Good news - you’ve almost completed your NextRequest rollout! There are only a few questions left that you should ask yourself before your portal officially goes live.
- Have you finished testing?
- Have you sent invites to all users needing access to the portal?
- Have you customized your portal’s front page with a background image and logo?
- Do you want to update the relevant page of your website to link to your NextRequest portal?
- Have you prepared an announcement for the public?
- Have you deleted your test requests and documents? (optional)
- Have you updated your request numbering? (optional)
Are you ready to Go Live?
Have you finished testing?
Once your portal is live, you can no longer delete requests, so the best practice is to do all your testing while your portal is still in the “onboarding” mode. We recommend having your users go through our NextRequest testing guide to practice things like submitting a request as an internal user, creating internal/external messages, uploading documents, and closing requests.
The testing period is also a great time to get accustomed to how the NextRequest notifications work. Remember, you can always edit your notification settings to receive more or fewer notifications!
Have you sent invites to all users needing access to the portal?
We recommend sending invites to all new users who need access to the portal so they can have their accounts set up before they get assigned their first request. To do this, go to the user list, then click the Send Invite button next to each user. If you don't yet have all your users and departments set up, you can find instructions for how to set up users here and departments here.
Have you customized your portal’s front page with a background image and logo?
Going live means that members of the public will probably be seeing your portal, so why not make it look nice? You can replace our image of clouds with a background more personalized to your agency, just make sure the dimensions are 1200x600px (pixels). There is also a place for your city or county seal, which needs to be 150x150px. We recommend a transparent background as well.
Review the Customize Portal Images and Text article for more information about the process.
Do you want to update the relevant page of your website to link to your NextRequest portal?
Members of the public will find it helpful if you provide them with a link to your NextRequest portal. The best place for this is somewhere on your website, in the same place as other information relating to Public Records Requests. If you are updating individual department pages we can provide links to the Make a Request page with the department pre-selected.
Have you prepared an announcement for the public?
Press releases, blog posts, and social media posts are all great ways to get the word out about your new portal. This is an excellent opportunity to:
- Let your local community know about your commitment to transparency.
- Get people excited about your new, easy-to-use, public-facing tool that anyone can use!
If this is something you’re interested in doing, please reach out to us and we can provide you with some more helpful resources and example press releases.
Have you deleted your test requests and documents? (Optional)
Remember, you can’t delete requests from the portal after you click Go Live, except through the Retention feature. You’ll be able to delete documents, but not all at once. Once you’ve finished all your testing, you can delete all requests from your portal by clicking the Delete All Requests button at the top of the All Requests page.
To delete all test documents, you can find the same Delete All Documents button at the top of the Documents page.
Have you updated your request numbering? (optional)
Remember, you can’t change your request numbering after you go live. If you are going live after the start of the year you may want to update the request numbering in your portal settings. If you have entered real requests in the portal or were not tracking requests previously with the same numbering system you may skip this step. Please note it will reset at the beginning of each year and sequential numbering from that point. For example, at the beginning of 2024, request numbering will start at 24-1.
To learn more about request numbering, review the Set Request Numbering article.
Once the answer to these questions is Yes, you are ready to go live! All you have to do is click the green Go Live button at the top of your portal and you’ll be live. Congratulations, you did it!