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Even More Improvements to the Communication System! Pt. 2

December 11th, 2014

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In part 1 of this series, we introduced and showcased the new communication feature that made it easier to send a message to players who have completed a form. If you missed the 1st part of the series then it will be helpful to read Part 1 first.

In part 2, we’re moving away from forms and taking a look at the new tracking message read status feature. This new addition allows you to see detailed information about players who have viewed your message on TeamPages or in their mail client.

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Let us walk you through a step by step tutorial on how this feature works.

Step 1: Creating  a new message

Before we can do anything, we need to create a new message. To create a message, navigate to your inbox by clicking on the mail icon, located in the top right corner, and selecting the ‘INBOX’ link form the drop down menu (indicated by red arrow on the screenshot below).

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Once you reach your inbox click on the ‘NEW’ link (indicated by red arrow on the screenshot below) that will take you to the new message page.

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Step 2: Sending new message

Now that we have reached the new message page (see screenshot below), we’ll send a demo message to a couple of players.

To message a player, begin by typing their name in the ‘To:’ box. A drop down menu should appear which allows you to add that player as a message recipient (for our demo message, we’ve attached 3 different recipients indicated by 1 on the screenshot below). Now that we have our recipients ready, we can fill in the title and body of our message (indicated by 2 on the screenshot below). Finally, to enable tracking, make sure to check the ‘Track read status’ checkbox (indicated by 3 on the screenshot below). When you are satisfied with your message, click on the green ‘SAVE’ button (indicated by 4 on the screenshot below) to send the message.

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Step 3: Reading message

In this step, each recipient that is part of the message from step 2 will read the message.

Let’s begin by logging in onto the 1st recipient’s (‘Oleg Matvejev 3′ from the 2nd step screenshot) TeamPages account. Afterwards, navigate to that account’s inbox and open the message that we sent in step 2. By opening the message on TeamPages we marked that message as read.

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For the 2nd recipient (‘Oleg Matvejev 2′ from step 2), we’ll open the message using a web-based email service. When you open the message’s notification email, you are marking it as read.

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For the last recipient (‘Oleg Matvejev’ from step 2), we’ll mark the message as read using read receipts (keep in mind that read receipts are not supported by most web-based email services and are only available for certain mail clients such as Outlook and Thunderbird). In our case, we’ll open the email message using Thunderbird client. Once the email message is loaded, a read receipt header will appear that allows us to mark the message as read. Click on the ‘Send Return Receipt’ button to mark that we’ve read the email message (indicated by the red arrow on the screenshot below).

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Step 4: Read Status Verification

Let’s check if anyone read our message. Open the original message from the message sender’s inbox. If you look at the bottom right corner of the message, you’ll see a new link telling us that our message was read by 3 people (indicated by red arrow on the screenshot below).

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Press the ‘Seen by 3 people’ link from the screenshot above to see more information about the people who have read your message. A new popup window displaying information about the users who have read your message will appear.

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We hope you enjoyed our previews of new communication features. If you have any questions, suggestions, or feedback about these features, please let us know in the comments below or in any other convenient for you way.

Even More Improvements to the Communication System! Pt. 1

December 8th, 2014

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Two months ago, we introduced a new messaging system that made it possible to communicate with TeamPages on the go. As awesome as that features is, we’re not done improving our communication tools just yet!

In this blog post, we’ll examine a new feature that allows you to send a direct message to collected form results in a click of a button. Then in a subsequent blog, we’ll take a closer look at the new tracking feature that makes it possible to track players that have read your message.

Before we dive into this feature, we need to understand what forms do on TeamPages. A form is a custom page accessible in the ‘FORM MANAGER’ section of your team, club or league settings menu. A form’s primary job is to collect results. For example, many teams, clubs and leagues use forms to collect payments or gather players contact information.

As great as forms are for collecting results, it wasn’t always easy for managers to contact players who have completed a form. In the past, you would have to take all the email addresses collected by a form and send a message to them manually. As you can imagine this process was tedious and prone to mistakes. To solve this issue, we’ve added a one click button that sends a message to players who have completed a form.

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Let’s take a closer look at this feature in a step by step tutorial.

