Simple Ajax Chat


The simplest possible persistent chat solution!

Simple Ajax Chat makes it easy for your visitors to chat with each other on your website. There already are a number of decent chat plugins, but I wanted one that is simple yet fully customizable with all the features AND outputs clean HTML markup.

Check out the Live Demo of Simple Ajax Chat »

Core Features

  • Designed to be the simplest possible persistent chat
  • Works with all mobile devices (iPhone, Android, etc.)
  • Ajax goodness loads new chats without refreshing the page
  • Allow anyone to chat or restrict chat to logged-in users
  • Display chat messages in ascending or descending order
  • Option to play sound alert for chat messages
  • Option to disable collection of IP data
  • Display the chat box in multiple locations
  • Display chat form easily via shortcode
  • Export all chat messages via CSV file
  • Automatic emoji icons supported 🙂
  • Regularly updated & “future proof”
  • Super strong anti-spam security
  • NEW! Browser notifications 🙂

Form Features

  • Clean markup makes it easy to style the appearance as desired
  • Includes default CSS styles and enables custom CSS via settings
  • Display form on any Post or Page with the SAC Shortcode
  • Display form anywhere in your theme with the SAC Template Tag
  • Includes template of all CSS hooks (see /resources/sac.css)
  • Chat markup includes sac-online class for online users
  • New chat messages fade-in with custom duration and color
  • Timestamp for each chat message included in markup

Settings Features

  • Plug-n-play functionality, no configuration required
  • Lots of settings available to customize every detail
  • Super-slick toggling settings screen keeps it simple
  • Built-in control panel to edit and delete chats
  • Built-in blacklist to ban specific phrases from chat
  • Option to use logged-in username as the chat name
  • On-demand restoration of all default settings
  • Automatically clear chats at set time interval

Customize Everything

  • Set custom limit on the number of chat messages
  • Set custom limit on the length of each chat message
  • Option to require login/registration to participate
  • Option to enable/disable URL field for usernames
  • Option to use textarea for larger input field
  • Customize the update interval for the Ajax-requests
  • Customize the fade-duration for new chat messages
  • Customize the intro and outro colors for new chats
  • Customize the default message and admin name
  • Customize the appearance with your own CSS
  • Option to enable/disable custom styles
  • Option to load the JavaScript only when chat box is displayed
  • Options to add custom content to the chat box and chat form
  • Alternate audio clips available to customize the alert sound
  • Action and filter hooks provided for advanced customization

Plus much more! 🙂


This plugin collects voluntary user chat data (i.e., Name, Chat Message, and optional URL field). It also gives the administrator the option to collect or not collect user IP information. Aside from those two things, this plugin does not collect or store any user data. This plugin uses a few cookies for the chat functionality. It does not connect to any third-party locations. Minimal impact on privacy.


Simple Ajax Chat supports translation into any language »

Support development of this plugin

I develop and maintain this free plugin with love for the WordPress community. To show support, you can make a donation or purchase one of my books:

And/or purchase one of my premium WordPress plugins:

Links, tweets and likes also appreciated. Thanks! 🙂

Imagens de tela

  • Simple Ajax Chat: Chat Box
  • Simple Ajax Chat: Plugin Settings (panels toggle open/closed)



  1. Upload the plugin to your blog and activate
  2. Visit the settings to configure your options

More info on installing WP plugins


Once the settings are configured, you can display the form anywhere using the shortcode or template tag.


Use this shortcode to display the chat box on a post or page:


Template Tag

Use this template tag to display the chat box anywhere in your theme template:

<?php if (function_exists('simple_ajax_chat')) simple_ajax_chat(); ?>


To upgrade Simple Ajax Chat, remove the old version and replace with the new version. Or just click “Update” from the Plugins screen and let WordPress do it for you automatically.

Note: uninstalling the plugin from the WP Plugins screen results in the removal of all settings and chat messages from the WP database.

Restore Default Options

To restore default plugin options, either uninstall/reinstall the plugin, or visit the plugin settings > Restore Default Options.


Simple Ajax Chat cleans up after itself. All plugin settings and chat messages will be removed from your database when the plugin is uninstalled via the Plugins screen.

