Publishing allows you to select, organize, test and publish items that you create in the WalkMe Editor to your Test or Production environments. In the Publish menu you determine the organization of the menu, the environment you wish to publish to and the specific items you want to make available on that environment.
The Short Version
Publishing is an important part of the building process. Whether it’s to test out your implementation on a sandbox environment or release it to your users, you’ll need to understand how to properly configure and publish your WalkMe items. Publishing makes the items you create available on a server, but in order for a user to see your published items they need to have the associated snippet running in their browser. Learn more about the WalkMe snippet.
Publication use cases include the following:
- Test WalkMe items on a Sandbox environment;
- Remove WalkMe Items from an environment by archiving them;
- Organize and configure how items appear in the WalkMe Menu;
- Publish items to your Production environment.
How It Works
Publishing WalkMe items saves them to an associated file on a server. This file has a unique ID (GUID) that matches the ID of your WalkMe Editor account.
When you click Publish, only the items you select will be published. Items that were already published do not need to be published again. You will receive a message notifying you of how many new items are about to be published.
Impact of Updates to the WalkMe Editor
WalkMe regularly updates the WalkMe Editor and we notify all customers in advance about upcoming feature releases. When the Editor is updated, the WalkMe items you currently have published are not affected. The Editor account and features included in it may change, but the files that you have published remain unchanged on the server.
To update items so they include new features from a product release, you must modify these items and re-publish them.
When publishing, you have the option to publish to one or more environments, such as Test or Production. These environments use the same ID code but their snippets are slightly different. For example, the Test snippet will have the same ID but include the word ”test” in the link.
Since each environment has a slightly different snippet, WalkMe views them as distinct; for example, when you publish an item to the Test environment, those published items are only available to users that have the Test snippet running in their browsers.
Having a unique snippet for each environment allows you to test different WalkMe items in a Sandbox or Staging environment before they are released to your end-users on a Production environment.
The WalkMe snippet runs in all major browsers and can be deployed by either manually writing it into the HTML of the website, or by inserting it using a browser extension.
Publishing Best Practices
WalkMe recommends the following seven-step process to help you prepare to publish your WalkMe items:
- Ensure the Snippet is implemented on your site: In order for WalkMe to work, it has to be implemented on your site. Learn more about the WalkMe Snippet.
- Go over design: WalkMe has pre-made themes or you can customize for yourself. Customizable components include step balloons, Launchers, the Player Menu, the widget, and much more using CSS. Check that the design and colors compliment your site and are consistent across applications.
- Add Goals: The usage graph in Analytics is only half of the information you need to track success. The best way to track success is to use Goals. Learn more about Goals.
- Set Unique User ID Settings: User tracking allows you to see if individual users are reaching their WalkMe goals. By enabling user tracking, you will be able to see an individual’s progress as well as their usage of all the other Apps in the WalkMe Analytics Module. There are a few ways to identify unique users. The easiest is to use WalkMe ID where each user will be assigned an ID. However other methods can be more accurate. WalkMe ID is useful for tracking large numbers of users, specifically for external sites. However, it is not ideal for internal sites where you want WalkMe to remember your user.For Salesforce users, WalkMe can track the Salesforce User ID. Learn more about Salesforce variables. For non-Salesforce users we recommend using variables. You can also use a Cookie or jQuery to identify your users. However, variables, Cookies, and jQuery will require you to supply a way to identify the user.
- Publish to Test Environment and Run Quality Assurance Tests: Make sure to test all of the items you plan to deploy. Testing ensures that your users have the best possible experience and don’t see breakages or broken links. Also, review text for typos and grammatical errors. Learn more about QA with the self-paced course Test Your Implementation on WalkMe University.
- Organize the menu: Use the Menu Organizer in the Publishing Menu to organize the order in which your items will appear in the Help and Task (if you have Onboarding) tabs. Learn more about organizing the WalkMe Menu below.
- Publish to Production: Make sure to promote WalkMe on your site. Try using a ShoutOut, attention grabber or sending an email to your users announcing it.
Previewing WalkMe Items
Before using the Publish menu, you have the option to preview your work while using the WalkMe Editor. This allows you to view how your implementation will work on the site, without having to publish anything or install the snippet in the site or browser window. While in preview mode, use the Flow Tracker to see what is happening when a Walk-Thru plays. Learn more about the Flow Tracker.
Using Selective Preview
In order to filter out noise that’s irrelevant to what you want to test, you can use Selective Preview to select items you want to see and prevent other items from appearing.
