client portal file sharing

Client Portal for File Sharing: How to Find the Right One

Key points

  1. A client portal with file sharing capabilities allows agencies to securely and efficiently share large files and information with clients.
  2. Benefits of sharing files via client portal are that they are searchable, greater control over them, and everything is in one place.
  3. When choosing a client portal for file sharing, pay attention to its security features, upload speeds, and if it supports notifications.

If you’re dealing with tons of files every day, it’s not easy to keep them organized, let alone handle access rights, and make them searchable for your entire team. Luckily, client portals take this pain away.

If you’re struggling to manage your own files, and those of your clients—you’re not alone. Many business owners have the same issues, which get bigger the more customers you acquire. If you’re looking for a solution to your problem, read on to find out how a client portal with file sharing capabilities can help.

What are the benefits of file sharing?

File sharing is a necessity in the modern world where many different people work together on a project. Let’s assume you’re a design agency owner who needs to involve contractors in their day-to-day business. Some contractors create mock-ups, while others design the final files.

In the first stages of the design process, the mock-up creators need to have access to relevant files, but once their job is done, they shouldn’t be able to access them anymore.

This is where file sharing (and rights access) comes into play. If you’ve used Google Drive for example, you know that you can give different access rights to people you share the file with. Automation tools such as Zapier can even change the access rights at different stages in the design process.

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But setting this all up is too much work for the average business owner—and it also costs a lot of money. Many underestimate the true cost of a client portal. Luckily, there is a solution to this problem.

Why a client portal should handle your files

secure client portal solves many problems business owners come across. Your clients no longer have to search through their email history to find relevant conversations.

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Besides that, there are many more reasons that speak for using a client portal systems to share and handle files:

  1. Everything is in one place: Nobody enjoys searching for files in their email inbox, Google Drive, and five other places. If you ask clients to use your client portal software for file sharing, everything will be uploaded to it. No more searching for files!

  2. Files can be searched: A search function is a godsend in any situation, let alone when you’re looking for a specific file. You also know right away where to look for, since all files are in the client portal.

  3. Relevant information about files: How big was that podcast I uploaded last week? Such information isn’t always known right away, and nobody wants to download a file just to check its size. A customer file sharing portal displays the file size, as well as other relevant information, for instance where it was shared, and who it belongs to.

  4. You have control over the files: Services such as Google Drive and Dropbox are great, but what if you lose access to your account? With a client file portal, you have greater control over the access, being able to assure your customers that their files are safe.

  5. You can extend it to suit your needs: While it’s great to use the native file sharing capabilities of a client billing portal, sometimes that won’t be enough. Not a problem, software such as Service Provider Pro integrates natively with Google Drive. And if that’s not enough, you can embed any other service and display it for your clients.

Criteria to share files easily

Now that we’ve established that client portals are the best way to share files with clients, let’s look at customer portal functionality to base your decision on.

  • Secured access: When you share files, you only want them to be accessible by the right people. A client portal is hidden behind a secured login, so nobody will be able to access the files. Ideally, it should have extra security measures in place, such as two-factor authentication.

  • Instant notifications: As a business owner, you want to know right away when a client uploads files, ideally via push notifications or email.

  • Fast upload speeds: If you share large files, you don’t want to wait around forever. Some service providers have upload limits, but SPP relies on Amazon Web Services, providing fast speeds.

  • Easy file access: Nobody likes to go through multiple pages to find files. Ideally, there should be a dedicated files section that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.

  • Automatic file upload: Some clients prefer to send files via email—and that’s fine. But if they do, those should be saved in the client portal (which SPP natively supports).

Keep in mind that if you decide to create a WordPress client portal, the file sharing is handled on the server where you’ve installed the CMS. It’s incredibly important to keep everything secured so files cannot be accessed by third parties. And this is one of the reasons why a dedicated client portal might be a better option.

SPP client portal for file sharing

Service Provider Pro is a customizable client portal solution that makes secure file sharing for everyone easy, from agency owners to contractors and customers. Originally built as an internal tool for a video agency, file sharing has always been a major feature—one that has been continually improved. Today, SPP has a files section that displays everything shared in tickets and orders, so that it’s easy to get an overview.

SPP files admin side

Both the admin side as well as client side have their own files section, allowing those logged into the portal to view shared documents, videos, images, and more.

All files are automatically uploaded to Amazon Web Services (AWS), ensuring that they are saved redundantly. AWS also ensures that upload speeds are fast, wherever you or your clients are. This is especially important for businesses sharing large files, for instance agencies offering a video editing subscription service.

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Another important feature of SPP is the white label form builder for intake forms, order forms and contact forms. One of its building blocks is the upload field, which you can use to allow clients (or prospects) to send files to you. And of course, those files will be saved in your client portal.

SPP form builder with file upload field

Intake forms are a great way to allow clients to send you files whenever they’re ready. Some want to place an order as quickly as possible, but don’t have time to send the files needed to get the job done. Luckily, there’s a draft function that they can make use of. It allows them to fill out a form partially, save the information, and simply continue the submission later. Of course, draft uploads are saved, too.

Client portal file sharing FAQ

How does file sharing work?

File sharing depends on the method and service used. Most allow you to upload a file, and give you a unique link in return that allows the file to be accessed or downloaded; other services require you to log in first.

When should you use file sharing?

Whenever you need to share a file with a third party, or collaborate with them, file sharing is a great way to accomplish this task. Many file sharing options enable collaboration and allow you to set up roles for file access.

Is file sharing safe?

Files should only be shared with relevant persons and under the right conditions. With that said, most service providers have taken precautions to ensure that files are shared securely.

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