Stopping spam

This plugin works in two modes:

  • “Open Air” mode – anyone can chat
  • “Private” mode – only logged-in users can chat

“Private” mode stops all automated spam, but registered users may still send “spammy” chat messages. Likewise, the “Open Air” mode is super effective at blocking automated spam, but some manual spam may get through. As a general rule, the longer your chat forum is online, the more of a target it will be for spam.

Alternately/additionally you can use .htaccess to block spammers. It’s an easy, super-effective method for controlling access to your site.

Browser Notifications

SAC provides optional browser notifications. When enabled in the plugin settings, all of the notification stuff happens automatically, depending on your browser settings. For example, if your browser is set to deny all site notifications, then you won’t see any SAC notifications. Likewise, if your browser is configured to allow notifications (and they are enabled in the settings), then you will see the notifications display whenever you are visiting the chat box and someone leaves a message. For more infos, check out the documentation for your specific browser.

Like the plugin?

If you like Simple Ajax Chat, please take a moment to give a 5-star rating. It helps to keep development and support going strong. Thank you!


How do I change the alert sound?

Open the directory /resources/audio/ and replace the files msg.mp3 and msg.ogg with your desired audio files. You will notice lots of alternate sound files included in that same directory. Simply rename any pair of files to replace the defaults.

Where can I find a complete list of CSS selectors?

Check out sac.css located in the resources directory.

Can we auto-delete chat messages on a set time interval?

Yes, please see this post at Auto-Clear Chats.

Does it work with mobile devices?

Yep, the chat plugin works great on iPhones, Android devices, and just about anything that supports JavaScript.. the functionality is achieved using Ajax.

Is it possible to whitelist SAC plugin files?

Yes, check out Simple Ajax Chat .htaccess whitelist and/or Whitelist POST access with .htaccess

How do I hide “Latest Message: X minutes ago”?

Add this CSS:

#sac-latest-message { display: none; }

You can add that to the plugin setting, “Custom CSS styles” or your theme styles, wherever. If adding via the plugin setting, make sure that the associated setting, “Enable custom styles” also is enabled.

How do I hide the Name, URL, etc. labels on the form?

Add this CSS:

#sac-form label { display: none; }

You can add that to the plugin setting, “Custom CSS styles” or your theme styles, wherever. If adding via the plugin setting, make sure that the associated setting, “Enable custom styles” also is enabled.

How to remove the “say it” button?

You can hide the “say it” submit button, so the user must press enter to submit chats. Add this CSS:

#sac-user-submit { display: none; }

You can add that to the plugin setting, “Custom CSS styles” or your theme styles, wherever. If adding via the plugin setting, make sure that the associated setting, “Enable custom styles” also is enabled.

The form is not displaying correctly, it looks all messed up?

Simple Ajax Chat is designed to look great on any of the default WP themes and most other themes as well. Even so, every theme is different, and it’s impossible to test on the hundreds of thousands of themes that are available. So if the chat form is not looking awesome on your theme, it’s because your theme for whatever reason is applying its own particular styles. If this is the case, you can try disabling the plugin setting to “Enable custom styles”. If that doesn’t help, you can include your own custom CSS, or customize the plugin’s default styles. Alternately, you may include custom CSS via your theme’s stylesheet, and/or modify your theme’s CSS as needed to make things display as desired. Tip: to see how the chat form should look, check it out using any of the default WP themes.

The chat form is visible but new chats are not displayed.

If this is happening, and/or if you are receiving a “Failed opening required” error message, most likely your site’s wp-load.php file is not located in the usual default location (i.e., it has been moved to a custom location). If this is the case, you will need to edit the paths in /simple-ajax-chat-core.php (line 4) and /resources/sac.php (line 10). At some point I will be revamping the plugin so that this modification won’t be necessary.

How do I fix weird characters displayed in the chat box?

If you are seeing question marks or other weird characters or symbols in chat messages, you can try one of the following solutions:

  • Uninstall (delete) the plugin, and then re-install. Note that this technique resets all settings and deletes all chat messages.
  • Or, if you don’t want to lose any settings or chat messages, you can run the following SQL command: ALTER TABLE wp_ajax_chat CONVERT TO CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_general_ci;

Either of these techniques should resolve any weird character issues. Note that the SQL command assumes you are using the default database prefix, wp_. So make sure to edit that part of the command if you are using a custom database prefix.

