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Recommended Host for osTicket
osTicket is an open-source support ticket system that gives users the ability to track, modify and respond to client-generated tickets via online forms, email, and phone. It provides a powerful, centralized method of helpdesk request management that supports multiple simultaneous users.
Whatever your industry, and whatever your product or service, chances are you’re going to need to provide customer support at some point.
And since customers are the backbone of your business, effective customer support is an essential part of ensuring customer satisfaction, building loyalty, and getting great reviews and repeat business.
You might be able to get away with managing customer support manually for a time, but once your business starts growing it gets easier for customers to fall through the cracks. Just one slip up — an accidentally deleted email, a forgotten follow-up — and you could start getting bad reviews from dissatisfied customers. And once those negative reviews appear, you could start losing business.
That’s why it’s so important to carefully manage your customer support and ensure that no issues, large or small, fall through the cracks.
If you don’t have the budget for an expensive dedicated customer support and helpdesk application, there’s another option: osTicket is a free, open-source solution to managing customer support that has plenty of premium features. Its many flexible customization features make it ideal for small businesses and large enterprises alike.
How Does It Work?
osTicket is a free, full-featured help desk and customer support system. With osTicket, your clients and customers can generate help desk “tickets" (i.e., work orders) that are then routed to the correct party for resolution.
For example, if one of your customers is having difficulty installing your software, they can simply visit your website and send a request detailing their issue. Unlike other support solutions, your customer do not have to create a separate support account to generate a ticket. All they need is their email address.
If they prefer, your customers can also bypass the website altogether and send an email to your designated support email address, or even call in for help on the phone. During the course of the support call, your staff can generate a ticket using osTicket and fill in all the required details.
Once a ticket has been generated, every aspect, from assigned staff to due date, is customizable and backed up in an automatic archive that can be accessed by all support staff and modified according to their level of authorization.
Other osTicket Features
osTicket isn’t just limited to creating and completing tickets. Like other expensive premium support applications, osTicket has plenty of other features to enhance your customer support:
- Create custom automatic email notifications to customers and staff when a ticket is opened, updated, or closed.
- Assign tickets to a staff member, department, or team.
- Allow customers and staff to add pictures or video to tickets, such as screenshots or video screen captures.
- Lock tickets while they’re being updated, so there are no conflicting or duplicate responses.
- Keep your staff updated by writing private internal notes for each ticket that can’t be viewed by customers.
- Organize and filter how you view tickets by whatever criteria you like (department, priority, topic, etc.).
- Create an online website portal for customers to view the status of their tickets by entering their email address and ticket number, without having to register for an account.
- Get analytics and stats on all your tickets with Dashboard reports.
- Streamline the support process by creating a knowledge base and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) database to give staff a constantly-growing, readily-annotated database of information on the most commonly-encountered issues.
osTicket also has a lively forum and up-to-date wiki on their official website where you can ask questions and learn more about how to use osTicket. There’s also professional support provided for a fee.
Choosing a Host With osTicket
Many hosting providers will include osTicket already installed for free with your hosting plan. Some hosting providers do offer plans built around premium support for the system, so you may see a higher costs with those.
If your host doesn’t provide osTicket already installed, you can still install it yourself as long as your server meets the software requirements.
osTicket is compatible with both Apache and IIS (i.e., Windows-driven) servers. It requires installation of MySQL 5.0+ and PHP 5.3+, so make sure your hosting plan includes support for these features as well.