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How to choose the right project management software with a client portal 11 min read
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Every project needs a clear plan of action, strong leadership, and a team that can execute efficiently.  However, even the most well-planned project needs the right software to back it up—especially if you need to communicate with clients as well as each other. Project management software with a client portal gives teams the power to easily to securely manage information, share projects and progress with clients, and streamline communication.

In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of this type of project management software, including and other well-known client portal platforms.

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What is project management software with a client portal?

Project management software with a client portal is a software solution that facilitates project management tasks and also provides a dedicated space for clients to access project-related information, collaborate with the team, and provide feedback.

It serves as a communication and collaboration hub between project teams and their clients, allowing for seamless interaction, document sharing, progress tracking, and updates.

What are the benefits of using a client-facing project management tool?

Using project management software with a client portal offers several benefits:

  • Enhanced collaboration between project teams and clients, so you can communicate in real-time and work on shared documents and project tasks
  • Centralized project-related communication, reducing the reliance on scattered emails and phone calls
  • Streamlined documentation, with a centralized location for storing and sharing project-related documents, so you can all find what you need when you need it
  • Improved project visibility for your clients, so they can check in on progress
  • Client engagement and satisfaction, by enabling active client participation, feedback sharing, and collaboration to make sure that your projects go smoothly
  • Time and cost savings, by keeping the communication lines open and so avoiding unnecessary work or delays

Basically, if you’re working on projects for clients, then a PM software with a client portal is the best way to keep them happy and keep both parties on the same page.

Project management software with client portals: What to look for

With steep competition for project management solutions, you’ll find companies out there who simply slap the label on without much regard for functionality. Look out for these criteria when you evaluate their offerings:

  • Integrations: Many client interactions and tickets require third-party apps like Zapier — make sure your project management software can integrate with everything you need for a seamless experience.
  • User experience:  Look for a user-friendly interface that is intuitive and easy to navigate for both your team and clients. Consider the learning curve and onboarding process required to get things started.
  • Robust permissions functions: If you’re giving clients access to your project management system, you need to be careful about what they can see. Look for a system that lets you control exactly who sees what and their ability to edit and share important information.
  • Customization options: Your client portal is an extension of your brand, so make sure you can customize both the experience and appearance for your clients.
  • Mobile app: Excellent client interactions are addressed around the clock — a mobile app is essential for on-the-go management.

Project management software with client portals: The Top 10 List

There are a variety of project management software solutions with client portals that can help streamline tasks and communicate with clients. Here are ten of the best ones out there.


Collaborate seamlessly with embedded task lists, centralized files, shared notes, and real-time communication.

Well, we would say that, wouldn’t we! But we also top the list over on The Digital Project Manager too, so we’re not the only ones saying it.’s Work OS combines an extensive list of features with an incredibly simple user interface, so you can use it for the most complex projects going, without making your clients do a lot of heavy lifting to figure out how to work together.

Key Features 

  • Collaborating in real time with conversation threads
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Making charts and graphs (including Gantt View and Kanban View)
  • Efficiently creating step-by-step plans
  • Monitoring progress
  • Integrations with Zoom, Gmail, Slack, and other communication tools

Pros and cons offers a highly intuitive and visually appealing interface that simplifies project management and promotes collaboration. While we do have a free plan for small businesses, we aren’t the cheapest solution going (you get what you pay for, after all).


You can try any of our packages for free for 14 days. After the free trial, your options are:

Free: $0 for up to 2 users
Basic: $27/month/3 users with annual billing
Standard: $36/month/3 users with annual billing
Pro: $57/month/3 users with annual billing
Enterprise: Contact sales for pricing

More details on pricing here

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2. Wrike

Wrike is a project management platform with a focus on resource management and AI functionality.

Key Features 

  • Built-in to-do lists
  • Metrics tracking
  • Portfolio management
  • Time tracking

Pros and cons

Wrike has some great resource management features, like advanced employee schedule tracking and request management forms. However, if you’re looking for a pure PM solution that lets you work on projects with clients, you probably don’t need those bells and whistles. Some users say Wrike can also be a bit challenging if you don’t have a “lot of tech-savvy”.


Wrike offers a free but limited plan, and then offers 4 additional pricing structures:

  • Team: $9.80 user/month (for 2-25 users and unlimited projects)
  • Business: $24.80 user/month (5-500 users)
  • Enterprise and Pinnacle: custom pricing

Wrike’s pricing means that it’s a great fit for small businesses, but can become quite expensive (more than, for example) as you scale up.

3. Asana

Asana is a project management tool that enables teams to work on a single platform and optimize workflows for tasks like client onboarding to support tickets.

Key Features

  • Project and deadline tracking with color-coding options
  • File sharing
  • Real-time messaging and collaboration
  • Integrations with other platforms like Microsoft Teams and Adobe Creative Cloud

Pros and cons 

Asana provides a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to manage tasks, projects, and collaborate with team members and clients. However, says that Asana can be a little overwhelming for newbies.


Asana has 4 pricing tiers:

  • Basic: $0 for 15 users
  • Premium: $10.99 per user/month
  • Business: $24.99 per user/month
  • Enterprise: custom pricing

4. ClickUp

ClickUp is a highly customizable project management tool with a wide range of features, including task management and time tracking.

