3CX Live Chat- Is It The Most Advanced Free WordPress Live Chat Plugin?
3CX Live Chat is a free solution for live chatting in WordPress. Often termed as one of the most feature-rich live chat solutions for WordPress, 3CX offers other types of communication like audio and video calls as well.
3CX gives you the opportunity to chat with your website visitors right from the WordPress dashboard, making it one of the easiest live chat solutions for WordPress.
While you can self-host the live chat with the customer by never leaving the WordPress admin dashboard, you can also take advantage of the 3CX full service and have the ability to phone and video calls. The full service also gets you access to the web and mobile app to chat with your customers.
In this article, we will show you the features this plugin offers. We will also guide you on adding free live chat capabilities to your WordPress site.
3CX Live Chat- All the Exciting Features at a Glance
3CX Live Chat boasts an impressive list of features. In fact, some of the features are astonishingly free that are stocked for premium in every other live chat solution. The premium version is even more capable of handling almost anything that you need in WordPress live chat software.
If you want to continue using it inside the WordPress admin dashboard for free, you will get access to the following features.
- Add as many agents as you want
- Live chat with your customers through the WordPress Admin Dashboard
- Auto sticky live chat trigger on bottom of your website
- Set chat operating hours
- Enable/Disable offline messages
- Change styling
- Dedicated Gutenberg Block to place live chat trigger inside a blog or any pages
You can also use the 3CX server to host the communication, choose to host the tool on a cloud server or even on-premise. However, these features are premium. Complete 3CX communication system will give you the following features –
- Host the live chat out of WordPress (3CX server, cloud, or on-premise)
- Chat from 3CX desktop or mobile app (iOS & Android)
- Get audio and video call support
- Connect to Facebook messenger
- Screen sharing
All these features are also ready to be experienced, for free. How? Well, there’s a huge 1 year trial period for the software.
Getting Started with 3CX Live Chat Review
Setting up and configuring the 3CX Live Chat is super easy and it takes just a couple of minutes to do so. Let’s continue with the installation process of the plugin.
3CX Live Chat- Installation Process (Free)
The first step of adding the 3CX Live Chat service to your website is finding and installing it from the WordPress.org repository. It is available with the name “3CX Live Chat“.
After completing the installation, the setup wizard will be initiated. It is where you have to make the crucial choice whether you would like to have the-
- Full suits of service from the 3CX. (Premium, 1 year free trial). However, to avail the trial, first you have to create the free account from 3CX and initiate the setup wizard.
- Or, if you’d like to login to WordPress Admin Dashboard to answer the chats. (Free)
First, let’s show you the step-by-step process of chatting right from the WordPress admin dashboard.
1. In the first step of the setup wizard, enable chatting within the WordPress admin dashboard, Choose the second option. “No, I will login to WordPress to answer chats.” Click on Next.
2. In the following step, you can add customer agents to handle the customer chats. For that, you will have to add the agent’s Username, Email & Display Name (Name). If you don’t want to add an agent right away and handle the chat by yourself, then just continue with the setup wizard clicking Next.
3. In the following step, you can choose the color scheme (styling) for your chat window.
4. You will get the following message on the next page which will make sure if the setup is successfully completed.
Now let’s get to know how you can further configure the 3CX Live Chat once the installation is completed.
Configuring 3CX to Chat within WordPress Dashboard
To configure the 3CX Live Chat, navigate to WP Admin Dashboard > Live Chat > Settings.
After that, you will a whole bunch of settings to configure the tool. This includes –
- General Settings: This section will let you the enable or disable live chat, exclude or include live chat on certain page/s, send chat transcript after live chat session ends or disable this feature, along with some other features.
- Chat Box: Will let you set automated messages, chat icon, default agent name, default chat trigger icon, chat box size among other necessary options.
- Offline Messages: You can enable or disable offline messages (when no one is logged in to respond to the message). You can also set automated messages to show up, incase you enable offline messages and a customer tries to chat through the live chat function when no agent is logged-in.
- Styling: You can select the colors and icons of the chatbox from here.
- Agents: You can add or remove chat agents from this tab.
- Blocked Visitors: You can block malicious IP (people) using this tab. Just insert the IP and the live chat will be blocked for that particular person.
- Encryption: You can encrrypt your messages as well.
- Chat Operating Hours: Will let set a certain chat operating hours. Live chat will be disabled out of that time range.
- Departments: You can also set multiple departments for categorising the chat and handing it over to certain agents.
- Privacy: This will enable the privacy settings like enabling and displaying GDPR notices.
- Gutenberg Blocks: 3CX live chat also comes with a top notch Gutenberg block that you insert within any post or page. You can enable or disable that.
- Advanced Features: Finally, you can also enable the advanced features (Premium) from this option, if you did not enable it while going through the setup wizard.
After configuring, here is how the live chat trigger will look like from the frontend.
Now that the live chat is configured and live, let’s try it out.
