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13+ Best Free Live Chat Software for Websites in 2023

by Gosia Szaniawska-Schiavo·Updated

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A live chat enables you to communicate with your website visitors in real time and quickly answer their questions whenever they need support.

Boost it with some automation features, and it can send your visitors a welcome message or answer repetitive questions for you.

Sounds like a great deal for anyone who handles an online business?

Well, because it is!

And it gets even better—

There are companies that offer free live chat online solutions. But how do you know which one is the best for YOUR business? We’ll help you figure this out.

In this article:

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If you want to get to know more about free live chat software, check out these articles:

But first—

What is free live chat support?

Free live chat is a free version of a customer support tool that lets you interact with clients on your website and other communication channels in real-time. It’s usually text-based, but companies can implement voice-based chatting on their website as an additional feature. Most often, the chat widget is put in one of the corners of the page and allows shoppers to click on it to start a conversation with your business. 

This is an example of free live chat software:

example of free live chat software

Read more: Find out more about what a live chat is and how your business can benefit from it. 

Now—

Let’s go through some advantages of putting a free live chat tool on your website.

Why should you add free live chat software to your website?

Good customer service is a great differentiator when it comes to customer experience, and it plays a major role in brand loyalty.

How?

As the PwC report confirmed, it’s the contact with your customer support team that will help your customers decide whether they are staying with you, or moving to your competitors. Even if you offer an absolute gem of a product.

This is why it’s so important to provide your website visitors and customers with many ways to contact you and offer excellent service. And this is exactly where live chat comes in.

A live chat app is the only customer service tool that enables your customers to contact you directly from the level of the landing page, in real time. Customers get the answers about your the product quickly, and consequently, their customer satisfaction increases. You, on the other hand, have higher chances to increase sales.

Still hard to believe?

Here are just a few data points that confirm it’s worth installing free live chat on your website:

Let’s tackle the main question you came here for:

What is the best free live chat software?

Best free live chat software solutions

Now that you know why having a live chat for a website is a great idea, let’s dive into the ranking of the best free live chat apps with forever-free plans.

Here’s a comparison table of the free live chat sites we reviewed for a quick view:

SoftwareRatingFree planBest for
Tidio4.6/5⭐️ (1,310+ reviews)Ecommerce businesses
Respond.io4.6/5 ⭐️ (17+ reviews)Smart replies feature
HubSpot Chat4.4/5⭐️ (1,610+ reviews)CRM software integration
LiveAgent4.5/5⭐️ (1,420+ reviews)Account permissions and management
Chatra4.2/5⭐️(19+ reviews)Targeted messages and triggers
ClickDesk3.9/5⭐️ (45+ reviews)Customer location
Tawk.to4.6/5⭐️(160+ reviews)Outsourcing customer support
Zoho Sales IQ Chat4.4/5⭐️ (240+ reviews)Omnichannel customer service
Jivo Chat4.8/5⭐️(45+ reviews)Multilingualar support
Drift4.3/5⭐️ (725+ reviewsEnterprise-level features
My LiveChat4.3/5⭐️ (10+ reviewsCo-browsing 
Freshchat4.4/5⭐️ (265+ reviews)Automated email campraigns
SmartsUpp4.6/5⭐️(40+ reviews)Sending video recordings to clients
Zendesk Chat4.3/5⭐️ (5,270+ reviews)❌ (free 30-day trial only)Helpdesk software
Olark4.3/5⭐️ (220+ reviews)❌ (free 14-day trial only)Marketing and surveys
LiveChat4.5/5⭐️ (745+ reviews)❌ (free 14-day trial only)Chat supervision
PureChat4.3/5⭐️(200+ reviews)❌ (free 30-day trial only)Reporting and analysis

You need something more in-depth— 

Let’s go through detailed reviews of the top free live chat software for websites with pros, cons, and pricing comparisons. 

1. Tidio

live chat panel sample

Rating: 4.6/5⭐️ (1,310+ reviews)

Let’s be clear—just because you are reading this ranking on our blog, it doesn’t mean we will go on and on about how great our tool is.

So, we’ll keep it short. 

