Websites vs. Portals

Portals are web-based platforms that collect content from different sources and present it in a single user interface to provide a customized experience for viewers and members. Unlike websites, portals have advanced capabilities such as the ability to manage members, analyze their activity as they engage with content, offer discussion forums, and use notifications and emails to stimulate engagement.

Portals not only deliver content and information but act as engagement systems to reach large audiences, inspire them to action and tailor content for personalized needs. When portals are networked together, they offer the efficiencies of adding content in a centralized location and selectively delivering it to other portals in the network.

Websites exist to provide information in an online location but lack the capabilities and functionality offered by portals. Website content is available to all viewers but fails to provide a customized view of that content. Website viewers tend to look at information but do not interact with the website the way they do with a portal experience.


• Websites are viewable by anyone

• Websites have visitors

• Content is generally static and added by a website administrator

• Presents the same content experience for all viewers

• Websites inform viewers

• A website is primarily a stand-alone technology


• Portals can be public or private behind a login

• Portals have members or subscribers

• Content is dynamic and added by multiple sources

• Presents a customised content experience for its viewers and members

• Portals inform viewers, but also outreaches and engages them

• Portals are designed to connect with or integrate into other systems