Trying Out the Live Chat from WordPress Admin Dashboard
Now we will try out the live chat from the admin dashboard.
Whenever a customer messages from the frontend, it will show up on the WP Admin Dashboard > Live Chat > Liva Chat option.
Here’s an example of a live chat from the front end.
Now, this chat can also be accessed through the web client or mobile app (iOS or Android) in case you want to chat with someone who visits your website even when you are not logged in to the WordPress backend. But for that, you would have to enable the premium services.
3CX offers a generous 1 year trial period, letting you try their product. So you can also try the features of the premium version through their trial version before purchasing. You can either host it on 3CX (the easiest to set up), cloud, or on-premise.
To enable the trial period, visit their website and click on the button Get it Free for 1 Year.
After setting up your trial account, you will also get on-screen instructions to access the 3CX Web Client and Mobile app.
You will also get a Click2Talk URL that you will have to paste by navigating to WP Admin Dashboard > Live Chat > Settings > Advanced Features > Select your chat server, and selecting 3CX.
Once you complete the above process, you will be able to chat with your website visitors from the 3CX Web Client and Mobile App.
Here’s how a customer message looks like from the mobile app and the web client of the 3CX Live Chat.
With the advanced features that come with the 3CX premium version, the users can also get access to audio and video call options along with the normal chatting option.
Here’s how it looks from the customers’ end.
Pros and Cons of 3CX Live Chat Plugin
Now you might be wondering if there is any downside to this plugin, along with the value it offers. Well, like any other plugin 3CX doesn’t come without its cons, but it also comes with its own set of benefits.
Let’s look into both the pros and cons of this plugin.
Benfits of Using 3CX Live Chat Plugin
- The plugin is super budget-friendly.
- 1 year long trial period makes it easy for you to try (for a long time) before buying it.
- Provides mobile app and web client access to connect with the visitors from anywhere.
- Hosted by 3CX option makes it easy for the customer to setup and get the full suites of service from 3CX.
- Ability to elevate to audio and video calls if chat doesn’t cut it for you.
- You can literally add unlimited agents, for free!
- Ability to include or exclude 3CX Live Chat on some pages.
Drawback to Use3CX Live Chat
- The setup process of 3CX is quite a struggle, it could do with some organization in the documentation section.
- Given the kind of feaures that 3CX offers, a modern user interface would be great for the users to take advantage of those features more effectively. Both the mobile app and web client designs look outdated.
There are rarely any major cons to this plugin while some suggestions are still there, like some more beautiful design customization for the chatbox, which could’ve been great. Apart from these, the plugin is great as a free live chat solution for WordPress sites.
3CX Live Chat Plugin Tested by WP Hive
WP Hive‘s automated test can help to get technical insights into any plugin hosted on WordPress.org. We looked into the 3CX Live Chat test report and it performed extremely well in all aspects of the test.
First up, or test did not find any error. It also showed no PHP errors, warnings, or notices as well.
Furthermore, from the performance front, the plugin had a very minimal impact on memory usage and page speed.
If you get into the performance report a bit more in detail, you will soon find out that the plugin did not lag behind many plugins.
It has an average memory usage of 332.01 KB, making it less memory consumer than 79% of plugins. What’s more, it is also swift, being faster than 99% of the plugins.
Overall, this plugin turned out to be well-built and maintained during WP Hive tests. You can also check the plugin by yourself through WP Hive.
3CX live chat is FREE as long as you are willing to chat within the WordPress admin dashboard. It also allows adding unlimited agents who can handle unlimited text messages.
However, if you want to elevate the experience to further upwards and offer audio, video calls as well. Furthermore, the premium version allows hosting the communication on 3CX itself, Cloud, or on-premise. Making it accessible from anywhere, any device.
The premium version also comes with lots of other excellent benefits.
The first year of the premium plan is completely free and you can continue the second year for just $100 (starting from). This will give you the ability of 4 simultaneous calls for up to 12 users along with all other features.
Wrapping up the 3CX Live Chat Plugin Review
3CX is an awesome live chat solution for WordPress with excellent value for money. It allows you to enable live text messages, audio and video calls with the website visitors.
The plugin is absolutely free with no attachment whatsoever (not even credit card information), something that you will not see in a product of this caliber.
The plugin might take some time to setup and configure, but it is highly feature-rich and will make up for the time needed to get it started. We had a lot of plugins on our website and it worked just fine, without conflicting with any plugins.
The plugin also has more perks than its drawbacks, and it is slightly ahead if you take value-for-money in your contention for a plugin comparison. It is affordable and comes with a free first year. And even after the first year, it starts at just $10/year.
From our perspective, it is on the list of best plugins for live chat in WordPress. What do you think of the plugin? Does it seem like the one you are looking for? Do let us know if it was the one you were looking for.
Faisal is a tech blogger who excels at WordPress Content Writing. Apart from sharing useful info pieces that helps people around the world, he also likes to travel and read books of all genres in his leisure time.