Removal of Web portal from Zendesk Follow

Announced on Development ends Removal  
November 30, 2015 August 1, 2016 November 1, 2016  
Zendesk Web Portal reached its End of Life date on November 1, 2016. You will no longer be able to access this deprecated feature. If you did not enable a Help Center prior to November 1, 2016 your Web Portal is automatically migrated to Help Center.

Zendesk Web portal is being removed. We will discontinue development on August 1, 2016, and you will no longer be able to access your Web portal beginning on November 1, 2016.

If you are currently using Web portal, you need to move to Help Center.

Need help migrating from Web Portal? Watch the recorded webinar to help you make the move from Classic agent interface, Web Portal, or Feedback tab. Watch now.

This article covers the following topics:

What does this mean?

Between the announcement and end of development, Zendesk will not make any feature enhancements to Web portal, but will continue to make minor bug and security fixes at our discretion.

When development ends on August 1, 2016, Zendesk will no longer address bugs and minor issues specific to Web portal. We will continue to resolve any major breakage in functionality until the end of life date.

On August 1, 2016, Zendesk will no longer provide support for Web portal. We will continue to support efforts to migrate from Web portal to Help Center.

After removal on November 1, 2016, you and your end-users will no longer be able to access your Web portal. You should enable Help Center and migrate your Web portal content before this date.

If you do not migrate to Help Center before November 1, 2016, your Web portal content will be automatically migrated to Help Center in setup mode. Your Help Center will not be activated/published, and your end-users will not be able to access it. You will need to manually activate your Help Center so that it is available to end-users. 

Why is Zendesk removing this?

A new self-service option, called Help Center, was released in August 2013 to replace Web portal. Help Center offers out-of-the box design options, easier customization, and improved features.

Maintaining an older version of a feature or product when a new version is available limits our ability to ensure a valuable experience with the new functionality and takes time away from supporting the new functionality.

For more details, see the Zendesk End of Life policy, How much notice will Zendesk give for feature deprecations.

Am I affected?

If you are currently using Web portal as your customer portal for support requests and your knowledge base, you are affected.

To check if you are using Web portal, click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Channels > Web portal. If you have this menu option and the Web portal settings are enabled, then you are using Web portal.

What do I need to do?

You need to migrate your Web portal content to Help Center. You can do so in Help Center set up mode, while still using your Web portal. Then activate your Help Center anytime before November 1st, 2016.

For more information, see Migrating from Web portal to Help Center and the Help Center migration checklist.

What happens if I didn't migrate before the removal date?

There are three main scenarios for the automatic Web Portal migration, depending on your set up:

  • Web Portal Only
  • Web Portal and Help Center in Setup Mode with copied Web Portal Content
  • Web Portal and Help Center in Setup Mode without copied Web Portal Content

Web Portal only

If you have a Web Portal and have never enabled your help Center, your Web Portal content will be automatically migrated to Help Center in setup mode starting November 1, 2016.

In this case, your Help Center is not activated/published, and your end-users will not be able to access it. You will need to manually activate your Help Center so that it is available to your end-users. After you activate your Help Center, Web Portal links will redirect users to Help Center.

Help Center has a spam cleanup tool to assist with cleaning up spam before you publish your new Help center. You need to enable the spam filter to run a spam check on all your migrated content.

Web Portal and Help Center in setup mode with copied Web Portal content

 f you have a Web Portal and you have enabled Help Center in setup mode and manually copied content to your Help Center, your Web Portal content will not be re-copied before your Web Portal is disabled. This is because copying your Web Portal content overwrites Help Center content entirely and cannot be rolled back.

Follow these steps if you want to recopy your Web Portal content to your Help Center before your Web Portal is disabled. When you are ready, you will need to manually activate your Help Center so that it is available to your end-users.

Web Portal and Help Center in setup mode without copied Web Portal content

If you have a Web Portal and you have enabled Help Center in setup mode, but you have not manually copied Web Portal content to Help Center, your Web Portal content will not be copied to Help Center before your Web Portal is disabled. This is because copying your Web Portal content overwrites Help Center content entirely and cannot be rolled back.

Follow these steps if you want to copy your Web Portal content to your Help Center before your Web Portal is disabled. When you are ready, you will need to manually activate your Help Center so that it is available to your end-users. 

Frequently asked questions

How do I know if I'm using Web portal?

To check if you are using Web portal, click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Channels > Web portal. If you have this menu option and the Web portal settings are enabled, then you are using Web portal.

What should I do if I'm not using Web portal and I don't want a Help Center?

If you are not using your Web portal and you do not want Help Center, email us at maketheswitch@zendesk.com and ask us to deactivate your Web portal.

How do I migrate my content?

The migration process copies the content on your Web portal to your Help Center. You cannot exclude select content, including spam, from the content migration process.

To get started, follow the steps in the Migrating your Web portal section of our migration guide.

