Community Tip: Deleted your help center content? Not to worry!

Community Tip: Deleted your help center content? Not to worry!

June 28, 2016
Community Tip: Deleted your help center content? Not to worry!

If, like myself, you have at one point or another run into the problem that you accidentally deleted some Categories, Sections or Articles from your help center then, up until recently, Zendesk was able to help out by restoring the data.

The policy has changed though and Zendesk no longer restores data that was deleted as a result of a mistake or incorrect use.

I’m sure you might be thinking “Well what am I going to do now if I accidentally delete some content?” and that is a very good question. I was in the same boat until I remembered, Google caches nearly everything!

I’ve gone ahead and included some steps below which allowed me to get nearly 100% of my content back. Please keep in mind that there is a little work involved in doing so, but it certainly beats having to recreate all content from scratch.

How it works
Google caches nearly every page on the internet it’s crawlers can reach so I used this to my advantage. I had recently generated a sitemap of our help center so this made life a lot easier for me.

Step 1: Getting the cached copies of your Help Articles
If you have a sitemap of your help center:

  1. Open your sitemap.xml file
  2. Copy each article URL into the address bar of your browser
  3. Prefix the article URL with http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:
    E.g. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:{domain}.zendesk.com/hc/{localisation}/articles/{article ID}

If you don’t have a sitemap of your help center:

  1. Prefix the base address of your help center with Google’s caching URL e.g. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.{domain}.zendesk.com/hc/
  2. Once you visit the cached help center home page you have the option of selecting your deleted Section, Category or Help Article
  3. You will then be displayed with a ‘Page not found’ error but that’s OK
  4. Prefix the URL in the address bar with http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:
  5. This will then retrieve the cached copy of that Category, Section or Help Article
  6. Using either of the above methods you should end up with your article page being displayed like shown below. Note: Please keep in mind that your help center may be styled differently but that does not matter for this guide.

    Step 2: Recreating the content
    Now that you can see the cached page go ahead and follow the steps below to get your content back:

    1. Select the ‘View source’ option at the top of the cached page
    2. Press CTRL + F and enter the following into the Search bar, this will bring you to the section where the articles content is:
    3. Copy everything between the opening and closing
      of that section, highlighted in red below (Article Content). You can also get the original Article Heading from the sources which is highlited in red above the Article Content
    4. Go to your help center and choose to Add a new Article
    5. Now select the Source Code < > button
    6. Paste the content you copied earlier into the Source Code window
    7. Click OK, you should now see your content populated in the Content section
    8. Enter the original Title for the article
    9. Select a Section to add the article to
    10. Select the Add button

    A few caveats can be found here.

    See more details about the features and versions of this tip.

    This Community Tip is from Felix Stubner, Helpdesk Lead at CompuCal.

    Keep the knowledge flowing! For more tips like this, check out Zendesk’s Tip of the Week collection.

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