Portal - Updates
Portal - Updates

Portal - Updates

Weekly updates to Portal.

October 29, 2020

Real-time Files Module

The Files Module is now real-time. What this means is that if you are logged in and your clients are taking actions (uploading files, renaming files, deleting files, etc.) you will see those changes happen directly without refreshing.

The Files Module is the first area in the Portal where we've enabled real-time. Over the next few months, we're going to make similar announcements for the other modules.

Billing Settings

We've seen many people set up billing customer portals for their businesses. To do that they turn off all modules except Payments and use their portal exclusively to make it easy for clients to pay them and see past invoices. Today's release makes this use case even better and includes "Billing Settings" which lets clients add multiple payment methods and set their primary payment method.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of billing customer portals, we wrote our first blog post on this topic yesterday.

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Improvements and Fixes

  • Added the ability for internal users to select an invoice and "Mark Paid".
  • Added a phone number field to the Contact Us page in the Landing Page module. Now when new leads submit the form, you will get their phone number as well.
  • Added placeholder images to the Landing Page so that it looks good in areas where you don't set an image.
  • Improved the loading flow for client users who sign up directly.
  • Redesigned several email notifications to make the look more professional.
  • Fixed a bug where line items on invoices had a low character limit.

October 22, 2020

A New Brand for Portal

If you've visited our website you may have noticed that we have updated our visual identity. We're keeping the same name but have adopted a new icon and color scheme that better reflects our product.

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Customizable Welcome Messages

We believe that it's incredibly important to give client users that sign up on your portals a great experience immediately after they create their account. We've added the ability to customize the welcome message that new client users get when they sign up for their account. Here's how it works:

  1. Go to Settings/Messaging and customize the welcome message. You can also customize the sender of the message and the others in the channel (if you have coworkers).
  2. When a new client user goes through the Sign Up flow they are automatically greeted with the welcome message that you set up above.

We recommend you update your welcome messages with something that makes the most sense for your business. For example, you may want to inform new clients what they can use your portal for, what services you provide, or how quickly you will respond.

Customize your welcome message in Settings/Messaging
Customize your welcome message in Settings/Messaging
This is what new client users see when they sign up
This is what new client users see when they sign up

Improvements and Fixes

  • Added a progress indicator that is shown when you upload files. This makes it clear how long uploading a file will take and is especially useful for larger files.
  • Refined many details of the landing page module - improved spacing on mobile, improved the menu button on mobile, adjusted the layout of the hero section on the home page, added a success message when Contact Us forms are submitted, and more.
  • Fixed a bug that resulted in extra page refreshes when you did searched on CRM pages.
  • Fixed a bug that restricted the maximum amount of characters allowed for line items on invoices.
  • Redesigned the "Save Changes" bar that shows on the top of several pages.

October 15, 2020

Redesigned & Editable Landing Pages

We're excited to announce the full release of the Landing Page module. It was specifically designed for the professional services industry and is fully-customizable. In addition:

  • You can connect a scheduling tool like Calendly and set the primary button to "Schedule a Meeting" like in the image below.
  • You can connect all your social profiles (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) which show up in your footer.

Permissions for your Team

We've significantly improved the experience for customers who have added other internal users to their team. You can now update the role of other internal users on the Settings/Members page. To start, we are supporting 2 roles - Admin and Staff. Admin users can access everything and Staff users cannot see the Payments module.

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Mobile Redesign

As more interactions happen on phones we wanted to make sure that all modules work delightfully there. We've updated all pages and redesigned the Files and Messages pages from scratch to support a better experience.

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An Improved Dropdown

The new dropdown menu allows you to easily distinguish between client users, client companies, and coworkers. You're going to see it across many modules, starting with Messages, Files, and Payments.

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Improvements and Fixes

  • Added a badge to user and company icons that make it clear if you're looking at a client user or client company.
  • Improved notification emails for the Files module.
  • Fixed a bug where new client users who sign up were taken to the wrong page.
  • Fixed a bug where you couldn't delete a company.
  • Fixed a bug where you couldn't create a new invoice template.

