Forums/Documentation/Setting up integrations

Setting up remote authentication for WordPress

Anton de Young
posted this on May 11, 2011 10:30

By setting up remote authentication for the Zendesk for WordPress plugin, your WordPress site users access your Zendesk using their WordPress user ID and password. They access your Zendesk at the usual URL (http://mycompany.zendesk.com) but logging in happens through the WordPress log in page, which is displayed when they click the login link in your Zendesk. When they are successfully authenticated by WordPress, they are seamlessly logged in.

Once you've set up remote authentication, all user management and authentication happens in WordPress, not in Zendesk. In other words, you don't add or manage users in Zendesk. All of that happens in WordPress.

If you switch to remote authentication after you've already set up users in Zendesk, they will no longer have access to those user accounts (their old Zendesk login). You can however make sure that their former Zendesk identity is associated with their WordPress user account by using the same email address in both user accounts. In other words, if a user's WordPress account uses the same email address as their Zendesk acount, the two accounts will be synced. If a different address is used, a separate user account is created.

To configure remote authentication for the Zendesk for WordPress plugin

This process is a back and forth between your WordPress site and Zendesk. Sign in to both as an administrator.

Note: You need to have already installed the Zendesk for WordPress plugin. For more information about setting up and using the Zendesk for WordPress plugin, see Setting up and using the Zendesk for WordPress plugin.
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Security.
    Zendesk Classic: Select the Settings menu, then select Security.
  2. Select the Single Sign-on tab, then select the Enabled option.
  3. Click the Edit link for the JSON Web Token strategy.
  4. In WordPress, select Remote Auth from the Zendesk panel.

  5. Select and copy the Remote Login URL.

  6. In Zendesk, copy the URL into the Remote Login URL input box.
  7. If you want your users to return to your WordPress site after logging out of your Zendesk, copy the Remote Logout URL in WordPress and paste it into the Remote Logout URL in Zendesk.
  8. In Wordpress, under General Settings, select JSON Web Token from the Remote Auth Strategy drop-down list.
  9. In Zendesk, select the Allow update of external ids? option.
  10. In Zendesk, select and copy your Shared secret token.
    Note: It's a long number and may exceed the length of the text control that it's displayed in so double-click the number to make sure you've selected it all.
  11. In Zendesk, click Save. You've finished the Zendesk part of this set up.
  12. In Wordpress, copy the shared secret into Remote Auth Shared Token.
  13. Click Save Changes.

Now all Zendesk users, including yourself, will be authenticated through your WordPress site when logging in to your Zendesk.

Note: If you, as an administrator, need to sign in to Zendesk with your Zendesk user account, you can do so at the following URL: http://mycompany.zendesk.com/access/normal.
 

Comments

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Frankie Jarrett
churchthemes

This is a great plugin! Thank you :)

June 02, 2011 10:05
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Anton de Young
Zendesk

The setup and using guide for the plugin is here: Setting up and using the Zendesk for Wordpress plugin

June 02, 2011 10:33
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Brac Wardlaw

When setting up remote authentication and you save the settings, should the "Whoa there nelly" box disappear if it accepts the settings?  I have all of this set the way the instructions show but if I try to access Zendesk using the link http://klevur.com/wp-login.php?action=zendesk-remote-login

June 03, 2011 15:26
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Bill McCart
theshiftnetwork

We have a WP site we use for discussion forums, but the majority of customers are not registered in that site. It sounds like the ZD for WP plugin will work fine for those registered in our WP site, but what about everyone else?  Can we have some users log in and authenticate via the WP site while others login at the ZD site?

December 16, 2011 12:28
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Jakub Glodek
Zendesk

Hi Bill,

That would not be ideal as you would be splitting your list of users between two locations. If you only use Wordpress as your login, your users would be able to create an account in Wordpress and then access Zendesk. Your non-registered users would still be able to submit emails to your support email and you could still interact with them. But if they want to access their tickets in Zendesk, they would have to have a login from your Wordpress site.

Alternatively you could alter your login site for Wordpress to have a link to the following site:

http://mycompany.zendesk.com/access/normal

That would allow the user to click on that and have a Zendesk login.

