HESK™ PHP Help Desk Software

HESK STEP BY STEP GUIDE

» Install HESK

Please take 5 minutes to read the installation instructions carefully and completely! This will ensure a proper and easy installation.

 

Before installing HESK you will need to obtain your MySQL database information, such as database name, database user and password. You need to get this information from your HOSTING COMPANY, HESK CANNOT help you find it.

 
TIP: For a small fee you can have HESK installed by the author himself, visit HESK installation service.

TIP: Want a hassle-free help desk working in minutes? Consider a remote help desk instead.
 

Installation steps:

  1. Connect with FTP to the public folder of your server where the rest of your Web site is.

    TIP: The public folder is usually called "public_html", "www", "site" or "htdocs".

    TIP: Learn how to FTP files, read my simple FTP and CHMOD tutorial

  2. Create a new folder where you will install HESK. Name it anything you like, for example "helpdesk" or "support".
    Example: /public_html/helpdesk
    Corresponding URL: http://www.site.com/helpdesk

  3. Upload folder "img" and images inside to your server in BINARY mode and all other HESK files and folders to your server in ASCII mode.

    TIP: Most FTP clients will select the proper transfer mode automatically.

  4. Make sure the following files/folders are writable by PHP:
    - file hesk_settings.inc.php - on Unix (Linux) servers CHMOD this file to 666 (rw-rw-rw-)
    - directory attachments - on Unix (Linux) servers CHMOD this directory to 777 (rwxrwxrwx)

    TIP: Learn to CHMOD files, read my simple FTP and CHMOD tutorial

    TIP: CHMOD doesn't work on Windows, you might need to ask your hosting company to set file permissions.

  5. Open hesk/install in your browser, for example (modify to your URL):
    http://www.site.com/helpdesk/install

  6. The HESK setup script will run. Click New install and follow instructions through 4 steps:

    • STEP 1: License agreement - read the HESK License agreement and confirm that you agree with the terms.
    • STEP 2: Check setup - the script will test your server to see if all required settings are correct and advise solutions to any problems.
    • STEP 3: Database settings - enter your MySQL database settings and the setup script will test them.
      You need to get correct MySQL database information from your hosting company!
    • STEP 4: Setup database tables - everything OK, the script will install MySQL tables.
       
  7. Before closing the upgrade script DELETE the "install" directory from your server!

  8. Well done, now it's time to setup your help desk! Click the Continue link in the install script or open the admin folder in your browser, for example:
    http://www.site.com/helpdesk/admin/

    If asked for a password login using default information:
    -> Default username: Administrator
    -> Default password: admin

    TIP: HESK passwords are CaSe SeNSiTiVe ("ADMIN" is not the same as "admin") while usernames are not.

  9. Click the Settings link in the top menu to get to the settings page (if not there already)

  10. Take some time and get familiar with all the available settings. Most should be self-explanatory, for additional information about each setting click the [?] link for help about the current setting.

    Don't forget to click the Save changes button at the bottom of the settings page to save your settings!

  11. Things to do next

    • Click the "Profile" link to set your name, e-mail, signature and *** CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD ***.

    • To create additional staff accounts visit the "Users" page. The default user (Administrator) cannot be deleted.

    • Add new categories (departments) on the "Categories" page. The default category cannot be deleted, but it can be renamed.

    • You can create canned responses on the "Canned responses" page. These are pre-written replies to common support questions.

    • To access and manage your knowledgebase click the "Knowledgebase" link.

      Knowledgebase is a collection of answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) and articles which provide self-help resources to your customers. You can arrange articles into categories and sub categories.

      A comprehensive and well-written knowledgebase can drastically reduce the number of support tickets you receive and save a lot of your time.

     
  12. Customers can submit tickets and browse knowledgebase by visiting the main HESK folder, for example:
    http://www.site.com/helpdesk

  13. If you have problems/questions see the "HELP and Troubleshooting" section further down.

  14. Support HESK development by purchasing a license

  15. Good luck using HESK!
     

» Upgrading from old versions

Please take 5 minutes to read the upgrade instructions carefully and completely! This will ensure a proper and easy upgrade.

Known upgrade issues

TIP: Perform the upgrade in low-traffic hours when your Web site receives the least amount of visits.

Upgrade steps:

  1. BACKUP YOUR EXISTING HESK DATABASE AND FILES
    ... or don't blame me if something goes wrong.

    TIP: Most hosting companies allow you to backup files and databases from your control panel. Contact your host if not sure how to do that.

  2. Delete or rename these HESK files/folders on your server:
    - /language
    - hesk_style.css
    - secimg.inc.php

    HESK upgrade script might instruct you to delete some additional files.

  3. Upload HESK files to your server EXCEPT these ones (do NOT upload these files):
    - hesk_settings.inc.php
    - header.txt
    - footer.txt

    The "img" folder and images inside must be transferred to your server in BINARY mode and all other HESK files and folders in ASCII mode.

