If you’re collaborating with colleagues on a design or trying to show a client a few changes you’ve been adding to their website, the easiest way to get on the same page is with some form of screen sharing software. However, many of these tools are a pain to hook up and sometimes they require both parties to have accounts with the service.
WP TogetherJS is quite possibly the most simple real time collaboration plugin I’ve ever tried with WordPress. It seamlessly integrates Mozilla’s free, open source TogetherJS library to add real time collaboration tools to any website.
TogetherJS’ basic features include:
- Collaborative browsing
- Shared cursors
- Text chat
- Audio chat via WebRTC
- Real Time Content Sync
WP TogetherJS has no options to configure. After installing it, you can be collaborating with a visitor in under a minute. TogetherJS can be enabled with one click from the WordPress admin bar. The person invited to the collaboration session simply visits the unique TogetherJS URL – there are no accounts to sign up for or hoops to jump through.
Once the other person opens the link, you’ll be able to see each other’s mouse/cursor position and clicks while tracking each other’s browsing. You can even invite multiple visitors to participate in the session.
Please note that this plugin is not useful for collaborative content creation. You’re still going to run into WordPress’ post locking feature, implemented in 3.6 using the Heartbeat API, if you attempt to edit a post together. WordPress’ publishing tools cater to single author publishing workflows, and the WP TogetherJS wasn’t designed to overcome this.
The plugin is more useful for quick training sessions, live support, client meetings, and any situation where you need a quick way to share screens during a conversation. If you want to get a better idea of how it works, the TogetherJS website has a number of live demos you can launch near the bottom of the page.
WP TogetherJS was created by software developer Ryan Nielson and is a super lightweight plugin – it simply enqueues the Together.js script from Mozilla. If you need a quick way to collaborate with a visitor, download WP TogetherJS from the WordPress.org plugin directory.