Let me know if you have any other questions by emailing support@zendesk.com with your Zendesk subdomain.

Jakub

December 22, 2011 15:33
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Roger Wheatley
rogerwheatley

Anyone with an idea...?

No matter what I do, WordPress andin always displays the "Whoops! The user specified as the anonymous requests author is not logged in to Zendesk! You can change the user or kindly ask them to log in."

Auth key is correct - And I can log in no problem.

June 11, 2012 20:51
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Adam
Zendesk

@Roger:

If you head to the dashboard on your WP install you should see a box that looks like this:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17101960/Screenshots/37.png

If you don't, you can toggle it by going to the Zendesk plugin and changing the setting for your user level:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17101960/Screenshots/38.png

July 26, 2012 10:04
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Cheryl Wetherington
viewpath

Worked great. But, I would add (for new users still mucking their way through like me) on #5: In Zendesk, select Settings, then Security, and copy the URL into the Remote Login URL input box.

Make it easy for your users to figure out where to go. Go for painfully obvious. You'll end up with less frustration for the user who has to figure out just where the Remote Login URL box is. 

September 07, 2012 11:22
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Jakub Glodek
Zendesk

@Cheryl:

Thank you for the feedback!  Updated the post!

Jakub

September 07, 2012 11:25
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Chris Kresser

I'm confused about this. I have a website/blog and I've just installed the Zendesk plugin. I have one section of my site that I sell supplements from. I've enabled the Support tab on those pages only. Readers of my blog do not generally have user accounts in Wordpress. They do not need to create an account to post a comment. The only people with user accounts are people on my staff, i.e. admins and editors.

In this case, is there any reason to use remote authentication? I already turned it on, but now I'm second-guessing that decision. I tried to create a new agent from within Zendesk and it told me that's not a good idea. So then I created a new user in Wordpress, and assigned her to a Customer Service Rep role, but she doesn't show up in Zendesk at all. 

I'm launching a product tomorrow and really need to get this set up correctly today. Can I just turn off Remote Authentication? How do I do that? How will that affect current agents?

October 16, 2012 11:12
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Jakub Glodek
Zendesk

@Chris

In your configuration I don't see the benefit of using the Remote Authentication addition.  You can just turn off Remote Authentication by going to Settings > Security and unchecking Single Sign On.

Your agents will then have a unique login into Zendesk.  If they fail to login, they can reset their password by clicking on the link on the login page.  Once Remote Authentication is turned off, you can safely add agents via the Zendesk UI.

Jakub

October 16, 2012 16:27
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Mike Jeffcoat

I know I'm missing something but I can't get rid of the "Whoops" notification. All settings look to be correct.

It is imperative that I can allow anyone to submit tickets through my website.

Any ideas?

November 12, 2012 20:14
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Lonnie Bailey

Am I correct in thinking that a customer can just go to their profile dashboard on our Wordpress site, and login to zendesk with their same user name, and password from our wordpress site?

 

I've attempted to create several new users, and entered their user names and password in the zendesk wordpress dashboard form, and I keep getting the same response from the server: "We could not authenticate you with zendesk, please try again"

On my admin account I can login, and see all of my tickets no problem, but for users I am having trouble with authentication.

Any thoughts?

Also the feedback tab seems confusing as users still need to enter in a name and email, and if those people already have accounts with us will that create another zendesk account, or just link up with their registered account with that same email?

Also we use Login with Facebook on our site as well. Will there be any problem authenticating those that choose to login with facebook?

FYI I did try both  accounts made with wordpress, and facebook registrations, and got the same results.

 

December 24, 2012 12:47
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Howard
domainskate

In our site, the users never see their dashboards - they only have commenter status. We're also using a plugin - the Wordpress user-meta plugin (http://user-meta.com/) to gather additional information.

When we set up remote authentication, it loops back to our own site, never getting to Zendesk.

If we sign in in the http://mycompany.zendesk.com/access/normal configuration, when you log out, it indicates that there's a loop.

Anyone have any suggestions/thoughts about this?

