April 2019 Product Updates

The past month has been pretty intense. But in a good way 😬. Sebastian joined the Customer Education team. I went on a 10-day jolly vacation to renovate my new house 🏚. And as usual, the team shipped truckloads of features, fixes, and tweaks to make your lives a little easier 🚛.

Lighthouse Tweaks and Touches 💡

First up, Lighthouse got a lot of love. We improved load times and added yet another contact method. We also added a bunch of new customization tweaks to the already pretty extensive config. Because you can never have too much config, amirite?! 😊

Display: Left

Apparently, widgets live in the bottom right corner of our screens. I don’t know when that happened. Or why. But it’s a thing now. Everyone’s at it!

But what if you’re a maverick? What if you’re looking to buck the trend and drop your Lighthouse widget on the left-hand side? gasp 😱

Well, the great news is we’ve got you covered. Call us visionaries, 'cause we’ve now added a bottom left display option amongst the plethora of config options.

Don’t worry it won’t break the internet. Just the mold! 😬

Less aggressive HTML cleaning

We shout at HTML less.

checks notes

Wait, no that’s not right. 🤔

Basically, by default HTML cleaning stripped pretty much everything out of the Lighthouse articles.

Things like span and div were ripped from our articles in the pursuit of functionality and uniformity.

Trouble was, that felt a little bit harsh. So now, less ripping. We’ve added an option to leave more of the HTML stuff in there. 😊

Do Better with Less

We’re always looking for ways to improve load times. Because fast is never fast enough.

We’ve done some serious work to get that uptick in Lighthouse.

It used to be that we’d load all your article bodies on page load. And while this wasn’t a huge burden, it was an area we could improve on.

Now, we only log the article body when the article is viewed. Which means faster overall load time.

I know, I know. It was never slow in the first place. I guess the good news is, it’s now even more "not slow". Or is it less not not fast. Faster than less slow? 🙄 I’m pretty sure one of those makes sense.

Zoom Zoom! 🏎

GoSquared Integration

Finally, we’ve added another new contact form integration, this time with the fantasmical (it's a word) peoples (not a word) at GoSquared.

Now, you can go ahead and hook up HelpDocs and GoSquared to use them as your contact/ticket management software.

To get started, simply drop the GoSquared snippet above the Lighthouse snippet in the page and you're away. 💪


One of the most exciting things about our shippings from the past month is a slight shift toward team-focused and collaborative features within the admin app.

It's beautiful really. As we've grown the team, we've grown the team features.

So we've shipped things like collision detection to stop overlapping on editing and bulk user invites. Because it’s good to share. Sharing’s caring after all!

Track The Who, What, Where, and When!

By far my favorite feature of the past month is our brand spangly new Audit trail. ✨

With Audit, as administrators, you get to see exactly what your team members are working on. You can see who’s creating, reading and updating articles. Or who mistakenly deleted that super important article. 🙈

You can add specific date restrictions, and limit the results to specific users.

To get started, head to your HelpDocs dashboard and click on Audit.

Audit basically means you can keep on top of everything going on in your knowledge base without having to rely on guesswork or your super-mad detective skills. 🕵🏽‍♂️

Websockets: They who Save Last Save Longest?

Teamwork on articles in HelpDocs has been a bit of a tricky one. The problem was if 2 people were working on the same article and both saved—one immediately after the other—the final edit would be the “winner”.

While we had some collision detection, it wasn't as powerful as it is now. So if Jake someone had worked for hours and hours on an article only to find out Matt Jo the intern saved right after they did and overwrote their work, they'd be understandably pissed.

Well, turn that frown upside down. ‘Cause now we’ve added collision detection.

Now when there’s someone editing the article, a live notification box shows up at the top of the text editor to clearly telling me Jo the intern to come back later.

You’re welcome! 😇

Bulk User Invites

When you’ve got a team of 50 users, it got pretty irritating adding them one-by-one.

It's gonna get old super quick. 🧓🏻

The great news is now we’ve added the ability to bulk invite users into a specific role.

The even better news is the workflow is identical to adding a single user. You just, well, add more email addresses to Settings>User Management>Invite Member>Email(s) box. 😁

Hooray for not having to learn anything new!

Smaller, but No Less Important

New Features

  • Usability Highlights
    When reordering, some users were confused about where articles ended and categories began. Now we use a helpful highlight to show which categories are currently expanded.

  • To Embed or not to Embed
    Ever wondered where you can embed media from? Well, wonder no more. Cause we tell you. In the embed bit. After you hit the Embed button in the text editor. We also added format hints when you hover over each platform’s logo, showing what URL convention you should be aiming for. Cool right?!

  • Marketing Site - Workshops
    There's no way I’d write a product updates post without highjacking the post for my own nefarious means. This time, it's highlighting one of our latest ventures on the Customer Education Workshops. Twice a week we host live group workshops to run through specific questions that existing and potential users might have. Go ahead and book yourself into a session here. Make this whole ordeal worthwhile.


  • Non-Latin? Does not compute: If you ran into trouble using Cyrillic characters in heading IDs apparently you weren't alone. You might have felt it though. Don't worry, we took a look and added more support for languages that use non-Latin characters. Пожалуйста
  • Images forcing HTML lists: Users reported a bug where using an image as the first thing in an ordered list turned the whole thing into an HTML block. Yeah, we weren’t sure why either! Don’t worry though. It’s all patched up now.
  • Heading Heading Heading Heading: We launched a way to link to specific headings with automatic heading IDs. We found out duplicate headings were resulting in duplicate IDs. We decided it wasn't ideal. So we added numbered iteration to duplicate headings.
  • Leading styles: In the Curve template, the first sentence of articles were appearing a couple of pixels bigger than the rest of the article. It was playing havoc with Jarratt’s OCD so we changed it. Now it’s all uniform and wonderful.
  • Logout link broke: The logout link broke. We fixed it. A riveting story, I’m sure you’ll agree. Dragons were a nice touch. Crap I forgot the dragons.
  • Couldn’t cancel scheduled Stale: Stale makes managing out of date articles a lot easier. Unless you wanted to predict schedule when your article was going to go Stale. ‘Cause then we kinda forced you to stick to it. Instead of making you hedge your bets, now you can just cancel. Don’t all thank me at once.
  • No checkbox for orphaned articles: Unassigned articles didn’t carry a selectable checkbox for bulk editing. This seemed cruel after all the poor things were already orphans. Now we’ve restored equality in the world and given unassigned articles the checkboxes they deserve.
  • Updated Vidyard URL scheme: Anyone who caught my absolute balls up of a HelpDocs Live Session... no not that one... or that one. Ok, anyone who caught the specific video embed live session that didn't go to plan might recall me struggling to embed Vidyard into HelpDocs articles. Well, I'm vindicated so the joke's on you. Turns out they’d updated their URL scheme. So we’ve updated on our side too. Now, maybe I won’t look like so much of an idiot. Fine, I'm still an idiot, but at least it's on my terms.
  • SSO users blocked from non-SSO teams: If a user had initially signed up with an SSO account a bug stopped them logging into non-SSO accounts. We figured that wasn't ideal so we fixed it. Because we're sso awesome... see what I did there? crickets