A web portal is different from a website. It is a specially designed website that gets information from diverse sources in a consistent way. In a web portal, each source of information has a dedicated page/section for displaying the fetched information. The pages (portlet) are configurable and the user can decide which information (portlets) to display.
Benefits of Web Portals to Enterprises
Web portals have access to the different application and information services on the Web. They enhance the ability of webpage to share more and quality information. Since web portals are made for distinct domains as it gives businesses more opportunities to interact with the customers. The web portals have ultimately become doorways to future customers. There are several benefits of a web portal. Some of the benefits are:
- It acts as a single point of access to different business systems.
- It aggregates all corporate information in a single place.
- It customizes information as per needs of different department/staff.
Best practices in portal development
Integration – Integration of the web services is the building block of enterprise portals. Digital social networks play an important role in discoverability of the websites. Hence, it is very important to integrate social media into portals. You need to consider integrating social media as infrastructure elements. For example, the top and the bottom of the page remain constant and are not affected by page navigation. You can put your social media icons either at the top or bottom where they always lie in the front of the visitor’s eyes encouraging the visitor to join your social network. Integrating twitter feeds or feed from Facebook company page is also a good option for enterprises.
Responsive – UI & UX
UI and UX play an important role in creating good user experience. A responsive UI works to create visual consistency irrespective of the screen size or orientation. It allows businesses to offer its users a customized branded interface irrespective of the device or the OS. With a responsive UI, the website gets transformed into a fluid display of information that re-organizes and rebuilds as per the needs of the user. All this helps in creating a customized intuitive user experience that improves the performance of the website and brings in more conversions.
The browsers are continually upgraded to give the best user experience. Rather than focusing on page designs, we need to consider portals as flexible systems where the design elements are configurable elements with different levels of granularity. The focus should not be on developing a pixel perfect configuration but aim at keeping the focus on change and the flux.
Web portals need trusted mechanisms through which sensitive information can be exchanged. The first logical step towards securing portals is following secure code practices. Threat modeling is the best way to identify where the vulnerabilities exist. Static analysis of code that is not executing the way it should and data manipulation shortfalls are some things that need attention. The choice of the development environment and the programming language has an important role to play in securing the web portal.
Testing is an important part of portal development. The development of portal is an extremely creative process and you don’t want the urgency to affect the functionality and performance of the portal. The testing should begin immediately as and when different portal elements get ready. For websites, the testing can begin after the first page is created. The best practice to follow is to test the portal from time to time to check for any bugs or errors.
By adopting best practices in the portal development process, you can create great portal for your client that serves as a platform for revenue generation and establishes an online identity. At Intellectyx, we create a perfect blend of science and art. Our team goes that extra mile to combine different models of information architecture such as using SEO best practice in design and development to create a responsive web design that not only impresses visitors but also helps you achieve conversion goals.