Detailed Explanation of All GoHighLevel Terminology
This glossary is in a somewhat logically grouped order (not alphabetical) and written for those who understand a bit of the digital marketer industry jargon.
Agency View 🧠
The admin panel for your entire GHL account and all of its subaccounts, snapshots, users across all subaccounts, etc.
Subaccount, Sub-Account, and Location are used interchangeably. Each business entity (Bob’s Concrete, Sally Dry Cleaning, etc.) should be in its own subaccount. As an Agency user, you can create unlimited subaccounts if you have that tier of HighLevel subscription.
Depending on how you consider it, GHL has dozens or hundreds of features. The GHL Ideas Board is where you can log feature requests (new ones or enhancements) and bug reports. It’s also where they post their latest release news (the Changelog icon, only visible to Agency Admins).
GHL Support is available to Agency Admins, not end users. As an agency, it’s your responsibility to provide onboarding, tech support, and other fulfillment services to your customers. You may optionally pay GHL or a third-party to service your end users. Contact us with your use case requirements if you need any recommendations.
To reach support, click the blue question mark icon in the top-right. You can connect with live chat support, submit an email ticket, or hop on a Zoom call. With GHL’s meteoric rise in popularity, their support occasionally goes through some growing pains. GHL offers a paid upgrade for Priority Support to get quicker service and be able to call Support on the phone; you likely won’t ever need it.
“Marketplace” is used in 2 ways, unrelated to each other:
- GHL’s own marketplace service offerings like Priority Support, done-for-you (DFY) account setup, HIPAA compliance, and other upgrades.
- GHL’s developer marketplace allows third-party developers to build integrations with the HighLevel platform.
GHL offers its own courses called HighLevel University. You might be granted access to courses like Lead-Gen Playbook or Affiliate Challenge. You’ll see the University menu item at your Agency Admin screen.
Basically the “universal inbox” for all types of communications, including phone calls, emails, DMs, and reviews.
Chat Widget 💬
Used to start new SMS text conversations from your website (i.e. not a true “live chat” widget). Alternatively, you can enable a true “live chat” mode like most chat widget software, but it’s almost never recommended (only if staffed 24/7/365, else visitors have a bad experience).
Forms and Surveys 📈
Both intake new data like any “form” online. A GHL Form is where all the questions are in view at once, like a typical online form. A GHL Survey is more like one question per page with a progress bar: if you answer Yes to page 1’s question, you’re sent to Survey page 2, else to Survey page 3. Both have conditional logic and share the same Custom Fields.
Custom Fields ⚙️
Anything you want to track per contact is a Custom Field. It could be a single line text, checkbox, or file upload. You can also apply Custom Fields to Opportunities.
Every field added to a Form or Survey is a Custom Field. If a contact completes FieldA via Form1 on Monday, it’ll be visible on their contact record. If they then complete Form1 again or Form2 or Survey1 or any other Form or Survey that uses FieldA, the data visible in FieldA on the contact record will be overwritten.
Therefore, if you need to keep track of the history of each field value change, you should use a Workflow to do so automatically. For example, you could have a Workflow triggered by any Form or Survey submission that—if FieldA is not blank—adds a Note to the contact. You may also look in the database view of each submission, but that’s a bit more cumbersome if researching a single contact.
Custom Values ⚡️
Although similar in name to Custom Fields (per contact), Custom Values are instead more like variables effective at the subaccount level, not per contact. Examples may include a business’ Meta Pixel ID, terms and conditions link, or an HTML snippet (like a custom WordPress shortcode).
Merge Fields ❤️
Merge fields (a/k/a merge tags or variables) are awesome. They should be used throughout a subaccount as often as possible. You can use them in messaging templates, website footer text, and Workflows.
Merge fields examples include:
- Contact fields like First Name, Full Name, or Custom Field
- Opportunity fields like Opportunity Name, Opportunity Value, or Custom Field
- Subaccount standard information fields like Account Name, Account Website, or Account Phone
- Custom Values
Note that merge fields cannot include other merge fields (like MergeFieldC = MergeFieldA then a space then MergeFieldB), and they work with or without a leading or trailing space within the curly braces, but it’s best to have no spaces.
The Contacts menu item within a subaccount is sometimes referred to as the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module, but GHL itself could be considered a CRM.
CRM is an industry term that is pretty generic in meaning. It can be called an online address book but is really anything with contact information records and the ability to link them to other things in a system, such as which forms they completed or what their current deal stage is (e.g. from lead to closed to asked for referral).
