How do I Create a Video Chat Website?

By Jericho McCune

As the videophone of science fiction becomes reality, Web designers are finding it more difficult to keep up with social demands. Chatting online is becoming less private as more and more users turn to video chatting so that the anonymous username on the other end can become a face and a voice. Designing video chat software from scratch is a monumental task for any Web developer. Fortunately, there are a number of software solutions that can be installed on the website's server and fired up to get the job done.

Step 1

Install red5chat, the open source solution for video chat. Red5chat is fully customizable and the source code is well documented so that users can personalize it easier. To install the software the host server must be a Windows or Linux dedicated server with PHP and MySQL enabled. It comes with full registration features so that anyone using the service will have to register with the website first, language filters, the ability to watch up to four webcams at the same time and a host of other features.

Step 2

Try out the demo version of AVChat. Purchase of the full version will cost between $95 and $799 as of 2010, depending on how robust the software needs to be. The cheapest version can handle up to 20 connections at a time, while the most expensive version offers unlimited connections. AVChat offers both audio and video chatting capabilities, as well as space around the chat area to place advertising. Permanent rooms can be created from a simple, but powerful admin interface that comes standard with all versions of the software.

Step 3

Purchase and install 123 Flash Chat after trying the demo and seeing how it works. 123 Flash Chat offers users the ability to chat on a computer or iPad, the ability to reskin the chat room with the press of a button, space for money-making advertisements and personalized user icons. Prices range from $199 for basic software with a limit of 100 connections to $1499 for the "ultimate" software with unlimited connections, as of 2010. Additionally, game packages can be added on to the chat client so that users can while away the time when the conversation lulls.