  4. Make sure the following files/folders are writable by the script:
    - file hesk_settings.inc.php - on Unix (Linux) servers CHMOD this file to 666 (rw-rw-rw-)
    - directory attachments - on Unix (Linux) servers CHMOD this directory to 777 (rwxrwxrwx)

  5. Open hesk/install in your browser, for example:
    http://www.site.com/helpdesk/install

  6. HESK setup script will show up on the install URL. Click Update existing install and follow instructions. The update consists of 4 steps:

    • STEP 1: License agreement - read the HESK License agreement and confirm that you agree with the terms.
    • STEP 2: Check setup - the script will test your server to see if all required settings are correct and advise solutions to any problems.
    • STEP 3: Database settings - check your MySQL database settings and the script will test them.
      The settings must be the same as with your old HESK installation
    • STEP 4: Update database tables - everything OK, the script will update your existing MySQL tables to version 2.1.
       
  7. Before closing the upgrade script, DELETE the "install" directory on your server!

  8. Open admin panel (http://www.site.com/helpdesk/admin) and login with your username. If the password doesn't work anymore try reseting it.

  9. Test HESK to make sure the upgrade was successful and everything works.

  10. If you own a HESK license you might need to download a new one.

    If not, consider supporting HESK by purchasing a license.

  11. Good luck using HESK!
     

» HELP and Troubleshooting

1. What is CHMOD and FTP?

I prepared a simple FTP and CHMOD tutorial that will help you FTP files to your server and set correct CHMOD settings.
 

2. I did CHMOD hesk_settings.inc.php and attachments folder, but I still get an error.

CHMOD doesn't work on all servers, Windows (IIS) servers, for example, don't understand CHMOD command. You need to make sure the Internet Guest Account (IUSR) has permission to modify, write and read the required files. Further instructions can be found HERE (username: php password: php).

In case you still can't get it to work, contact your hosting company and ask them to set modify/write/read permissions for file hesk_settings.inc.php and directory attachments.
 

3. The security image doesn't show up correctly.

For the image to work your server must have GD library installed. You can test if your server supports all the required functions; upload gd_test.php file to your server then open it in your browser. If you get an error or empty page when opening gd_test.php you should either ask your hosting company to install the GD library for PHP or disable the anti-SPAM image in the HESK admin panel under "Settings".
 

4. The installation (or upgrade) script doesn't move from the "License agreement" page.

You did check that you agree with the license agreement, didn't you? In that case your server probably has problems with PHP sessions. Download Session test files, upload them to your server and open session_test.php in your browser.

Click the CLICK HERE FOR PAGE 2 link. If you get "$_SESSION['test'] is set to:" FALSE contact your hosting company and ask them to check if PHP session are working normally. If you get TRUE instead of FALSE the problem is something else, try searching for help PHPJunkyard Support forum (username: php password: php).
 

5. I get an Your session has expired error when trying to login to admin panel.

Your server probably has problems with PHP sessions. Download Session test files, upload them to your server and open session_test.php in your browser.

Click the CLICK HERE FOR PAGE 2 link. If you get "$_SESSION['test'] is set to:" FALSE contact your hosting company and ask them to check if PHP session are working normally. If you get TRUE instead of FALSE the problem is something else, try searching for help PHPJunkyard Support forum (username: php password: php).
 

6. HESK doesn't send out ticket e-mails

HESK uses the standard PHP mail() command so if sending out e-mails isn't working there are two common problems:

  1. Some servers restrict sending e-mails from scripts to local domains only (i.e. domains hosted on the server). If you can receive e-mails to something@YOURDOMAIN.com but not to third-party domains (for example something@YAHOO.com) this is probably the case. Contact your hosting company and ask them to remove the restriction.
  2. If no e-mails at all are sent then the PHP mail() function is probably not configured properly. Contact your hosting company and ask them to check if PHP mail() is enabled and working correctly.
     

7. File uploads don't work.

For file uploads to work your server must have file.uploads enabled in the PHP configuration and the attachments folder must be writable by HESK. There are also other PHP settings that can limit file uploads, especially the size and number of attachments. Usually keeping the attachment size limit under 2 Mb (2048 Kb) works, but also try lower values, for example 0.5 Mb (512 Kb).

Important PHP settings for file uploads are upload_max_filesize, upload_tmp_dir, post_max_size and max_input_time directives in php.ini. If you are not sure what your settings are, you will need to contact your hosting company and ask them what file size limits should you use for file uploads.
 

8. What do statuses mean (New, Replied, Waiting Reply, Resolved, In Progress, On Hold)?

9. I am still having problems!

  1. Visit HESK Knowledgebase

  2. Search HESK Support forum (username: php password: php)
     

 

Since this script is free no support is guaranteed. If you can't get the script to work please go through this readme file again carefully and repeat the installation step-by-step (delete old files and folders from the server then try again).

» Email piping

HESK comes with limited support for email piping - creating tickets from incoming emails.

To enable email piping for your help desk please follow this email piping tutorial.
 

» Customize the look

» Translate HESK to your language

HESK supports multiple languages, translating it to your language is easy.

To translate HESK read How do I translate HESK.
 

» Customize email messages

To customize email messages sent by HESK read Customize email templates.
 

» More FREE PHP Scripts

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