Chat Widgets

By: , On Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Chat Widgets are a great way to interact with your site’s visitors and provide customer service. Here are a few chat widgets to consider using for your own site.

Google Talk ChatBack Badge is less of a chat widget and more of a status indicator which will connect your users to an external chat app and simultaneously send a link to your Google Talk client so you can join the chat.  It requires that the you the site host have a Gmail account. A few good things about the Chatback Badge is that it is inconspicuous and probably won’t throw off the style of many websites. Some less desirable aspects are that it requires both parties to open a new browser window or tab, and that some customizations use iframes to embed the Chatbackbadge.

Yahoo Messenger Pingbox is a nice little flash based app which uses the highly rated yahoo smiles, and requires a yahoo account. There are lots of different styles and colors to choose from and the size is adjustable . A few good things about the Yahoo Pingbox is that it doesn’t require any external links, your visitors can chat with you directly from your website as long as you are logged into you yahoo IM account, users can also optionally input their name so which will allow you to know who they are if the return to your Pingbox, the Pigbox can even be embedded into a number of social networking profiles, you can make different Pigboxes with the same account for use with different websites, they can even be turned on and off  from the web or your Yahoo Messenger list, The only undesirable thing I can think of about the Pingbox maybe the Yahoo branding at the bottom of the widget.

Winows Live Messenger (not to be outdone) also has a beta chat widget which uses an iframe to embed the app into your page. The initial setup requires the extra step of changing you web messenger settings. This widget looks pretty simple and straight froward, it’s a chat box which reads Windows Live Messenger at the top, it has a help menu  and displays your online status, The style of Windows Live Messenger widget is smooth and simple with a few colors to choose from. The not so good things about this widget are the lack of customize options and the use of an iframe.

Digsby Widget is brought to you by the Multi IM client Digsby, use of this client of course requires a Digsby account, the client is flash based with a few colors to choose from and the size is adjustable like Yahoos widget. The disadvantages of the Digsby Widget are that it’s not as customizable as Yahoos widget and it’s heavily branded with a Digsby logo in the foreground and background.

I’m currently using the Google Chatback badge in my contact section due to it’s initial unobtrusiveness, but I’d have to say the hands down winner for customization and and functionality go to the Yahoo Pingbox.  Is there a chat widget you really like that I didn’t mention above? If so please leave a comment about it.

For a list of more chat widgets check out this list.

One Response to “Chat Widgets”

  1. dokie Says:

    I tried 3 of them.. yahoo, digsby, google. And I agree that pingbox is the best between them. Google is obviously not very good if you want the chat to be instant, beside I use yahoo daily, but not google talk.
    I’d like to use digsby (since I like the application very much) if only it can recognize the same visitor as the visitor browse through the website. Whenever the page reload, it will give the visitor new nickname, and the chat will not be continue from before, while pingbox recognize them as the same visitor, and continue the chat. It’s better that way, so I know if I chat with the same person or not. :)
    .-= dokie´s last blog ..Gizmo’s Freeware Security Wizard =-.

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