Do I have to migrate my tickets?

No. Your tickets remain in your Zendesk. What changes is the interface your end-users use to submit tickets and view/access their tickets. The tickets themselves do not change. 

I have a lot of spam. Can I exclude it from the migration?

The migration process copies all the content on your Web portal to your Help Center, including spam. Here are some ideas that might help with spam.

  • Before you migrate content to Help Center: It's a good idea to delete spam from your Web portal, if possible, before migrating your content to Help Center. You have to do so manually.

    If you are going to continue using Web portal a bit longer before you migrate to Help Center (keeping in mind you must migrate before November 1, 2016), consider enabling spam prevention, if you haven't already. And be sure to see our best practices for preventing forum spam.

  • After you migrate content to Help Center: Consider enabling the spam filter. And if you are on Professional or Enterprise, you can turn on content moderation for Help Center.

How is content migrated from my ideas, questions, and articles forums?

Web portal content is copied to the Help Center knowledge base or community. The choice depends on the forum type in the Web portal. The Web portal supports three forum types:

  • Question forums let users ask questions and encourage others to answer questions or vote for answers.
  • Idea forums let users suggest ideas and also comment and vote on ideas posted by others.
  • Article forums are used to build an official knowledge base.

The basic copying rules are as follows:

  • Idea and question forums are copied to the community.
  • Article forums where end-users cannot post are copied to the knowledge base.
  • Article forums where end-users can post are copied to the community.

For more information, see How your content is copied to Help Center.

I have lots of custom widgets, what should I do?

You can customize your Help Center theme while in setup mode before making your Help Center active. See the Customizing the Help Center in setup mode section of our migration guide.

What if I don't have coding expertise to set up Help Center

You don't need coding expertise to set up Help Center. There are multiple themes for you to select from. See Using themes and templates to customize your theme.

Is there feature parity between Web portal and Help Center?

Help Center shares many similarities with Web portal. And while there are several new or improved features that Help Center offers, especially around customizing, there are some features that Web portal has that Help Center does not.

The following Web portal features are not available in Help Center: 

  • View who is subscribed to an article/question/section
  • View who voted on an article/question
  • Create separate communities by language
  • Mark multiple comments as answers to a question 
  • Reverse order of comments
  • HTML (or alternatively WYSIWYG) in forum descriptions
  • Attach files (inline images is possible though)
  • Second level of organization in the Community (posts are organized into discussion topics only)
  • Option for end-users to view only solved and closed tickets in their requests list

What new features does Help Center have that Web portal doesn't have?

Help Center offers several improvements, including:

  • A separate community platform
  • More than one site-wide design out of the box
  • Access to the site's HTML, CSS, JavaScript,
  • Simplified handling of translated content
  • Support for draft articles 

What happens to content subscriptions? 

All content subscriptions remain in place after content is migrated to Help Center. Users do not need to resubscribe to content. 

I use the Web portal API. What will happen to that?

The Web Portal API will be deprecated along with the Web Portal itself. Attempting to use any Web Portal API endpoint after formal deprecation will result in 404 errors.

Help Center has an API, and there is also a Community API. See our Help Center API documentation. Alternatively if you need to submit requests through our API, there's an endpoint for that, too!

What happens to language restricted content?

The articles in a language-restricted forum are migrated to a separate knowledge base section that only Help Center managers and agents can view. You must manually add the translated articles to the records of the original articles to make them available in other languages.

See the Add your translation content section of our migration guide.  

Can my customers still submit and manage their requests?

Yes. Help Center offers options for end-users to submit and manage request. See Submitting and tracking support requests.

Can I use Help Center for my customers to submit and manage requests only?

Yes. If you currently use Web portal for requests-only, and you don't have any self-service content, you can customize Help Center so that your end-users can only submit and manage requests. This is an advanced customization. See Setting up a requests-only Help Center

Can I migrate my Web portal customizations?

No. The migration process copies the content on your Web portal to your Help Center. It does not copy any layout or design customizations, or widgets.  

Will my Web portal be available to customers while I set up my Help Center?

Yes! When you enable Help Center it is in setup mode and hidden from your customers. During that time, your customers can still access your Web portal.

Can I access Web portal after I activate my Help Center?

No. Activating Help Center permanently deactivates your Web portal and redirects all end-users, agents, and administrators to Help Center. You will not be able to access your Web portal again after you activate your Help Center.

How will my customers access Help Center?

You customers will use the same URL to access Help Center after it is activated.

Will my links to Web portal content be broken?

No, your links will not be broken. The URLs for any migrated content will be different in Help Center, but an automatic redirect is created for every URL during the migration.

Is there anything to help me figure out where things are in Help Center compared to Web portal?

Yes! This support tip compares the UI and settings in Web portal and Help Center.

Who should I contact if I need help or have questions? 

Please contact maketheswitch@zendesk.com with any additional questions. 

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