The Help Center is designed to provide end-users with a complete self-service support option. They can use the information in the knowledge base or turn to the community for answers. If they can't find an answer, they can submit a request to an agent. Agents can use the Help Center to help solve tickets or to answer questions in the community.
The Help Center gives you a lot of flexibility. You can manage your content and deliver it in multiple languages. You can customize the look and feel and decide what features to include.
This article covers the following topics:
Anatomy of the Help Center
The Help Center consists of a knowledge base and a community platform.
Use the knowledge base for the official content provided by your company or organization. The Help Center consists of three main page types: category landing pages, section landing pages, and articles.
Here's how each category is structured:
Category landing pages - Top-level organizing containers of the Help Center. Categories contain sections and sections contain articles. You can use categories as content portals for different products or services.
If you have only one category in your Help Center, then the category itself is hidden to end-users, and they see only the sections that are in your Help Center.
Section landing pages - Collections of related articles. You can assign viewing permissions to sections. For example, sections can be viewable by everyone, only signed-in users, signed-in users with tags, or only agents.
Articles - Content items such as tech notes or help topics.
Community (Professional and Enterprise)
The community is where you can create and comment on posts to pose questions, provide answers, or share ideas. Most posts are associated with discussion topics.
Community posts can include ideas, tips, or any other community items. Answers can include observations, clarifications, praise, or any other response that's part of a typical community discussion.
Enabling Help Center in setup mode
The Help Center is not deployed when you start a Zendesk Support account. You must enable it in setup mode, prepare it for release, and then activate it. You must be a Zendesk Support administrator to enable Help Center.
When Help Center is in setup mode, it is hidden from end-users and is visible to administrators and agents only.
To enable Help Center in setup mode
- Sign in to Zendesk Support as an administrator.
- Click the Zendesk Products icon () in the top bar, then select Help Center.
- In the dialog box that appears, click Enable Help Center.
Your Help Center is created using the default theme. You can customize the theme while it's still in setup mode, if you want. For next steps, see Preparing your Help Center for release.
To open Help Center from the agent interface, click the Zendesk Products icon () in the top bar, then select Help Center.
Preparing Help Center for release
While your Help Center is in setup mode, you can prepare it for release. During this time, end-users cannot view your Help Center.
These are some of the steps you can take to prepare your Help Center.
To prepare Help Center for release
- Do some planning for how your will build and launch your Help Center (see Lisa Painter's Fine tuning: "Blueprinting" your Help Center).
Also, check out our Pinterest page of beautiful Help Centers for inspiration.
- Adjust the look and feel of the Help Center in setup mode.
- Brand your Help Center by adding your product logo and your brand's colors and web fonts (see Branding your Help Center).
- Customize your Help Center. If you're a web designer or a web-savvy administrator, you can make more extensive customizations by editing the page code (see Using themes and templates to customize your Help Center). Also, check out the Help Center tips from our community.
- Test your design by viewing your Help Center as end-users or anonymous users.
Only agents and administrators can access the Help Center while it's in setup mode. To see what the Help Center looks like to end-users or anonymous users, click Preview in the Theme editor when customizing the Help Center, then select a role in the lower-right corner of your Help Center.
Be sure to test in different browsers. See the list of browsers supported by Help Center.
- Add your content to the Help Center.
- Create knowledge base categories and sections (see Organizing your Help Center knowledge base content in categories and sections).
- Add articles (see Working with articles in the knowledge base).
If you're starting from scratch, check out Best practices: Finding issues to populate your knowledge base.
- Restrict access to content as you'd like (see Restricting access to knowledge base content).
- If you are on Professional or Enterprise, create community discussion topics (see Managing Help Center community discussion topics). If you don't want community, you can disable it (see Disabling your Help Center community).
- Create localized versions of the Help Center if you have customers in other countries (see Localizing the Help Center).
- Add any Help Center managers (see Understanding Help Center roles and setting permissions).
Activating Help Center
When you're ready, you can activate your Help Center and make it live for end-users. You must be an administrator to activate Help Center.
To activate Help Center
- In the Help Center, click General in the top menu bar, then select Help Center settings.
- On the settings page, in the Activate Help Center box, click Activate.
- Click Activate again to confirm that you want to activate your Help Center.
- Click Enable spam filter or Don't enable spam filter (see Using the spam filter to prevent Help Center spam).
Your Help Center is activated and is now visible to end-users. If you need to deactivate your Help Center, see Deactivating your Help Center.