Tidio offers a free live chat tool boosted with chatbots, which makes customer engagement and sales generation easier for your ecommerce business. It also offers a multichannel system that routes all conversations to one panel. 

But don’t trust our word for it—check out the reviews of our users and try the tool for yourself free of charge!

Main features:

  • Customizable live chat widget
  • AI-powered chatbot templates that reduce your workload
  • Shared multichannel inbox to answer all messages from one place and collaborate with your team
  • Free live chat on a mobile phone for reaching your customers on the go
  • Easy installation under 5 minutes
  • Integrations with all industry-leading websites and ecommerce platforms (Shopify, WordPress, HubSpot, and more) as well as social media platforms (Messenger and Instagram)

Pricing:

  • Forever-free plan for up to 3 operators
  • Communicator ($19/mo/operator)
  • Chatbots ($39/mo)
  • Tidio+ (from $289/mo)

Take the live chat tool for a spin on your website for free!

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Read more: Learn how Tidio live chat conversation panel works.

2. Respond.io

respond.io user panel

Rating: 4.6/5 ⭐️ (17+ reviews)

Respond.io offers a live chat online tool that integrates with your website and social media channels. It also offers a centralized messaging inbox with AI-powered chatbot features, which gives you a holistic overview of all customer conversations. Because of these functionalities, Respond.io enjoys popularity among medium and large companies.

Pros:

  • Free live chat app
  • Centralized inbox
  • Smart replies feature 

Cons:

  • Not possible to merge contacts through an API
  • Limitations on customization

Pricing:

  • Forever-free plan for up to 5 operators
  • Team ($79/mo)
  • Business ($249/mo)
  • Enterprise (based on your specific needs)

3. HubSpot Chat

hubspot user panel

Rating: 4.4/5⭐️ (1,610+ reviews

An OG of inbound marketing provides a free live chat feature that connects directly to their customer relationship management system (CRM). This is one of the best free live chat for websites with a great option for growing companies. It can help you to nail your pipeline management and integrate chat communication with a ticketing system, or even the entire help desk support. 

Pros:

  • Customizable, free live chat for website
  • Basic chatbot builder
  • Numerous integrations for pipeline management (Slack, Outlook, Gmail)

Cons: 

  • Email system is a little outdated
  • New conversations can be missed because of subtle notifications

Pricing:

  • Forever-free plan
  • Starter ($50/mo)
  • Professional ($500/mo)
  • Enterprise ($1,200/mo)

4. LiveAgent

live agent user panel

Rating: 4.5/5⭐️ (1,420+ reviews

LiveAgent is really a help desk software that offers a CRM, a ticket management system, and a call center. A free live chat solution is an additional feature, but it doesn’t make it any less efficient. Packed with features, this software is one of the best solutions for medium-sized businesses.

Pros:

  • Multilingual live chat software
  • Video chat rooms
  • Mobile app for iOS and Android

Cons:

  • Some reviewers report some issues with the setup and integrations
  • The platform deletes your account after 8 weeks of consecutive inactivity

Pricing:

  • Free live chat for one agent
  • Ticket ($15/mo/agent) 
  • Ticket+Chat ($29/mo/agent) 
  • All-inclusive ($49/mo/agent)

5. Chatra

chatra user panel

Rating: 4.2/5⭐️(19+ reviews)

Reviewers say it’s “pleasant to use,” not without a reason. Chatra provides live chat, and its features are designed to keep your customer happy by interacting with your support team in real time. As it doesn’t include a ticketing system, it’d be the best option for small and medium businesses.

Pros:

  • Multilingual live chat and chatbot tool
  • “Agent is typing” and “Message read” notifications for customers
  • Integration with email, Instagram, and Facebook

Cons:

  • Rarely any new features 
  • Lack of automations for order check

Pricing:

  • Forever-free plan for one agent
  • Essential ($21/operator/mo)
  • Pro($29/operator/mo)

6. ClickDesk

clickdesk user panel

Rating: 3.9/5⭐️ (45+ reviews)

Apart from a live chat, ClickDesk provides a ticketing system and advanced analytics, which makes it suitable for medium-sized companies that need scaling tools. Many of its features are designed to enable you to connect with shoppers and put yourself in their shoes. An example of this is “Maps”, its main highlight.

