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The best client portal software compared: 9 options for small business

Compare some of the best client portal software options available to independent business owners. 

Woman using a client portal to communicate

In the independent business world, client portals have become essential for small businesses looking to simplify operations and provide top-notch customer experiences. These client portals offer a centralized hub for effective communication and organization, helping you manage customer relationships more efficiently and effectively.

For independent professionals who offer services, finding the right client portal software is important for maintaining a competitive edge. From photographers and digital marketers to interior designers and social media consultants, professionals in various industries rely on these platforms to keep projects on track while ensuring strong client relationship management

As you evaluate your options, consider factors such as customization options, security features, and integration capabilities with other tools or platforms you already use. With so many software options available today, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each solution before settling on one that best meets your unique needs.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best client portal solutions available on the market, and compare what they offer, ease of use, and other things to help you make an informed decision.

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Why do I need client portal software?

How can we succeed in our businesses if we can’t truly connect with our clients? A dedicated client portal is an important element of a comprehensive client relationship system that allows such a close connection. This kind of software allows your client base to connect to a business like yours through a secure online portal. 

Independent businesses can use client portals to:

  • Connect with clients
  • Communicate with clients
  • Allow clients to share or view files and docs
  • Offer 24-hour access to clients
  • Collect payments
  • Schedule appointments
  • Share sensitive information
  • Provide transparency
  • Collaborate on projects
  • Comply with data privacy laws

There are many reasons for having a client portal and the above are just a few. The question now remains: Which client portal is best for your business? The following sections can help you find out. 

What to look for in the best client portals

Before going into each solution, it’s best to understand what you can expect from a client portal. What exactly should you look for in a client portal?

Ease of use

When evaluating client portal solutions, one of the most critical factors to consider is ease of use. A platform that’s intuitive and user-friendly will save you time and effort, allowing you to focus on delivering exceptional services to your clients. Look for software with a clean interface, straightforward navigation, and clear instructions on how to perform various tasks. Keep in mind that both you and your clients will be using the portal regularly, so it must be easy for everyone involved.

Customization options

As an independent service-based business, you want your client experience to be unique and tailored to your brand identity. Customization options play a significant role in achieving this goal. The ideal customer portal software should offer flexibility when it comes to modifying the appearance and functionality of the platform.

Ideally, look for solutions that allow you to add your logo, choose color schemes, customize email templates or notifications, and even create custom fields or forms if needed. This level of personalization not only enhances your clients’ experience but also reinforces brand recognition throughout all communication channels.

Consider whether the platform can accommodate varying workflows or project structures unique to your industry or service offerings. This adaptability will enable you to manage projects better while providing a great customer experience.

Security and privacy features

Security should never be an afterthought when choosing a client portal solution. After all, you’ll be storing sensitive information about your clients and their projects on the platform. To ensure that your data remains protected, you need to look for software with robust security measures in place.

These may include encryption protocols for data storage and transmission, secure login options such as two-factor authentication (2FA), and regular security updates or patches to protect against vulnerabilities. Also, consider whether the platform complies with relevant data privacy regulations like GDPR or HIPAA if applicable to your business.

Privacy features are also important. You want a platform that allows you to control access permissions on a granular level, making sure that only authorized users can view or modify specific information within the portal.

Integration with other tools and platforms

You’ll almost always need other tools, so make sure your client portal can integrate with other platforms you’re already using. This simplifies workflows by reducing the need for manual data entry or duplication of efforts across multiple systems.

Look for solutions that offer integrations with popular applications such as project management tools (Trello or Asana), accounting software (QuickBooks), customer relationship management known as CRMs (Salesforce), email marketing platforms (Mailchimp), or even social media channels. The more integration options available, the better equipped you’ll be to create a cohesive ecosystem tailored to your unique business needs.

Pricing structure

While cost efficiency is vital for independent businesses operating on tight budgets, it’s important not to sacrifice functionality or quality when selecting client portal software. Analyze each option’s pricing structure carefully to make sure it aligns with your budget constraints and feature requirements.

Some providers offer tiered pricing plans based on user limits, storage capacity, or access to advanced features. The flexibility allows you to choose a plan suited to your current needs while providing the option to scale up as your business grows. Many platforms offer free trials or demos, allowing you to test-drive their functionality before committing to a paid plan.

When evaluating pricing, consider the overall value proposition of each solution rather than focusing solely on cost—a higher-priced option may ultimately be more cost-effective if it offers greater functionality or efficiency improvements that translate into tangible benefits for your business.

