Reading time: 10 minutes (written 2018)

Since 2000 I have tested many chat software for the web. This page will teach you what to look for in chat software. The most important features for YOU and for your VISITORS.

i am alone, and I do not know what is needed, when more agents are working at the same time. But I do know one feature, that is really TIME SAVING. I saw it first time with LiveAgent (ladesk). Some call it "sneak peek".

Features to look for in chat software

1. most important feature: "Sneak peek"

Most visitors type very slow - compared to me at least. I am fast, because I type without looking at my keyboard. In danish we say to 'type blind'. You can train it. At age 18 (year 1970) I spent one hour every day for 30 days learning it on an old travel typewriter !! Best investment I ever did.

2. most important feature: See visitors and activity.
Very nice to see how many visitors are on your site, what pages they are on, how long time they have been .. 

3. Canned messages - Shortcuts
Another very important feature. You must have FAST and EASY access to sentences, links, whatever text you need in your replies. Recently I installed PureChat and at the same time..

4. Pop up option for visitor
A very important feature for your visitors. Often the owner of the site forgets to think: How does it look for my visitors. What options do they have. I hate when a chat windows is fixed lower right corner and I can NOT see, what is behind. If I cannot popup the chat window to a separat window, I leave the website immediately. It means what the owner of the site knows nothing about being friendly to the visitors. Usability !

5. User interface for Admin
You do not want to spend too much time in chat. It is NOT as fast as email and it is not as fast as talking, but it is very nice in one way. U can assist your visitor, now that he or she is on your site, making life easier for your visitor. Most of all you can send visitor to a specific page, URL or file.

And the winner is ...

"Sneak peek", "See visitors and activity", "Canned messages - Shortcuts", "Pop up option for visitors": All features 'state of the Art'. User interface for Admin: Good.

Cons: it is tricky to work with widget content for the 3 modes: Online, Away and Offline (invisible). U have to play until you get it. A bit odd logic.


Seems to target larger companies, and the free version is just to have a look, if you want to pay ..

Pros: I like the user interface a lot, very nice. 4. Pop up for visitor: Yes, very OK, lower left corner.
Cons: Be careful with canned messages. If the software detects a word, that U type, in a canned messages, that message pops up right above where U type. IF you now hit the Enter key, this canned message will be sent. This is a bit dangerous, because U can do that by mistake. I much better like the way is doing it.
No 2. You can not see visitors on your site. You have to pay 39USD/month for that. That is expensive !!

Zendesk (ex Zopim)

I see it all over. Nothing positive to say about it except that it is free.


Many years ago I used and bought LiveAgent for much money to run on my own server.

Michael Maardt, Denmark, 2018

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