How do I customize the login-required message?

By default, the login-required message is “You must be a registered user to participate in this chat.” To customize this message, check out this forum post.

Chat Box not working in certain browsers (e.g., Chrome)?

Certain plugins (e.g., Shield Security) may implement security headers that prevent SAC from working properly. To resolve this issue, visit the “HTTP Headers” tab and go to “Security Headers tab” (or similar depending on which plugin you are using). There you can set the “Referrer Policy” to “Same Origin” and then save changes. SAC immediately should start working properly, but you also may need to clear the browser cache and hard reload the page.

How to translate form inputs?

If the form inputs like “Submit” button are not showing translation. You can work around by adding the following jQuery snippet:

<script>jQuery(function() { jQuery('#submitchat').val('Whatever'); });</script>

That needs to be included in your theme after jQuery is loaded. Then change #submitchat to the ID of the form input. Change Whatever to whatever you want to display for the text.

Got a question?

Send any questions or feedback via my contact form


1 de Dezembro, 2021
Simple Ajax Chat is very cleverly built, properly integrated into WordPress but not getting bogged down in the server intensive WordPress Ajax calls but building its own lightweight ones which are very responsive (try instant). There's an excellent demo online and great support available. Simple Ajax Chat embodies the original WordPress spirit with elegant essential functionality with no top-heavy frills or invasive marketing. Truly impressive. We'll be using Simple Ajax Chat for membership chat next to accompany live streamed videos. There's a hundred great uses for Simple Ajax Chat for membership sites, as everyone already has an account and it's simple to put a room together.
11 de Novembro, 2021
I love the easy installation and setup. I give you 5 stars for the ease of use. However, my version is asking for permission. Any suggestions?
22 de Outubro, 2021
Rly love this plugin. This this all I need for the live chat box on my website.
21 de Outubro, 2021
This is really awesom. Simple and working. The main problem is that you need to give the browser access to receive notifications. The rest is really awesome.
Leia todas as 164 avaliações

Contribuidores e desenvolvedores

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Registro de alterações

If you like Simple Ajax Chat, please take a moment to give a 5-star rating. It helps to keep development and support going strong. Thank you!


  • Adds several options for browser notifications
  • Removes rogue file from languages folder
  • Updates default translation template
  • Tests on WordPress 5.8


  • Fixes PHP deprecated notice non-string needles
  • Fixes Uncaught TypeError on Android/Chrome
  • Removes deprecated .po translation file
  • Updates default translation template
  • Tests on WordPress 5.7


  • Fixes bug with chat not working on mobile browsers
  • Tests on WordPress 5.6


  • Adds browser notifications (Thanks @benbois)
  • Adds filter hook sac_textarea_atts
  • Improves the chat processing script
  • Increases maximum chat message size in database
  • Fixes bug where chat fails w/ blank referrer
  • Fixes bug with parentheses in chat username
  • Fixes some missing translation strings
  • Updates default translation template
  • Tests on PHP 7.4 and 8.0
  • Tests on WordPress 5.6


  • Adds filters sac_chat_url, sac_chat_message (Thank you Luca)
  • Updates sets of nonce secret keys
  • Refines plugin setting page styles
  • Refines readme/documentation
  • Tests on WordPress 5.5


  • Fixes bug with Site Health loopback request
  • Fixes bug with targeted loading
  • Fixes bug with Ajax requests and error
  • Fixes bug with invalid chat user names
  • Improves security of form cookies
  • Tests on WordPress 5.4


  • Updates styles for plugin settings page
  • Tests on WordPress 5.3


  • Fixes PHP Warning: stristr(): Empty needle warning
  • Tests on WordPress 5.3 (alpha)


  • Improves loading of scripts and core files
  • Improves logic of sac_enqueue_scripts()
  • Updates some links to https
  • Tests on WordPress 5.3 (alpha)


  • Bumps minimum PHP version to 5.6.20
  • Tweaks plugin settings screen content
  • Updates default translation template
  • Tests on WordPress 5.2