PlatformPricingTop FeaturesIntegrations
HoneyBookStarting at $19/mo– Customizable templates including invoices and contracts
– Automations
– Centralized client communication
– Email
– QuickBooks
– Zapier
– Calendly
– Pic-Time
– Facebook Ads
– Zoom
Zoho$49/mo– Customizable appearance
– Document management
– Project tracking
– Google
– Microsoft 365
– Slack
– Shopify
– Facebook Ads
vcita$24/mo– Custom booking page
– Appointments
– CRM tools
– QuickBooks
– Google Analytics
– Square
– Zapier
Moxo$100/mo– Lead tracking
– Sales pipeline and management
– Customizable email templates
– Hubspot
– Zoom
– Slack
– Salesforce
– Dropbox
SuitedashStarting at $19/mo– Calendar management
– Billing portal
– Secure data sharing
– Project management
– WordPress
– Google Calendar
– PayPal
FreshdeskStarting at $15/mo– Linked support tickets
– Team collaboration
– Custom reports
– Google Contacts
– Google Analytics
– Zoho
– QuickBooks
– Mailchimp
ZendeskStarting at $55/mo– Conversational tools
– Automations
– Advanced data privacy
– Shopify
– Slack
– Amazon Connect
– Pagerduty
ClinkedStarting at $95/mo– Task management
– Email notifications
– Configurable widgets
– Client portal customization
– Zapier
– Gmail
– Trello
– Slack

1. HoneyBook: A complete client portal solution for independents

HoneyBook client portal customization

As an independent business, your priority is to maintain strong customer relationships while simplifying your workflows. HoneyBook is a comprehensive client portal solution designed specifically for service-based businesses like photographers, digital marketers, social media consultants, and interior designers. With its wide range of features tailored to your needs, HoneyBook helps you manage projects, book clients, and automate payments all in one place.

What HoneyBook offers

HoneyBook is more than just a client portal. It’s an all-in-one clientflow platform that simplifies the way you manage your business. With features like project management tools, personalized invoicing, contract templates, and messaging systems built right in, HoneyBook has everything you need to improve your client experience while saving time on administrative tasks.

Unique features that cater to service-based businesses

Another standout feature of HoneyBook is its library of customizable templates for proposals, contracts, invoices, and more, making it easy for independents to create professional documents without starting from scratch. You can also automate payments with recurring billing options and securely accept credit card payments through the platform.

In addition to these financial tools, HoneyBook offers robust communication channels that help you stay connected with clients throughout the project lifecycle—from initial inquiry through completion. By consolidating all client communication into one central hub (including emails), you can ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

Ease of use and customization options

HoneyBook’s user-friendly interface makes it easy for even non-tech-savvy users to navigate and customize their client portals. You can personalize each portal with your branding elements, such as logo and color scheme, creating a cohesive customer experience across all touchpoints.

Integration with other tools and platforms

To further simplify your processes and save time on manual data entry tasks, such as transferring contact information or financial records, HoneyBook integrates seamlessly with popular tools like QuickBooks and Zapier. This means you can connect your client portal to other platforms you’re already using, ensuring a smooth workflow and more efficient use of your time.


HoneyBook offers a cost-effective solution for independents looking to enhance their client experience and simplify operations. With HoneyBook’s plans starting at just $19 per month (billed monthly), you can access all of the platform’s powerful features without breaking the bank. For an even better deal, you can opt for a two-year subscription and receive two months free.

One of the key selling points of HoneyBook is its 60-day money-back guarantee, which allows you to try out the platform risk-free and see if it’s a good fit for your business. Plus, signing up for HoneyBook is hassle-free. They offer a 7-day free trial with no payment information required, so you can test-drive the platform before committing to a subscription.

Overall, HoneyBook provides an affordable yet comprehensive solution for independents looking to optimize their client portals and improve customer relationships without sacrificing ease of use or functionality.

Manage every part of your client relationships

Capture leads, convert, and provide an excellent experience with HoneyBook. Go beyond a standard CRM. 

2. Zoho: A robust platform with a learning curve

Zoho client portal

Zoho offers a suite of products designed for independent businesses, including customer portal software that streamlines communication channels and enhances customer experience. Despite its robust features, some users may initially find the learning curve steep and time-consuming compared to more intuitive options like HoneyBook. Additionally, customization options might be limited depending on the chosen pricing plan.

Key features relevant to small businesses

Some key features of Zoho’s client portals include customizable appearance, role-based access control, document management, project tracking, and invoicing integration.

Ease-of-use concerns

While feature-rich, some users may find Zoho’s platform overwhelming or challenging to navigate due to its learning curve, particularly if they’re not tech-savvy.


Zoho’s pricing structure offers a limited free plan for one user, which might be suitable for small businesses or those just starting. However, to unlock its full potential, you would need to opt for the paid plans, which start at $49/month when billed annually. This tier allows up to three users and supports 500 customers but may still have some limitations in terms of customization options and features. A free demo is available for those interested in exploring Zoho’s client portal solutions before committing to a paid plan.

