We’ve gotten many requests in the past for a Help Center. It’s always a question of “Do we build our own help center?” or “Do we host our help center on Zendesk with a subdomain?” There is no right answer - and there’s nothing that I strongly prefer. If we were to build a Help Center for Finsweet, we would built it custom on Webflow. There would be no debate. Our design, look, and feel is of very high importance to us. We have the skills and expertise to build and maintain it. The decision to go Webflow custom of Zendesk must be based on the business needs, the skill level of the team managing it, and budget. The best way to understand the differences is with a pros and cons list.
Custom built in Webflow
- Looks awesome. Your Help Center will look better than 90%+ of all Help Center’s out there. Most are built on third party platforms that don’t have the design control we have in Webflow. You’ll have something noticeably cooler and more professional looking.
- More custom layout and structure. When we build it in Webflow, we have much more flexibility around the layout, style, and feel of the pages. The visual brand experience a user has on your primary site and your Help Center will be identical.
- More SEO juice. With custom built, we can keep the Help Center on the centiment.co. This will give the centiment.co domain more search power. The Help Center will be loaded with hot keywords that will drive people to your site. Note: Zendesk subdomain will also help your SEO, but won’t be as beneficial as having those keywords direct on your primary domain name
- Costs more money to build. We’re building a new branch of the CMS, new page designs, new development work. We’ll also have some custom scripts in there to expand the native functionality of Webflow CMS. A Help Center will add $5,000 - $20,000 on top of the project. Depends on the size and complexity of what we’re building.
- Maintenance / changes. If you want to make heavier updates to the Help Center, you may need us / a developer to jump in and make those update. Want to change how it works? Want to change how it’s organized? This could be become costly if you plan to change, update, and improve the Help Center over time
- You lose out on service-based features a platform like Zendesk offers
- Easy to set up. You can send a marketer into Zendesk and get everything set up within a few days. The platform is built for service and Help Centers, so you can look at it like a plug and play solution.
- Costs less money. Zendesk has a monthly cost, but it will come out to less money than the custom built solution. It would take around 4 years of Zendesk Professional Support Suite plan monthly ($89/month) to get to the $5,000ish price tag of the custom build. If you just need the Help Center, it’s $29/agent/month.
- You get get reporting, analytics, and service-based features in Zendesk. Check out how Support, Guide, Chat, and Talk can all work together to give you deeper insight into what people are looking at and how they can communicate with you. If you use Zendesk for support ticketing + Help Center, it can become a really valuable tool for you. Some of these tools/features may be relevant to you, some you may not care about or use.
- Looks ok at best. You have this new beautiful site and brand. When people go to the Help Center, they will see an obvious change in quality, style, and feel. There are some customization options to keep it on brand, but it will be noticeably less cool than your new website. You’ll never get a third party platform to look as good as your new site.
- On a subdomain. I always try to avoid subdomains if possible. You’ll see a bigger drop-off rate after people leave your primary site and go to a subdomain. The nav will change, the feel will change. Less people will navigate back to the primary site after going to the Help Center than the Help Center being on the primary domain.
- Potential limitations. Maybe you want to [do this custom unique thing in one of the posts]… you may not be able to do this with Zendesk. With Webflow + budget, we can do just about anything technically possible inside Webflow.
Questions? Concerns? Want to work with us? We're listening.