PHP Chat with Web- & Windows Clients - VisitorChat

VisitorChat – The PHP Online Chat

The ClientEngage Visitor Chat is a fully-featured real-time chat for your websites. A clear and simple web-based administration allows you to conveniently chat with your visitors. And best of all: Visitor Chat comes with a Windows-based client out-of-the-box. Without having to visit the Visitor Chat’s admin-interface you will be notified from your Windows tray and can start chatting straight away!

Visitor Demo: http://visitorchat-demo.clientengage.com/contents/demo
Admin Demo: http://visitorchat-demo.clientengage.com/admin

By including one single snippet of JavaScript, this interactive and engaging Chat can be used on any website – whether you are using Wordpress, Joomla! or plain HTML.

Whilst chatting, your visitors can navigate through your website and after every page-load, the chat will go back to it’s previous state: they won’t lose any messages.

Functionality Description of ClientEngage Visitor Chat

PHP Live Support Chat Functionality Overview

  • Non-intrusive chat for your websites
  • Clear administrator chat-interface
  • View additional metadata of your visitors (pages they are on, referrers, and more)
  • Unlimited number of administrators
  • Easy to translate into other languages

Windows-based client included

  • Don’t want to keep a browser window open all day long?
  • You are notified of new visitors in real-time and can start chatting straight through the Windows-based client
  • The chat disappears to your system tray until you have a visitor opening the chat

Adaptable Templates & Translations

  • Have a chat that fully blends with the look and feel of your website
  • Comes with four pre-defined colour schemes
  • You can create an unlimited number of new chat styles and you have full control over the CSS
  • All visitor-facing texts can be easily changed

Easy Integration & Use

  • Simple copy & paste integration of your PHP live chat into any website: just copy a brief JavaScript code into the respective site’s HTML template
  • Automated installation script – no extensive knowledge of PHP/MySQL necessary
  • Detailed handbook with installation & use instructions
  • Extensible: the system is developed with the CakePHP MVC framework and features a clean architecture. This means that, if you have web-development experience, the system is easily extensible

Multilingual Interface

ClientEngage Visitor Chat was built with internationalisation in mind: currently, you can select from British and American English as well as German.

Live Support Chat – System Requirements

In order to be able to use ClientEngage Visitor Chat, you must fulfil the following system requirements:

  • Apache 2 HTTP Server
  • Preferably with mod_rewrite enabled
  • PHP with a version of greater than PHP 5.2.8
  • MySQL with a version of greater than MySQL 5 (i.e. with InnoDB support)
  • Preferably a subdomain/domain for use with ClientEngage Visitor Chat
  • Safe mode: off
  • Enough server-resources for the number of concurrent chatters you expect
  • jQuery: if your site does not use jQuery, VisitorChat will automatically include it. If your site does use jQuery, it is important that you use a version greater than 1.9.1
  • Finally, the PHP PDO extensions have to be installed

System requirements of the Windows-based client

  • .NET4 Framework (will be installed if not already available)
  • Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8

How does the live support chat script “work”?

The chat employs AJAX technologies and regularly checks with the server for any new messages. When you are actively chatting, the interval is 2.5 seconds. However, once activity goes down, this interval slowly decreases to only every 10 seconds. If you are not signed-up in a chat, it will contact the sever only every 25 seconds to check if any administrators are online. So you see: VisitorChat automatically determines the right combination of user experience & server load.

A note on server performance

This chat system employs AJAX technologies and does not rely on WebSockets for its communication. This means that anyone can run Visitor Chat, as long as your server fulfils the requirements outlined below. However, this also means that this system is not intended for ultra-heavy-duty use: so don’t build the next Facebook and try to have 10m people use this at once. That being said, on average server-specifications, there is nothing stopping you from having several concurrent conversations.

A note on chat-styles

The chat looks beautiful across all modern platforms and browsers.
However, the chat-box may look “out of place” if you have CSS styles on your website that affect whole tags (such as “div {margin:50px;}” or “span {padding:50px;}”).
In such cases, you may have to edit the Chat-Style for that particular website to override your styles.

Changelog

01/03/2014: 
    - Public release of ClientEngage Visitor Chat v1.2.2
        - NEW: You can now create "Operator" users and give them access to specific
          areas only:
            - Past Discussions
            - Enquiries
            - Settings
        - NEW: You can now entirely hide the chat unless an operator is online
        - NEW: Ability to hide the email field on sign-up (a generic email address will be used instead)
22/06/2013: 
    - Public release of ClientEngage Visitor Chat v1.1.9
        - Now uses visitors' email & name as FROM in enquiry notification emails
        - Now includes senders' names in enquiry notification email subjects
        - Now correctly caches HTTPS & HTTP JavaScript codes separately
        - Framework upgrade
        - No need to re-install the Windows-client as it is unchanged
10/06/2013: 
    - Public release of ClientEngage Visitor Chat v1.1.5
        - NEW: password-reset function for administrators
        - Fixed the hyperlink-target to the respective enquiry in the email-notification
        - Fixed an error that occurred when setting longer timezones such as America/Kentucky/Monticello
        - Fixed placeholder-attributes in IE7 and IE8
        - Updated the CakePHP framework
        - No need to re-install the Windows-client as it is unchanged
04/05/2013: 
    - Public release of ClientEngage Visitor Chat v1.1.2
        - Visitor/operator typing indicator
        - Added typing indicator in Windows client
        - Root page now redirects to login
        - Fixed text/hyperlink colour in Windows client
        - Fixed display issue when highlighting messages in Windows client
        - Some minor CSS improvements to override host-site styles
        - Front-end: added a CSS class to admin-messages (".vc_admin_message")
        - Implemented an auto-login function in the Windows client
        - Updated the CakePHP framework
22/04/2013: 
    - Public release of ClientEngage Visitor Chat v1.0.1

Do you closely work with your clients?

If you are looking for an advanced project management script to manage your client-interactions, then come right this way to have a look at the ClientEngage Project Platform – an advanced PHP project management script.

ClientEngage Project Platform – PHP Project Management

This particular project management script cuts-down on all the bloat that tends to make project management a nuisance. Instead, the ClientEngage Project Platform focuses on the tools you need to really get close to your customers in those crucial stages of your relationship. This will delight your clients – not only with your end-product but the whole lifecycle of getting there. So, if you are looking for project management in PHP, then the ClientEngage Project Platform is for you.

ClientEngage Project Platform - PHP Project Management Script

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