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Chat widget not appearing on website pages

Last updated: October 19, 2021

Applies to:

All products and plans

When you set up a live chat or bot, you might find that the chat widget isn't appearing on your website pages as expected. You may have targeted specific pages or contacts, but the chat widget doesn't appear on the right pages or to the right contacts. There are a few settings you can review to help troubleshoot the issue.

1. Make sure the tracking code is installed

If you're adding a chatflow to a website that is hosted externally from HubSpot, you need to install the HubSpot tracking code on your pages. You can access your tracking code in your settings:

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings icon settings in the main navigation bar.
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Inbox Inboxes
  • Hover over the Live Chat channel and click Edit.
  • Click the Tracking code tab.
  • To copy the code and add it to your website, click Copy. Or enter an email address to send the code to your web developer or IT resource.

Please note: if you already have the HubSpot tracking code installed on your website, or if your website is hosted on HubSpot, you do not need to install this code snippet separately.

2. Turn the chatflow on

You should also confirm that the chatflow is turned on:

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Conversations > Chatflows.
  • Next to the inactive chatflow, in the Status column, click to toggle the status switch on. chatflows-activate-chatflows

3. Clear your browser cache

If the chatflow doesn't appear on your website after your turn it on, try loading your website in an incognito browser window. If the chatflow appears in incognito, clear your browser cache and cookies to view the chatflow in a non-incognito browser window.

4. Review your targeting rules

When building a chatflow, you can specify which pages the chat widget should appear on in your targeting settings. You can also target based on known information about the visitor. Review your targeting rules on the chatflow's Target tab to make sure the criteria matches what you expect to see on your website pages.

Specify the correct domain and subdomain

First, verify that the page where you're expecting to see the chatflow is included in your targeting rules. If you want the chatflow to appear on pages on a specific domain, make sure to enter the correct domain. For example, if your targeting rule is Website | contains | www.coffeeshop.com, the chatflow will appear on any page hosted on the www subdomain, including www.coffeeshop.com, www.coffeshop.com/contact, and www.coffeeshop.com/pricing.

target-subdomain

However, the chatflow will not appear on blog.coffeeshop.com unless you add the blog subdomain to your targeting rules.

target-two-different-subdomains

Or, you can specify the root domain in your targeting rules. In this example, if you use the targeting rule Website | contains | coffeeshop.com, the chatflow will appear on any page with this root domain.

Check exclusion rules

If the chatflow does not appear as expected, make sure the page URL is not included in your exclusion rules. Navigate to your chatflow, then on the Target tab, review and remove any exclusion rules as needed.

check-chatflows-exclusion-rules

Verify visitor information and behavior

If you're targeting your chatflows based on visitor information and behavior, make sure the contact meets the target criteria. For example, if your chatflow only appears to a contact who clicked a specific CTA on your website, navigate to the contact record and filter for the contact's CTA activity. If the contact has not clicked the selected CTA, they will not see the chatflow.

If they did click the CTA, review the additional troubleshooting steps in this guide or learn more about how tracking cookies can impact whether the chatflow appears. 

Using a single-page application

If your website is a single-page application, or SPA, your targeting rules might not work as expected because of how SPA's website content dynamically updates when you navigate to other pages, instead of reloading. HubSpot therefore cannot detect the new page URL, which can cause the wrong chatflow to appear on a page, or not appear at all. If you're using a live chat or bot on your single-page app, it is recommended to work with a developer to use the Chat widget SDK to target your pages. Use the .widget-refresh method to specify different chatflows on different pages. Learn more on HubSpot's developer docs.

5. Check chat availability settings

If your chatflow still isn't appearing on your pages, check your chat channel's availability settings. You can control when to hide the chat widget, including when no team member is online or when it's outside of business hours, by editing your availability settings:

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings icon settings in the main navigation bar.
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Inbox > Inboxes.
  • Hover over the Chat channel and click Edit.
  • Click the Availability tab.
    • Based on team member status: if your availability is based on team member status, click the Away tab and check if you selected Hide chat launcher. If you want to show an away message instead, click the dropdown menu and select Show an away message.
    • Based on business hours: if your team is only available during set business hours, click the Away tab and/or the Outside business hours tab and check if you selected Hide chat launcher. If you did, click the dropdown menu and choose another option. 
chat-launcher-hidden
  • Click Save after making any changes.

If you're using a chatflow that includes a bot, the chatflow might still appear if you haven't customized the bot's availability preferences. Learn how to edit when the chatflow should display based on your team's availability.

6. Check chatflow prioritization

When you have more than one chatflow that appears on a page, you can decide which one HubSpot should prioritize when a visitor comes to your site. If the expected chatflow is not appearing, check the chatflow's priority compared to the other chatflows on your page.

7. Unexpected chatflow appears

If a visitor started a thread on one of your pages, then navigates to another page where a different chatflow is supposed to appear, the conversation will continue in the original thread. Therefore, the other chatflow will not appear. For example:

  • Chatflow A is supposed to appear on www.coffeeshop.com.
  • Chatflow B is supposed to appear on blog.coffeeshop.com.
  • A visitor started a chat with Chatflow A, then navigated to blog.coffeeshop.com.
  • Chatflow B will not appear and the visitor can continue the thread that they started with Chatflow A.

8. Tracking cookies

If after following the steps above your chat widget is still not appearing for the contacts that meet your target criteria, this is most likely due to tracking cookies. For your chat widget to appear for a visitor, a tracking cookie must be associated with the visitor's contact record in your contact database. If the contact record does not have a tracking cookie, then your chat widget will not appear for the visitor associated with the contact record.

How does a visitor get a tracking cookie?

Visitors are tracked anonymously with a tracking cookie before becoming contacts. HubSpot can then associate their website activity on the tracking cookie with their contact record in two ways:

  1. The visitor fills out a HubSpot form.
  2. The visitor clicks through a HubSpot Marketing email leading them to a HubSpot page or to a non-HubSpot page with the HubSpot tracking code installed.

Additionally, you can use the tracking code API to track visitors to your site.

Until the visitor performs one of the conversions above, HubSpot doesn't know who the visitor is or what lists the visitor's contact record is part of. Therefore, if you have a contact that hasn't converted yet, they won't see your chat widget even if they're a contact in your database or a member of the list you're targeting to.

Please note: even if the visitor has done one of the two actions above to get a tracking cookie, if the visitor has since deleted browser cookies or visited your site in a different browser, in an incognito window, or on their mobile device, then their tracking cookie can't be detected and your chat widget won't appear for them.

Why do I have contacts without a tracking cookie?

Here are a few common ways contacts can exist in your database without converting on a form or clicking a marketing email link:

Once a contact in your database is tracked with a tracking cookie, then HubSpot considers them a known contact. If they meet your audience criteria, your chat widget will appear for them when they visit your site.