Seems simple, just install code and you’ve got a chat app. But not so fast. I am finding out from personal experience that not all chat apps are alike.
I started out with Drift and still have that chat app on my website. What I found as I used the app was it slowed my website to a crawl for load time. I think much of this is the code is installed in the head tag as instructions state, but may be better installed before the ending body tag </body>.
What is happening on my site is the page is taking so long to load and the navigation does not operate until the chat app function appears – I consider this very bad. Drift must have made a code change to the asynchronous code recently as the page load time was not an issue before but started about two weeks ago. As a result I have been actively looking for a website chat app replacement.
I have tried three Tawk.to, MyLiveChat, and now Pure Chat. I am using Pure Chat on my website right now and so far I do like the free version. What I consider important for a website chat app are the following:
Easy to install
Able to configure colors
Has a rock solid mobile app
Does not impact page load speed
So far Tawk.To and My Live Chat were too complicated for my needs and cumbersome to use. Pure Chat has easy set up and I do like the mobile app which is simple to use.
I like WordPress for blogs, but not for websites. Here’s one example of why I am not recommending WordPress for business websites.
Client A did a new website two years ago and moved to WordPress from PHP. They thought that they would be updating their content and so wanted an application that allowed staff to go in and make updates at will.
What happened in reality is that they never added their own content, they paid me to do updates. They had to buy a WordFence premium license to protect their WordPress website from hacking and then pay a webmaster to monitor files and plugins for updates as well as do monthly maintenance.
Now, one of the plugins that is integral to the look and feel of their theme, has been abandoned at WordPress.com. Deactivating the plugin makes the inside pages look bad. There does not seem to be an easy fix replacement for the plugin. It maybe that the best solution is to replace the WordPress theme in the next year due to the loss of this important plugin.
Client B has a PHP-based responsive website that is not WordPress. They have used their website since 2015. It still rates over 90/100 on the Google Page Speed tool in mobile and desktop. This client simply wants a new look and so is looking for a similar PHP responsive site design.
I personally feel that WordPress has a place, but is not my preferred application for website design. Too many clients want to keep their new website three to five years or longer. If you have a WordPress website and a plugin is abandoned what would you do if one is not readily available as an alternative? You’d have to simply start over and buy new.