Key Features 

  • Task management
  • Collaboration and communication
  • Time tracking
  • Project management

Pros and cons 

ClickUp is highly customizable, allowing teams to tailor the platform to their unique needs and workflows. Some users say that it’s hard to track project progress with ClickUp, though.


  • Free: $0 forever
  • Unlimited: $5 per user/month
  • Business: $12 per user/month
  • Business Plus: $19 per user/month
  • Enterprise: custom pricing

5. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects focuses on collaboration and task tracking, and has extensive integrations with other Zoho applications.

Key Features 

  • Task management
  • Collaboration and communication
  • Document sharing and versioning
  • Gantt charts and timelines

Pros and cons 

Zoho Projects has a reputation for being easy to integrate, both with other Zoho tools and with popular platforms like Google Workspace. However, reports that Zoho has a steep learning curve at the beginning.


  • Free: $0 for up to 3 users
  • Premium: $4 per user/month
  • Enterprise: $9 per user/month

6. Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a customer support software that includes project management capabilities.

Key Features 

  • Ticket management
  • Multichannel support
  • Self-service portals
  • Knowledge base

Pros and cons 

Freshdesk is great for managing customer support tickets, but it wasn’t built specifically for project management.  Users also tend to complain about the reporting and automation features, as well as the pricing.


  • Free: Up to 10 users
  • Paid: From $15 per month

7. Basecamp

Basecamp is a project management tool focusing on team communication, but it does also have a client portal.

Key features

  • Role assignment features
  • Timelines
  • Gantt charts
  • Software integrations

Pros and cons

Basecamp users say that it’s a robust project management solution that is easy to use and has customer support. However, some users complain that it can be confusing, and that it isn’t a great fit for complex projects.


  • Basecamp: $15 per user/month
  • Basecamp Pro Unlimited: $299 per month

8. OneDesk

OneDesk combines project management and help desk software.

Key Features

  • Helpdesk ticketing
  • Task management
  • Product management
  • Customer feedback management

Pros and cons

Users like that OneDesk gives them multiple features in one place (customer management tools, helpdesk, project management tools, workflow automation, etc.) On the downside, there’s no free version, and some users say it can be tricky to get started.


  • Standard: $11.99 per user/month
  • Premium: $13.99 per user/month
  • Enterprise: $15.99 per user/month

9. Smartsheet 

Smartsheet is a collaborative work execution platform formatted like a spreadsheet.

Key Features 

  • Project management
  • Task management
  • Resource management
  • Collaboration and communication

Pros and cons

Users like the intuitive interface and team collaboration tools, but its similarity to Excel and other spreadsheet tools leave some users struggling to justify the cost of using both solutions.


  • Free: $0 up to 2 editors
  • Pro: $7 per user/month
  • Business: $25 per user/month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

10. Celoxis

Celoxis is a collaborative solution to manage projects, resources and business processes.

Key features

  • Advanced scheduling
  • Project tracking
  • Gantt charts
  • Financial management tools

Pros and cons

Users say that Celoxis is flexible, but some mention that it has user experience and design issues.


  • Cloud: $22.50 per user/month
  • On premise: Custom pricing

Which project management software with a client portal is best for your business?

As with so much in this life, it depends. If you want a solution that’s similar to an Excel sheet, then Smartsheet might be your best best. If you want a combined project management and customer ticketing solution, then FreshDesk or OneDesk might be better for you.

We think that has it all:

  • A flexible intuitive interface to keep things simple
  • Customizable features and 72+ integrations so you can work your way
  • Ease of use for internal teams and collaborating with clients

Track and analyze your total budget across milestones, categories, and/or boards.

  • A ready-made client portal template for projects like content calendars or product development
  • Customizable access privileges for files, so clients only see what you want them to
  • An integrated messaging system to make communication seamless



  • Payment and billing features right in your project management software
  • Client change request and scheduling request forms, to incorporate feedback into your project plan
  • Resource management and capacity planning for even the most complex project resource management board


But don’t take our word for it! Check it out for yourself.

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FAQs about project management software with client portals

You got questions? We got answers.

What is project management software with a client portal?

A project management software with a client portal is a software solution that lets you manage projects both internally and with your clients. It’s a great approach if you want to keep your clients up to date on the progress of your project, assign responsibilities, and avoid communication bottlenecks.

What are the benefits of using a client portal?

If you use a project management software with a client portal, clients can collaborate with you on shared projects more easily. This is a great way to:

  • Keep the client engaged and informed as the project progresses
  • Increase your chances of a positive project outcome
  • Keep both parties aligned on shared goals
  • Organize documentation and centralize communications
  • Save time and reduce bottlenecks

What are the key features to look for when selecting a tool for client portal project management?

That’ll depend on the kind of project you’re usually working on, but at a minimum, look for a tool that is:

  • Flexible and easy to use
  • Comes with different visualization views
  • Makes it easy to track progress and spot bottlenecks
  • Integrates with your usual work tools
  • Allows for real-time communication via comments or messaging
  • Lets you control who can see what

Build and manage effective client portals with

Creating the right space to manage client needs and those of your own organization doesn’t have to be complicated.

See how you can work with clients more effectively and efficiently when you try

The information provided in this article is accurate and up-to-date at the time of publication. Changes and updates in the business operations, policies, or any other relevant factors may occur after publication and we encourage readers to verify any information directly.
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