To do so, follow these steps:
- Select all items you’d like to preview;
- Choose Preview in the action box at the bottom;
- Only items you’ve selected will be previewed.
Organizing The Menu
WalkMe allows you to customize how your items appear in the Player Menu. In the left menu are all the items you’ve created in the Editor separated by Walk-Thrus, Resources and Shuttles (the three Apps that appear in the Player Menu). To add items to the menu, simply click and drag them to the End User View on the right side.
In the End User View on the right is a list of items that appear in the menu once they are published. All new items created in the Editor automatically appear here. To remove an item from the menu, simply hover over it and click the trash can. This removes the item from the menu but does not delete it. Return to the left column if you would like to add it back again. To change the order that items appear in the menu, simply click and drag them up or down in the list. Items listed at the top of the menu often are clicked much more often, so it’s important to consider item order. Items on the right End User View list only appear in the menu once they are published.
Onboarding Task List
Above the right menu you can view your Onboarding Task list where you can similarly reorder and remove tasks for onboarding. Onboarding Tasks appear in a separate tab in the WalkMe Menu called Tasks, but it must be enabled for your account in Onboarding Settings to appear in the Menu. Learn more about Onboarding.
By default the Help menu appears first when users open the Menu but below the Menu you can change the default tab to Tasks instead of Help.
Publishing WalkMe Items
Before you publish, make sure to install the WalkMe Snippet on your site; otherwise, WalkMe will not appear on your environment. Learn more about the Snippet. To publish, click Publish from the Admin bar, select the Publish tab and select the environment you wish to publish to. Then select the specific items you wish to publish.
To select items to publish, switch to the desired App in the left-hand menu, check the boxes next to the items you wish to publish, and click the Publish button. WalkMe only publishes the items that are selected on the app tab you are viewing. At the top of each item list, you have the option to select or deselect all items. By default, WalkMe selects all items that you have previously published. New items you have created are not selected.
Note: To avoid confusion about what is to be published, the Publish button is temporarily disabled whenever you search for items in the Publish Menu. During such a search, the UI only shows those items filtered in the current search, but this may not be representative of all items that would be published upon clicking Publish. As such, the Publish button will become active again once you’ve cleared the search filter.
After clicking Publish, WalkMe displays a notification with the number of the selected items which are about to be published for the specific tab you are viewing. After checking the number of items to be published, you may either confirm by clicking Publish or cancel the process.
Note: SmartTips are published by Set, but it is possible to disable a specific SmartTip so it cannot be published. Learn more about SmartTips.
Each item has different app icon that show its current publishing status. These statuses change when switching environments in the Publish menu.
|Draft||Orange icon denotes item is in Draft mode. Draft items are not published to the server.|
|Published||Green icon denotes Published status. Published items are saved on the server and have not been modified in the Editor since they were published.|
|Modified||Green with an asterisk denotes Modified status. Modified items are currently published, but have been modified in the Editor after publication. Publication is required to add modified changes to the published item.|
|Archived||Grey denotes Archived status. Archived items were previously published, but have been removed from the server or unpublished. Archived items return to Draft status once modified.|
Archiving WalkMe Items
To unpublish a WalkMe Item from an environment, you must archive it. Archiving a WalkMe item removes it from the server so it is no longer available to users. Archiving is necessary if you wish to delete a published item. To archive an item open the Publish tab, choose your environment, select all items you wish to archive and click Archive at the bottom of the page.
Pro-Tip: “Archive” button greyed out and not allowing you to select? Clear the text from the searchbox and you will be able to click Archive.
Accessing the Snippet
From the Snippet tab, select your desired environment, choose whether the snippet uses a secure protocol (HTTPS) and copy the code so you can paste it into the header of your application.
The snippet can also be deployed by using an extension if you are unable to install it directly into the HTML code of your site.
The Snippet is slightly different for each environment. When installing the Snippet into your site be sure to use select the correct environment before you copy the code.
WalkMe Enabled Toggle Switch
If for some urgent reason you must disable WalkMe in any environment, you may simply click the WalkMe Enabled toggle. Once toggled OFF, the WalkMe snippet will be deactivated.
Try it Out
- Open the Publish Menu and organize the WalkMe Menu by reordering help items and removing items you don’t want to appear;
- Publish items to your test environment and run a QA test (Quality Assurance);
- Learn more about QA in our Test Your Implementation course on WalkMe University;
- Archive outdated WalkMe items to remove them from the server.