Custom web portal development refers to the process of developing a bespoke web portal that befits a certain set of requirements. It is a web application that is developed to serve a specific user group by acting as a single access point for information, resources, and tools. For instance, a customer portal is a web-based platform that is built for the customers of a business to allow them to easily access company information, sales records, information related products, etc. Customers are required to create an account to sign up on the web portal in order to access the information provided by web portal owners. This information can be procured from various sources, locations, and databases, and presented in a convenient and easy-to-use manner.
Another important function of web portals is to act as a channel of communication between the owners and users of the portal. Many businesses specifically seek portal development services to build an all-in-one communication platform to connect with their customers. That’s why in-app communication features are a common requirement for most types of portal development.
Websites vs. Web Portals
When it comes to web portal development, many people make the mistake of confusing web portals with websites. Since they have some common features, we understand why websites and web portals can be confusing. They both are web-based solutions which means they both are hosted on the web and are accessible through an exclusive web address (i.e., a URL). Websites commonly consist of multiple pages and the information featured on the site is publicly available to anyone who accesses the site by visiting the URL. Web portals, on the other hand, are exclusive to an authorized group of users who can access the content and information on the web portal via the URL and user login (a username and password).
While websites are intended for a broad audience to build a digital presence and drive traffic, web portals are developed to act as a single point of access to information for a specific set of authorized users. Web portals have a narrower focus as they are intended to disseminate information to a certain target audience. There are many types of web portals depending on the audience and the nature of the information that needs to be communicated. Web portal development companies offer a range of web portal development services to cater to unique business requirements.
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Types of Web Portal Development
Web portals can take many shapes and forms. Here are the most common types of web portals that businesses rely on to communicate information with their various stakeholders.
- Customer Portals: Customer portals are platforms that facilitate business-to-customers (B2C) communication. They help businesses offer good customer service and build better relations with the customer base.
- Vendor Portals: Vendor portals are web-based solutions for efficient vendor management that help businesses communicate and exchange data with their vendors.
- B2B Portals: Web portals that facilitate business-to-business operations allowing businesses to efficiently manage their communication and collaboration with external stakeholders.
- Employee Portals: Businesses can manage their human resources and internal social network via a designated employee portal.
- Self-Service Portals: Self-service portals are platforms that provide tools and resources to help users to request services, solve problems, and find the answers to their queries.
Key Benefits of Custom Web Portal Development
Businesses across industries and niches rely on web portals to streamline various parts of their operations. Here are some of the key benefits of portal development for businesses.
- The stakeholders of the business can access information easily and securely.
- Businesses can offer personalized customer service and build valuable relations with the customer base.
- Portals enable users to perform tasks by themselves and seek help regarding their queries.
- Portals can streamline the flow of information and improve communication between the business and its stakeholders.
- Businesses can disseminate important information and ensure only authorized users have access to it.
- Portals facilitate sales and offer tools for efficient order management and post-sale customer relationship management.
- Web portals allow businesses to scale up and effectively manage their growing business operations and communicate with stakeholders.
The Portal Development Process: 6 Steps to Build a Web Portal
Let’s say you have decided to build a custom web portal for your business, now comes the next big question: ‘How to build a web portal?’
Web portal development is a difficult and daunting task especially for businesses that are not from the technical sphere. This is why many businesses seek the services of professional software development companies and outsource the development work to them.
While working with a portal development company you go through the following steps of the development process:
- Requirement Analysis
Requirement gathering and analysis is a crucial step towards building a custom web portal that befits your exact business requirements. At this stage, you work closely with the software company and development team to define the requirements for the web portal, what features and functionalities are essential, and who is the target audience of the portal.
After requirement analysis comes the time to plan the next steps together with the development team. A blueprint of the development process is developed that specified the project specifications, required features, approximate project cost, and the timeline of deliverables.
UI/UX design is an important component of developing web portals. With the help of wireframes and low- and high-fidelity prototypes you create a design plan for what the web portal will feel and look like when it is developed.
This is the stage where your web portal will take form. Using the technology stack decided in the earlier stages, the development team begins programming the web portal.
- Testing and Release
Quality assurance and testing are important to ensure the web portal is free of bugs, errors, and issues. The web portal is tested thoroughly before it is released to end-users.
Many businesses prefer investing in the maintenance and upkeep of the web portal so it continues to provide flawless performance. After deployment, the development team tests the system routinely and troubleshoot the issues that might arise.
To wrap it up
Today, businesses are driven by technology solutions that make their processes efficient and give them a cutting edge in the market. Web portals are such solutions because they help businesses communicate with stakeholders and help them efficiently manage their various operations. They come in different shapes and forms to help businesses address their unique needs; From sales, customer relationship management, to procurement and production – web portals are effective solutions for businesses across industries.