Free ShoutMix is Gone : Now What?
I was checking and updating my WordPress blogs earlier when I saw this message that ShoutMix free chat box is “currently” unavailable.
I clicked on the link and I was directed to this page where Snecx Tan, the owner and creator of the chat box service ShoutMix, shared, through an open letter, that they can no longer continue the free service because it is no longer sustainable.
They said they’ve tried everything and wouldn’t want to impose popup ads like their competitors (they could only mean CBox, right? 😀 ). This was actually the main reason why I switched from cBox to ShoutMix – no annoying popup ads.
Most of the bloggers I know have a chat box on their sidebars where they get to quickly respond to their blogs’ visitors. I find it a convenient way for those who are not familiar with the commenting system to send me messages (though I would prefer they use the contact page since there’s a form they can use and my email address is also posted there).
Now, upon searching for an alternative for ShoutMix, the closest I got was cBox. I’m not willing to shell out $0.99 per month for a chat box I don’t really use as often as my email. But, if you’re one of those who use it a lot, then I recommend you upgrade.
Alternative Chat Box Plugin for WordPress Users
For WordPress users like me, there’s actually a cool plugin you can setup on your sidebar and it’ll be your very own chatbox. It uses your commenting system, but it will be setup as a sidebar widget. It’s WP Wall.
I used it on a client’s site. I liked the fact that I can completely change how it looks. I implemented it as a message wall and it’s now displayed on the main contents part of one of the pages on their site instead of the sidebar. Here’s how it looks like:
Oh, how I love WordPress! 🙂
You can fully customize CSS file wp-wall.css to your liking. Plus, it’s updated real-time, meaning you don’t have to refresh the page to see the new messages. You can see IP address of the poster, the time they posted the comment on your dashboard so you can easily moderate them too. Cool, eh? 🙂 These options were for premium or pro plans on ShoutMix so it’s great that they’re available for free from WP Wall.
I’ll be setting this up on my other blogs (Update: I just implemented this at the footer section of this blog). I wish I can find something like this on my Blogger blog.
Found any alternative for ShoutMix you’d like to share with me? Feel free to leave the links in the comments section. 🙂
ShoutMix should remove the misleading message that the free plan is “currently unavailable” since they’re no longer offering it for free. It should read “free plan is no longer offered”.