(Note: In this demonstration we’ll be using a team. That being said, you can do everything that this tutorial outlines using a club or a league)

Step 1: Creating New Form

Click on the ‘SETTINGS’ link (indicated by 1 on the screenshot below) on your team’s page. Once the ‘TEAM SETTINGS’ page is loaded, click on the ‘FORM MANAGER’ (indicated by 2 on the screenshot below) in the settings sub menu. This will take you to the ‘FORM MANAGER’ page from where you can create a new form. Press on the ‘ADD’ link (indicated by 3 on the screenshot below) to create a new form.

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Continuing from the step above, we’re now redirected to the ‘CUSTOMIZE YOUR FORM’ page (see screenshot below). This page allows you to create and modify your form. For our purposes the form will only have two email fields, but you are welcome to add any other fields that your form might require. When you are satisfied with your form, click on the ‘CONTINUE TO NEXT STEP’ green button (indicated by 2 on the screenshot below)

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Step 2: Publishing your form

Customize your form until you reach ‘STEP 5: PREVIEW AND PUBLISH’ (see screenshot below). On this page click on the ‘PUBLISH FORM’ green button (indicated by 1 on the screenshot below) to publish your form.

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Congratulations, you have published your form! Your form is now live and can be accessed by other users using the form’s link (indicated by 1 on the screenshot below). Even though your form is published, it’s not collecting any results so, users will not be able to submit any information just yet. To make your form collect results, click on the ‘Collecting Results’ bubble (indicated by 2 on the screenshot below).

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Step 3: Creating dummy results

In this step, we’ll take a role of a player that decided to submit their contact information to our created form. Begin by clicking on the form’s link from the step above (indicated by 1 on the screenshot above). Depending on number of fields you’ve added, you should see a form that looks something like the screenshot below. To create our dummy result, we’ll fill in both email fields with two different emails (indicated by 1 on the screenshot below). Once both emails are filled in, click on the green submit button (indicated by 2 on the screenshot below). We’ve just created a form result that can be accessible using the ‘RESULTS’ link in ‘FORM MANAGER’ settings area (see screenshot above).

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Step 4: Sending a Message

At this point, we want to send a message to email addresses that we’ve submitted in step 3. Begin this process, by going back to the ‘FORM MANAGER’ settings page. Once you arrive there, click on the ‘MESSAGE’ link (indicated by 1 on the screenshot below).

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The ‘MESSAGE’ link from the screenshot above will take you to a familiar new message page (see screenshot below). A more observant reader might notice that there is already a recipient added to this message. This is your form recipient. By default you are sending a message to all email addresses that the form has collected. However, you can adjust bubbles and send the message only to a particular email field (indicated by 1 on the screenshot below). Likewise, you can add another recipient to the message by typing their name in the ‘To:’ field. (Note: You cannot add another form as recipient )

Our recipients are ready and it’s time to fill in the message’s title and body (indicated by 2 on the screenshot below). When you are done composing your message, click on the save button to send the message (indicated by 3 on the screenshot below).

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Step 5: Verification

Let’s verify that the message was sent correctly to all submitted emails from step 3.

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Hooray! Each email address has received the demo message.

Some Possible Gotchas:

  • You can only send a message to a form that has an email address field.
  • Users can reply to the form’s message using their mail client. However, only the message sender will be able to access the form’s message and all associated message replies on TeamPages.

This concludes the first part of the series that examines new communication features. Join us for the next part as we showcase the new tracking message read status feature. Click here to read Part 2

New Themes Launched for New Accounts

November 27th, 2014

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My TeamPages looks … different.  What happened?

On Monday evening, TeamPages began defaulting all new clients to a brand new theme.  We changed the default theme because we finally felt that our new theme was ready for prime time and that we’d finally ironed out the kinks.

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Our default themes now properly support:

  • IE 8+
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari, including mobile Safari

The biggest news here is that new TeamPages sites now look great on your mobile phone – in addition to your regular browser.

All of these themes were designed to change up how they look so that they look best for the tool you’re using to view them.  All of these themes improve site navigation and add breadcrumbs to help you navigate the site more easily.  Some of these themes give you a bigger news slider.  You’ll also get more options to control the colors used on your site.

