Zendesk’s upgraded Web Widget lets you embed messaging functionality in your website, help center, or mobile app to provide support to your users. It replaces the legacy Web Widget, now called Web Widget (Classic). Web Widget (Classic) will be phased out in the future, as Zendesk moves towards a more integrated support model.
You cannot use both Web Widget and Web Widget (Classic) on a Zendesk account – only one can be embedded in a help center, website, or mobile app. For this reason, it’s important to understand what functionality each widget can (and cannot) provide to your agents and end users.
Please note that while the upgraded Web Widget includes many new abilities and benefits, there are also a few features in the legacy Web Widget (Classic) that are not yet available in the messaging widget. We are actively working towards feature parity between the Web Widget and Web Widget (Classic), and do not plan on removing Web Widget (Classic) until this is achieved.
This article includes the following topics:
- About the widgets
- Determining the widget you want
- Determining the widget you have
- Capabilities comparison table
About the widgets
Each widget lets you provide multiple support options to your customers. However, there are a number of differences between the two, and it’s important to understand the functionality and benefits offered by each.The key difference between the widgets is that Web Widget gives you access to Zendesk’s messaging functionality, and Web Widget (Classic) does not. See the Capabilities comparison table for a list of functionality differences.
If you created your Zendesk Suite account after November 2, 2021, Web Widget and messaging functionality is available by default.. Accounts created prior to that date must opt-in to messaging and the Web Widget.
- Live agent interactions to address support issues that can't be resolved automatically.
- Help center articles that can point customers to self-solve their issues.
- Personalized quick-reply options so customers can respond to questions with a single click.
- Support ticket creation to connect the problem-solving path to the conversation.
- Persistent conversations so both agents and customers can view past interactions for greater insight into their ongoing support relationships.
- Email notifications to let customers know when an agent has responded, untying them from their devices while waiting for assistance.
- Social channel integration so customers can switch from messaging to your available social channels, and back again, during the same conversation.
- Automatic conversation translation to communicate effectively across language barriers.
Web Widget also gives admins and agents access to the following features and functionality:
- Customizable widget frame and launcher so you can choose colors, text, and logos to design the look and feel for your widget.
- A fully-functional default messaging response to greet customers and gather contact information.
- A more advanced, customizable bot to respond to any customer queries you anticipate.
- Flow Builder, the click-to-configure tool for designing bot flows.
- Integration with Agent Workspace so agents can step in and answer a message at just the right time with all the relevant information they need to help a customer.
- Operating hours to create separate responses for online and offline hours.
Web Widget (Classic)
Web Widget (Classic) is Zendesk’s longstanding channel for providing multiple ways to deliver support and communicate to customers. It doesn’t allow you to embed messaging functionality, but similar capabilities can be provided to your users with standard Zendesk products.
If you created your account prior to November 2, 2021, you have access to Web Widget (Classic) by default, and need to opt-in to messaging to use the messaging Web Widget. If you currently have the messaging widget, you need to disable messaging to use Web Widget (Classic).
Web Widget (Classic) includes the following support options when embedded in your website, help center, or mobile app:
- Answer Bot article recommendations, including restricted article access for authenticated users.
- Live chat with agents for text-based conversations.
- Contact number and callback requests for those who prefer phone conversations.
- Customized contact forms to create Support tickets they can follow through the solution process.
Determining the widget you want
Choosing between the Web Widget and Web Widget (Classic) depends on the support functionality you want to offer your customers.
The information above can help you determine which widget is right for you. See the following articles for more guidance:
Determining the widget you have
You can determine which widget you currently have access to by looking at your messaging settings.
To view your messaging settings
- In Admin Center, click Channels in the sidebar, then select Messaging and social > Messaging.
- Click Manage settings.
If you see the green Enabled label, or if Enable messaging for your account is selected, you have access to the messaging Web Widget:
Capabilities comparison table
The table below lists the capabilities available in one or both widgets.
|Capability||Web Widget (Messaging)||Web Widget (Classic)|
|[Support] Create tickets from interactions||Y||Y|
|[Support] Business hours||Y||Y|
|[Support] Custom fields in forms||Y||Y|
|[Support] Contact forms||N (simple data capture available)||Y|
|[Support] Banning visitors||N||Y|
|[Support] Multiple brands||Y (one widget per brand)||Y (one widget per brand)|
|[Support] Out of office trigger||Y||Y|
|[Support] Adding tags from specific pages||N||Y|
|[Support] Advanced customization||N||Y (Via API)|
|[Support] Sandbox access||Y||Y|
|[Talk] Request callback||N||Y|
|[Talk] Make a call||N||Y|
|[Messaging/live chat] Live conversations||N (similar functionality)||Y|
|[Messaging/live chat] Proactive chat||N||Y|
|[Messaging/live chat] Automatic text translation||Y||Y|
|[Messaging/live chat] CSAT||Y||Y|
|[Messaging/live chat] Conversation persistence||Y||N|
|[Messaging/live chat] SBR||N||Y|
|[Messaging/live chat] Conversational bot||Y||N|
|[Messaging/live chat] Flow Builder||Y||N|
|[Messaging/live chat] Multiple users in conversation||Multi-agent only||Multi users (agent or end user)|
|[Messaging/live chat] Social messaging channel switching||Y||N|
|[Messaging/live chat] Continuous conversations||Y||N|
|[Guide] Article recommendations (standard Answer Bot)||Y||Y|
|[Guide] Article suggestions (enhanced Answer Bot)||Y||N|
|[Guide] Contextual help/search||N||
|[Guide] Access to restricted help center content||N (coming soon)||Y|
|Widget customization: Automated text/conversations||Y||N|
|Widget customization: Appearance||Y||Y|
Re: Access to restricted help center content = "N (coming soon)" for the Messaging web widget, this is a feature that is blocking us from using the widget within our application. Is there an ETA?
Will there be API's for customizing the web widget like there are for the classic one? (https://developer.zendesk.com/api-reference/widget/introduction/) Depending on where we put the widget, we would like to change the looks along with modify things such as the icon and AI avatar.
How do my chats from knowledge base get created as tickets?
Tickets are automatically created for chats. Are you experiencing an issue where you're not seeing a ticket for a chat?
I see in the article that the Web Widget (classic) will be phased out in the future. Is there any ETA? How long will it be available?
We'll make a formal announcement with advance notice once a timeline has been determined. Follow our Announcements section to receive notifications of our important product announcements.
Thanks for the information Christopher Kennedy,
I guess it is too early to ask, but will there be guides/tutorials to help migrating? I am asking this because we are currently using the Web Widget Classic in some of our products front-ends with advanced customization via its API.
Hey Julien Maneyrol,
We do have some documentation available currently that provides guidance on the migration process:
We'll be updating existing documentation and providing more information as the Zendesk Web Widget nears feature parity with the Web Widget (classic).
I hope this helps!
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