January 06, 2013 16:47
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Lonnie: Your end-users need to login via Zendesk. They'll be redirected to your WordPress login page temporarily. If they're using the Feedback tab and they enter the same email address, we'll link the accounts together; it will not create a new account for that user. 

Howard: It sounds like there's an issue with the remote login/logout URLs. I see that SSO is disabled currently. I'd recommend trying to configure it again from scratch; you should be able to use that access/normal link if you get stuck. Fire an email to support@zendesk.com if you don't make any progress! 

January 07, 2013 05:25
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Lonnie Bailey

I don't think this solution is going to work for this site as customers only have access to the frontend, and we don't want them getting confused. I was hoping for much better integration. Actual widgets, and shortcode to integrate in to the frontend. We found a ticket system plugin to handle the job for now, but would really like to see Zendesk better integrated. A full stand alone plugin that doesn't require linking with your Zendesk account would be ideal. There is a huge need for a good ticket system plugin for WordPress.

January 07, 2013 08:56
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Scott

Does anyone know if this this plugin / integration with Wordpress is supported on the Starter plan??

January 09, 2013 09:34
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

The WordPress plugin is supported on the Starter plan!

https://support.zendesk.com/entries/20167758-setting-up-and-using-t...

January 09, 2013 12:40
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Jeremy Hurlburt

I set up remote authentication for Wordpress.  We have a group of users in our Wordpress site that we would like to have access to private forums in our Zendesk.  We'll call them "Group A."  I set up my forums in my Zendesk spoke account and I want to restrict access to users with a specific tag: all users in Group A.  Since my users are now managed through Wordpress, how can I accomplish this?

I also have another set of users who will not access the Wordpress site, but will access public forums on our Zendesk site.  We'll call them "Group B."  I don't want Group B users to see the private forums that Group A can see, which I thought could be accomplished through tags.  But we do want Group A users to view both their private forums as well as the public forums that Group B has access to. 

To sum this up: Group A users are the only ones with access to private forums.  Group A & B users can both access public forums and interact there.

Am I on the right track or is this not possible?

March 21, 2013 08:01
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Brandon K.
Zendesk

Hello Jeremy,

This is definitely possible and you have the right idea of using tags to allow access to your restricted forums for group A. The Wordpress authentication is just a path for your users to log in to Zendesk automatically with an authentication token. Their user profiles will exist in both Zendesk and Wordpress and tags can be added on the Zendesk side. Just go to Manage > People and find the users you want to be in Group A and add their user tag.

April 15, 2013 17:22
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Giustino Borzacchiello

Hello,

since the old remote authentication method is now deprecated, will this plugin get updated?

Thank you

May 08, 2013 10:13
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David Lim
vernier

I've tried using the JWT strategy with the WordPress plugin and I can no longer do remote authentication from Zendesk to WordPress. It causes a redirect loop between the WordPress site and the Zendesk site.

May 15, 2013 14:27
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Anton de Young
Zendesk

Giustino and David, 

I've asked the Product Manager for this feature to give us an update on this. 

May 15, 2013 14:52
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Steve Goering
oddslifehelp

I've tried using the remote login strategy with the WordPress plugin, I set it up twice exactly as described and It causes a redirect loop between the WordPress site and the Zendesk site. Can anyone help with this !!

May 20, 2013 06:28
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Chris Richardson
rtwlabs

I'd love to know if this will be resolved as well. Tried configuring the solution now with WordPress 3.5.1 and the plugin (which appears well out of date) and getting a login loop. If this worked I'd be sold on the product but without it I'm left considering this or freshdesk of which has a free account that will be just as good. 

May 30, 2013 05:52
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Brandon K.
Zendesk

@Steve & Chris: The current wordpress integration is built around a method of authentication that we are in the process of turning off. If your account was created recently, the method of authentication is not available and the wordpress integration will not work. We do plan to have a new integration that works with JWT tokens within the coming few weeks. You can read about how JWT authentication works here: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/23675367

May 31, 2013 15:38
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Chris Richardson
rtwlabs

Hi Brandon, does that mean the WordPress plugin will get some love as well? Having single sign on for my clients between my WordPress site and the support desk would be the ideal solution to keep things simple for everybody so really hoping its only a few weeks away and not months. 

have played around with zendesk the last few days and found skinning the web portal really great so this is the last link in the chain so to speak.