Zoho vs. HoneyBook

While both platforms offer valuable tools for managing clients, Zoho’s strength lies in its extensive suite of products that cater to various business needs. However, this may come with a steeper learning curve compared to HoneyBook’s more user-friendly and specialized approach for independents. If you prioritize ease of use and features tailored specifically for service-based businesses like invoicing and contracts, HoneyBook is a more suitable option.

3. vcita: Simplified appointment booking but limited customization

vcita client portal

vcita is a customer client portal focused on appointment scheduling and communication for independents like photographers and interior designers. It offers an easy-to-use interface for managing bookings, payments, and client interactions. One notable drawback is the learning curve associated with mastering vcita’s features. However, once familiar with the platform, users can reap its benefits efficiently.

Key features relevant to small businesses

vcita’s customizable booking page integrates into your website or can be shared via email and social media. It simplifies appointment booking and includes invoicing features, payment processing integration, automated reminders, and CRM tools for maintaining customer relationships.

Limitations in customization options

While vcita provides excellent scheduling capabilities, it falls short in customization compared to solutions like HoneyBook. The platform lacks advanced contract templates and collaboration tools that can enhance the overall client experience.


vcita’s pricing starts at $24/month for single users when billed annually, with two months free included in the annual billing. The cost scales per user, and for 2–4 users, the price increases to $71/month. vcita offers a 14-day free trial without requiring any payment details, which allows you to test out its features and determine if it’s the right fit for your business needs.

vcita vs. HoneyBook

Both platforms offer valuable tools for managing clients, but vcita’s primary focus is on simplified appointment booking. Its limited customization options do not cater to all types of independents as well as HoneyBook. If your business requires greater personalization in the client portal, HoneyBook would be a more suitable choice.

4. Accelo: An all-in-one solution with a steeper price tag

Accelo client portal

Accelo’s customer portal software offers an all-in-one solution that caters to the unique needs of small businesses. With its comprehensive suite of tools, Accelo enables you to manage your projects, sales, and customer relationships from one central platform. On the downside, Accelo’s pricing structure may discourage some small businesses as it comes with a higher price tag than others on this list. Considering its pricing and limitations, the more enterprising options on this list, like Zoho, become more attractive.

Key features relevant to small businesses

One of the standout features of Accelo is its powerful automation capabilities. The platform can automate various aspects of your business processes, such as task assignment and deadline tracking, which helps save time and reduce manual effort. Additionally, Accelo provides real-time visibility into project progress and performance metrics so that you can make informed decisions on the fly.

Ease of use and customization

When it comes to ease of use and customization options, Accelo stands up well against HoneyBook. The platform offers an intuitive interface with drag-and-drop functionality for quick customization. However, some users might find it slightly more complex than HoneyBook due to its extensive feature set.


Accelo’s pricing starts at $24/month per product/user when billed annually, with a minimum requirement of five users. If you’re willing to invest in a robust all-in-one solution that offers extensive features and integrations, Accelo might be worth considering. There’s a free 7-day trial and a free demo.

Accelo vs. HoneyBook

Accelo positions itself as an all-in-one solution with a steeper price tag, more comparable to Zoho’s suite of products. It’s more suitable for larger businesses seeking comprehensive features at a higher cost. If you prioritize affordability and features specifically tailored to independents, HoneyBook is the more fitting option.

5. Moxo: A powerful CRM with a focus on sales

Moxo client portal

Moxo provides a comprehensive CRM platform, including client portals, project management tools, and marketing automation features. Its user-friendly interface allows easy access to customer information, communication channels, and collaboration tools.

Key features relevant to small businesses

Moxo’s standout features include lead tracking, sales pipeline management, and customizable email templates. It helps you stay organized by keeping all customer interactions in one place and automating repetitive tasks.

Ease of use and customization

Moxo is designed with user-friendliness in mind, making it easy for independents to navigate and manage client portals via a simple drag-and-drop interface for customization. Ultimately, it allows the personalization of client experiences without needing technical expertise. However, while Moxo’s customization options are user-friendly, they may not be as extensive as those offered by the more robust solutions listed here.


Moxo’s pricing starts at a rather steep $100 per month, with a hefty one-time setup fee of $250. Moxo does offer discounts for annual payments, making it a bit more cost-effective in the long run. Take advantage of their free demo before committing to a subscription.

Moxo vs. HoneyBook

Both platforms provide useful client management features, but Moxo leans more toward sales optimization than HoneyBook. If your business relies heavily on acquiring new clients through sales efforts rather than providing ongoing services or consultations, Moxo might be a better fit. Naturally, Moxo’s focus on sales may not cater to all types of service-based businesses equally well as HoneyBook does with its more versatile features like invoicing and contracts.

