Setting up single sign-on (SSO) for WordPress Follow

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By setting up single sign-on (SSO) for the Zendesk Support for WordPress plugin, your WordPress site users can access Zendesk Support using their WordPress user ID and password. They access Zendesk Support at the usual URL (, but logging in happens through the WordPress login page, which is displayed when they click the login link in Zendesk Support. When they are successfully authenticated by WordPress, they are seamlessly logged in.

Once you've set up single sign-on, all user management and authentication happens in WordPress.

If you switch to SSO after you've already set up users in Zendesk Support, they will no longer have access to those user accounts (their old login). You can however make sure that their former 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 in Zendesk Support, the two accounts will be synced. If a different address is used, a separate user account is created.

To configure single sign-on for the Zendesk Support for WordPress plugin

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

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

  5. Select and copy the Remote Login URL.

  6. Back in the JSON Web Token options you opened in Zendesk Support, 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, copy the Remote Logout URL in WordPress and paste it into the Remote Logout URL in Zendesk Support.
  8. In Wordpress, under General Settings, select JSON Web Token from the Remote Auth Strategy drop-down list.
  9. In Zendesk Support, turn on the Update of external ids? option.
  10. In Zendesk Support, 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 Support, click Save. You've finished the Zendesk Support part of this set up.
  12. In Wordpress, copy the shared secret into Remote Auth Shared Token.
  13. Click Save Changes.

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

Note: If you, as an administrator, need to sign in to Zendesk Support with your user account, you can do so at the following URL:
Have more questions? Submit a request


  • 0

    This is a great plugin! Thank you :)

  • 0

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

  • 0

    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

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    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?

  • 0

    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:

    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 with your Zendesk subdomain.


  • 0

    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.

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

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

  • 0

    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. 

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    Thank you for the feedback!  Updated the post!


  • 0

    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?

  • 0


    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.


  • 0

    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?

  • 0

    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.


  • 0

    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 ( 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 configuration, when you log out, it indicates that there's a loop.

    Anyone have any suggestions/thoughts about this?

  • 0

    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 if you don't make any progress! 

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

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

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    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?

  • 0

    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.

  • 0


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

    Thank you

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

    Giustino and David, 

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

  • 0

    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 !!

  • 0

    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. 

  • 0

    @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:

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

    +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..

  • 0


    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:

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

    Best regards,


    Joseph McCarron | Advanced Support Advocate

  • 0

    Testing this on,. 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.


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