Web Portal vs Website Comparison

Is there a difference between a web page and web portal or are they the same thing? We are not going to beat around the bush and answer this question from the very beginning: despite being interlinked, websites and web portals are completely different solutions. And this article is created with the aim to show you the difference between website and web portal in a tabular form, as well as to define both, provide some examples of web portals and websites, and answer the question of what solution to choose. 

To start with, let's understand the meaning behind each solution, define them individually, and then dive into their differences. 

What Is a Website?

When talking about the definition of a website, it’s the following:

what is a website?

Websites can be considered as one of the most popular solutions used in the web. You literally see them everywhere when searching for some information. One of the best examples for you to understand what a website is, is Google that is used by millions of people every day. 

Still, websites serve not only users but businesses as well, helping them reach their targeted audiences with product and services offerings, and providing all the important information on them. For these purposes, companies can take advantage of different types of websites. These are:

Static Websites

These are pages with fixed content, whether plain texts or enriched with media. A fixed content means that regardless of time a user reaches the website, it won’t change. 

Dynamic Websites

In contrast to static websites, dynamic ones offer constantly and automatically updated content, which means that every time a user reaches the website, some of the website’s parameters (template, content, or script) get renewed.

Interactive Websites

The most advanced type of websites opens up space for communication and interaction with users through comments and feedback sections. Interactive websites are known for being the best type for increasing user retention rates, capturing their attention with rich and appealing content. Also, an interactive website is the most expensive type in terms of development as it requires the involvement of different specialists and generally takes more time compared to static and dynamic types.

What Is a Web Portal?

Here is the definition of a web portal given by Techopedia:

what is a web portal?

In contrast to websites, web portals (generally known simply as portals), offer a wide number of services. These could be search navigation, notifications, services achieved with integrations such are those for task management, effective and convenient communication, etc. Also, web portals are often enriched with business intelligence (BI) tools that provide more opportunities for personalization. One more distinctive feature of portals is that access to certain information is provided only after a registration.

When it comes to the existing types of portals, these are:

Horizontal Web Portals

Such portals contain information collected from different companies, so a user can choose the one that fits their needs and expectations most. Examples of horizontal portals include cultural, educational, and governmental portals. 

Vertical Web Portals

This type of portal places a focus on specific companies and topics, allowing users to find related to the specific company or services information. Examples of vertical portals include college tender, and bidding portals. 


Differences Between Website and Portal in a Tabular Form

Now, when you know the meaning behind a portal and a website, let’s see how they differ, starting from the illustrative table and continuing with a more detailed explanation of the key distinctions in the next block. 

Differences Between Website and Portal in a Tabular Form

Key Differences Between Website and Web Portal in Detail

Now, let’s look at the top 4 differences between portals and websites, explaining their distinctions in terms of complexity, UX, content management, and application of legal regulations and security measures. 


While websites (business cards, blogs, and landing pages) provide information on a particular thematic, web portals are multi-layered and more complex, offering broader content for different types of users. Quite often, web portals feature a range of interactive elements that turn users into active participants. These could be full-screen videos, drag and drop elements, maps, calculators, etc. Such elements require a modular structure of solutions, meaning that pages of a portal include various tools invisible to a user.

User Experience (UX)

The approach to the creation of websites is quite straightforward and generally does not take much time. It is so, because the content presented on a website is distributed across simple architecture.

In contrast, UX designs of portals require a more complex approach and generally are more time-consuming. The thing is that in most cases, creation of UX for a portal includes research that would allow taking into account the needs of all groups of users, as well as requires approval from different stakeholders. Furthermore, before being introduced to users, UX designs of complex portals generally go through a number of utility tests that determine if the created solution would allow a user to achieve the goal in an intuitive, convenient, and efficient manner.  

Content Management

Because websites are more fixed in the information offered to their audience, content management generally requires small touch-ups made by administrators to shape it. 

Things are different with portals where different types of administrators (marketers, PR managers, support team, etc.) are responsible for a particular type of content. For this reason, portals have multi-level access to make authorization available to different groups of editors.  

Legal Regulations and Security

Thanks to a simple structure and primarily informational purpose, websites are rarely regulated by legal lays. But portals that generally belong to large organizations with many informational duties, including compliance with regulatory rules, protection of personal data, etc., require developers to build solutions that would be able to address these challenges. In terms of product development, this could mean multilayer access policy, an audit path analysis, etc. 


Portal vs Website: Which Solution to Choose?

For sure, there is no single answer to the question of which solution is better, a website or portal, as well as there is no winner in the contest website vs portal. The decision on which solution to develop will depend on your company’s situation and needs. So here are some quick pieces of advice on how to choose between these web solutions:

website vs web portal: which solution to choose?

Nevertheless, the best way of choosing the right web solution is through consultation with specialists, which is free at Emerline.

Feel free to contact us with any questions and take advantage of our wide web development expertise to ensure that your business will receive the most fitting and beneficial solution. 

Recommended for you