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Adding a live chat service to my site

avatar of Kira Hartley

Kira Hartley

Last updated

This task can be undertaken by users with the following roles: OC Developer.

Live chat software is a useful tool for providing customer service to your residents. OpenCities doesn't offer a built-in live chat functionality. However, a third-party live chat software can be implemented on your site. Each live chat provider will give you a code snippet that you add to your site. Some third-party services we have seen successfully installed on OpenCities sites include:

Live chat services can be added on either every page of your site or only specific pages.

Adding live chat to every page

To add a live chat service to every page on your site, you will need to add the provider's code snippet as a device variable. A device variable can be used to store code snippets that are applied to every page of your site. 

To add the live chat code snippet to your site:

  1. Go to More Device Variables
  2. Select Client Variables.
  3. Select Custom Injection Footer from the list of variables
    • Code snippets added to this variable are included just before the closing </body> tag of your site. You can use this variable to include any third-party JavaScript code on the site.
  4. Add the live chat provider's code snippet in the field Default value.
    A code snippet in the default value field in the custom injection footer under device variables
  5. Save when you’re done. The live chat widget should appear on your site at the assigned spot.
  6. Finally, test the functionality out as a resident visiting any page of your site. Ask your customer service team frequently asked questions for training purposes. For further training for agents on your customer service team, go through the live chat provider's training to get the most out of the service.

Adding live chat to only specific pages

Code snippets can be saved to the Embed codes area of your admin and accessed through the WYSIWYG toolbar, to be used on multiple pages. To do this:

  1. From your main menu, go to More > Embed codes.
  2. Select Add code. A new code menu will open.
  3. Use the 'Name' field to give your code a descriptive name and paste your code snippet into the Embed code field.
  4. Save your changes.
  5. Go to the page you want to insert the code on and select Update if it has been published.
  6. Open the WYSIWYG Editor of the page, and select the Insert Plugins tools.
    The insert plugins tool is highlighted in the WYSIWYG Toolbar
  7. In the dropdown menu, select your code. It will named like this: 'Embed - [your site] - [Your embed code name]'.
  8. Select Save Content and Close to close the WYSIWYG Editor and Publish your page.

Use cases

  • Provide residents with an alternative way to contact your customer service team for frequently asked questions.
  • Gives your customer service team a way to solve simple queries immediately. 
  • Useful and effective medium of communication for residents who can't visit a customer service center in person. 

Best-practice tips

  • When it comes to third-party code snippets that are to be implemented site-wide, you can add them as a Device Variable (as a Custom Injection Header or as a Custom Injection Footer).
  • Depending on the script, adding it to the header might slow down the page as the script loads first. We recommend adding the script as a footer as it will have less of an impact on site performance as it's loaded last.
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