You can make notes on each contact. They are timestamped, and the author of each note is displayed. You can edit past notes.
You can assign tasks to yourself, someone else, or nobody in specific. All tasks are linked to a contact record or can be generic tasks within a subaccount (not contact-specific).
You can assign due dates and see past-due tasks, but it’s not quite as full-featured as a full project management (PM) system with gantt charts, dependent tasks, or task templates.
Smart Lists 🙋
You can search and filter the Contacts very quickly and easily. If you want to save a filter, it’s called a Smart List. You can keep the Smart List private to yourself or shared with other subaccount users.
Think of this as a deals pipeline. You can have multiple pipelines, such as for different lines of business within a single subaccount. Each pipeline can have its own stages. The different pipelines are not related to each other.
These are individual records within a pipeline linked to a contact record. You can have Custom Fields on Opportunities, such as “Commission Percentage” per deal. A single contact may have unlimited opportunities across any number of pipelines.
Trigger Links 🤯
Trigger links are like URL Redirects on steroids. It’s where a single link is customized to each contact recipient. Think of it like a UTM parameter specific to each person you sent the link to.
For example: you email or text contact Bob Jones a link to your booking page (example.com/calendar) via Trigger Link. If he clicks it, you’ll see it in the Activity pane of his contact record (screenshot).
You can even trigger a Workflow based on whether or not someone clicked the Trigger Link you sent them, such as sending a follow-up 24 hours later.
Triggers and Campaigns 🚫
Always leave them disabled on every subaccount and just use Workflows. Workflows are more flexible, powerful, and are the current standard functionality. Sometimes you’ll import a snapshot that has Triggers or Campaigns. You could import them and manually convert them to Workflows, then disable Triggers/Campaigns, or you could leave them as-is but that’s not ideal for the long-term.
The brains and brawn behind all the HighLevel features working together. It’s like your own internal Zapier, Make.com, or IFTTT. Plus, it can send data to any of those services via webhooks or even built-in actions like Google Sheets or ChatGPT.
They can be super complex or simple. You can organize them into folders, but one workflow does not know about the others so you could potentially create infinite loops between multiple workflows.
Although you instantly love the idea of automating almost everything, it’s highly recommended you start slow and add automations as you tackle more and more of your business processes with GoHighLevel.
The main pro tip is to stay organized and very descriptive because you’re not going to remember exactly what each workflow does (vs what it’s supposed to do) in 3 months.
The most popular part of the GHL ecosystem that’s publicly visible… but highly misunderstood. Basically it’s a subaccount template. It could include a single workflow or 100 of them. It could include 2 calendars, 15 message templates, and 4 workflows.
There’s a healthy third-party market for GHL snapshots, some selling for $5,000+. While that might initially sound exorbitant, think how much of your team’s time and each of your clients’ teams’ time might be spent building out a proven offer with time-saving automations, then implementing the bug fixes you find along the way.
Yes, a great snapshot is extremely valuable. The problem is when people think a snapshot will give them a plug-and-play overnight success cash-generating machine. While that definitely could be true if properly implemented, snapshots are not a magic wand to wave over your subaccount.
All GHL Agency Admin users (not someone signed up under a white label) have access to GHL’s own snapshots. To be honest, I wouldn’t use any of these default ones unless you’re brand new and just want to see what’s inside. In this case, create a new subaccount with the word “test” or “temp” in it, install the snapshot to it, skim through or peruse, and then delete this subaccount. Feel free to repeat this process for future snapshots, whether direct from GHL or from someone else.
The main gotcha of installing a snapshot is that you have no idea what’s inside or what it’s meant to do. Are you supposed to bring traffic in from a CSV contact upload and then assign all 600 of them a tag, or are you supposed to drive traffic to the built-in funnel? A valuable snapshot is likely busy or complex looking at first glance and ideally should come with an introductory video so you can get started right away and avoid disasters like some bulk texting workflow getting triggered to anyone with the first name of “John”.
Some GHL users collect snapshots and want to get their hands on as many as possible. While this can be interesting (heck, we do it), it’s not actionable and going to make you money. A snapshot imported to your agency is not valuable; a snapshot installed into your subaccount is.
