BlaB!
Completely free web chat written in PHP, using AJAX as a transport system and MySQL as a database storage. The project started back in 2002 as a self-refreshing page called Simple Chat that can still be found on the Internet. Can be installed on any hosting server that supports PHP/MySQL (shared hosts as well). Freeware

BlaB! Plus / BlaB! Pro
BlaB! on steroids. Tons of features, multiple rooms, can be integrated with bulletin boards and CMS such as phpBB, IP.Board, vBulletin, Expression Engine, Joomla, WordPress, Simple Machines + custom integration. Can be installed on any hosting server that supports PHP/MySQL (shared hosts as well).

BlaB! WS
Free realtime web chat system (client & server) based on websockets. Beautiful themes, mobile friendly and easy to install - a video guide is available. Requires a dedicated server or VPS (Virtual Private Server), Apache or Nginx, PHP and MySQL. Freeware

BlaB! WS Pro
BlaB! WS bigger brother. Based on websockets, reatime web chat system (client & server), supports integration with bulletin boards and CMS - WordPress, Joomla, IP.Board, vBulletin, phpBB etc + custom integration. Requires a dedicated server or VPS (Virtual Private Server), Apache or Nginx, PHP, MySQL.

AJAX vs WEBSOCKET

AJAX is short of asynchronous JavaScript and XML. Using AJAX, the browser (client) sends data to and retrieves it from a web server in the background. A chat based on AJAX queries the web server at intervals in order to receive new chat messages. No special requirements, AJAX can be used on any shared hosting account.

WebSocket is a protocol, that provides full-duplex communication channel. In a chat based on websockets, the websocket server transmits the chat messages to the clients instantly, in realtime. To run a websocket chat, a websocket server is required (any modern browser is a websocket client) and you need a dedicated server or VPS with root privileges in order to install a websocket server. Shared hosting accounts can't be used.


BlaB!, BlaB! Plus and BlaB! Pro are NOT compatible with BlaB! WS and BlaB! WS Pro. While you can easily transfer your users from BlaB! to BlaB! Plus/Pro and from BlaB! WS to BlaB! WS Pro you cannot do the same from BlaB! to BlaB! WS Pro and from BlaB! WS to BlaB! Plus/Pro.

Page updated: 2017-09-24