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LiveZilla is a live chat support solution that is sold pre-packaged so that you can install and run it on your own servers. While this has a higher initial cost it could save you money in the long run by avoiding monthly hosting charges. The software installs relatively easily and provides a decent feature set to get your website up and running with live chat. While it's not the best around, LiveZilla is worth a look if you want to host your own PHP based live chat system.
The downside of a self-hosting solution is that you probably will need someone with a good technical mind to get up and running unless you know your way around a web server and a database. The installation process is pretty painless though and the company has obviously put a lot of work into making it as smooth as possible. With the server side up and running you just have to copy and paste a few lines of code into your web pages to enable them for live chat. It's handy that LiveZilla will work across multiple websites if you happen to manage a few different ones.
Once LiveZilla is up and running on your website visitors will see a button that lets them connect with one of your operators at one click. If no one is around they can also fill in a form to leave a message to allow an operator to get back in touch later. The chat window itself works just as you would expect and we are sure users won't have any trouble getting to grips with it. Operators can enable their web cam to enhance the user experience and files can also be transferred directly through the chat window. These kinds of features are especially useful in a product support situation.
From the LiveZilla desktop client operators can monitor traffic on your website in real time and see full details, including locations of each one. Chat requests will pop up in the taskbar to enable a timely response and canned responses can be used to improve efficiency and respond even more quickly. We were disappointed that there is no provisioning for web-based or mobile operator clients, but the desktop client does the job well enough. However, you do need to include all the optional extras when purchasing the software package to get access to the full functionality.
LiveZilla sits somewhere in the middle of the group when it comes to live chat support software. It's reasonable value for a self-hosted solution, but remember to factor in your own running costs. The feature set isn't the best we have seen, but still provides enough so that all but the most advanced users will find everything they need. All in all, not a bad effort, but check out our top ten for the best in class as a comparison.
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