September 18, 2020

Files - Folder Organization

On the Files page you can now create folders to categorize your docs and stay organized. Folders work exactly as you would expect them to with a simple drag & drop experience.

Folders open and collapse when you click on the caret
Folders open and collapse when you click on the caret

Files - Sharing Links

On the Files page you've always had the ability to upload docs. But with more and more things living in the cloud, you can now quickly add links to Google docs, Dropbox files, and more.

Click on "Add a Link"
Click on "Add a Link"
And enter the name and URL for the link
And enter the name and URL for the link

Payments - Templates

We understand that most of the time you are probably using the same invoice and subscription structure again and again. To save you time, you can now create reusable templates for invoices and subscriptions.

Click on the dropdown and you can select or create a new template
Click on the dropdown and you can select or create a new template

Improvements and Fixes

  • Added rules to automatically decide when to show your landing page vs. your portal based on whether the user is logged in or not. Note that this only applies if you have the Landing Page module turned on.
  • Added the ability to share files with just an individual (previously you could only share files with their entire organization). Individuals are now shown separately in the Files sidebar and are depicted with the letter "I".
  • Added validation to the payment create flows so that you are prevented from enter values that don't make sense.
  • Added logic that improves how deleting a client user impacts each of the Modules (for example, they are automatically removed from Messaging channels).
  • Redesigned tables - updated how empty cells are represented and how large numbers are displayed.
  • Improved the performance of the Files module.
  • Improved the email notifications for Files changes.

August 26, 2020

Landing Page builder

We've always supported both (1) connecting to an existing landing page and (2) setting one up with us. But so far the process of creating a landing page with us was manual. That changes today! If you have the Landing Page module enabled, you can now:

  • Click on "Pages" in the Landing Page section.
  • Turn on/off the pages you want.
  • Edit the content of any page and save.
Choose the pages you want in your Landing Page
Choose the pages you want in your Landing Page
After selecting a page, add text & images to each section
After selecting a page, add text & images to each section

Settings sidebar

We've completely redesigned the settings experience which now has its own sidebar. In future releases, we're going to add several new settings capabilities for things like notifications, permissions, and more.

The new Settings sidebar
The new Settings sidebar

Invoice attachments

You can now attach docs to invoices and subscriptions. This is great for scenarios where you want the payment process for clients to be simple while also giving them the ability to download a doc for additional information (hourly breakdown, terms, etc.).

Additional Email notifications

In addition to the notification emails we already have, we've added new ones for:

  • Notifications for internal users when invoices are paid.
  • Notifications for internal users when a client user signs up directly.
  • Notifications for internal users when a client user you have invited finishes setting up their account.

Improvements and Fixes

  • Added a cropper to the image uploading experience so that we can always use perfect aspect ratios for your icon, login images, etc.
  • Added invite-only mode as a portal-level setting that prevents direct client user sign ups.
  • Optimized the performance of loading payments data.
  • Redesigned the user avatar and avatar dropdown on the top bar.
  • Redesigned the status tags that are used across the product.
  • Redesigned tables to improve readability.
  • Improved the scrolling experience in messages and files.
  • Improved how client user deletions affect their data.
  • Fixed a bug that caused unnecessary refreshing on the Messages page.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the upload files button in Messaging to break.
  • Fixed a bug where renaming a file caused issues if the file was subsequently shared

August 5, 2020

Early Access Program

Over the last few weeks, we’ve invited some of you to join the Early Access Program. For those of you already part of it, we are very grateful for your support! Your feedback is the reason the product gets better every week. 🙏

If you are not yet part of the Early Access program but would like to be, please first take a look at our website which now reflects the features we support. If you believe we can support your workflows, please respond to this email and we will find time to onboard you. We’d also love to know if there are specific things holding you back from getting set up.

New Design

Today we are rolling out the next iteration of the Portal design. The design is bolder, more customizable, and looks even better on mobile.

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Payments - Subscriptions

In addition to regular invoicing, we now let you set up subscriptions for your clients. Support is comprehensive and includes multiple payment methods, customizable billing periods, and a fully branded payment experience for your clients.

