Drupal Chat Options

Chat modules for Drupal have been my enemy for 3 years now.  We have gone through 12 or 13 different chat modules/versions and we still have not found the “perfect” chat module for Drupal.  Over the years, the best ones we’ve found suffer from lack of support, bugs of some sort or outright security flaws.

Below is a quick roundup of chat modules:

  • phpFreeChat Module: This is our current chat of choice.  This module integrates phpFreechat into your Drupal site.  The 5.x version works well, however because it relies on a separate third-party chat script it can be tricky to configure.  Works with: Drupal 5.x, Drupal 6.x
  • BoWob for Drupal: Integrates the BoWob chat system with your Drupal site.  Works with: Drupal 5.x, Drupal 6.x
  • ChatBox: One of the few that works with Drupal 4.7 (only)
  • ChatterBox: Requires a separate module (node_refresh) if you actually want to see new chat entries without hitting the refresh button forever.  Works with Drupal 5.x, Drupal 6.x (DEV only)
  • ChatRoom: Several known bugs/issues, no updates/fixes for months.  (sorta) works with: Drupal 5.x, Drupal 6.x
  • GabblyChat: Integrates GabblyChat with your Drupal site.  Works with: Drupal 4.x only
  • Hab.La: Integrates the Hab.la system with Drupal.  More of a one-to-one chat, like a support-site would use for example.  Allows you to chat with disparate systems like MSn, AIM & GTalk.  Works with: Drupal 5.x
  • MeBeam: Integrates the MeBeam system with your Drupal site.  Very lightweight – no tables!  Works with: Drupal 5.x
  • ParaChat: Integrates Parachat with your Drupal site.  Works with: Drupal 5.x, Drupal 6.x
  • Shoutbox:  Although not a true ‘chat’, Shoutbox allows you to enable a block that users can post “shouts” to.  Shoutbox is lightweight and and may suit your needs for a simple chat module.  Works with: Drupal 4.x, Drupal 5.x, Drupal 6.x
  • UserPlane Chat:  Integrates Drupal with UserPlane.com.  Works with: Drupal 4.7, Drupal 5.x

If you’ve used any of these chat-systems or if I’ve left out your favorites, please post a comment.

Drupal Chat Options by
  • Jose Carlos

    Nice review! And thank you for sharing with all us your experience with Drupal and your ventures.
    Probably you could share this module review in:
    http://groups.drupal.org/duplicated-modules-hall-shame

  • http://www.communityspark.com/ Martin Reed

    Hi Randy. Any reason why you decided against Parachat? I have been using their solution for three years and have been more than happy. Is it because they are Java based?

  • http://success.grownupgeek.com Rand B. Wilson

    Martin Reed said:

    Hi Randy. Any reason why you decided against Parachat?

    Hi Martin;
    It’s been so long now since we’ve been using PhpFreeChat that I dont remember the drawbacks of Parachat.

  • http://digthis.name Raj

    Thought y’all might be interested in the 6.x “version” of the Drupal Instant Messenger module. It uses Ajax for real-time messaging… no dependancies, sweet and easy to set up

    http://drupal.org/project/im

  • http://make-money-online-pulling-niches.blogspot.com/ iskandarX

    This is what we call “Awesome”. The real Guru are teaching about all of is knowlege and not keep and hide it from newbies. Thanks for your sharing.

  • Clark

    Another one that looks interesting is http://drupal.org/project/tribune

  • http://www.vilogics.com David Kaufman

    do you have an new info on drupal chat software

  • http://success.grownupgeek.com Rand B. Wilson

    @David Kaufman – We’re still using the tried and true pHPFree Chat, but I’ve seen a new module called QTChat that looks nice. It looks and works like the Facebook chat app. you can see it here: http://drupal.org/project/qtc

  • Koen Mulder

    Thank you for sharing! :)

  • Shashwat Srivastava

    You seem to have missed DrupalChat – http://drupal.org/project/drupalchat :)

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/107418054739711167675 Rand Wilson

      Thanks @google-a82b567047b04306ca3ef962fc17645f:disqus .. This post was made 4 years ago, before this Drupal Chat module was released. I just checked and that module looks better than most of these I have tried.