Pros:

  • Showing the location of your customer
  • Advanced analytics
  • Chat transcripts

Cons:

  • Complicated to use 
  • Some reviewers say it needs more real-time notifications

Pricing:

  • Forever-free plan for 10 users
  • Lite ($14.99 per agent/mo)
  • Pro ($24.99 per agent/mo)
  • Enterprise ($39.99 per agent/mo)

7. Tawk.to

tawkto user panel

Rating: 4.6/5⭐️(160+ reviews)

This free live chat support tool offers features that are worthy of their industry-leading, expensive competitors. So, if you don’t want to spend big bucks on the software but still want it to have great functionality, this might be the best choice for your business. On top of the main live chat features, you can enjoy a simple ticketing system, essential features, and lack of the need to upgrade. 

Pros:

  • Multilingual chatbot, available in 45+ languages
  • Unlimited chats available
  • Setting automated greetings based on customers’ location

Cons:

  • Only basic reports and analytics
  • Delay between the offline customer’s message sent and email notification

Pricing:

  • No plans, it’s totally free for unlimited agents!

8. Zoho Sales IQ

zoho user panel

Rating: 4.4/5⭐️ (240+ reviews)

Zoho Sales offers a variety of advanced tools that are a part of a larger ecosystem. Their live chat features are robust, and functionalities advanced, which makes it a good choice for medium and big-sized companies focused on sales generation.

Pros:

  • Customizable, multilingual live chat
  • Screen sharing option
  • Voice notes

Cons:

  • Sometimes there are UI failures
  • Customer support can be slow

Pricing:

  • Forever-free plan for 3 operators
  • Basic ($10/operator/mo)
  • Professional ($17/operator/mo)
  • Enterprise ($25/operator/mo)

9. Jivo Chat

jivo user panel

Rating: 4.8/5⭐️(45+ reviews)

Jivo chat is a part of a large help desk solution that combines live chat, phone, and email messages in one panel. As the ultimate business multichannel communicator, Jivo’s live chat enables agents to handle many conversations at once, easily segment customers, and track the messaging flow. 

Pros:

  • Live chat with translation into 20+ languages
  • Color-coded chats, hotkeys, and canned responses
  • Advanced analytics

Cons:

  • Customer support can take hours to get back to you
  • No auto-messages available

Pricing:

  • Basic free plan for 5 agents
  • Professional ($19/agent/mo)
  • Enterprise (custom pricing)

10. Drift

drift user panel

Rating: 4.3/5⭐️ (725+ reviews

This free live chat app will be loved by large-sized companies that focus on omnichannel sales and account-based marketing. Drift definitely stands out from the crowd in terms of unique, versatile features, each of which could be described as a highlight! 

Pros:

  • Users and customers segmentation with target messaging
  • Built-in scheduling tool for calls and online conversations
  • Chat to call and chat to Zoom functionalities

Cons:

  • Some users complain about a confusing backend user interface
  • Limited customization available

Pricing:

  • Free plan for one operator
  • Premium (price on demand)
  • Advanced (price on demand)
  • Enterprise (price on demand)

11. My LiveChat

my life chat user panel

Rating: 4.3/5⭐️ (10+ reviews

My LiveChat is an ultra-simple free live chat software solution with basic features, such as chatbots that send greetings and collect customer feedback at the end of the chat. Although the design can be seen as slightly outdated, My LiveChat still gains customers, SMBs, and larger companies alike, who are looking for an uncomplicated live chat experience.

Pros:

  • Automated greetings and feedback-collecting chatbots
  • Co-browsing: seeing what your visitors are seeing in real-time
  • Leading platforms and websites integrations

Cons: 

  • Difficult to use and lacks onboarding material
  • No automations

Pricing:

  • Free plan for one operator

Starter ($15/mo)

  • Basic ($29/mo)
  • Corporate ($59/mo)
  • Enterprise ($99/mo)

12. Freshchat

freshchat user panel

Rating: 4.4/5⭐️ (265+ reviews)

Similar to HubSpot chat, Freshchat is a part of a complex customer software suite, offering marketing automation tools, a CRM, and a cloud-based phone system. This free live chat website enables operators to see many details about the shopper, from custom event timelines to social media details.