We’re very excited to see how this feature will be adopted. In the last few weeks, we’ve heard from many innovative firms that want to explore new business models, including:

  • Creative agencies that will provide a fixed number of monthly creative deliverables for a monthly fee.
  • Law firms that will make their knowledge repository available for a low annual fee.

Improvements and fixes

  • Added draft states to the invoice creation flow.
  • Added support for in-product sidebar notifications for Messages.
  • Added welcome messages for all new client users.
  • Added the ability to rename files.
  • Redesigned all tables.
  • Improved how due dates on invoices are selected.
  • Improved input rules so that you can only enter numbers in number fields.
  • Improved the experience of previewing images in Messages in full-screen mode.
  • Fixed a bug where some downloaded invoices had incorrect file names.
  • Fixed a bug where you could click on the 3-dot actions button in a table even if no actions are available.
  • Fixed a bug where you couldn’t update the social sharing image for your landing page
  • Fixed a bug where you sometimes couldn’t delete a client user.
  • Fixed a bug where in Messages your profile picture sometimes didn’t show up correctly.

July 22, 2020

Messenger

After months of small improvements, Messenger is now available for all Early Access customers. With Messenger, it's incredibly easy for internal users and client users to communicate. Here's how it works:

  1. Click on messages
  2. Select a channel
  3. Send your message

Behind the scenes, we've made sure Messenger works as intended. This includes:

  • Notifications: If a message is not viewed within 5 minutes we send an email notification with the content and a button to reply.
  • Client users that sign up to your Portal are automatically greeted with a Welcome message. In the future this message will be customizable.

Customization

The Customization page is coming alive today. In the past, you could see it but you couldn't update anything. Now you can navigate to "Customization" and personalize your portal without having to email us. You can now update:

  • Logos and icons
  • Social sharing images and the login/signup image
  • Color schemes
  • SEO titles and descriptions

Improvements and Fixes

  • Fixed several bugs that caused page alignment issues on iPads and Safari browsers.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented favicons from showing up.
  • Improved the performance of loading pages that show user data.
  • Improved how tags are created in the Knowledge Base.

July 15, 2020

Connect your Stripe account

It's now easier to get paid. Under Settings/Banking, you can choose between 2 options:

  1. Express - Enter your banking information directly
  2. Standard - Create a new Stripe account or use an existing one
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Improvements and Fixes

  • Redesigned the Customization page.
  • Improved the client user creation flow. Now, there is a checkbox that lets you quickly invite the user after they are created.
  • Renamed the CRM section to "Clients" with 2 sub pages named "Client Users" and "Client Companies".
  • Added colored icons for companies.
  • Added deep links to email notifications. Now, when you receive an email notification and click on the link, it will bring to the relevant page directly.
  • Fixed a bug where downloading some files showed them as being corrupted.
  • Fixed a bug where an email user invite to an existing teammate sometimes did not arrive.
  • Fixed a bug where client users who logged in sometimes saw the admin sidebar for a a few seconds.
  • Fixed a bug where signing out of the Portal didn't bring you to your landing page.

July 8, 2020

Knowledge base

The Knowledge Base is the best way to create content for your clients. You can use it answer common questions, introduce your offerings, and more. Here's how it works:

  1. Click on 'Knowledge Base' in the sidebar.
  2. Click on 'New Resource', and add a title, tags, and content.
  3. All content is now accessible by any client users that log into your portal.

Improvement and fixes

  • Added an invite status for internal users so that they can know if teammates are fully set up.
  • Added a Preview button to see files without having to download them.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the deletion of companies.
  • Fixed a bug where on mobile devices, after logging in, the zoom level is too high.
  • Redesigned the Files tab to work better on mobile.
  • Redesigned all modals to look better and more logically separate content from action buttons.
  • Redesigned email notifications.
  • Improved the animations on the sidebar when you select a new page.
  • Improved the performance of loading user information.
  • Improved the mobile experience of the Settings page.
  • Improved the design of tooltips across the product.
  • Improved the performance of loading user profile pictures by saving size-optimized versions.
  • Switched to a new domain, portal-notifications.com, for all email notifications.
  • Reduced the time it takes to log in.
  • Removed the "Back to Home" links on the login and signup buttons.

