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Managing Projects using WordPress

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I have heard that there are several excellent solutions for project management apps/software available to freelancers. Basecamp appears to be the most widely used. I used Basecamp for a trial period of 30 days. However, as a WordPress user, I couldn’t help but feel that I already had the most flexible project management solution available.

At first, I foolishly believed that all I needed was a basic web page where clients could go to see and update jobs and see progress, and I would discover the ideal app for this. Nothing I tried, including CollabPress, Ndizi, and WP Project, worked. I intended to spare my customers the trouble of creating an account. I wished to be notified by email whenever a new task was created. What I wanted it to look, feel, and do were all pretty straightforward. After trying out several different solutions and learning about their quirks, I settled on making my own. By “make my app,” I don’t mean design and code something from scratch; instead, I mean improvising a solution.

You can tailor your project management website to meet your unique requirements, but this is how I went about it.

I began by making unique landing pages for each of my customers. For consistency across all of my client pages, I created a custom template within my theme. When setting up the individual pages, I secured them with passwords. The “Publish” option may be found in the right-hand toolbar, and its associated visibility setting, which is initially set to “public” but can be changed to “password protected,” is editable.

As I worked on these pages, I became aware of how extensive their potential was. This guide will show you how to integrate the Dropbox Uploader into your site. After some fussing, I set it up so that clients’ uploads to their page on my site would be sent directly to my Dropbox folder. As a result, you won’t have to invite clients not currently using Dropbox to sign up. (As a footnote, I had to download the PHP Code Widget plugin before inserting the script into the sidebar.)

A discussion area for our project discussions and notes came next on my client’s page. Since I already utilized the Discus comment system, I embedded a text widget with the shortcode [commentbox] to add a comments section to the sidebar. I aim to receive fewer emails overall so that less time is spent going through my inbox for specific messages that may have been lost in the shuffle. You understand what I’m referring to.

The purpose of this page and my motivation for starting this work are about to be revealed. To hand in assignments, I required a system. I finally settled on making my own Google Drive form with the following sections: task description (paragraph text), priority (multiple choice), assigned to (multiple choice), and desired completion date. To organize work for multiple clients in separate spreadsheets, it is necessary to design unique forms for each one. The embed option is available in the “More Actions” menu after generating the form. You may add a task

submission form to your WordPress site by copying and pasting the iframe code into your page. You can configure the spreadsheet to notify you via email each time a form is submitted. Client notifications can be sent after sharing the spreadsheet, a feature accessible via the file tab’s drop-down menu. Once a team member has agreed to work together, you can email them at any time, with or without an attached spreadsheet, to remind them of their responsibilities. After formatting the spreadsheet to my satisfaction, I placed it on the client page, just below the task submission form, so that customers can easily access a running tally of all outstanding requests and their current standing. So that the customer can see an up-to-date count of their time spent on the project, I have added a field and used the sum function in Google Drive. More in-depth guides on how to make forms and embed documents may be found on Google’s help page.

In keeping with the Google theme, I have also included an embedded Google calendar for each client on the page so they can quickly see when important dates or events are approaching. More information on how to do this with a Google calendar may be found at this link.

I also intend to add a connection to PayPal for making payments, a copy of each invoice, and links to other relevant papers, such as our contract and policies and procedures. I want to experiment with the iframes’ design to make everything look nicer and more in line with the rest of my site, but in the meantime, I’m thrilled to have a centralized hub from which to contact clients and keep track of projects. The page’s current operation state has met with my approval, and I look forward to its continued development as I gain experience and expertise.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to share your project management and client communication methods if this was helpful to you.

I wish you the best of luck in all your business dealings.

As the owner and marketer behind Asheville Virtual Marketing Solutions, Dawn Chitwood provides clients with web design, email marketing, and social media management. Please visit her website for more helpful business advice and how-to articles.

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