If you’ve got this far, perhaps you’re wondering if this is just a gift for new clients, or whether you need to pay to get access to a new, good looking site.  That is absolutely not the case; you can change your site theme by heading to the settings area for your team, club, league or organization and then choosing the “Themes” option in the left hand menu options.

If you’re worried about problems, we’ve had some clients using these new themes for over six months.  We’re releasing them because they’re ready – and well tested.

Please note that some of these themes offer new places to put widgets, so we cannot properly map widgets when you switch themes to the correct column.  As part of upgrading, you may need to rearrange the widgets on your home page.  Also, some of these new themes are wider, and you may want to upload a new banner – otherwise your existing banner will simply be enlarged.

PS – For those of you still using IE 8, we appreciate your tenacity.  However, we’re finding that we can offer a much better experience on a  more modern browser.  If you cannot upgrade to a more modern version of Internet Explorer, we encourage you to try Chrome or Firefox.

Improvements to the Messaging System

September 22nd, 2014

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We know how important it is to be able to communicate with your teams, clubs, organizations, and other TeamPages users reliably, securely and on the go. To address all these concerns, we are excited to present you with the improved messaging system that is available to you today!

The new messaging system will give users more control when interacting with the messages from their mail clients. For instance, you can now choose to to reply to all of the message’s recipients or only the sender directly from your mail client. In addition, all of the replied messages from mail clients are now added to conversations and can then be viewed in your inbox on TeamPages. Finally, we have masked the message sender’s email address(s) and made sure that only the correct recipients are able to reply to messages from their mail clients.

Lets take a closer look at how the new reply features work!

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Replying to All Recipients from the Mail Client:

Step 1: We will begin this demonstration by sending a message with multiple recipients, while making sure that the “reply all” option is checked.

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Step 2: Both recipients should receive a notification email about the new message that was sent to them from TeamPages. We will login into one of the recipient’s mail client and wait until “Demo Message” notification email arrives (note: Depending on how busy our servers are, the message notification email might take up to 15 minutes before it arrives). Once the notification email arrives, we will select that message and click on the reply to all link.

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(For this demonstration we are using the GMAIL mail client)

Step 3: We will then write the reply message and click on the send button.

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Step 4: To verify that our reply message was added to the conversation on TeamPages, we need to go back to the original conversation from step 1.

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At this point we have verified that the message was added to the conversation correctly. Lets try to do something a bit different and send a reply message to the sender only.

Replying to the Sender Only from the Mail Client:

We will repeat a similar process as above, but instead we will only reply to the sender instead of every recipient in the conversation.

Step 1: Again we will login into the first recipient’s mail client and open the “Demo Message” notification email. Now instead of clicking the reply all link, we will click on the reply link.

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Step 2: Lets write a reply and click on the send button again.

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Step 3: Finally, we will verify that only the sender has received the message by heading back to the conversation.

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Our reply message was added with only the original sender present in the ‘to’ area.

Message System Future:

One of our next big milestones for messaging system, is to allow team invitations/club invitations to interact with the messages from their mail client just like we did above.

Conclusion:

We hope that this demo gave you a feel on how you can interact with the messaging system using your mail client. If you have any questions or feedback about this feature do not hesitate and ask in the comments below, or contact our support directly in the most convenient way for you: http://www.teampages.com/contact

New TeamPages Themes

June 23rd, 2014

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We are excited to announce the arrival of a new look and feel for TeamPages!

We know that managing a sports team or league takes a lot of hard work, and our goal is always to make this as easy as possible!  With the new themes you can access your site from a phone or tablet, because the site resizes to fit any device.  We have made some key changes to the navigation structure, as well as put some much needed love into the overall design elements.

Pro and All-Star Clubs, Leagues, and Organizations will be able to select from a variety of themes, and customize the appearance of their website more than ever before!

The new themes are modern, mobile-friendly, and intuitive.  Read on to discover what’s new with the themes and what you can be expecting to see in the near future!

Want to see it in action?  View our live demo!

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 MOBILE READY

All team members can now easily navigate their team page from their phone to check schedules, read discussions, and get news updates.  Administrators can easily make quick changes to the site as needed, such as updating events and sending out notifications.

