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I’ve used Olark extensively. It’s simple, minimalistic and great to get quick feedback from users on my sites.
Olark is a little chat box / feedback form you can add to your site.
I don’t use the chat part though. Only the feedback form, so that I get messages every day in my email with feedback from users. It’s probably the most useful feature to have if you’re building startups these days. Because you want direct feedback.
I don’t do a lot of testing, so I find out about bugs through users sending me messages about it through here.
I get feedback about the payment and services:
Or about bugs:
Or about requested features:
This little feedback box has been incredibly helpful but the product seems quite stagnant.
There’s many problems with it, the biggest being the load time of Olark and the amount of requests it makes is getting ridiculous:
Another thing is that it’s actually been broken for me for the last month. I didn’t get any emails anymore. And I couldn’t find out why.
So why not built it myself and make it internally? I only needed to build the email portion (as I don’t use the chat part anyway). And I want to get rid of dependencies in my sites. Open source projects are actually fine but I don’t like being dependent on other companies for core functionality of my sites.
I’ve open sourced it via a gist on Github.
I built it in one ~300 line PHP file with JS and CSS in it. You can replace the PHP with sever-side JS (like Node) if you want to.
You use it like this. Put this in your PHP page wherever you want the box to show up:
You can also embed it as a JS file:
Make sure you embed it AFTER you load jQuery.
Download it here and put it in your server’s public / folder feedback-popup.php
Kill your dependencies!
P.S. I wrote a book on building indie startups called MAKE. And I'm on Twitter too if you'd like to follow more of my stories. I don't use email so tweet me your questions. Or you can see my list of posts. To get an alert when I write a new blog post, you can subscribe below:Follow @levelsio