unlimited departments with unlimited operators who can conduct chats with multiple customers at the same time and share screens to see what your customers are seeing. It has language support for both LTR and RTL. You can upload and exchange files just by dragging and dropping. It also has visitor tracking across different subdomains.
Live Chat Helper can be customized to meet any business needs without having to change its kernel. It comes with extension hooks that allow for third-party integration with some of the most popular mobile applications, without the need for coding. You can integrate it with:
- SMS apps like Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Mattermost
- AI frameworks like DeepPavlov AI and Rasa AI
- voice and video and screenshare
This versatile live chat support script is constantly updated. Bugs are fixed in days, not in weeks or months. It comes with extensive documentation that shows you how to use it.
Woulldn't it be cool if you developed a chatbox that could answer customer messages on your Facebook Messenger chat, Slack, WeChat, and more? Well, you can do so using BotMan: the open-source chatbot development framework for cross-platform chat and voice applications. BotMan is a freely available PHP framework that allows you to develop innovative bots for multiple messaging platforms. It comes with extensive documentation. Here is the GitHub page.
PhpFreeChat is a completely free chat script. It can easily be embedded in your HTML code thanks to a customizable jQuery module. You can customize the chat by using any of the four free themes it comes with. And if you have CSS and/or Less skills, you can customize it with your website identity.
The server part of PhpFreeChat is coded in PHP. The RESTful architecture used offers a great modularisation: the chat code does not mix with your site's. The server part allows you to retain client data in order to use it afterwards—for instance, for marketing or statistical purposes.
And if you want to contribute to the evolution of PhpFreeChat, you can do so on its GitHub repository.
5. BlaB Ax!
If you're looking for a free PHP group chat script, then go for BlaB Ax! Built with AJAX and PHP, this group chat system is responsive on both the front-end and admin, and also fully resizable on all screens including low-end smartphones and tablets. It supports all modern browsers including mobile browsers. You won't need additional plugins like Flash, Java, or server modules.
It is equipped with a long list of features:
- high-resolution retina displays
- ability to ban users and IP addresses
- sound alerts on new messages
- multiple rooms and one-to-one private rooms
- material icons, emoticons, emojis, avatars, stickers
- scroll using arrow keys, mouse, and dragging
The latest version is translated into 16 languages and supports MySQL/MariaDB databases.
LiveAdmin Lite is a free live customer support chat script that can be integrated into content management systems using ready-to-use plugins. When using this version, you cannot alter or change the code. Also, a link to the LiveAdmin website must be present on the client side of the panel.
ShoutBox is a PHP chat box with integrated spam protection, multiple language support, and multiple browser support. You can use it with or without a MySQL database. The free download is for non-commercial use only.
WaterCooler Chat is a simple, easy-to-use flat file database, PHP and AJAX chat system that lets you embed a chat container wherever you like. It comes with highly customizable themes that are 100% HTML and CSS, so you can give the open chat interface your personal touch. Users can upload files and images in chat rooms. You will also find indispensable features like moderator tools, password-protected profiles, and anti-spam tools.
Why You Need Live Chat on Your Website
Live chat is a hassle-free and easy way for customers to reach you. It not only saves time but also provides the instant answers they seek.
Live chat enhances their experience, which translates into customer loyalty because they are pleased and satisfied with your customer service.
That's not all—live chats boost your sales as a result of improving communication. Live chats cost little money to install, and they are easy to maintain.
Common Live Chat Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Seamless live chat experiences leave your website visitors satisfied and highly likely to become return customers. But running an efficient live support operation is not easy. Mistakes are made along the way that result in a lot of missed opportunities that can seriously hurt your business.
Understanding potential pitfalls and taking steps to avoid them will ensure your success. So let's look at the most common mistakes and how can you correct them and make your customers happy.
1. Not Being Aware of Peak Hours
During peak hours, chat traffic is high. Peak cycles will vary whenever you have sales, promotions, or holidays. You want to avoid a situation where you are under-staffed during peak chat traffic hours and fully staffed when there is low traffic.
Fortunately, live chat scripts come with analytics that provide a huge amount of data that will help you predict peak traffic periods so you can reassign your client support team to these hours. Another solution is to have your team download mobile apps of the live support script so they can attend to queries anywhere, anytime.
2. Not Inviting the Customer to Chat
Not having an invitation to chat can cost you a lot of customers. Just because you have a click-to-chat button on your website does not mean that visitors will click the button. In fact, these buttons, when not accompanied by a short message, can come off as impersonal. A friendly note extending an invitation to chat if they have any questions will prompt your visitors to engage.
3. Long Pre-Chat Forms
Live chats promise website visitors instant access to customer service and personalized service. Making visitors fill in too many fields on the pre-chat form creates frustration. You can avoid this mistake by simply collecting the user's name and email. Also, activating the visitor monitoring feature on your live chat system allows you to know their location and see what they're searching for. And this can help you provide a personalized service.
4. Over-Reliance on Bots
You can end up sounding too robotic, impersonal, and unrelatable when you rely too much on canned messages. It's irritating to customers when they constantly receive automated replies. They end up leaving and never coming back. Less reliance on canned replies allows you to offer direct, personalized service. But if you have to use canned messages, then make them personalized in a way that directly addresses the visitor. So if the visitor is on a page and searching for particular items, the message can mention what the visitor is looking for and even offer suggestions for similar products.
5. Lack of Training
Even the most cutting-edge live chat support technology will not save a badly trained customer support team. Training your team on how to use the live chat system and how to interact with customers goes a long way to making your team efficient and your business successful.
6. Not Making Use of a Knowledge Base
A knowledge base allows customers to search and find answers to their questions by themselves. It also allows personalized bots to find and provide the right answers to customer questions. A knowledge base is also perfect because the resources are available at odd hours. Just make sure your bots have enough coffee to stay awake at odd hours.
7. Not Following Up With Your Customers
Once a problem is resolved, there is a tendency to forget the customer or the visitor to your website. This is an opportunity to reach out and see how they're enjoying the product and introduce them to tailored offers through newsletters.
The Best PHP Scripts on CodeCanyon
Free PHP scripts come in all sizes and shapes. Some have enterprise-level features, while others have limited features that allow you to get started, but as your website traffic expands you will be forced to change to premium live chat scripts with advanced features.
When that time comes, you can explore thousands of the best and most useful PHP scripts ever created on CodeCanyon. For a low-cost one-time payment, you can purchase one of these high-quality PHP live chat scripts or PHP video chat scripts and give the personalized support that will improve your visitors' website experience.
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