HelpSpot Help Desk Software | HelpSpot Blog | HelpSpot Support

Skins and user database



We’re considering getting helpspot to handle customer support for our website.
What I didn’t see from the features list is:

  1. Can we customize the appearance of the help system to our website? If so, what’s involved?
  2. We need to integrate the support system with our registration system, so that our customers (existing and new ones) don’t have to re-register in order to get support. We want to include the help system login details (user and password) with the automated emails we send after they purchase products.

Are these possible? If so, where can I get more information about it?



Hi Amir,

  1. Yes you can definitely skin the portal templates. Check out the tour page for some examples.

The templates are XHTML with some PHP, but it’s easy to customize even if you don’t know anything about PHP. In most cases you’ll just need to modify the header and footer templates.

  1. Unlike most help desk systems, HelpSpot has no login for the portal. This prevents any barriers from forming between your customers and receiving support. Because of this no integration like the one you describe is necessary.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.


Hi again,

My site is hosted in
Aparently, they don’t support Zend optimizer, and can only run Cron jobs once an hour (but not every 10 minutes).

Any way I can install the program like this?



Hi Amir,

Well the cron job isn’t a bit deal, your email would just be imported once an hour or you could even call the tasks.php file from an external source. However, you can’t run HelpSpot without the optimizer. We do partner with a hosting company who will host your HelpSpot installation. Perhaps that’s an option?

If so you could install HelpSpot locally to try it.



I got the reply from Pair. It says Zend Optimizer can be enabled. However, from what they write, I understand that it only applies to cgi-bin scripts. Is this what’s needed for your software to run?

This is the complete (canned) reply that I got:

  1. Enable the CGI version of PHP on your account by running these
    commands using a telnet/SSH terminal window:
cd /usr/www/users/USERNAME 
    mkdir cgi-bin (if it does not already exist)
    cp /usr/www/cgi-bin/php4.cgi cgi-bin/
    cp /usr/local/etc/php.ini cgi-bin/

In the first command above, replace “USERNAME” with your pair Networks

  1. Enable the CGI version of PHP in your .htaccess file (located either
    in /usr/www/users/USERNAME or in the directory of the script that you
    wish to run through Zend). Use a text editor (such as pico) to add
    the lines below to the .htaccess file:

    Action application/x-custom-php /cgi-bin/php4.cgi
    AddType application/x-custom-php .php

Remember to replace “USERNAME” with your pair Networks username in the
path above.

Please note that the effects of the .htaccess file will work on the
directory it is placed in and all of the directories below it. For
example, if the .htaccess file were placed into /usr/www/users/USERNAME,
then all PHP files for your entire site would run through Zend (unless you
specified otherwise ruther down the directory tree).

Otherwise, if you wish to impact only a certain directory under your Web
site, you should put the .htaccess file into that directory only.

  1. Enable Zend in your php.ini file (located in
    /usr/www/users/USERNAME/cgi-bin/). To enable Zend, you must
    uncomment the following lines by removing the leading “;” character.




Yep that’s what you need. You can run HelpSpot from any directory so you can put it in the cgibin if that’s where it needs to go.