May 31, 2013 15:46
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Leho Kraav

+1 also getting the redirect loop. So jumpng on this thread and following. I see the support is kinda wary of giving out any details on the plugin update, which is kind of worrying. I need to set up two sites in rather short order..

June 03, 2013 11:52
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Joe
Zendesk

Hello,

Thanks for your patience while we resolved this issue. On Friday we released an updated version of the Wordpress plugin that now includes support for both our traditional remote auth (v2) as well as the newer, preferred, JWT strategy. If you have the plugin installed already you should see an available update. You can also get the update here: http://wordpress.org/plugins/zendesk/

Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns about this. I'm happy to help.

Best regards,
Joe

Joseph McCarron | Advanced Support Advocate

June 11, 2013 10:26
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Andrew J
BizStudio NZ

Testing this on www.bizstudio.co.nz,. Remote sign on works nicely.  

The dashboard widget is a little disappointing at this stage as I cannot add a comment to a ticket from here, but I can live with this.

I am also testing the Woocommerce integration, it will be interesting to see how these work together... will report back.

A feature I would really like to see would be forum integration, so that our KB in Zendesk, could be added to automatically from our Wordpress site. Ideally by ticking a box when adding a WP article, or maybe by linking a specific category.

 

August 09, 2013 12:55
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Andrew J
BizStudio NZ

This works nicely originally, but and now getting a constant error...

Remote authentication failed: User is invalid: External has already been taken.

Have I missed something?

August 09, 2013 13:11
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Andrew J
BizStudio NZ

Apparently this may only affects the admin (or maybe existing ZD users?), see http://wordpress.org/support/topic/remote-authentication-failed-user-is-invalid-external-has-already-been-taken?replies=2#post-4516966

This works https://mydomain.zendesk.com/access/normal.

The option to elevate a post comment to a ticket is awesome.   As mentioned previously, the option to promote an article to a KB/Forum in ZD would be fantastic.

 

August 09, 2013 13:30
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Andrew J
BizStudio NZ

I think I have resolved this now.  The setting in ZD for "Allow update of external ids", seems to indicate this can be ignored, but in reading the instructions in detail... read that you should select this option.

  1. In Zendesk, select the Allow update of external ids? option."

Hopefully this resolves this for anyone with the same issue.

August 09, 2013 21:06
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Kevin Berry

The login functionality works, however when a user attempts to log out via Zendesk, it creates a redirect loop, with Chrome saying "This webpage has a redirect loop." The user is successfully logged out, but the failure to redirect to a loadable page results in behvior that most users will interpret as a failure. 

Currently running Zendesk Wordpress Plugin version 1.4 .

November 20, 2013 15:39
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Daniel Pawluk
Zendesk

@Kevin,

I created a ticket for you to troubleshoot. I'll be happy to post our solution on the forum if appropriate. Thanks

 

Dan

December 10, 2013 11:38
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Max Sadlowski
bibliocommons

I have the same issue as Kevin, in that the logout from ZD goes into an infinite loop. Additionally, I find that when I logout of wordpress, zendesk remains logged in. Any thoughts on how to resolve this?

Also, is it possible to authenticate with zendesk when the login in wordpress happens, instead of the user having to navigate to a zendesk page first?

January 08, 2014 19:08
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John Smith

Where is the Remote login input on the zendesk site.

The author of this page should assume the user is new to Zendesk.  If makes no sense that he would tell you how to navigate WordPress but not zendesk. This has been brought up before but the author did not fix it. 

Where do i find the remote login input on zendesk

March 24, 2014 16:02
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Brent Clark
Zendesk

@John

The "Remote Login URL" box can be found in Zendesk at the Admin Gear -> Security -> SSO -> JWT. I am also submitting a request to our documentation team to tidy up this article a little bit!

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April 03, 2014 08:56