Client Power Tools 1.4: Knowledge Base (NEW MODULE)

This version adds a shiny new module: Knowledge Base! (And some other things, too. Read on.)

Knowledge Base

The knowledge base is a clients-only page—or a collection of pages you can use to share information and resources with your clients.

Just like the client dashboard, the knowledge base is a regular WordPress page with some special features. Only clients can access it, for one thing. But it also includes a drop-down index and breadcrumb navigation to help your clients find their way around.

When you activate Client Power Tools, it will automatically create a knowledge base page for you. You can change it on the CPT settings page, or you can edit the page itself to rename it or add content to it. Since the knowledge base is made of regular WordPress pages, you can do all the same thing, like add videos or images, embed forms, or attach documents.

What should you do with your new knowledge base? Here are some ideas:

  • A new-client welcome kit with a video and links to information and resources that will help new clients get up and running.
  • Frequently asked questions.
  • Prep materials. For example, lawyers might create a mediation or deposition prep page. Designers might include materials for the initial design meeting.
  • Documents and checklists. For example, accountants might include their annual tax return worksheet.
  • Intake forms.
  • Tools, like calculators for common situations.

I’d love to know how you use it!

Navigation

A one-page client dashboard was fine before, but now that Knowledge Base exists, we needed more space. So your client dashboard will now show a tabbed navigation, with separate tabs for messages and your knowledge base.

Additionally, because the knowledge base could contain dozens of pages, that tab includes a drop-down index, and any sub-pages will include breadcrumbs to help clients get around.

Customization

Now that the main client dashboard tab is less cluttered, you can add your own content to it. It’s a nice place to make sure your clients have your contact information, or to highlight some key resources in your knowledge base.

Also, all non-core modules can be disabled. If you want to take advantage of Knowledge Base but you aren’t ready to ditch email for messaging in Client Power Tools, you just disable the Messages module. Easy!

You can also disable the Status Update Request Button Knowledge Base. If you disable all the non-core modules, you’ll still be able to take advantage of the client dashboard as a one-page, clients-only resource.

Documentation

For more information on how to take advantage of the new and updated features, plus ideas for how to use the Knowledge Base, see the documentation.

And as always, I would love your feedback! Let me know what you think about Client Power Tools or tell me how you are using it on Twitter, where I’m @samglover, or leave a review on WordPress.org. And you have a problem and you can’t find an answer in the documentation, try the support forum.

Client Power Tools 1.3: Client Managers

This release adds client managers!

Now you can assign a client manager to each client. Messages and status update requests now go to the client manager. (The email will be CC’d to the now-optional status update request notification email address, if you have set one.) New client emails will now come from the client manager instead of a default name and email address.

You can add and remove client managers from the new Managers submenu, managers appear next to their clients in the client list, and clients appear with their manager in the manager list.

One minor change. To avoid bloating the menu I moved the add-client form to the Clients page. I think it’s just as useful there.

There are also the usual tweaks and improvements.

As always, I would love your feedback! Let me know what you think on Twitter, where I’m @samglover, or leave a review on WordPress.org. And you have a problem and you can’t find an answer in the documentation, try the support forum.

Client Power Tools 1.2: Email Notification Options, Disable the Status Request Button, & Add Existing Users as Clients

This release adds several user-requested features. (Thanks to Tim Carr, in particular!)

In settings, now you can disable the status request button entirely. You can also change the default email notification behavior to include the full message, rather than just a notification, but you can override this default on individual messages.

Finally, when you try to add a new client when there is already a WordPress user account with the same email address, the user is simply given the Client role rather than returning an error. (The documentation will be updated, as well.) This was unnecessarily clunky before. Sorry about that.

There’s also a bunch of smaller tweaks and improvements.

Client Power Tools 1.1: Delete Clients!

Version 1.1 of Client Power Tools adds client deletion. Now you can delete a client from the client’s profile, under Edit Client.

Be careful. Deletion is permanent. There is no undo. When you delete a client, it will delete that client’s WordPress user account as well as any messages associated with the client.

This is as good a time as any to make sure you have a solid backup solution in place for your website, including the database. Your hosting provider is probably already backing up your website and database for you, but you should make sure you know the backup schedule.

For an easier option to manage yourself, VaultPress, from the builders of WordPress, is an easy-to-use, affordable backup service. But there are many others.

As always, I would love your feedback on Client Power Tools. Let me know what you think on Twitter, where I’m @samglover, or leave a review on WordPress.org. If you have a problem and you can’t find an answer in the documentation, try the support forum.

Client Power Tools 1.0

I’m thrilled to release Client Power Tools 1.0.0! It’s been a lot of work but I am proud of it and I am super excited to get it out into the world. I’m confident Client Power Tools is a much-needed, useful tool that makes it super easy to add a client portal to your website.

Since the foundation of any client relationship is communication, that’s also the foundation of Client Power Tools. With its messaging features you can move your client communications from email (or maybe from regular old mail) to a convenient, clients-only page on your website.

Version 1.0.0 is focused on messaging, and I know it definitely doesn’t do everything everyone will want it to. That is by design. I wanted to get Client Power Tools into your hands as soon as possible to see whether you want to use it, how you want to use it, and what else you need from it. This is a solid foundation for future updates and extensions, not the finished product.

You can get Client Power Tools from the WordPress plugin directory.

I would love to read your feedback. You can let me know what you think on Twitter, where I’m @samglover, or leave a review on WordPress.org. If you have a problem and you can’t find an answer in the documentation, try the support forum.