What is a web portal?
In terms of defining exactly what a web portal is, it is important to understand its significance and role in business and technology. A portal can be thought of as a single, main gateway into an assortment of content. More specifically, a web portal is often the main starting point for an online user/web surfer. Web portals often consist of a collection of loosely integrated features with many resources and links to different services. They have become commonplace in today’s technology-driven lifestyle whereby web surfers utilize portals such as www.yahoo.com or www.msn.com. These websites are solid examples of web sites that have expanded to become a point of entry onto the information superhighway. These sites, just like many others that fall into the same category of “web portal,” provide a user with a number of features, content, and resources, such as links to information, news, and people as well as the ability to search the web. Businesses can benefit from this kind of technology by providing a web portal as the chief starting point for customer exploration and contact. Furthermore, a web portal is vital for a corporation that utilizes e-commerce.
Web Portal is a single point of access to a variety of contents:
Portals give you a managed online experience, and can be particularly helpful as a start and return point for those new to the web. Portal content is dynamically managed through databases, application windows, and sometimes cookies. Web portals often organize information into channels, customizable page containers where specific information or an application appears. Channels make it easy to locate information of interest by categorizing content.
Web portals offer advantages over home pages because they can offer user-specific, customized views. For example, a university’s web portal could offer customized, specific content available to you based on your roles (e.g., faculty, student, staff, and administrator). Roles help the portal determine your privileges for reading, searching, updating, adding channels, and personalizing content. The portal uses the information stored in the roles to offer the appropriate content and service choices. You can then create further, more specific content organization by selecting from the personalized material and services, thus making the portal work the way you do.
Pool of Portals:
The portals can be differentiated on the basis of their content and intended users.
– Vertical Portals: These are web portals which focus only on one specific industry, domain or vertical. Vertical portals provide tools, information, articles, research and statistics on the specific industry or vertical.
– Horizontal Portals: These are web portals which focus on a wide array of interests and topics. They focus on general audience and try to present something for everybody. Horizontal portals try act as an entry point of a web surfer into the internet, providing content on the topic of interest and guiding towards the right direction to fetch more related resources and information. Classic examples of horizontal portals are yahoo.com, msn.com etc which provide visitors with information and on a wide area of topics.
– Enterprise Portals: These are portals developed and maintained for use by members of the intranet or the enterprise network. In today’s demanding business enterprise the key to productivity of the employees depends on access to timely information and resources. The most common implementation of enterprise portals focus on providing employees with this information on a regularly updated manner along with document management system, availability of applications on demand, online training courses and web casts etc along with communication in the form of emails, messaging, web meetings etc.
– Corporate Portals: A corporate portal provides personalized access to an appropriate range of information about a particular company.
Corporate portals have become one of the hottest new technologies of the Internet.
– Market space Portals: Market space portals exist to support the business-to-business and business-to-customer e-commerce, software support for e-commerce transactions and ability to find and access rich information about the products on sale also, ability to participate in discussion groups with other vendors and/or buyers.
In Next Mile Digital, Web Portal Development services include:
- Customized application development for a web portal already in place.
- New web portal solutions integrating a great interactive design with a latest technology platform.
- Integrating third party applications such as payment gateways, open source interactive modules etc.
- B2B portal solutions that provide comprehensive web services such as e-commerce application with shopping cart
- B2C portal solutions for a business to reach its target customer base. Provide a single point of contact to the users to effectively access wide spectrum of useful information, conveniently.