If you have an Orchard Website and interested in adding live chat functionality, I added a new module to the Orchard Gallery called Olark Live Chat. Olark is easy to install, looks attractive, and provides a simple and informative method of interacting with customers and visitors on your website. The Orchard Module makes it easy to enable and disable live chat as well as inject the JavaScript provided by Olark into your Orchard Website.

Olark Live Chat

If you haven't already, you can sign up for a free plan. Getting started is painless and consists of two steps.

  1. Install JavaScript on your Orchard Website - Olark will provide you some JavaScript code that needs to be placed at the bottom of every web page where you want to offer live chat services. This is where my Orchard Module comes into play. As you will see in a moment it makes it really easy to do.
  2. Install your favorite IM Client on your PC - Per the Olark website, "Any chat client that supports Jabber/XMPP or Gtalk is perfect for chatting with visitors on your site (like iChat, Adium, Pidgin, IMO.im, GTalk, etc)!"

I am not a power "live chat" user by any means (first-timer actually), but I found the process pretty simple to complete.

Olark Live Chat Orchard Module

The purpose of the Olark Live Chat Module is to help you with step 1 - Installing the JavaScript on your Orchard Website. Download the module from the Orchard Gallery and enable the feature. It is safe to enable right away even though you obviously haven't configured the module with the JavaScript code provided by Olark.

Under Settings you will see a new option, called Live Chat. Selecting Live Chat will display two configuration options: 1) The ability to enable and disable live chat on the website, and 2) The ability to add the JavaScript Code provided by Olark.

Olark Live Chat Orchard CMS Module

All of this works as you would expect. Selecting or deselecting Enable allows you to turn on/off Olark Live Chat on the website. If you enable the feature but forget to add the JavaScript code, you get a nice little warning on the backend reminding you to finish the configuration, and of course, the module has the smarts to not do anything until you add the script.

Olark Live Chat Experience on Orchard CMS

Once you have enabled the module and configured it properly as well as have installed and configured the IM client on your PC, you can browse to your website and see the chat window in the browser allowing customers and visitors to interact with you. It's all very, very simple.

Olark Live Chat on Orchard CMS Website

You can style the chat window using various themes provided by Olark.

How Do I Get It?

The easiest way to install the Olark Live Chat Module on your website is via the Orchard Dashboard. Just browse the Orchard Gallery like you do for other modules and install/enable it from there. You can easily do a search for olark to find and install the module with little effort.

Here it is on the Orchard Gallery.