What is a web portal?
A web portal is a professionally constructed website that gathers data from several sources, such as emails, online forums, and search engines, in a consistent manner. Each information source often has a designated space on the page for information presentation; frequently, the user may specify which sources to display.
A web portal, sometimes characterized as a platform, is indeed a particularly created website that collects and displays information in a variety of ways or according to the user’s preferences.
Describe a web portal
Services and features that may be added to a portal include search engine APIs for intranet or Internet search, email, news, forums for group discussion, dashboards, and business mashups that combine data, tools, and applications. The necessity to register in order to access restricted material is a common feature in portal solutions.
The Latin word “portale,” which means “city gate,” gave rise to the name “portal,” which has a very interesting history. A web portal is simply a gateway to further information, gated content or services, eCommerce listings, or search results. This term fits the concept well. Providing structured and/or individualized access to a lot of material or services is the ultimate purpose of a portal, to continue.
What Distinguishes a Website from a Web Portal?
Since both websites and web portals appear to display information in an ordered manner on the surface, it may not be entirely apparent what the differences between them are. However, a web portal increases the interactivity of such information.
A website may include a vast amount of information (such as certain blogs), content that may be filtered using categories or tags, but this information flow is largely one-way and restricted to the one website. As opposed to this, a web portal enables users to engage (e.g., utilize a calculator, drag items around a dashboard), access information or services, and connect out to them from several online sites.
Even though websites can have pretty sophisticated visuals, a portal is a type of web app that uses a more intricate, modular design to give the user a more tailored experience. However, this is not always the case. Many portals are built behind a registration system (such as an intranet).
Types of Web Portals
There are two main classifications for web portals: vertical and horizontal.
Vertical Web Portal
A vertical web portal, or “vortal,” is a portal to particular information or services created with a particular target audience or set of interests in mind. These vertical portals might target certain industries by sector or function or be general interest news sites (such as entertainment news or vehicle sales) (e.g. HR). Another illustration of a vertical portal is a corporate portal.
Horizontal Web Portal
Typically supplemented by search and customization, a horizontal web portal gathers and provides data from many sources across a broad variety of interests. For instance, a weather network that allows for dashboard customization and customization by town.
The phrase “mega portal” refers to horizontal web portals that aim to reach the largest audience or the whole Internet (examples include Yahoo, MSN, and government portals). An assortment of vertical portals may also be a horizontal portal, as we can see with Yahoo’s forays into sports, fashion, and entertainment.
Benefits of a Web Portal
Web portals can be a hugely valuable digital solution to very common user experience challenges, including:
- Personalization: Portals can personalize information based on inputs from the user, either given explicitly or implied by location data (e.g. weather). Portal features can be assigned by user role or details (e.g. IT user or Economics student), providing a customized level of access that begins before a user logs in, or can be customized by the user (often in a dashboard).
- Customized interaction: Portals can offer alternative ways to communicate with customers, including support for email, calls, forums, and dashboards that display statistics or custom data flows.
- Single Sign On: Portals allow access to a variety of other systems via single sign-on (SSO), streamlining the end user experience.
- Content aggregation: One of the main features of a portal is the ability to aggregate content and services from many sources.
- Sophisticated features: A portal is a kind of web app, often a collection of web apps known as “portlets”, which collaboratively supports the various interactive components of the overall portal.
- User-friendly: The ability to organize vast amounts of information and jump off to valuable services is great, but most portals become invaluable because they pay particular attention to the user experience: delivering useful, valuable, accessible, findable and desirable information in an intuitive way that exceeds expectations.
- Agility: Portal platforms are modular by nature, making it possible to roll out new features or touch points while still supporting existing experiences.
When to Use a Web Portal
Why use a web portal? Web portals do a really great job of dealing with complexity and with personalization:
- If you need to provide personalized user experiences, consider the benefits of a portal.
- If you have large amounts of content or content that requires contributions from many different people
- If you need to integrate a wide variety of systems but would like to offer a seamless user experience.
Popular Services of Web Portal
An entry point for suppliers to help the procurement process is a vendor portal, also known as a supplier portal or a tender portal (for government). The portal may facilitate bidding or authorized vendor interactions, including document exchange, order management, invoicing, payment processing, and delivery information.
A patient portal that supports communication between patients and medical providers and provides advantages to both parties is called a patient portal. Patient portals frequently streamline procedures for scheduling appointments, sending HIPAA-compliant messages, managing finances (including online billing), seeing secure health records, and more. This alleviates a lot of the patient’s pain points related to medical connections and may enable them to better comprehend, manage, and pay for their treatment. A patient portal has the ability to enhance patient health while lowering administrative costs associated with routine chores (intake, reminders, etc.).
From small start-ups to giant corporations, an employee portal or intranet is a very useful component of many enterprises. An intranet serves as a central hub for information sharing, information discovery, self-service IT support, employee training materials organization, team organization and management, and collaboration and communication capabilities (e.g. message boards, forums, chats). Intranets of today don’t resemble the forums of the past; instead, they have advanced features like configurable dashboards, targeted content distribution, online events, and interaction with other business enablement and intelligence platforms like Slack, Asana, and Marketo. Only workers are permitted access to the intranet, which is maintained on a local subnet. Sharepoint, Google Drive, Yammer, Jostle, and Bitrix24 are a few examples of intranets.
An extranet is a private network intranet that allows authorized users from outside the network, such as partners, vendors, suppliers, or other reliable users or clients that closely cooperate with the business, to have limited access. Extranets can be a useful tool for collaborating with outside parties, facilitating projects, facilitating the interchange of private information, facilitating the provision of self-service resources to clients, or facilitating complicated logistics (e.g. inventory, ordering, shipping with suppliers and distributors).
Many governments run a variety of websites, both generally and to assist particular government agencies or target groups. Most portals combine e-services with information aggregation.
Portals for students and professors are used at every level of education, from HSC to higher education. The use of student portals to share course materials, publish or manage assignments, manage grades, issue announcements, and engage with students has grown significantly as a result of advancements in digital education.
A contemporary portal can give faculty members consolidated, single sign-on (SSO) access to the many educational systems, such as SIS, ERPs, CRMs, and learning management systems.
Personalized dashboards that only display information that is pertinent to them and function as a starting point for interactions with higher-level services or teamwork with other teachers or students are advantageous to both students and faculty.
A financial portal is an integrated communication and collaboration platform built around financial data and information. Numerous financial portals are accessible, some of which are linked to banks or investment organizations. There are also third-party tools that input personal data.
A contemporary financial portal gives quick access to information about your financial situation, such as stock prices, account balances, and even your bill amount. Many of these portals put a lot of emphasis on complex visualizations and calculators to assist users in managing their finances and making decisions around budgeting, saving, or trading. The majority of websites also provide access to adviser connections, as well as news and information on finance and the economy.
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