Pros:

  • Visitor-context tools: event timelines, contact details, social media
  • Rich variety of integrations (Salesforce, Slack, Stripe, Zendesk, Chargify, Twilio)
  • Vast knowledge base

Cons:

  • Difficult to navigate user interface
  • Some issues with data synchronization

Pricing:

  • Free plan for 100 agents
  • Growth ($18/agent/mo)
  • Pro ($47/agent/mo)
  • Enterprise ($83/agent/mo)

13. SmartsUpp

smartsupp user panel

Rating: 4.6/5⭐️(40+ reviews)

SmartsUpp offers great core features such as multichannel management of live chat, email, and Messenger as well as numerous ecommerce platforms integrations. This makes it a great choice for online stores owners. On top of that, SmartsUpp offers a recording feature thanks to which you can monitor prospects’ visits and understand the customers’ journey better.

Pros:

  • Video recordings of your customers’ browsing
  • Multichannel for live chat, email, and Facebook Messenger
  • Numerous integrations with industry-leading ecommerce platforms (Shopify, PrestaShop, Opencart, and more)

Cons:

  • Poor offline mode functionality
  • Lag in receiving messages on the app

Pricing:

  • Forever-free plan for 1 agent
  • Standard ($25.5/mo)
  • Pro ($60/mo)
  • Ultimate (price on demand)

Honorable mentions: Live chat software offering a free trial, but not a free version

There are some great products out there that don’t offer forever-free plans, but they are still worth trying out while comparing different options. We have listed those that deserve your attention below.

1. Zendesk Chat

zendesk user panel

Rating: 4.3/5⭐️ (5,270+ reviews)

Zendesk is a leader in the customer service industry because it offers a large suite of customer support tools, and live chat is a crucial element of it. Zendesk’s live chat feature includes custom chatbots, advanced visitors’ analytics, as well as a variety of third-party integrations. It also provides a group messaging feature and a preview of your customer’s location to help your support team even further.

Pros:

  • Customizable live chat and chatbots
  • Group messaging
  • Live location preview

Cons:

  • Some reviewers report system crashes when running multiple chats
  • Sometimes data transfer issues occur 

Pricing:

  • Suite Team ($49/mo)
  • Suite Growth ($79/mo)
  • Suite Professional ($99/mo)
  • Suite Enterprise ($150/mo)

Free trial duration: 30 days

2. Olark

olark user panel

Rating: 4.3/5⭐️ (220+ reviews)

Olark live chat will be the best option for companies with a large customer base. It offers outstanding analytics and reporting features that let you analyze chat volume, agent activity, and customer satisfaction scores. This can help you keep on track with your results and make better future business decisions.

Pros:

  • Customizable live chat and advanced chatbots
  • Advanced analytics and user monitoring in real-time
  • CRM and email integration

Cons:

  • A little outdated dashboard
  • Technical difficulties with messaging occur sometimes

Free trial duration: 14 days

Pricing:

  • Live chat ($19/mo)
  • Pro (price on demand)

3. LiveChat

livechat user panel

Rating: 4.5/5⭐️ (745+ reviews)

LiveChat tools are made for medium and big companies that have to be in constant touch with their clients. Multichannel covering WhatsApp, Messenger, live chat and emails, and integrated helpdesk only highlight this mission.

Pros:

  • Integrated helpdesk system
  • Integrations with CRM, Google Analytics, and email marketing services
  • Dedicated mobile app

Cons:

  • Mobile app needs functionality improvements
  • Limits the number of clients in a queue and redirects additional customers to other support channels

Free trial duration: 14 days

Pricing:

  • Starter ($24/mo) 
  • Team ($49/mo)
  • Business ($69/mo)
  • Enterprise (plan on request)

4. PureChat

purechat user panel

Rating: 4.3/5⭐️(200+ reviews)

This is the best option for businesses that want basic features, full transparency, and ease of use. PureChat combines simplicity with powerful effectiveness, so it’s no surprise that this live chat solution will most likely delight medium-sized companies.

