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Mar 23, 2015

Portal Websites: Powerful Web Designs for Powerful Websites

Here at Five Technology we have completed a variety of portal websites over the past few years. A web portal is a website that brings information together from diverse sources in a uniform way. Usually, each information source gets its dedicated area on the page for displaying information (a port-let); often, the user can configure which ones to display.

Portal web designs act much like online magazines. These informational websites need to be easy to navigate and powerfully capable. So what goes into designing and implementing a powerful portal website design?

In order for the implementation of a portal website to go smoothly a lot of communication needs to take place between the project manager and our client. We need to know exactly what the client wants the website to do, how it should work, and what it should look like to best fit the needs of its users and advertisers.

The portal website needs to be easy to navigate so it needs a very simple, organized layout, which needs to incorporate space for advertisements. However, while the layout is simple the backside of the online magazine web design is quite complicated. News stories, popular topics and pages, directories, recent listings, and advertisements all need to be able to automatically be pulled from various parts of the website, both on the website and behind the scenes.

One thing that we have used to design and implement a simple and organized portal web design has been the use of a mega navigation at the top of every page.

Mega Nav for Ranch Line Network

This powerful mega navigation allows users to easily maneuver the website no matter what page they are  on. Each link entails a drop down menu that can virtually take the user anywhere they need to go. The links at the very top (i.e. For Sale, Auction, Agents, etc.) usually entail the main components of the website. For most online magazine web designs this includes the main information they want to provide their users. The second row of links are usually referred to as micro portals (i.e. Search by State, Hunting Land, Farms & Ranches, etc.) includes specific facets of the the type of portal this website pertains to, in the case of these pertain to the inner facets of the automation industry.

As stated earlier, news feeds, popular and relevant topics, recent postings, and featured items need to be automatically pulled from various parts of the website to other various sources on the site. Tabs are usually used to organize these pulled items into specific categories.

Tabs divide automatically pulled items

Advertising is a crucial factor for successful online publication websites. They need placements for advertisements, as well as an easy way to choose which ads to place where. The portal websites we have done in the past usually have used a third party application for ad management, which is separate from our custom content management system (CMS), the Site Management Console. We design the online publication to have ad zones, then the website works with an ad management app automatically pull ads from the app into the zones on the page.

There are many capabilities for companies when using most of the portal websites we have done. They have login access, a dashboard page, capabilities to post listings (real estate, job opportunities, etc.), recruit individuals who also have profile pages, and search for directories where they can input their company info. Companies also have the ability to post new products, news updates, and additional resources such as their own online magazines, manuals, etc.

Example Company Profile

Individual users have similar profile capabilities. They can post resumes and subscribe to news updates from specific companies and industries. They can also search for new listings and search for job opportunities.

We have designed and implemented a variety of online publication websites in the last few years. Some of these include community, industry, and real estate portals. Community portals, such as, contain portals for businesses and individuals in the community to post and communicate opportunities, news updates, and events. Industry online publications, like, contain portals for companies within a specific industry to communicate and post news updates, products, and other information. Real estate online magazines, much like Ranchline, provide portals for real estate agencies to post new listings and individuals to search and capitalize on those listings.

Five Technology has enhanced the capabilities and web presence that have helped increase business for a variety of companies that run portal websites. Contact Five today to get started.