12th June 2013

Drupal Chat Module Comparisons

John Ennew
Technical Director

A list of chat modules evaulated recently and their pros and cons.

Drupal Chat


Person to person chat on the site. Out of the box it looks like facebook chat with a little widget that floats in the bottom right of the window.

  • Dependencies: None required (node.js is optional but ajax default)
  • Ease of install: Easy
  • Theme-able: Yes
  • Anonymous can use: Yes
  • Chatroom or person to person? Just person to person.



This requires an account on the pay-per-month chatroll service: http://chatroll.com. Hosting on the external service means much less load on the site and much less development time our end. We can just make it look pretty.  Access control can be achieved in Drupal by restricting access to nodes the chat room appears on.

  • Dependencies: none
  • Ease of install / setup: very easy
  • Theme-able: Yes (via CSS, it's hosted on their own servers)
  • Anonymous access: Yes
  • Chatroom or person to person? Charroom. though it's possible to send a short IM to someone in the room.



This is the fully integrated Drupal solution with no need for external account. All aspects are controllable and themeable Needs a node.js server and the version of nodejs and chatroom tested had bugs (the page had to be refreshed to see new messages). Presently Acquia have told us they do not have node.js server running on dev cloud.

  • Dependencies: node.js
  • Ease of install: Hard (got to configure node.js)
  • Theme-able: Yes - Fully
  • Anonymous: Yes
  • Chatroom or single chat: Chat room only