Web portal vs. website

Make every interaction count, even the small ones. They are all relevant. – Shep Hyken

In this era of holistic digital brand experiences, brands can’t make do with a website alone. Instead, they need an on-brand and automated web portal—an online platform that engages with all company stakeholders.

Therefore, it’s essential to understand the key differences between a web portal and a website and see how you can use these two complementary online tools to optimize your digital brand presence.

What is a web portal?

Did you ever access a school project portal or a club membership portal? What was your experience? Shoddy or mind-blowing?

A web portal is a platform that allows users to access specific information and resources online. A portal offers personalized content to users who can use it anytime and from anywhere.

Common portal types include intranets, extranets, partner portals, government portals, member portals, student portals, vendor portals, and knowledge management portals.

What is the purpose of a web portal?

Whether you wish to collaborate with an agency, a set of distributors, or a bunch of employees, a web portal comes in handy. The platform enables single-point information access to one or more user groups.

➔ A portal has features like permission and user management so you can share the relevant documents with the right people.
➔ A web portal helps improve the efficiency of internal and external organizational processes.
➔ It provides the tools for smooth communication and facilitates better relationships with all company stakeholders.

A portal is not just a content center; it’s a platform that allows the users to interact with itself and, if necessary, with other portal users.

Types and examples of web portals

There can be many web portal types depending on your business and organizational goals. You strategize the design and navigation of a web portal according to the relevant stakeholder group. Let’s look at some common portal types and examples:

Vertical Portals

Vertical portals are those that you build for a particular business function such as HR, finance, service management, and warehouse management, etc. Such portals are helpful in uplifting departmental process efficiencies.

Horizontal Portals

When you build a horizontal portal, you make it accessible to users from different business functions. For instance, an employee portal caters to teams from various departments of an organization. In addition, it tracks and manages people performance data across functional groups.

Brand Portals

Brand Portals make branded content assets accessible to all stakeholders. A brand portal is a resource hub that stores documents such as brand style guidelines, updated company logos, marketing collateral, product and company photos, and digital ads. Brand portals help businesses to create on-brand content experiences for customers as well as internal and external stakeholders.

Product Community Portals

A community portal is a fantastic way to get feedback from your customers. These portals help users to share product information that’s useful for other users. Many SaaS companies build such portals to build a knowledge base around their product. These portals facilitate helpful product conversations, reinforce product branding, and improve customer retention.

Member Portals

A member portal can work well for a club or a regional community. Members of an organization can access all of their membership-related information through such a portal. They can use the platform to renew and manage their membership or participate in various activities.

eLearning Portals

More and more online users now prefer digital platforms for upgrading their skills. Businesses too can create eLearning portals to impart knowledge to employees and customers. You can add audio and video content assets to such portals and make learning fun and engaging for the targeted user groups.

Are you still wondering about the difference between a web portal and a website? Let’s learn all about it in the next section.

Web portal vs. website: how are these two different?

A website forms the foundation of a business’s web presence. It communicates the larger purpose and the USPs of a company to its target customers.

It’s an online tool for generating web traffic and leads. However, it does not meet the content needs of stakeholder groups such as employees or sales agents.

➔ A website is managed by the marketing team, whereas a portal is the responsibility of a specific department. An employee portal, for instance, is the baby of the HR department.
➔ A web portal is a tool that helps a business to offer personalized access to specific content. On the other hand, a website is a place to publish search-friendly content and make it available to everyone in general.
➔ A portal provides complete control to a business regarding what the users see and access. In addition, it offers complex user-management features that aren’t available on a website.

Building a brand isn’t about customers alone; you need to strengthen bonds with stakeholders like agencies, partners, journalists, and employees. That’s why you need a web portal that offers personalized content and experiences to all concerned parties.

What are the additional features of a web/content portal?

Most customers and stakeholders are demanding about the content they wish to consume. But, do you know how a content portal takes care of everyone’s informational needs?

➔ A content portal helps users to search and retrieve updated content.
➔ It enables users to download the latest versions of branded content assets. For example, imagine a scenario in which the sales partners don’t have access to the newest version of your company’s sales presentations. How would they be able to sell any products in that case?
➔ Or how would an agency run an advertising campaign if they didn’t get quick and instant access to the latest versions of the brand assets such as logos and brand identity guides?
➔ A content portal allows admins to share approvals to users as and when they need to use the relevant branded content assets.
➔ The portal platform facilitates content personalization and ensures better content engagement for all the relevant stakeholders such as journalists, employees, distributors, and agency partners.

As you can see, a web portal is an essential platform to help stakeholders find, access, and use the relevant content at the right time.

Do I need a web portal?

Do you think there is a level of friction in the day-to-day activities of a functional team or an external partner? It may be time to build a dedicated web portal.

What instances make a web portal an absolute necessity?

  • In case a department head feels the need to make certain information easily accessible to her team.
  • Where the employees of an organization are working from home, field, or a remote location.
  • Management of suppliers and other such external stakeholders where you need to access the information they sha re periodically.
  • When there is significant scope for productivity improvement in a business process.
  • In case you want to make it easy for customers to file and track their service requests. Customer self-service portals often offer detailed product knowledge to customers. The idea behind such portals is to help customers use a product or service more effectively by resolving common issues themselves.
  • When you wish to train and upskill a team. For instance, you can implement customized knowledge management systems for different groups in your organization.

If you pay close attention, you’ll realize that a web portal is a crucial digital experience platform that aligns with the needs of all company stakeholders.

Web portal: a platform that enables superior brand experiences

First things first: can you build a web portal alongside your brand website?

Now, here is the thing. You can create a fully automated branded portal that integrates with your website and data systems.

And here’s the secret knowledge you’ve been curious about:

Today’s portals need to work as brand experience platforms that work for different stakeholders in varying situations. Most businesses need a website and a portal together, not in silos.

➔ You can easily connect your web portal to your website and enterprise knowledge management systems. It allows you to have unified access to stakeholder data and branded content assets.
➔ A centralized system helps marketers and functional heads to create personalized, on-brand experiences for all stakeholders.
➔ Plus, you can engage with all audience types by implementing unique and consistent experiences across the myriad digital touchpoints.

Did you always have a terrible time creating consistent online brand experiences? Here’s what you need.

Welcome to the world of automated on-brand web portals

As you already know, it’s the technology that’s driving the world today. With the help of a portal platform, building an on-brand web portal is a breeze.

  • With a branded web portal, you can offer users content that looks and feels like your brand.
  • Such portals are ready-to-use solutions and simple to control and customize.
  • It’s easy to access all your brand assets and build or make changes to your content portal on the fly.
  • Most of all, you don’t need technical expertise to build a portal that works for your business.
  • With automated solutions in place, you don’t need to spend ridiculous amounts of time, money, or resources planning and executing a branded content portal.

Moral of the story: if you wish to outshine the competition, you need to see several moves into the future.

With Smint.io, you can build automated branded web portal solutions tailored to your business requirements. It’s the simplest solution that lets anyone create and manage a brand-consistent content portal quickly and easily. Are you ready to offer path-breaking and holistic brand experiences to your customers and stakeholders?

Speak to us today!

Christina Holzner

Christina is our Chief Marketing Officier and loves great brand experiences & life hacks.


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