  • Updates sac_plugin_action_links()
  • Adds check for admin user for settings shortcut link
  • Tweaks plugin settings screen UI
  • Generates new default translation template
  • Tests on WordPress 5.1 and 5.2 (alpha)


  • Tests on WordPress 5.1


  • Adds homepage link to Plugins screen
  • Updates default translation template
  • Tests on WordPress 5.0


  • Fixes PHP Deprecated notice, “The each() function is deprecated”
  • Further tests on WP versions 4.9 and 5.0 (alpha)


  • Refines some details on the plugin settings page
  • Replaces wp_filter_nohtml_kses with wp_strip_all_tags for custom CSS
  • Adds rel="noopener noreferrer" to all blank-target links
  • Updates GDPR blurb and donate link
  • Further tests on WP versions 4.9 and 5.0 (alpha)


  • Adds option to disable collection of IP address information
  • Adds rel="noopener noreferrer" to relevant _blank target links
  • Increases max number of characters per chat (from 200 to 1000)
  • Escapes some attributes and markup in the plugin settings
  • Bugfix: Display Mode should not apply to logged-in users
  • Removes text shadows and borders on chat-date tooltips
  • Updates Show Support panel
  • Tweaks settings page UI
  • Generates new translation template
  • Updates plugin image files
  • Tests on WordPress 5.0 (alpha)


  • Response code changed to 200 for “JavaScript not enabled” errors
  • Improves functionality of simple-ajax-chat-core.php


  • To help stop spam on public chat forums, SAC now requires JavaScript
  • Tests on WordPress 4.9


  • Removes extra manage_options check for settings validation
  • Tests on WordPress 4.9


  • Adds further support for customizing logged username
  • Fixes bug with non-JavaScript chat submission
  • Tests on WordPress 4.9


  • Adds “Export Chats” feature via plugin settings screen
  • Adds tooltips to display the date/time of chat messages
  • Adds “Display Mode” setting to display the chat messages as “read-only”
  • Changes id attribute for login-required message: #sac-panel is now #sac-output
  • Adds filter hooks, sac_chat_time, sac_time_since, sac_logged_username
  • Updates default CSS for the setting, “Custom CSS styles”
  • Renames span class from name to sac-chat-name in chat list
  • Adds extra manage_options capability check to modify settings
  • Replaces target="_blank" attributes with rel="external"
  • Changes default URL value from http:// to https://
  • Improves SAC database creation functionality
  • Streamlines Support panel in plugin settings
  • Tests on WordPress 4.9


  • Adds filter hook sac_require_login_message
  • Fixes HTML for chat messages on plugin settings page
  • Tests on WordPress 4.9 (alpha)


  • Tweaked readme.txt 🙂


  • Updates alert panel functionality
  • Removes colons : from chat form labels
  • Adds another layer of security against spam
  • Tweaks styles on plugin settings page
  • Adds class sac-online to chat messages of online users
  • Removes extraneous div when user is logged out and login is required
  • Improves styles for logged out users when login is required
  • Updates database creation script
  • Refines display of settings panels
  • Updates show support panel in plugin settings
  • Replaces global $wp_version with get_bloginfo('version')
  • Fixes some incorrect translation domains
  • Generates new default translation template
  • Tests on WordPress version 4.8


  • Fixed session already started notice
  • Fixed call to undefined function error
  • Relocated session_unset() function
  • Added function sac_is_session_started()
  • Improved security of session cookies
  • Updated plugin author URL
  • Changed stable tag from trunk to latest version
  • Refactored add_sac_links() function
  • Updated URL for rate this plugin links
  • Improved default style for abbr tags
  • Regenerated default language template
  • Tests on WordPress version 4.7 (beta)


  • Streamlined and optimized plugin settings page
  • Replaced _e() with esc_html_e() or esc_attr_e()
  • Replaced __() with esc_html__() or esc_attr__()
  • Added plugin icons and larger banner image
  • Renamed text-domain from “sac” to “simple-ajax-chat”
  • Removed local translations in favor of GlotPress
  • Added sixty-minute interval for auto-clearing chats
  • Fixed bug with targeted URLs including parameters
  • Added sac_filter_user_url hook to enable filtering of user URL
  • Added more attributes to allowed tags for custom content
  • Renamed sac_process_chat_action to sac_process_chat
  • Removed sac_process_chat_filter hook
  • Added sac_process_chat_name filter hook
  • Added sac_process_chat_text filter hook
  • Added sac_process_chat_url filter hook
  • Generated new translation template
  • Improved translation support
  • Tested on WordPress 4.6


Important! Two plugin files have changed names in this version. So DEACTIVATE the plugin BEFORE performing the update. Then after upgrading, reactivate the plugin and you’re good to go.

