How does it work
The Email Piping add-on (a.k.a. Inbox) connects your email account to WPHelpDesk. It periodically downloads emails from your inbox and converts them to tickets ready to be actioned by your support team.
You can see the last time your email account was checked for new emails on the Tickets page — you can trigger a manual check by clicking the refresh icon next to that notification.
When you reply to a ticket, the customer will receive the reply via email. Customers can reply directly to these emails and their replies will be imported to the same ticket in WPHelpDesk.
How to configure the plugin to import emails from your account
The Email Piping add-on can be installed like any other WordPress plugin. For more information, please check the relevant article in our documentation.
After it has been activated, visit the Email Piping tab in the Settings to configure it. (WP Admin -> WPHelpDesk -> Settings -> Email Piping)
There, you will be presented with a number of configuration options, split into two main categories.
Email Piping settings
In this section, you get to choose what happens when importing tickets from the email account. The available options are:
- Create an account for every user – When this option is enabled, a new WordPress user will be created for every imported email based on the sender’s email address. If the user already has an account, their existing account will be used instead.
- Send a ‘New ticket created’ email to the customer – When this option is enabled, the plugin will send the “New ticket created” email notification to the customer. Note that if this email notification is disabled in the relevant configuration, it will not be sent.
- Send a ‘New ticket created’ email to the agent – When this option is enabled, the plugin will send the “New ticket created” email notification to the agent. Note that if this email notification is disabled in the relevant configuration, it will not be sent.
- Send a ‘New reply to a ticket’ email to the agent – When this option is enabled, the plugin will send the “New reply to a ticket” email notification to the agent. Note that if this email notification is disabled in the relevant configuration, it will not be sent.
Next, you can configure the settings for the email notifications users receive when agents reply to imported emails, such as their format, their HTML template, and a footer you might want to add.
Email account settings
In this section, you can configure the connection details for the email account you want to import emails from.
To do so, first select an email provider between one of the predefined values (e.g. Gmail) or a custom one (“Other”). When an option is selected, the Connection Details section will appear.
There, you need to fill in all of the details. Depending on the provided selection, some fields might be pre-filled and disabled so you won’t have to fill those in. If you are unsure about some of the details, please contact your email provider and they should be able to provide all of the required details.
When the details are filled in, please click the “Test connection details” button. If the connection is successful, you will see a success message, the “Folder selection” section will appear, the “Test connection details” button will disappear, and the “Save” button will become enabled.
Finally, before clicking “Save”, please select the folder to import emails from, and the one to move imported emails to.
The folder that emails will be imported from could be your Inbox folder if you want to import all incoming emails, or a custom folder where you move emails manually or via an automated filter.
The folder that the emails are moving to for archival purposes must be different than the one emails are imported from.
How to identify tickets created by the email piping add-on
In the Tickets listing, tickets that were created from imported emails will display a folder icon instead of the usual ticket icon.
Note that when viewing a ticket’s details, you can change its type and make it behave as an email submitted one (and vice versa) by changing its “Reply Via” option to “Email” in the Ticket Details section.
Changing the frequency of importing emails
By default, the system will import emails using WordPress’s built-in mechanism for scheduled events, called WP-Cron. The frequency of when this is executed is controlled by WordPress itself.
If that doesn’t work for you, then you can utilise your server’s functionality to run cron jobs and schedule one that triggers an email import in the frequency that you want.
First, download this archive, unzip it, and upload the wphd-cron.php file to your main WordPress directory i.e. the directory where wp-admin, wp-content, and wp-includes directories are located at.
Then, create a new cron job in the frequency you prefer (e.g. every 10 minutes) and instruct it to run the following command (replace “your-domain.com” with your actual domain):
wget -q http://your-domain.com/wphd-cron.php
If you are not sure how to create a cron job on your server, please talk to your hosting provider who should be able to instruct you accordingly.