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How to Add a Support Ticket System to a WordPress Site

updated on Jun 06, 2016
How to Add a Support Ticket System to a WordPress Site Responsive customer support is quite necessary for websites dealing with businesses online. Generally speaking, there are three main contact methods used for customer support, including live chat, phone, and support ticket system.

After offering the detailed instructions of adding live chat to WordPress sites, this time we are going to show you how to add an easy-to-manage support ticket system to WordPress.

To allow your clients or website visitors to submit support tickets, you can either use a third-party customer support software or service, or install a support ticket plugin which enables you to manage everything from the WordPress dashboard.

For this tutorial, we will focus on the latter solution only and introduce you a plugin named Awesome Support. This plugin is not an advanced option, and instead, it is easy-to-use, and can meet all the basic needs of small and medium sized sites.

If you don't like this plugin after following the guides below, that's OK. We will list several other popular support ticket plugins at the end of this post. Simply take a look at those alternatives.

Install and Set up the Awesome Support Plugin

Awesome Support comes with some great features. It is compatible with over 99% of the existing WordPress themes, so it can match your website design well. Besides, the built-in responsiveness makes submitting and viewing tickets on mobile devices a smooth experience, too.

Also, this plugin includes a fully functional ticket system, restricted access, email notifications, and many other user-friendly features.

Add a Support Ticket System to WordPress with Awesome Support

To make use of Awesome Support, you have to install the plugin and then follow the steps below to set it up.

Configure the general plugin settings

As the plugin includes a large number of settings, you have to spend some time going through all the available options and customizing the ones that can work in a better way you like.

After activating the plugin, you can go to Tickets > Settings immediately and do these things.
  • Selecting the default assignee of tickets.
  • Allowing users to register before submitting a ticket. Users registering on the support page are assigned a user role named "Support User" whose capabilities are limited to creating, viewing and closing tickets.
  • Changing the order that replies are displayed.
  • Hiding the closed tickets.
Awesome Support General Settings

Besides, you can also add terms and conditions easily by entering the content in the plugin settings. When terms are added, a checkbox will be displayed, and users must agree to the terms before they are able to submit a ticket.

Ticket Support Terms

Select the ticket pages

Upon activation, Awesome Support creates two pages on your WordPress site automatically. One page is named "Submit Ticket" which allows your users to submit tickets on the frontend of your site, and the other is named "My Tickets" on which users can view their tickets, submit replies, etc.

You have to select these pages in the plugin settings so they can work properly. If you don't like these automatically generated pages, you can also make custom pages for ticket submission and ticket list by using the corresponding shortcodes.

Support Ticket Pages

Enable email checking

People have to enter an email address when registering on your support page. Enabling email verification, therefore, helps prevent typos by making sure every email address is valid.

To enable email checking, you will need a MailGun API key. To get such a key, you need to visit MailGun and sign up for a free account. In the control panel, you will find the "API Keys" section easily.

MailGun API

Now, copy and paste the Public API key to Awesome Support.

Enable Email Checking

Customize the style

Under the "Style" tab, you are able to change the theme, enable editor for ticket description, and change the color for various ticket statuses. We suggest you leave the style options to the default and only customize the colors of the ticket statuses to make them more recognizable.

Customize Style

Set up email notifications

Awesome Support automatically sends out email notifications when a ticket is submitted, a ticket is assigned to an agent, a reply is submitted by an agent/client, and a ticket is closed. For these email notifications, you can customize the sender name, sender email and reply-to email as you like.

Set up Email Notifications

For each type of notifications, there is a pre-made email template which you can customize in any way. Also, you are able to enable or disable any notification at any time. You have complete control over the emails.

Email Templates

Configure the file uploads

In the ticket submission form, the plugin allows you to accept file uploads. You can enable or disable this capability, limit the number and size of the uploaded files, and define the file types that are allowed to use.

Configure File Uploads

Submit a Support Ticket by Using the Ticket System

After dealing with all the plugin's settings, you can visit the ticket submission page to see the submission form in action. Of course, if not logged in, your users will be required to log in or register a new account first before they can access the form. As soon as they are logged in, they will see the following form with which they can ask any question with optional attachments.

Ticket Submission Form

View and reply tickets

After submitting a ticket, your users can visit the tickets page to view all the tickets they have submitted and get information about the ticket status. Also, they can open new tickets on that page, and add more descriptions to any ticket by adding a reply, too.

View Tickets

As an admin, you are able to view the tickets submitted by your users in Tickets > All Tickets in the WordPress admin area.

Ticket List in WordPress Admin Area

Create tickets on behalf of a user

If you also offer customer support through phone or live chat, you may need to create tickets for your users regarding issues that need investigation while talking/chatting with them. In this case, you can do so by adding a new ticket in WordPress dashboard and then assigning the user as the ticket creator.

Create Tickets on Behalf of a User

Deal with Support Tickets from WordPress Dashboard

In Tickets > All Tickets, you can see all the open tickets, their current status, and the activities about them (creation time and replies). For each ticket, you get four actions to choose, including viewing, editing, closing, and moving to trash.

Deal with Support Tickets

To reply a ticket, you need to click on the "Edit" link, write a reply, and then click on the "Update Ticket" button.

Reply Support Tickets

As soon as a ticket is replied, the status will be updated to "In Progress" automatically.

Ticket Status

Now your users will be able to see the reply on the frontend of your site. If the problem is resolved, they can close the ticket. Alternatively, you may also close the ticket from the admin area.

Reply Tickets on the Frontend

Congratulations! You have set up a support ticket system successfully and learned about the basic usage and operations.

If you want more power from the Awesome Support plugin, you can take a look at the premium add-ons and purchase the ones you need. The available add-ons allow you to integrate the plugin with WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads, add a FAQ page on your WordPress site, add private notes, etc.

Awesome Support Add-ons

Alternative WordPress Support Ticket Plugins

Awesome Support is a great free solution for adding a support ticket system to WordPress. However, there are still some other good choices which you can consider. Below are three of the top ones.

WP Support Plus

WP Support Plus comes with the similar ticket submission features as Awesome Support, but it allows the ticket creator to set the category, priority and status of each ticket. Also, it offers agent-based ticket statistics, and supports guest submission.

WP Support Plus

Sola Support Tickets

Solar Support Tickets is also a free solution that enables you to create a ticket system that works. Email notifications are supported, and you can assign priorities to tickets for categorizing them. Besides, there are a large number of premium add-ons available for extending the functionality. The only demerit of the plugin is that the free version supports one agent only. For more support agents, you have to purchase an add-on.

Sola Support Tickets

JS Support Ticket

JS Support Ticket is an open source support ticket system that is simple and easy-to-use. It allows frontend ticket submissions, guest ticket creation, file attachments, ticket filters, priority selection, etc. Custom fields can be added to tickets easily, too. This plugin has both free and pro versions.

JS Support Ticket