Creating a web portal can open up new opportunities for your business in terms of how you share special announcements, deals, and data with stakeholders. If you’ve embarked on software modernization recently, developing one can support your operations after migrating to the cloud.
Take supporting stakeholders, for example. Through a web portal, you can help your customers, employees, vendors, partners, patients, and/or members to log in and interact with your organization securely and in a more personalized manner. It will help you provide better customer service, optimize business processes, and is easy to manage.
Ready to get started? Here’s your guide to what web portals are and what you’ll need to build one.
Web Portal Development: Ultimate Quick Guide to Creating an Effective Web Portal
What is a Web Portal?
A web portal is a secure, online, and single access point for organized information. It usually involves users logging in to access their profiles as members, as in this example from Excellus:
Portals do not require authentication and can also be made freely available to the public.
How Does it Work?
A web portal usually pulls information from different places and organizes it in a central location where it can be accessed by users. This information can be related or unrelated. It can also display as categorized data, links, services, and interactive elements.
Often, portals (such as ecommerce portals, customized web portals, etc.) personalize the information each user accesses to what they need to gain inside the platform. For instance, an educational institution can have separate portals for students and their parents, as in the case of Stanford University’s example below. Each user group would want to access unique information from the other, necessitating different web-based portal setups.
What is Web Portal Development?
Web portal development facilitates the creation of this useful, secure, and personalized access point that organizes information according to specific users’ needs.
You may hear it referred to as web portal application development or portal application development. In any case, the process involves using advanced web development skills and best practices, such as rich application development, registration systems, server-side and client-side scripting.
Web Portal Uses: What are the Types of Web Portals?
You can use web portal development experts to create custom b2b portal applications for your unique needs. Some examples of web portal uses include:
- Sharepoint portal development
- Business partner portals
- E-learning portals
- Ecommerce customer portals
- Membership group portals
- Vendor portals for supplier-related information
- Patient portals for accessing sensitive personal healthcare data (which need to be FDA- and HIPAA-compliant if you’re in the US, for example)
- Self-service portals for customers
- Business partner portals
- Better user experience
Here’s an example of a partner portal by Hewlett Packard:
How Long Does it Take to Develop?
The answer to this question depends on both your needs and the expertise of your web portal development company. As a baseline estimate, it can take between 2-10 weeks to see a prototype and 2-5 months to have a working portal application.
Website Portal Design and Development: How Do You Create a Web Portal?
Developing a portal for web application can be an overwhelming process, even when you know a thing or two about it. The specific steps you’ll take will also vary depending on your use case. That’s why it’s a good idea to talk to an experienced web portal development service before undertaking this type of project.
7 Steps to Create a Web Portal
For reference, here’s a general process for creating a web portal application, step-by-step.
1. Planning stage
First, you’ll define who you’re building the web portal for, why, and when. You’ll also specify how you’ll make the information easy-to-access, personalized to stakeholders’ needs, secured, and up-to-date.
2.Web portal design
This stage is not just about applying web portal styling and UI/UX best practices. It also requires drawing up the web portal architecture and defining its navigation.
3. Web portal development starts
Developers focus on delivering a web-accessible platform that users can use to manipulate different functions as they need. Developing portal solutions and applications can involve up to a dozen tools and platforms, including:
- Databases such as MySQL (SQL), Cassandra (NoSQL), Oracle (SQL), and AWS (cloud)
- Real-time data processing tools such as Amazon Kinesis, Azure Stream Analytics, and RabbitMQ
- For back-end such as Node.js, Python, and .NET
- Cloud platforms such as AWS, Rackspace, and Digital Ocean
- Front-end such as HTML5, Meteor, and Angular
- CMSs such as WordPress, Magento, and Salesforce
- Mobile platforms such as IOS, Android, Flutter, and Cordova.
The tool or platform you’ll want to choose will depend on your needs and your past experience creating successful portals.
4. Add integrations
This stage involves connecting all the tools you or your users need to accomplish their goals into the portal. Depending on your use case, this could include custom software or even SaaS products.
5. Testing stage
Before deployment, experienced developers test portal applications to catch any errors, missed requirements, or instability issues.
6. Deploy the web portal
The first version of the new portal application is ready for piloting with a few key users, with all previously identified issues resolved.
7. Monitor performance and iterate accordingly
If the portal meets your KPIs and standards, it’s time to open it up to more users and monitor performance in real-time. Again, working with an excellent portal application development service can help you create a portal that works hassle-free, without wasting time, money, or ruining your reputation among users.
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Web Portal?
Your web portal development costs will vary depending on the specific functionalities you want your portal to achieve for you and your users.
That’s why we recommend talking to an experienced web portal development company. Tell them what you need the portal to do for your users and your business; a good vendor will get you a quote you can use to develop a portal application budget that covers all your needs, from usability to security and more.
At Simpat Tech, our web portal development experts have years of portal application development under their belts. We’ll help you create secure, useful, and interactive access points so that you can engage your users with confidence. Talk to us today for more information.
Image Source: Pixabay