Testing and Previewing Your New Cycle

By March 6, 2012September 28th, 2022best practices, Build your Application Cycle
If you have created a new cycle, we recommend that you access and review it as an applicant would before inviting them to apply.  This helps you to better understand what your applicants will experience and will better position you to answer questions they may have while applying. If you are modifying existing cycles or you are comfortable with your applicant’s experience in GO Smart, you can forgo the steps below and simply preview the pages to verify modifications.

Create a New Applicant Test User
Allow Access to Your Cycle
Password Protect Your Cycle During Testing


If you have not yet created a test applicant user account, you will want to do the following:
  1. Navigate to your GO Smart applicant portal (your domain.gosmart.org)
  2. Click the “Click Here to create a new profile” link at the bottom of the home page OR click the Login tab in the navigation bar
  3. Click “Yes, I Agree” to the terms and conditions
  4. Fill out the registration form with your information, be sure to select the user type that is appropriate for the cycle you want to test.  If your cycle will be open to Individuals and Organizations, you don’t need to be concerned with this, but you may need to make two users, one Individual and one Organization so that you can test all cycles.
  5. Click Submit at the bottom of the page, you will now be logged in
  6. Navigate to the Current Programs & Applications tab and locate the cycle you want to test*
Your GO Smart applicant portal will be the domain that you created with the GO Smart team. It will always be appended to .gosmart.org.
Create Login and Register buttons that match your branding or let your applicants utilize the default link to register.
Navigate to the Login page if you already have a test user or if you want to click the “Click Here to create a new profile” link from that page. Once you navigate away from the Home page, you are led to the Login page by default.


In order to test, your cycle Display setting must be Show and the dates need to be appropriate.  Do the following to ensure this:
  1. Login as an admin at admin.gosmart.org with your admin credentials
  2. Navigate to the Grant Editor > Program Cycles sub tab
  3. Select the Program and Cycle you are working on
  4. Click on the Applicant Access & Dates tab
  5. Change the Display setting to Show
  6. Scroll down to the dates and ensure the Open Applications date/time is in the past and the Deadline date/time is in the future.
Cycles set to Show are visible to applicants unless there is an invitational code in place.
Cycles with Invite-Only invitational codes in place are hidden from all users who don’t enter the code into the Invitational password field on the applicant portal.


We would also recommend that you give this cycle an Invitational Code while you work on it so that it is not open to all of your applicants.  To do this, you will:
  1. Navigate to Grant Editor > Program Cycles editor
  2. Select your Program and Cycle
  3. Click on the Applicant Access & Dates tab
  4. Set Invite-Only to Yes
  5. Type a generic passcode in the newly available Invitational Code field, we recommend a single word and anything you’ll remember easily
  6. Click Save Changes to save
  7. When you navigate back to the site where you are logged in as an applicant, navigate to the Current Programs & Applications tab, type your Passcode in the top right corner, and you will now have access to this private cycle.
  8. After you have tested and you’re ready for applicants to view the cycle, you can change the Invite-Only setting back to No, or keep it in place if you want to provide the code to all invited applicants.


  1. Adding an invitational code is not retroactive; if an applicant has already accessed a cycle prior to it having had a code, they will continue to have access to it even after you create a code.  For this reason, we recommend creating the code before you even set the Display status to Show.
  2. The code must be unique for each cycle.
  3. The code tool is optional, and if you are not seeing this option on your Program Cycles editor, please contact help@gosmart.org to chat about turning on this feature.
Enter into this field the passcode you created and you will be able to view and access your cycle.