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IMPROVED NAVIGATION

We have restructured the navigation to make sites easier to use and organize. User navigation (profile, photos, notifications, etc) has been relocated to the top right corner of the site.  Here, it is always visible and does not interfere with the main site navigation for the team, club, or league.

before - the user navigation was acting as the primary navigation, with the contextual nav underneath relating to the current organization, league, or team page.

 

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afterWe recognized that the main purpose of the primary navigation should be to move around the site structure with ease, and the user navigation could be relocated to improve usability.

The user navigation is now located in the top right hand corner of the site, allowing access to your profile, photos, settings, and messages underneath the user icons.  You can view all of your teams, clubs, and leagues from one convenient location.

 

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We also improved the main navigation structure to give more options for users to choose from.  Now, the main navigation can be a constant presence across all leagues and teams, allowing users to navigate back to the organization at any time.

Breadcrumbs just underneath the main nav show users where they are in the site structure, and provide convenient links back to recently visited pages.

The contextual nav shows pages and links related to the league, club, or team page that the user is currently looking at. Here, there is a spot for the team name, and unlimited space for menu items and mulit-tiered drop-down menus.

 

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UPDATED DESIGN

The new themes feature a more versatile layout with a much cleaner, modernized look and feel. We have updated our widgets to improve usability, and put some love into the design details.

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PROFILE PAGE

The TeamPages profile page design has been updated with a clean look and feel.

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EASY-TO-UPDATE SETTINGS

Adjusting your settings is easier than ever with the new themes, thanks to improved design and layout. Easily add content, choose colours and create custom widgets from the settings menu.

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FUTURE TEMPLATE DESIGNS

We’ve got more exciting new themes coming your way in the next few months, take a sneak peek below:

 

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GET THE NEW TEMPLATES

We are currently offering the new themes to our Pro and All-Star clients! If you would like a new look and feel for your TeamPage, give us a call to find out how you can get the new themes:

Call Toll Free: 1-800-500-7203

We look forward to taking your website to the next level.

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You Can Now Reply to Event Invitations via Email

June 19th, 2014

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In the past, you would have to set your event attendance status by logging in into your TeamPages account. We realized that this was a cumbersome and time consuming process. To address this concern, we are excited to unveil a new way that you can interact with the event invitation system. When you receive your event invitation email, you can now change your attendance status directly from your mailboxes simply by replying to that email and writing YES or NO on the first line of the reply email. From there TeamPages will examine that reply email and adjust your event attendance accordingly!

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Lets take a closer look at this feature! For this demonstration we will accept an event invitation using our mail client.

Step 1: Create Event

On your teams page select ‘Calendar’ tab in the navigation and then click on the ‘Add Team Event’ link

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This will bring up a new form where you can create the new event. Fill in the fields with the appropriate information and make sure to select ‘Send an email’ option. Click on the ‘Save’ button when you are done.

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Once the event is created the attendance page will look something like this. As you can see our player’s status is currently set as ‘No Response’

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Step 2: Checking the Email

Since you have enabled the ‘Send an email’ option when creating the event, your players will receive an event invitation email for the event as shown below (Note: depending on how busy our servers are this process might take anywhere from 15 seconds to 15 minutes before you will receive your email). Now click on the reply button inside the event invitation email.

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(For this demonstration we are using Mozilla Thunderbird OSX mail client. Similar results are achieved in other mail clients or webmails)

In the reply email write “YES” without quotes on the first line of the email’s body and then click on the send button.

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Step 3: Verification

After you have sent the reply email you should receive a confirmation email stating that the action was successful.

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Lets make sure that our attendance was changed accordingly on the event page.

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Available Reply Phrases:

Below are all the available reply phrases (as of 6/18/2014) that you can use to adjust your status. Our system only looks at the first line of the reply email body ignoring any capital letters. Therefore, Yes, YES and yEs will be parsed as yes.

Attending Options: Not Attending Options: Tentative Options:
Yes No Maybe
Accept Decline Tentative
Sure Not Attending
I’ll Be there

Thank you for taking your time in reading this blog. If you have any questions or feedback about this feature do not hesitate and ask in the comments below.