8 Types of Web Portals and How They Benefit Your Business

Feb 02, 2022

Digiteum Team

web portals

Digital Strategy, Web

8 Types of Web Portals and How They Benefit Your Business

A web portal is a flexible web solution for businesses, organizations and communities. Companies use web portals to adapt their services and content to a digital-first environment and connect to their customers and clients online.

In this post, we will go through the 8 major types of web portals, explore their functionality and key features, and explain how companies solve various business challenges by integrating custom portals into their operations.

After reading this post, you will get a general idea of how your business could benefit from using a web portal and what steps to take to start your own web portal development project.

Contact Digiteum

What is a web portal?

Before we get to the types and examples of web portals, let’s first define what a web portal is and figure out the difference between a web portal and a website.

A web portal is a dynamic and interactive web system that works as a one-stop access point for users to explore content, products and services and communicate with brands. Depending on the type of business or organization that runs it, a web portal can act as a major source of information, a point of sale, or even a collaboration environment. It is usually available globally on any browser, though there are types of web portals that can only be reached via private networks (intranet, extranet).

Some of the most popular types of portal websites are student portals that give learners access to educational content and allow them to collaborate with peers and tutors, or eCommerce portals that allow customers to browse through products, make orders, manage rewards, etc.

Web portal vs website

web portal vs website

A web portal is a feature-rich web system that provides a certain target audience (customers, employees, vendors, etc.) with specific and often personalized content and services. In many cases, it requires authorized access (sign in, log in). Ideally, a web portal is seamlessly embedded into the company’s operations and integrated with other business applications (CRM, ERP).

On the contrary, a website is open to a much wider audience and provides more or less the same value to everyone. It is less interactive and has limited options to connect with the brand (contact forms, live chat, links to social media).

8 types of web portals: functionality and examples

These types of portals have already been tested by companies across all major industries including retail, education, healthcare, logistics, and finance. In fact, you probably use one of these web portals daily.

types of web portals

eCommerce portals

B2B and B2C eCommerce portals are designed to simplify and speed up communication and transactions between sellers and buyers. These portals are integrated into the company’s digital infrastructure and supply chain process and work as a sales, marketing and customer/client support instrument.

B2B eCommerce portal

B2B eCommerce portal is a self-service gateway where businesses can easily order and buy products and manage relationships with vendors and partners in one place. Vendor and partner portals are getting increasingly popular among wholesalers, manufacturers, distributors and other companies seeking to cut costs, optimize the purchasing cycle and increase efficiency.

The role of web portals in B2B eCommerce increased significantly after COVID hit all the markets and disrupted supply chains all over the world in 2020. It is predicted that the demand for B2B online marketplaces and eCommerce integration will only grow in 2022 and beyond.

B2C eCommerce portal

These are some of the most popular types of portals. Unlike simple online stores where users browse through products, make a purchase and go, B2C portals provide customers with a range of valuable features that increase retention and improve user experience – user account, order history, rewards management, ewallets, personalized content, offers, and discount programs, etc.

eCommerce web portal examples: Printique is an all-in-one web system that provides registered users with a rich set of eCommerce features from creating and ordering products online, tracking and managing shipping to choosing preferences and building custom projects. The system is integrated into Printique’s operations and connected to multiple 3rd party services (payment, login, tracking, photo upload) that make the customer experience consistent and smooth. Learn how we help Printique provide a superior web experience for over a decade…

high-load system development

Ready to build a custom web portal for your customers or clients? We work with all major types of portals in business space and will help you design, develop and seamlessly integrate a web portal into your operations. Let’s talk about your project requirements!

Contact Digiteum

eHealth web portals

eHealth portals for doctors and patients made a huge impact on the healthcare outcomes, specifically on the patient experience and effectiveness of care.

Patient web portals are designed to provide patients with secure access to their healthcare data (appointments, test results, medical history, etc.) and allow them to contact and communicate with health and social care providers – doctors, clinics, hospitals. Among the most popular patient portal features are appointment booking, medical history, messaging and prescription renewals.

Doctor portals act as an online workspace where healthcare professionals can get essential up-to-date information on their patients and practice operations. It is often a part of a larger healthcare management system integrated with web EHR (EMR) and practice management tools.

eHealth web portal examples: Nextgate provides doctors and clinics with a flexible and customizable web platform for EHRs management that can be easily integrated into local infrastructure without compromising user experience and patient data security. Learn how we helped Nextgate create a modular web interface…

nextgate

Financial and banking portals

One of the most common types of web portals that we use every day is a banking web portal that provides access to banking services and allows authorized users to securely make transactions online. Financial portals are used by investors and brokers to receive up-to-date financial information and market news, drill and analyze data, etc.

