At OPTe we focus on providing the best WordPress plugins and services. After testing the most popular live chat plugins, we chose to compare these two and make them available on OPTe Network: Zendesk and Pure chat.
First impression – Zendesk instantly feels professional, the dashboard is intuitive and the options are in numbers. The account creation is simple and straight forward, (no phone number required – woohoo!) and can be initiated from the WP dashboard at the installation of the widget plugin. From there, all you have to do is log in to your new account! You are welcomed with a 14 day free-trial offering you the full version of the software. Knowing what you are buying before pulling out the credit card is always appreciated.
After testing – No latency, no disconnections, URLs, pictures, and screenshots working. This one feels like a breath of fresh air after testing so many. Simple to use, but not too limited for the advanced user. I also had the chance to test the chat support of Zendesk themselves, having lost my password when trying to log with my mobile phone. Within less than 3 minutes I had received an email prompting me to reset my password.
Free version – The free version offers only one agent and limits you to one conversation at a time, but compared to its’ main competitor Pure Chat, its benefits start to shine through. Zendesk has no monthly limit of chats, and a 14 days history of chats, making it convenient for small businesses with few staff members or only one reception desk.
Paid version – The 12$/month option opens up a lot of doors such as the option for multiple agents, unlimited simultaneous chat, and more! These features really made the difference for us. As for the more expensive plans they offer, I am sure they have multiple functions that would satisfy a variety of business owners, but we fail to see the need for it for any small to medium business owner.
Mobile version – The mobile version is simple to find and quite light weight ( +/- 50Mb ). It has the ability to run in the background, allowing admin to oversee everything without a computer, and even allowing the chat support staff to step away from their computer if necessary.
- Fast reaction time on both the dashboard and live chat
- Wide range of customization options
- Simple installation
- Customizable dashboard
- Unlimited amount of agents
- Provides history of chat
- Provides statistics and rating
- Amazing chat support
- Free mobile apps available
- Dashboard separate from WordPress
- Premium service for all the features
I strongly recommend Zendesk to anyone considering live chat support whether it is with the free or paid plan. We can easily see why they made it to top of every list I found during my research.
First impression Pure Chat is another freemium chat plugin, with an external dashboard just like Zendesk. The sign up process is fairly simple, quick and easy, no email verification required. The dashboard can be confusing mainly due to the redirection to sub-domains and the opening of multiple tabs. Once the confusion is over, it becomes a not-perfect-but-functional dashboard.
After testing The first difference from Zendesk is that they chose a script to insert in the body of your website or the body of any page, instead of a login. From a developer’s point of view, this makes it simple to set up, and it also allows you to manage which pages you want to offer chat support. The other difference being that Pure Chat decided to manage everything through the external dashboard, centralizing the information and avoiding confusion. From a non-developer point the view, the script can make it slightly confusing, but with the solution being a simple copy paste in the right place; a few minutes of online research is all you’ll need to fix this problem. The plugin does not offer free trial for the paid version, which gives Zendesk the upperhand, especially since Pure Chat charges extra if you don’t use the one year payment plan.
Free version The free plan offers a limit of one operator (or agent), as do most live chat plugins, but does not limit you to one conversation at a time, which is nice if your reception or support staff are good multi-taskers. That being said, the free plan has a limit of 15 chats a month which I can predict becoming a problem quite quickly. The chat history is also a very short 3 days.
Paid version The first level is only $10 a month, but still limits users to one agent only. However, it does unlock the monthly chat limit, statistics, and extends the chat history to 30 days. Then, to unlock the amount of agents, and have full access to the options offered, they ask for $50 a month, can be a bit pricey, considering most of those functions are offered for free, or at the most 10 – 15USD anywhere else in the industry.
Mobile version The mobile version is quite similar to the desktop version, if not better. On the mobile app, everything is in the same place, where the desktop version consists of multiple sub-domains. It is much lighter than most mobile apps in this category (16MB), making it accessible from almost any smartphone with a screen and a keyboard
- Centralized customization through the dashboard
- Personal customization by agent
- Possibility to choose which pages have live chat options
- Simple and quick sign up process
- Ability to switch from mobile to desktop mid-chat – preventing interruptions
- Free mobile apps available
- The free version and first level of payment are limited compared to alternative plugins
- Chat support is not 24h
- The $50/month threshold is quite pricey just to access necessary functions
- No free trial
The plugin is great, and offers everything you could need from it. The $50 (for necessary functions) is a bit steep, but it can be reasonable if not being compared to their competitor Zendesk.
There you have it, the results of our testing! We hope they helped you make a decision. We always try to be impartial when it comes to comparing plugins or themes, but we could not ignore the obvious gaps in quality between the two services. We have decided to keep Zendesk and PureChat inside OPTe, as they both have free versions satisfying enough to avoid using WP Live Chat.