  • Refactored plugin JavaScript for better performance
  • Swapped names of core plugin and chat process files
  • Added more granular control over script loading
  • Further testing on WordPress version 4.5 beta


  • Refactored simple-ajax-chat-core.php
  • Replaced sac_add_to_head() with sac_enqueue_scripts()
  • Removed unnecessary $user_ID and get_currentuserinfo() in simple_ajax_chat()
  • Removed unnecessary $user_ID, $user_identity, and get_currentuserinfo() in sac_happens()
  • Refactored uninstall.php
  • Refactored simple-ajax-chat.php
  • Optimized nonce handling
  • Refactored simple-ajax-chat-form.php
  • Restyled default chat/form display
  • Removed redundant default options
  • Tweaked simple-ajax-chat-admin.php
  • Added sac_process_chat_action hook
  • Added sac_process_chat_filter hook
  • Added auto-clear chats cron functionality
  • Added sac_truncate_chats_action hook
  • sac_truncate_chats_interval_filter hook
  • Added more chat alert sound files
  • Removed player.swf file (not used)
  • Changed the default alert sound
  • Removed redundant esc_sql() from edit chat and delete chat functions
  • Added stripslashes() to name display on form, and to edit/add chat functions
  • Removed stripslashes() from plugin settings screen
  • Added Slovak translation (thanks to lulu108)
  • Increased size of manage chat buttons
  • sac.php now includes WP the same way as simple-ajax-chat.php
  • Replaced icon with retina version
  • Added screenshot to readme/docs
  • Added retina version of banner
  • Reorganized and refreshed readme.txt
  • Tested on WordPress version 4.5 beta


  • Updated heading hierarchy in plugin settings
  • Added missing get_currentuserinfo() where applicable
  • Updated some i18n code and added French translation (Thanks to alysko)
  • Added Russian translation (Thanks to arniarni)
  • Improved logic of database query in sac_shout_edit()
  • Added esc_url() to sac_add_to_head()
  • Updated default translation template
  • Updated minimum version requirement
  • Tested on WordPress 4.4 beta


  • Tested on WordPress 4.3
  • Updated minimum version requirement
  • Fixed 404/500 error for certain setups


  • Tested with WP 4.2 + 4.3 (alpha)
  • Changed a few “http” links to “https”
  • Fixed XSS vulnerability with add_query_arg()
  • Added primary key flag to create database function
  • Bugfix: form not submitting when JavaScript disabled
  • Improved logic in simple-ajax-chat.php
  • Added nonce security to chat form
  • Added support for SSL/https
  • Added sac_censor_replace filter to customize censored words
  • Added isset() to stop PHP warning


  • Tested with latest version of WP (4.1)
  • Increased minimum version to WP 3.8
  • Added $sac_wp_vers for version check
  • Added Text Domain and Domain Path to file header
  • Removed deprecated screen_icon()
  • Added alert notice for donations
  • Streamline/fine-tune plugin code
  • Replaced time() with current_time() throughout plugin
  • Added timestamp for each chat via data-time attribute
  • Replace $user_level and $sac_admin_user_level with current_user_can()
  • New feature: option to set max number of allowed chats
  • New feature: option to set max number of characters per chat
  • New feature: option to set max number of characters in username
  • Replaced hard-coded values for max chats/chars/name with options
  • Revamped chat-order functionality (Thanks to MartinW2)
  • Added line breaks to initJavaScript()
  • Added rows=”5″ cols=”50″ to chat message textarea
  • Updated auto-link regex, fixes backslash appended to URL
  • Think I fixed the backslash-before-apostrophes issue, let me know!
  • Replaced default .mo/.po templates with .pot template