Student portals

Student portals are popular types of web portals used in education and eLearning. They are widely adopted by colleges and universities to provide students with important information about curriculum and campus life and help them manage the educational process and track progress.

Employee portals

Employee portals help the company’s staff easily access work-related information (training programs, schedules, workflow data) and tools for project management and collaboration. Similar to other web portal types, B2E portals are usually integrated into the company’s infrastructure and, in some cases, are available only via corporate private networks.

Community portals

This is a diverse category since community portals can be used for many different purposes from managing common assets to providing a small community with an online platform for collaboration.

Community web portal examples: Oxford Dictionaries Forum is perhaps one of the simplest web portal examples. It works as an online communication space for language learners, developers and scholars who work with Oxford Languages content and resources on different projects.

language forum

Public services and government portals

Web portals for public services and government portals are used worldwide to provide citizens with fast and convenient access to all important information such as taxation, employment, immigration, law, and so on.

Common features for different types of web portals

As we went through the main types of web portals with examples, you might have noticed that they share many popular features. Many of them are essential and therefore get into the original scope during MVP web development. So if you plan to build a web portal, consider the following features.

User registration/login

User registration and login are essential features that help recognize users, provide them with access to their data, and customize content and offers on the portal. Depending on the purpose of the web portal, user authorization may be obligatory or optional and have different security and log-in requirements. For example, an online banking portal often requires two-factor authentication while an eCommerce platform provides users with social login for easy access.

Profile and activity dashboard

Profile setup and activity dashboards are popular features for different types of web portals. These features usually store important information about registered users including their preferences, activity records and history. This data helps personalize content and user experience.

Personalized content and services

By providing personalized content and services tailored to specific customer or business needs, companies increase loyalty and improve business relationships. These features are particularly useful on multifunctional portals that provide different types of products and services to various target audiences.

Communication/collaboration features

Communication features such as chats, voice and video calls are frequently used on B2E, eHealth, eLearning and community portals to enable easy communication online.

Integrations

Web portals are often integrated with 3rd party platforms and the company’s custom-built software and infrastructure to provide users with a smooth experience and optimize operations and workflows. Integrations with 3rd party tools and in-house infrastructure must be considered before building an architecture diagram for web application and web portal to avoid costly changes in the future.

Domain-specific features

Depending on the type of web portal, it may have domain-specific features such as interactive calendars on a patient portal or product and services listings on customer portals.

Why create a custom web portal for your business

benefits of web portals

Now that we answered the question ‘what are the types of web portals?’, gave a few examples and outlined what web portals do, let’s go through the key benefits of integrating a web portal into your operations.

  • Integrate infrastructure. Use a web portal to connect different tools, web applications and 3rd party systems in one place and create a well-organized workflow.
  • Improve experience. Provide customers, clients, and employees with a convenient online space where they can get access to your products and services and connect with your brand.
  • Personalize experience. Leverage user data to personalize the experience and provide focused services and content to different target groups.
  • Enhance engagement and retention. Build up relationships with clients and customers who regularly use your web portal.
  • Enable scalability. Scale your web portal as your business grows, gains new customers and clients, and expands to new markets.
  • Make use of your data and gain visibility. Integrate data analytics and visualization technologies to better understand your audience and process and make informed decisions.
  • Improve business strategy. Gather insights and use them to refine your tactical decisions and overall business strategy.

Design and develop your custom web portal with Digiteum

Tap into our decade-long experience in web development and user-centered design to create a feature-rich scalable web portal for your business. We provide end-to-end web portal development services, including:

  • Business analysis and project management
  • Discovery and planning
  • UX/UI design and development
  • Web portal engineering and testing
  • Web portal support and scale-up

Digiteum team has successfully delivered dozens of web projects and deployed B2B and B2C web portals for eCommerce, healthcare, education and other domains. Learn more about our UX and UI development services and custom web development services to learn about our competencies, tech stack and approach. Contact our experts to get an estimate for your web portal development and start your project.

Contact Digiteum

Final thought

  • A web portal is an effective modern solution that helps companies move their services and operations online.
  • Some of the most popular types of web portals are used to drive sales and promote products and services, others are focused on providing users with content and collaboration tools.
  • Most web portals share common features such as user registration/login, content/service personalization, and integrations with 3rd party services.

FAQ

What types of web portals are used in eCommerce?
B2B and B2C eCommerce web portals are widely used by companies to showcase and sell products and services online, establish and strengthen relationships with customers and clients and improve brand recognition.
What are the most common types of web portals?
Web portals are widely used in eCommerce, eHealth, education, and banking sectors to provide customers with fast and easy access to information, products, and services.
What impacts the cost of web portal development?
The number and complexity of features, integrations with 3rd party platforms, and scalability requirements impact the time and resources needed to design and develop a web portal.