Web portals – What are they? 

Like every business, I’m sure you have a website which is very much the shop window to your business for new and existing customers, but can you do more with it? Enter web portals.

Research shows that more and more customers are interacting with services across the web rather than in person, until it becomes necessary to continue the interaction by talking to someone. So you need to make the initial process as easy as possible so that the visitor stays and engages with your team.

So, what are the options? It very much depends on the functionality required. For example, if you’re running an online shop and need a card payment system, then solutions such as Stripe are perfect. However, when you need to share a selection of information with clients, then you will need to develop either a Web Application or a Web Portal. 

What is the difference between a web portal and a web application? 

Web Portal – Is an online platform that serves as a gateway to a variety of information, services, and resources from different sources. Web portals offer users a centralised hub where they can access a range of content, tools, and functionalities in one place.

Web portals consolidate various resources or information you might need – such as articles, videos, and tools – all in one place. Designed to offer a user-friendly experience, a web portal enables you to access everything easily from a single location. 

An example of this can be seen if logging into the Gov.uk portal or Virgin Media account where you can access all aspects of your account. 

Web Application –  A web application differs from a web portal in that it is specific to a particular function and is often where a web portal would direct specific requirements. Following on from the Gov.uk example, the web portal is the first point of contact where the user might select to review their Childcare account. Doing so takes you to a web application login screen where only information relevant to that task can be found. 

Webpage vs Portal vs App – pros and cons 

First, let’s look at why you would use a web portal rather than just another web page on your site. At first glance they look very similar but behind the scenes they work very differently.  

 Websites are: 

    • Accessible by anyone on the internet 
    • Are generally static meaning their content doesn’t change much 
    • Any updates to information are manually entered onto the page 
    • As content is generic to all, there is no specific / targeted content to entice the user to move forward 

Web portals on the other hand provide: 

    • Are usually password protected and specific to users or user groups 
    • Provide centralised access to information from multiple sources 
    • Ensure Improved communication 
    • Enhance user engagement 
    • Streamline business processes. 
    • Whilst the initial portal page is relatively static as it links to other information sources, it does not need constant updating. 

Every customer of almost every market vertical has probably experienced using a web portal, either as a customer or employee, across the internet or on a company’s internal network. 

Web apps vs web portals – Which to use? 

As previously mentioned, the two provide different functionality so which one to use is not usually a difficult decision to make. However, web portal functionality can be provided using a web application but the time to develop is usually longer and often requires advanced development skills. Web portals are easier, simpler and quicker to prepare. 

Examples of Web Portals 

Let’s have a look at a few examples: 

  • Government Portals
    • Government portals offer access to government information, services, forms, and resources, promoting transparency and engagement. Most of the fully functional government portal help users to access various services and information from one centralised portal. 
    • For example: 



  • Banking portals 
    • All the high street banks offer portal to access their services, arguing that their clients are moving towards online services and reducing the costs of operating a branch network.
    • Examples are: 



  • Business Portals 
    • A business portal is a platform that allows vendors, suppliers, and business partners to interact and collaborate. This portal is a centralised hub for managing and accessing procurement information, communicating with the organisation, and managing orders and invoices from a single user interface.
    • Examples are:


    • Your own companies internal HR system 


As a leading web portal development provider, we have years of experience in developing web portals and web apps for various industries such as education, manufacturing, and the service sector. Get in touch to learn how a web portal could help you.