Whether you want to connect suppliers and buyers, customers and partners, improve the way they communicate with your business, or you want to combine information from several sources, in these cases you need web portal development.
A web portal is a platform that helps you develop protected access to important data, communication tools, interactive tools, and other user-specific content. It serves as a single common source of various information, making the visit convenient and informative for all interested users. Its functionality is good not only for selling a product or service but also for maintaining your brand’s online presence. Develop one for your staff as a sort of intranet, create a portal for students and university processes, and develop a web-based health portal to address various health issues – there are many software solutions to choose from.
With such a solution, you are able to create a more personalized and user-friendly environment for your customers. That’s why it’s vital to know how it can change your business and how you can control it.
Web portal vs. website: Key Differences
Once you’ve decided what your goals are and what type of users you want to see, you need to think about whether you understand the differences between websites and portals. These are two different solutions that serve different purposes for you. It’s not like you step aside and end up losing everything, but your decisions can definitely affect your company’s strategy.
Therefore, let’s look at the main aspects that need to be paid attention to when your own web portal development:
These two types of solutions focus on different goals and projects. So if you have a website, your goal will be to attract as many users as possible. A portal, on the other hand, is developed for a specific audience. Even better, restrict web traffic on such a platform to allow only certain users to visit.
Accessibility and limitations
A website is a project published by you that is accessible to all Internet users. Everyone is free to visit it and see what it has to offer. A website usually does not require you to create an account to access it. Or you may be offered this feature as an option to choose which is more convenient for your own experience. As for the portals, you cannot use their features unless you log in with your own login name and password. This means that only members can see its content. Some portals also offer a free trial subscription to help you check the monetization of the platform.
Depending on each particular website, the information it contains can be static or dynamic, while a web portal only contains the dynamic type of content. Each time a user visits the portal, the content changes. A website helps your business to present itself and show your products to all interested parties. Its goal is to highlight the uniqueness of your brand and increase your target group. The portal is more narrowly focused and provides specific details to certain clients based on user input.
You must understand that these solutions have common features but serve different purposes and are not interchangeable.
Advantages of using web portals over websites
Going to the portal and using the features it provides can bring you many benefits and some of them are as follows:
Easy to use
Web portals are easier to manage. With a simple, intuitive, and user-friendly interface, you can provide access to a wide range of information at any time. And it will always be possible for the user to log in securely.
Improved customer experience
The solution you offer can save users time and increase their satisfaction with your company because you will be able to provide them with the functionality they need. In addition, it can attract new customers to your platform.
Better presentation of data
You can guide your customers through the portal as needed by adding categories, features to display product information in detail, and request dialogs.
You can give your customers a personalized approach and tailor your offers by targeting their interests. This may be possible with the data you collect on the portal.
The portal can provide single sign-on for various common applications. It allows the company to operate as a single mechanism and enables the analysis of data that can be used to improve sales and marketing strategies.
Communication between stakeholders when using the web portal is improved and streamlined.
Choosing the right type for web portal development
After understanding the differences between websites and portals, it is important to explore the portal formats you can go for. When a web portal development, you need to think about the efficient functioning of your project and choose the type that will be suitable for your business model. If you look at the categories, you can choose from the following options:
It is used as a common platform for various companies to bring users all the necessary details about the services they are interested in. It has convenient links to social networks, current news, sports, and so on.
This is a project specially developed for a certain company that wants to provide information regarding its products and technologies. In this case, you can fully run the process as you need with the help of web portal development software or with the help of an outsourcing company that offers experienced web portal development services.
This is perfect when you need to provide your employees with relevant information about their work schedules, upcoming event alerts, and benefits details.
It is an e-commerce portal that gathers all your products in one place and includes CRM product catalogs, a secure payment process with preferred payment gateways, various checkout functions, and so on.
You can choose this type if you want to connect with selected community members. You will benefit greatly from the subscription you offer on such a platform.
Choosing this type opens up the opportunity to collaborate with your business partners on a secure web portal and create mutually beneficial partnerships.
Creating your own web portal and the factors that affect the cost
Before starting the development process, you need to understand that it is not a one-day task and the same is true for web portal development. There are various stages that you need to go through if you want to have a web portal that will make your business successful and consume your time and money. Therefore, include the following steps in the development of the entire cycle:
If you are reading this article, you have already started your preparations. All you need is to plan your project considering all the factors that can affect it. Discover your target group, define key tasks, requirements, and final goals, and involve your business analyst in calculating costs and benefits. It is also important to be able to identify the scope of work of the entire process, to divide large tasks into smaller parts, and to be able to set deadlines.
Once you have your plan and your team ready, it’s time to start architecting and designing your portal. It is recommended to go for open source web portal scripts and be sure to upload the ones you have chosen to your website. Knowledge of MySQL will help you a lot at this stage. Also, pay attention to your UI and UX design team. Ensure that all buttons and images that users click on, as well as portal navigation, are logically structured, easy to use, and intuitive. This is why you need to include software architects, developers, and designers.
Testing and launch
After you create your portal, the next step is to test it. Without testing, you cannot be sure that your project is ready for users. Get your QA department involved to check for all possible bugs and other bottlenecks so you can fix them immediately. At this stage, make sure your solution is compatible with different browsers and devices and optimized for SEO. After completing this step, you can finally release your solution.
It doesn’t end with the launch of your project, because further support is really important. Some of the plugins you added may have stopped working or are no longer compatible. All this can cause functional problems, so you should not forget to maintain your portal.
You must understand that each stage will have its own time and cost. The more complex the portal you want to have, the more money the development process will require. The MVP of custom web portal development usually costs more than $30,000. However, the cost of web portal development depends on the functionality you want to add, whether you work with an outsourcing company or not, and how many smaller processes and specialists are involved in each phase.
Your own web portal development is not an easy task and you may have to deal with many problems just like during any other web development process. And as a result, you will want to see that your project provides smooth navigation and personalized access for all users and that your business grows. Therefore, it is important to know where to start, what details to pay attention to, what features to add to your portal, and how much it will cost you.
To ensure your success in developing a portal that will have steady growth in customers and online traffic, we can support you with our web portal development software and advise on the required web portal development services. So don’t hesitate to contact us.