  • Tested on latest version of WordPress (4.0)
  • Increased minimum version requirement to WP 3.7
  • Added conditional check to min-version function
  • Added option to display logged-in username as chat name
  • Improved logic of simple_ajax_chat()
  • Improved logic of sac_addData()
  • Improved logic in core and admin files
  • Increased default username max-length
  • Fine-tuned plugin settings page
  • Removed vestigial killswitch variable
  • Fixed issue where special characters were not displaying correctly
  • Replaced hardcoded paths with WP tags (e.g., wp-content directory)
  • Replaced $user_nickname global with wp_get_current_user()
  • Minified portions of the SAC JavaScript file for better performance
  • Added conditional check for $sac_lastID is numeric
  • Now using sanitize_text_field() for IPs
  • Replaced htmlspecialchars() with sanitize_text_field()
  • Replaced sac_special_chars() with esc_url() for user URL
  • Replaced htmlentities(), stripslashes(), sac_clean() with sanitize_text_field()
  • Replaced PHP tags with WP tags in sac_special_chars()
  • Updated mo/po translation files


  • New feature: added setting to display chats in ascending or descending order (beta)
  • Improved logic for creating chat db table, fixes “mysql_list_tables” deprecated error
  • Added various CSS selectors to chat messages for custom styling
  • Added support for localization/translation


  • Tested with latest WordPress (3.8)
  • Added trailing slash to load_plugin_textdomain()
  • Fixed 3 incorrect _e() tags in simple-sjax-chat-admin.php
  • Edited setting description for “Require log in?” for accuracy


  • Removed delete_option('sac_delete'); from uninstall.php
  • Replaced application/x-javascript with “ in sac.php
  • Replaced add_plugin_links with add_sac_links in simple-ajax-core.php


  • Replaced original header codes and WP includes in sac.php


  • Removed 3x “Δ” from die() for better security
  • Added “rate this plugin” link on Plugins and SAC settings screens
  • Replaced 3x “wpdb->escape” with “esc_sql” in simple-ajax-chat-core.php
  • Filter server variables with built-in simple-ajax-chat-admin.php (lines 65/66)
  • Improved security when submitted chat fails (simple-ajax-chat.php)
  • Specified no border for smileys in filter_smilies()
  • Added localized timestamp of last chat to in sac.php
  • Localized “ago” in sac-admin, sac-core, and sac-form
  • Localized sac_time_since() in simple-ajax-core.php
  • Improved header codes and WP includes in sac.php
  • Fixed bug where chats don’t work if audio is disabled
  • Added uninstall.php to remove options and chat table upon uninstall
  • Enhanced functionality of plugin settings page
  • Tested with latest version of WordPress (3.7)
  • General code maintenance and cleanup
  • Added support for localization


  • Tightened form security
  • Tightened plugin security
  • Updated deprecated functions
  • Resolved some PHP Notices


  • Improved localization support
  • Replaced some deprecated template tags


  • Reorganized file/directory structure
  • Separated Ajax stuff from core plugin
  • Implemented strong anti-spam measures
  • Many functions rewritten to maximize native WP functionality
  • Improved audio support for chat alerts, fixed Safari bug
  • Fixed: case-insensitive banned phrases
  • Fixed: default options not working on install
  • Fixed: a bunch of annoying PHP Notices
  • Added .sac-reg-req for registration message div#sac-panel
  • Updated CSS skeleton with new selector (@ “/resources/sac.css”)
  • Fixed: enable/disable links for usernames now works properly
  • General code check n clean
  • added comments to the .htaccess file (no active rules are included)


  • Added JavaScript to set up sound-alerts (fixes undefined variable error)


  • Added margins to submit buttons (now required in WP 3.5)
  • Added “div#sac-panel p {}” to default CSS
  • Added links to demo in readme.txt file
  • Updated all instances of $wpdb->prepare with new syntax
  • Added option for sound to play for new chat messages (note: chat-sound technique is borrowed from “Pierre’s Wordspew”)


  • Edited line 217 to define variable and fix “timeout” error
  • Enhanced markup for custom content
  • Custom content may be added before and/or after the chat form and/or the list of chat messages


  • Fixed PHP Warning: [function.stristr]: Empty delimiter (line 282)
  • Removed fieldset border in default form styles (plugin settings)
  • Added placeholders for name, URL, and chat message


  • Initial release.