Finding, creating and editing a chat box plugin.
Programming a WordPress chatbox is going to be more difficult than I thought. It turns out you have to pay for good plugins and of course their code is not open source and additionally they usually cost a lot of money…so it took me about two days to find a plugin for a chat-box that allowed customization and didn’t ask for a payment.
The plugin I eventually settled on was ‘Tawk.to” they are listed as open source with a license stating:
“This source file is subject to the Open Software License (OSL 3.0) – Copyright 2018”
I am a little confused by this as I don’t quite understand how something can be ‘free and open source’ but copyright under a license? They have supplied the tawkto.php file so I have access to the code.
I have been able to alter a few details in the back end of the Tawkto plugin, like colour of chat box, font type, title and I have been able to create a function so the chat box registers when someone is on the page and sends them a welcome message.
I’ve also been able to edit multiple different versions of the plugin chatbox. It now has features that show an ‘offline form’ to fill out and an ‘away’ message when the admin are no longer logged into the site. There is also an option to upload a file in the chatbox for the admin to see.
However bcause these edits are built in from the back end, I’m going to see if I can edit the functions of Tawkto’s source code to 1. develop my understanding of PHP language and 2. because I’d like to change a few additional features like only allowing the chatbox to pop up on relevant pages.
Here is the source code for Tawk.to:
I was able to change some additional features of Tawk.to by adding a speech bubble to appear above the chat box. Which looks like this:
This was the original image that I had to embed above the Tawk.to plugin.
I was also able to create an alias so the user contact the website admin would not know the identity of the person talking to them, the plugin had a settings feature in the back end that looks like this.
Unfortunately I’m going to stop working on tawk.to as I spoke to the owner of the plugin and as I feared the source-code is actually private. I feel due to their licence and an inability to edit their source-code there’s no room for me to grow my code literacy and overall I’m happy with the results I was able to achieve through their software.