Website & Portals

What exactly is a Website And a Portal?

What is a Website?

Websites are for driving traffic, whereas web portals are for limiting traffic to a specific group of users. Most web portals require a user to log in, which allows the site to deliver more specific content and services based on who that user is. Websites are destinations that everyone can get to, and are generally designed for a broader audience.


That said, there is a lot of overlapping functionality between websites and portals today. Websites can use content targeting or other tools to create personalized experiences for users, and web portals can have public-facing pages that don’t require users to log in.

Website Vs Portal

One difference between portals and websites is whether the team that manages the site intends to create pages or platforms. In most cases, company portals and websites will be owned by different teams and thus have different expectations for how they should work.


The Marketing team may own the public website and prefer software built for blogging, measuring user engagement and enabling a strong visual design of web pages. Their expectations will be built around these core priorities. They need a solution that can build pages quickly that are either connected or independent, with complete control over where they fit into the overall structure of the site..


However, most organizations have to manage more than a public website. The Support team may own the customer self service portal and need a solution that integrates their other applications. They need a solution that is focused on building a platform, complete with multiple types of users and systems that are all connected.

Should You Build a Portal or a Website?

Like every technology solution, the decision to build either a website or portal comes down to your unique situation and needs. With the amount of overlapping functionality between portal platforms and more traditional WCM website platforms, most projects can be built with either option (given enough planning and elbow grease). Here are a few guidelines for when to use each.


Use a portal if:

  • You need to create specific audience experiences.
  • You need advanced control over what users see.
  • You have multiple systems that need to be integrated into one visual design.
  • you need advanced user management and permissioning features.


Use a website if:

  • You’re creating a public website focused on delivering and managing content.
  • You need to have a site that operates separately from internal site/systems.
  • You need to draw traffic from a broad audience of anonymous users.

Still Not Sure?

Get in touch with us to help you decide what is the best choice for you.

Ready To Get Your Website or Portal?