But you almost always should install only 1 snapshot per subaccount. Of course, this is to avoid conflicting logic in workflows but also because of the different data objects (e.g. calendars or pipelines) are never going to align. If you install a snapshot having a workflow that triggers when Form7 is completed, but you prefer to use Form8, you could choose to skip importing the Form7 when installing the snapshot, or you could import it and leave it there but then update the imported workflow to trigger on Form8’s submission instead.
Reading all this might get you worried or scared by the complexity. I’ve just dumped out all the challenges with snapshots for your awareness, but you won’t experience the magic of a snapshot (even a simple one) until you do it yourself… so don’t be scared, get started!
White Label (WL) 💰
Imagine paying $497 per month and having the same online software available to sell as Microsoft Excel, Google Sites, or Apple iCloud. Well, that’s what white labeling allows you to do.
You can brand (not have to build) the software to your potential audience. You could call your white label GoHighLevel anything—”Property Proud CRM” or “Leads-R-Us” or “Dental Craze System” or “DIY Marketing”—whatever you want!
Then you add your own bits of styling, messaging, training, support, integrations, etc. to best serve your users.
You sell this system for $100/mo or $300/mo or $1,000+/mo, keep all the profit, and don’t have to do any of the actual software coding.
You’re the end users’ point of contact, and they’ll expect you to regularly monitor and improve the software. This is largely done for you by HighLevel releasing bug fixes, enhancements, and new features—but each update is an opportunity for you to share the latest updates and tips so they fall more in love with your software every year.
Businesses rarely cancel software subscriptions; they never cancel the ones they’re actively using and relying on.
LeadConnector (LC) 📱
White labeling is where you put your brand on someone else’s product. It looks totally like yours.
Gray labeling is where the software provider (GHL) names shared resources in a way that the general user wouldn’t know is related to something else, yet it’s not your brand.
LeadConnector is HighLevel’s gray label. You’ll see it in a lot of places: Zapier, some URLs, LC Phone (Twilio wrapper), LC Email (Mailgun wrapper), and the native mobile app in the phone app stores.
Your white label isn’t going to be negatively impacted by providing your end users instructions to go download the LeadConnector mobile app because things will just work, as they expect, and even if they researched what LC is, they’re not going to easily find references to GoHighLevel… and even if they did (as my SaaS clients could via this page), they’re end users; they’re not in the mentality to start their own software company instead of using your service. Or ask questions like why am I paying $500/mo instead of $97/mo? Well, it’s because they bought from you, you invest in your relationship with them, and you provide value-added services or other benefits to those who sign up under your white label offering.
SaaS Reseller Plan (a/k/a SaaS Mode) 🤑
You can white label on the $297/mo plan but you have to manually add new subaccounts, and you get charged for your clients’ usage of “consumables”.
“Consumables” is my own phrasing, not ever mentioned in GHL’s documentation. By this, I am referring to the parts of GHL that cost you per transaction, such as sending a text or email.
Hosting a website in GHL does not cost you anything additional, but sending a text does. GHL pays Twilio for each text you send, so of course they’re going to charge you for each text you send.
If your subaccount client Bob’s Car Dealership sends a text (as they should since you want them using the system), you get charged for it. Doesn’t it make sense for Bob to pay for each text instead of you? Well you can set that up in the Agency Unlimited subscription level, but you’re just passing along the charges.
Imagine that, for each text Bob sends out, instead of him paying (imaginary numbers just for example) $0.01 he instead pays $0.013 per text. That’s a 30% increase but not even noticeable to Bob since it’s still ultra affordable, yet it allowed you to make a 30% markup without doing any extra work.
Now imagine you have 10 subaccounts not only paying you $300/mo for the system but also spending on consumables they would be using anyway. This is a major benefit of reselling via SaaS Mode.
Typically the $297/mo plan is for agencies providing a service to businesses using GHL, such as getting GHL as part of your SMMA services bundle.
The $497/mo SaaS plan is for agencies trying to be a software provider. It’s a common progression but not the right fit for everyone. If you’re heavily into providing marketing services, you probably don’t want the SaaS plan… but trust me that it’s really nice if you can get it.
There are 3 owners of HighLevel, Inc. The 2 founders are engineers who created the system many years ago, but it just did not sell well because it was too technical and they weren’t the right fit to provide implementation services. One day they got an order from a marketing agency owner who, after trying it, wanted to order it again and again for his other clients. That was the lightbulb moment for the 2 founders to add the 3rd as a partner and GHL got focused on having marketing agencies as its client so that marketing agencies could do the implementation and maintain the client relationship.