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.
1) Have you finished testing?
Once your portal is live, you can no longer delete requests, so 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, closing requests, etc. 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!
2) Have you sent invites to all users who will need 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.
3) 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 1200x600 px. There is also a place for your city or county seal, which needs to be 150x150 px. We recommend a transparent background as well.
4) 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.
5) 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 a great opportunity to 1) let your local community know about your commitment to transparency and 2) 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.
6) Have you deleted your test requests and documents?
Remember, you can’t delete requests from the portal after you click Go Live, except through Retention. 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 at the top of the All Requests page. To delete all test documents, you can find the same DELETE ALL button at the top of the Documents page.
Note: If you previously deleted test requests and have been practicing entering real requests in the portal and want them to be maintained when you go live, you may skip this step.
7) Have you updated your request numbering?
Remember, you can’t change your request numbering after you go live. If you are going live after the start of the year you'll likely want to update the request numbering in your portal settings. Simply go to Admin>Portal Settings>Request Numbering. Then enter the number you want your requests to start on and click Save.
This should be the last thing you do before going live!
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 Portal Settings and you’ll be live. Congratulations - you did it!