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Hosting a Knowledge Base Portal on your Website Using Custom URL

This article guides you through the process of hosting knowledge base portal on your website using custom URL.
A
Abdul Sameer
12 Mar, 2024 - Updated 3 months ago
Table of Contents

Introduction

Elevate customer support by hosting your Knowledge Base (KB) portal or Help Documentation on your company website with a custom URL. Provide seamless access to product documentation, FAQs, and helpful articles while maintaining your brand identity. Enhance user experience and streamline customer support with a centralized and customizable knowledge base. 

Benefits of Hosting KB on Your Website

The following are the benefits of hosting KB on your website:

  • Seamless Integration: Hosting the knowledge base on your website allows your customers to integrate other third-party applications easily.
  • Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Having the knowledge base on your website can increase your website's visibility and ranking on search engines.
  • Increased Traffic and Engagement: When the knowledge base is hosted on your website, visitors are more likely to explore other areas of your website, not just the knowledge base.
  • Data Ownership and Security: Hosting the knowledge base on your website ensures you have full control and ownership of the data published.
  • Enhanced Analytics and Insights: By hosting the knowledge base on your website, you can analyze and get insights on the published content.

Key Terminology

Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is a centralized repository of information, data, and resources that provide solutions to use the product.

SQLite

SQLite is a popular, lightweight, self-contained relational database management system (RDBMS).

Domain

It is a human-readable address used to identify and locate resources on the internet. It is essential for the URL to access websites, web pages, or other online resources.

Hosting KB Portal on your Website

Before hosting your KB portal on your website with a custom URL, there are a few things you need to ensure:

  • Your server must support PHP and run on Apache. This ensures that your website can handle the KB portal.
  • Your server should also have support for CURL and SQLITE3 in PHP. These are essential components for the KB portal to function properly.
  • Rewrite rules need to be enabled on your server. This configuration allows your website to display the KB portal correctly.

Once you have confirmed these prerequisites, you can follow these steps to host your KB portal on your website using a custom URL:

  1. Provide the domain and server where you want to host the KB portal. This is the web address people will use to access your portal.
  2. Contact Vtiger Customer Support to create a backup file with an SQLite file called kb/app/data/kb. SQLite
    1. The Operations team will create a backup file of your KB using the source code. This file is a database that holds the content of your KB portal. 

  3. Once you receive the backup file,
    1. Edit the backup file in the config table of the SQLite file.
    2. Find the entry with the name set to custom_url
    3. Add the value of your custom URL in the corresponding field. This step ensures your KB portal knows which URL it should be associated with.
  4. Host the backup file on your server. This means transferring the file to your server and making it accessible to visitors on the internet. 
    1. Note: The custom URL should point to the location where the backup file is hosted.
  5. Set the appropriate permissions for the files in the hosted directory. This ensures that the necessary operations can be performed on these files.
  6. In the PHP file config.inc.php, find the variable $site_URL and set its value to the URL of your CRM instance. This step connects your KB portal to your CRM system.
  7. In your CRM system, go to the Help Center Settings and enter the exact URL where your KB portal is hosted in the custom URL field. This step helps your CRM system recognize and link to the KB portal.

You can host your knowledge base portal on your website with a custom URL by following these steps. This will allow visitors to access your knowledge base and find the necessary information.

Have you bought a domain and want to use a custom URL to host your KB instead of the default CRM URL? Do not want to host (self-host) your KB by yourself? 
 
Vtiger provides you with the Redirect to the custom URL field in Article settings. After you set up your KB on a custom domain, you can configure your custom URL in this field. Enabling this field will redirect your documentation and display it on your KB. 
 
Note: This field is enabled by default.  
 
If you do not want the articles to be redirected, simply disable the field. Disabling the field will ensure that you can access the KB portal using the custom URL setup with the proxy URL.
 

Note: After the Operations team takes a backup of your instance, it is important not to make any changes to Articles, Articles Config, and FAQs in your CRM until the hosting process is completed and the portal is up and running. Changes made during this time will not be included in the hosted KB portal. Therefore, it's best to wait until the hosting is finished before further modifying your CRM's knowledge base.

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