A Portal is different from the website mainly in that the latter
belongs to single person or entity and promotes or showcases his products or
services whereas the former lists a number of people or entities. A portal is
also related to some specific theme but it could be quite broad based covering
far more than what a particular website can do. Portal development is
considered to be far more complex and wide reaching affair than the website.
Retain Focus on the Theme
The first important step of portal development is to determine the
subject matter or the topic of the portal and what purpose is it likely to
serve. The normal approach is to make it as encompassing as is possible
covering the whole gamut of products or services which can be directly or
indirectly related. For instance, a travel portal might
cover not only the booking agents, travel agents and the transportation service
providers but also the hotels and accommodations as well as the foreign
exchange dealers and many others. The portal provides the opportunity to the
people for meeting all their requirements at one place.
Importance of Comprehensive Planning
Comprehensive planning assumes a lot of importance so that no
crucial element is left out. This planning shall be about the sales and
marketing effort required. This would be needed to get the appropriate people
and entities to opt for listing their services on the portal. Planning shall
also cover the requirements of infrastructure which can keep the portal running
without any hitch. Portal design and organization also makes a vital difference and planning shall encompass this aspect as well. With a good and effective design, the portal can enable the visitors explore more of it.
A good portal developer shall be able to provide robust technology architectural support as well as have an understanding of the theme
of the portal. So, while developing a retail portal, he must be able to
visualizewhat will appeal to the customers and what all information they
expect to find and share through it.
Scope of the Portal
Another important consideration is the determination of the scope of
the portal. It could be the geographical coverage as well as coverage of
products and services. So, a good property portal might not only be
covering the real estate of a particular place but could even be covering the
whole state or country.
Sometimes, the portals may be focussing on some niche. It is not
necessary that, say, an education
portal covers the whole of education sector. It may not be possible to
do so. But, it can be based on a smaller niche theme such as the higher
education or on some professional education.
With the growth in the number of portals related to various
industry verticals, there is an intense competition in every segment. This
growth, on one hand, has been the result of the desire among the businesses to
be listed on good meeting platforms between the providers and seekers and, on
the other hand, of meeting all the needs of people related to a theme. It
is very important that the portal is developed as well as marketed skilfully in
order to develop its brand identity.