6. Suitedash: Lets you create proposals and turn them into invoices

Suitedash client portal

Suitedash is a combination of CRM and client portals. 

Key features

  • Calendar management
  • Billing Portal
  • Secure data sharing
  • Email Branding
  • Project management


Suitedash has been said to be user-friendly and client-forward, allowing a vast range of client relationship features and tools to be accessible on one platform. 


Suitedash offers a decent range of pricing: something for everyone. Pricing starts at $19 per month with no contract and no risk. Upgrade to $49 per month for the same benefits as the smaller tier but with Growth tools such as autoresponder marketing. Upgrade yet again to the $99 per month Pinnacle tier for premium tools such as 2 TB of file storage and more. 

You may upgrade or downgrade tiers at any time. Start with a 14-day full-featured trial. 

Suitedash vs. HoneyBook

Like HoneyBook, Suitedash is an all-in-one CRM that offers a wide range of features for handling clientflow, communication, and client portals for an affordable price for small businesses. Try HoneyBook’s free trial — the same 14-day free trial as the free trial for Suitedash — and see which system is best for you.

7. Freshdesk: An easy-to-use help desk system

Freshdesk client portal

Freshdesk is a help desk system that empowers client support teams. 

Key features

Freshdesk offers:

  • Self-service options
  • Linked tickets
  • Analytics
  • Mobile app
  • Team collaboration
  • Custom reports


In its 2024 review, Forbes claims Freshdesk is simple to use and allows for building a client support system relatively easily. 


Freshdesk has four pricing tiers, including the Free tier, which allows up to 10 agents. The Growth tier, at $15 per month, offers everything in the Free tier, plus tools such as advanced automation. The Pro tier, at $49/month/agent, includes benefits such as having up to 5,000 collaborators. Finally, the Enterprise tier is $79 per month, offering benefits such as having unlimited products. 

Freshdesk vs. HoneyBook

The features of Freshdesk lean toward client support. Whereas HoneyBook has a whole suite of tools and capabilities that go beyond mere client support. If you want to have separate software, try the Freshdesk Free tier for client support. Choose HoneyBook for client support and much more.

8. Zendesk: Award-winning client service software

Zendesk client portal

Zendesk is a comprehensive client service system.

Key features

The Zendesk website boasts:

  • Conversational tools
  • Automation and intelligence
  • Easy and quick integrations
  • Advanced data privacy


Zendesk advertises easy and quick integrations, allowing you to do much more than its already large range of capabilities on the platform alone.


Zendesk has a wide range of pricing tiers, starting at a Basic plan of $19 per month. 

  • $55 per month is the price of the Suite Team tier
  • $89 is the price of Suite Growth
  • $115 is the price for Suite Professional
  • Talk to the sales team for Suite Enterprise

Zendesk vs. HoneyBook

Like HoneyBook, Zendesk offers a broad set of features and provides a more comprehensive client support system compared to software such as Freshdesk. If pricing is an issue, HoneyBook is the more affordable option. 

9. Clinked: An easily customizable client portal

Clinked client portal

Clinked is a customizable, custom-branded client portal system. 

Key features

One of the key features of Clinked is that it is a customizable client portal. It offers essentially infinite branding options as well as configurable widgets as part of the portal customization. It also features task management and email notifications.


Clinked is billed as an easily customizable portal. So, if easy customization and branding are important, Clinked may be the solution for you.


Clinked has the most expensive of the pricing tiers in this list. But, there are discounts if you pay monthly, yearly (20% off), or every two years (35% off). The following is the monthly pricing:

  • Lite: $119/month
  • Standard: $299/month
  • Premium: $599/month
  • Enterprise: Contact sales team

All tiers offer a trial. 

Clinked vs. HoneyBook

At such a vast price difference, if you are budget-conscious and need to watch your spending, the $12.80 per month price of HoneyBook will likely seem the obvious choice compared to $199 for the lowest tier of Clinked. 

Choose the right client portal for your business

Choosing from the best client portals depends on your specific needs and budget. Evaluate the ease of use, customization options, security features, integration capabilities, and pricing structure.

Consider Zoho for a robust platform with a learning curve, vcita for simplified appointment booking but limited customization, Accelo for an all-in-one solution with a higher price tag, and Moxo for a powerful CRM focused on sales. Go with HoneyBook for an all-in-one clientflow management platform that can connect your client communication, contracts, invoicing, and payment, so your service delivery is seamless from start to finish.

Manage every part of your client relationships

Capture leads, convert, and provide an excellent experience with HoneyBook. Go beyond a standard CRM. 

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