Such a concept as a web portal is gaining popularity and becoming more in demand. Sometimes, portals are confused with a simple website, or people even believe that these concepts are synonymous with each other and do not have fundamental differences. However, this is not at all the case! In this article, we will discuss which types of web portals exist, what is the difference between a website and a web portal, and what to pay attention to while choosing a company to develop a web portal.
What is a web portal?
Web portals are websites that act as a single source for all information in a particular area. A good web portal offers the user a wide range of information arranged in a way that is most convenient for the user to access. Under conditions of proper development, implementation and support, the web portal becomes the starting point of entry for most web users, providing access to the information posted even on other Internet resources. It becomes a meeting place for a generalized group of people in the same age category, profession, or hobby.
Web portals are essentially browser-based applications that allow various activities, including business transactions, such as setting up the supply chain of a particular product. Portals provide access to structured and unstructured data and integrate applications that help perform users’ functions. They also provide real-time access to current and consistent information.
Web portal classification
Web portals have their own specific classification. According to the specialization of information, people distinguish horizontal, vertical, and mixed web portals.
The horizontal type is a universal site that can cover a large number of topics. Such a portal is designed to engage a wide range of audience interests in order to attract attention. On such a portal, you can find news, weather, financial reports, entertainment, gaming, or scientific data.
A vertical portal (B2C-portal) differs from a horizontal portal in that it is built on a specific topic and does not have such wide coverage. These types of portals are intended, rather, for a certain circle of people united by common interests, for example, a Spanish-speaking group.
The mixed type is distinguished by its rich content: a large amount of information that smoothly flows into the business component.
By direction, people distinguish corporate, state, regional, and public portals.
Corporate portals (B2E-portals) provide personal access to both information resources and applications. Such a portal would be appropriate for the use of clients, employees, and partners of any company. The corporate portal is often referred to as a “closed club” because it is closed to ordinary users.
The public portal is available to absolutely all users, and it provides any information.
The state portal is a narrowly focused platform, the purpose of which is to inform all users about news, changes in legislation, and any large-scale incidents regarding the state.
Regional portals are engaged in the generalization of information about a certain territorial area – for example, about a city. It provides information about the life of the region, the latest news and changes.
Web portal features
Web portals have their own characteristics:
- direct access to any information;
- access will be the same in all applications;
- existence of keys for data retrieval;
- support for publishing documents;
- documentation catalogs;
- support and management in group work of users;
- personal access;
The difference between a web portal and a website
Let’s specify the differences between a web portal and a website. It is worth noting the fact that absolutely any web portal is a site, but a site is far from always a web portal. A web portal is much less common than a regular site. The thing is that the development of a portal is a very large-scale and labor-intensive process that requires a large amount of time and financial resources.
The first difference between the portal and the site is the vastness and focus. No matter how extended and filled with information sites are, they have their own specifics and are dedicated to one topic.
The aim of the site is to provide the audience with the maximum amount of material regarding the product in question; the task of web portals is to help the reader, which is aimed at finding answers to any questions of interest through links to external services and providing the necessary resources.
For the portal, the most important component is navigation, sites do not provide for this.
Sites are focused on a specific target audience; portals gather around them, the public with different interests.
Portals have their own specific classification; sites do not have clear classifications.
In other words, the Internet portal has much more functions and a more complex structure than the device.
What to consider when choosing a company to create a web portal?
1. Delivery of information
There are a large number of sections and pages on web portals. This leads to a pile of blocks, and you need to correctly place accents and build the navigation. We advise you to work on these aspects at the prototyping stage.
2. Moderation of a web portal
Comments are very important, but you need to carefully moderate them and authorize the commenter through social networks. This will reduce the proportion of spammers. You can organize a general chat and a forum of interest, letting people write their thoughts. So, while looking for a company, pay attention to the approaches of moderation of thee portals.
3. Project monetization
The main source of income is advertising for this project. Therefore, it is worth developing an “advertising module” – a tool that allows you to flexibly customize ad impressions.
4. Analytical tools
Such functionality allows administrators to collect accurate information about how many users visited the portal and when on which pages the most activity is noted.
5. Mobile version of the web portal
Since every year more and more people access the worldwide web from their mobile gadgets, it is considered good practice to develop a mobile version.
Web portal development is not an easy task, even for experienced developers. At its core, this is a unified web platform with many different user services, presented in the format of a start page with dozens of functions and links to information resources. Digiteum has extensive experience in developing portals of varying complexity for various areas such as government, education, and corporate. The company’s team can design for you both a web and a mobile version of the project without involving additional specialists at different stages of the project.