Advanced Widget Customization with the Web SDK Follow

Because it is often the first place a customer looks when they want help, the Zendesk Chat Widget can serve as the voice of your website. So, to deliver a quality customer experience, it’s essential that the chat widget is customized to your specifications. In essence, it should look and feel like the rest of your brand.

Zendesk Chat already offers some simple widget customization options inside the dashboard, including the ability to style the chat button and chat window. Customers that require more advanced customization, like changing the font, can use our Javascript APIs.

These customization options give you plenty of choices for the look and feel of the chat widget, but not if you want to change the widget experience completely.

So, today we’re excited to introduce a new feature that will let you build your own widget. Introducing the Web SDK.


Create a unique chat experience with the Web SDK

The Web SDK lets you build a chat widget, that’s unique to your website. The sky’s the limit. Here are some examples of how you can build your own chat widget:

  • Give your customers more space to chat by creating a customized windows and docking it to the side of your website
  • Add your own logo and branding to make the widget fit your style
  • Use custom sound notifications to alert your visitor whenever a chat is incoming
  • Create entirely new interactions for customers when they start a chat, like adding a popup animation


Control the behavior of the widget

In addition to changing the look and feel of the chat widget, you can also modify its logic and behavior. For example, you can insert a pre-chat survey or use a chatbot to initially handle customer queries.

The Web SDK can interact with third party services, but Zendesk will not be able to support these behaviors.

Use in any language

The Web SDK has no limitations on language or localization. You can use standard web tools to localize your customized chat widget across your website. You’ll also have full control over all aspects of the widget copy, so you can decide exactly what our widget says to your customers.

How to get started

To build your own widget, check out the Web SDK documentation. Any customer on Chat Premium or on trial can use the Web SDK at no additional cost.

To see sample code using the Web SDK, you can look at the example we have built using React here.

Have more questions? Submit a request


  • 1

    Hi there,

    sounds like an interesting idea. However this Web SDK seems to require a lot of coding as well as the API before. That is a bummer.

    Is it not possible for you to develop some more options to choose from within the dashboard so that Zendesk Chat users that are not experienced with coding have also the possibility to customize the Chat widget a little further?

  • 0

    Hi Kundenbetreuung,

    Can you let us know what specifically you want to customize with the out-of-the box widget? Most of the customization flexibility is done via the Javascript APIs and the Web SDK, with the Javascript APIs having a lower barrier to implement.

    There is a community tip with a tool to make using the JS API easier:


  • 0

    Hi Ramin, thanks for your reply.

    We've posted a lot of ideas directly within your feedback forum and you always told us that we can only do this by using Web SDK or API.

    However, I think it does not make sense to tell you all the requests again, because they can be already found in the feedback forum.

    Overall it is kind of disappointing that there is - compared to a lot of other live chat competitors out there - not that much of customization options directly within the dashboard.

    We think that Zendesk is still more focusing on HelpDesk and Email ticketing software. Is that right?

    It would be nice if you'd start to offer some more options for the Chat product as well because there are so many other chat competitors out there and we are thinking about changing to another one for a longer time already.


  • 0

    Thanks Kundenbetreuung. I have commented on all your previous requests in the product feedback forum, was more curious if you had anything else.

    For significant customization functionality, we believe that allowing for Javascript APIs and now the Web SDK is the best route forward. Most customization requests are very specific to a customer or brand and it doesn't make sense to make the product/settings more complicated to please the minority of our customer base. 

    Zendesk is still fully committed to Chat, the Singapore office is primarily working on improving the chat product.


  • 0

    Hi, are there already recommendations/experiences on building chatbots instead of the currently rule-based responses? That would be a great improvement...

  • 0

    Hi there Joerg,

    Good question, we have a couple customers exploring the bot integration but nothing is live in terms of examples or testimonials that I can share with you. Most are using 3rd party bot frameworks and append the bot chat log to the Chat session using the sendChatMsg Web SDK API when it needs to be handed over to a real human agent. 

    As more customers adopt the Web SDK and build bot integrations, we can look into building additional content on best practices to share with others interested in building something similar.


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