Pros:

  • Easy installation via one line of code
  • Real-time visitor analytics
  • Integrations with Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Slack

Cons:

  • Some users had issues when connecting their email
  • Disconnects customers when they leave the chat to search for something on the website

Free trial duration: 30 days

Pricing:

  • Growth ($49/mo)
  • Pro ($99/mo)
  • Additional User/Operator ($10-$15/mo)

Read more: Check out the best live chat software for business websites available on the market.

Free live chat app features you should look out for

Now you know it’s beneficial to have a live chat solution installed, and you know the options on the market. However, it might be difficult to pick the right one for your business.

Let’s have a look at essential features you should take under consideration when making a choice.

Easy installation

Many people think you need to be a tech-savvy genius or a tech developer with 10 years of experience to install and use live chat. Wrong!

While code-based installation of a live chat doesn’t have to be difficult, it’s best to avoid it if you don’t have basic HTML knowledge. The good news is that the majority of live chat solutions offer codeless installations via the plugin on most popular websites, like Shopify and WordPress. However, be sure to check if the live chat you are opting for doesn’t offer the free live chat for the website: HTML code-only option.

Read more: Wondering “how to add free live chat to my website?” Learn how to easily install Tidio live chat via a plugin on a CMS platform or an HTML code snippet.

Integrations

When choosing free live chat service, you want to make sure it seamlessly integrates with your digital environment.

That’s why you should make a list of tools you need the live chat to be compatible with. Is it Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Analytics, Slack, Mailchimp, or a specific CRM that you care about the most? Or maybe all of them?

Remember that your online chat needs to align with your workflow, not the other way round.

Customization

Think about what kind of live chat experience you want to offer the users when it comes to aesthetics, too! 

Is it going to be a standalone chat window or a popup widget? Do you want the live chat to be on the left or right side of your website? Do you need your logo on the chat, or setting up colors that are coherent with your website is enough?

This might seem trivial to some, but for ecommerce with beauty and fashion products or a small business that sells handicrafts, aesthetics might be a dealbreaker.

Read more: Learn how easy it is to customize your live chat widget at Tidio.

Mobile apps

One of the best things about live chat is that you can have chat conversations with your customers just as if they were your friends, writing to you on your favorite communicator.

Make sure this experience can be lived on your iOS and Android apps too, so you can write to your customers on the go, on every device.

Read more: Check out how to install Tidio live chat mobile app on iOS and Android.

Chat transcripts/chat history functionality

You never assume that you or any of your team members could provide a bad customer experience, but miscommunications simply happen. The important thing is what you are going to do with them!

We are all human, so it’s good to have a chat transcript history option that will allow you to browse conversations in order to find communication and language issues, and improve customer experience.

Read more: Do you want to improve your customer service? Learn how customer service chat transcripts can help you do that and how live chat history feature works at Tidio.

Chatbots messaging

Some live chat solutions provide only live chat options, but some of them additionally allow you to make a chatbot that sends a pre-chat message before the agent joins, gets feedback, shows pricing, and acts as a knowledge base, without your involvement.

This can be a game-changer for companies that deal with a lot of repetitive questions, so if you are one of them, look out for the chatbot feature going along your live chat tool.

Read more: Interested in how chatbots can help you improve your customer service AND boost your sales? Read about how lead generation bots can help you do that!

Summary

That’s it! By now, you should have at least a few favorites to choose from before making a final decision.

If you need a quick recap, here’s the list of the best free live chat for your website:

  1. Tidio
  2. Respond.io
  3. HubSpot Chat
  4. LiveAgent
  5. Chatra
  6. ClickDesk
  7. Tawk.to
  8. Zoho Sales IQ Chat
  9. Jivo Chat
  10. Drift
  11. My LiveChat
  12. Freshchat
  13. SmartsUpp

And here, a few options that offer free trials, but not forever-free plans:

  1. Zendesk Chat
  2. Olark
  3. LiveChat
  4. PureChat

Just remember about the features that are absolutely key for your business and enjoy the process of testing. If you have any doubts and need support—feel free to contact us anytime! 

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Gosia Szaniawska-Schiavo
Gosia Szaniawska-Schiavo

As a Senior Content Writer by heart and trade, Gosia explores the subjects of digital experience and trend watching on Tidio's blog.

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