June 26, 2020

Files module

With the new Files Module, it's easier than ever before to collaborate with clients in a shared folder. Here's how it works:

  1. Click on Files in the main sidebar.
  2. Select your client in the Files sidebar.
  3. That's it - here you can see the shared folder for you and your client. When your client logs in, they can see exactly the same data. From this page you can upload new files, download files, and delete files.

Improvements and fixes

  • On mobile, table pages render better and let you horizontally scroll to see all content.
  • On mobile, table action columns now show drop down menus.
  • Company names now shows on the top bar beside the company icon making for a more on-brand experience.
  • Performance improvements for loading user data.
  • Renamed Marketing Page to Landing Page.
  • New users now automatically get assigned a colored icon with 2 letters representing their name. They can still upload profile pictures.
  • Added tooltips to all action buttons.
  • Added a new loading spinner to all pages.
  • Added a progress spinner to the upload file button.
  • Fixed a bug where a small fraction of email invite links did not work.
  • Fixed a bug where users could not be re-created after they were deleted.
  • Fixed a bug where closing a modal put all the buttons on the page in a bad state.
  • Fixed a bug where files could not be deleted.

June 19, 2020

Improvements and fixes

  • Updated the base font to Inter UI.
  • Updated the client sign up flow so that company name is optional. When no company name is entered, we automatically create a company called "firstName lastName's Company"
  • Added search capabilities to all pages in the product and improved search performance.
  • Updated our table styles so that any table action (add, delete, sort) that change what rows are shown use transition animations.
  • Added a logo API that automatically assigns company logos to users if a suitable match is found based on the user's email.

June 12, 2020

New sidebar

We've redesigned the Sidebar so that information is more accessible for internal users and client users. The My Portal section in the bottom is new and will let you connect an existing marketing page (if you have one) or setup a new one from scratch. The eye button lets you look at your marketing page in a new tab so that you can see what visitors see.

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June 5, 2020

A new brand & website

We have a new color palette, new logo, and an updated marketing page. T website is still pretty barebones right now, but be on the lookout for more updates in the next few weeks.

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Client user statuses

On the Portal CRM, you can now see statuses for your clients. The statuses include:

  • Active: Client User is setup and has logged in at least once
  • Invited: Client User has received an invite but hasn't logged in
  • Pending Verification: Client User has started to create an account but hasn't completed email verification
  • Not Invited: Client User has not received an invite yet

Improvements and fixes

  • You can now search on CRM/Users and CRM/Companies tables.
  • Success and error toast messages have been updated to be more helpful across the product.
  • You can now invite client users directly from the CRM/Users table by clicking on the invite icon.
  • Redesigned email notifications.
  • Redesigned all page layouts to work better on large screens.

May 29, 2020

Improvements and fixes

  • Updated the client user invite flow so that accounts can be activated by clicking on a link vs. having to enter a code manually.
  • All new users now have an icon that consists of the first letter of their first and last name. The icon is replaced when the user uploads a profile picture.
  • Various layout improvements to improve the look of your Portal on larger screens.
  • Improved tables so that they look better and load faster.
  • Desktop-only pages now show a modal that informs you of this. Mobile support is in the works.

May 22, 2020

Hello World

When Covid started to affect the communities around us and decimated our existing startup, we knew we had to adapt. We were inspired to work on something that helps companies embrace going virtual because for many that will be the only way to survive and for most it will be the only way to thrive. Because services like Shopify already exist to help physical product companies transition to e-commerce, we are specifically focused on professional service companies (creative agencies, consulting firms, law firms, etc.) which we understand well and for which no great all-in-one solution exists.

We're going to stay quiet for the next few months and focus on (1) building product and (2) onboarding early access users. Nonetheless, we thought it would be great to keep track of weekly progress, which is why we started this blog.

Shoot us a message if you are interested in what we're working on or want to be an early access user. You can reach us at hello[@]joinportal.com 🙂