How to Build a Web Portal

By Techwalla Contributor

Webportals provide the user diverse information in a unified way. Think "Yahoo" or "Google". There is consistent look and feel for different applications.At the level which is usually attainable for the individual or small business, web-portals are usually niche or corporate. Here is how to build your own web-portal, assuming that you are an individual or small business on a budget.

Things You'll Need

  • a domain name
  • web-hosting with mysql databases (usually standard)
  • intermediate to advanced website design skill
  • comfort with uploading files thru ftp and installing php scripts

Step 1

Assess your goals. What kind of portal are you building? Will it be personal (like Yahoo), regional, or a hobby portal?What features does your web-portal site need? How will you market it? Who is your target market? What are your skills as a website designer?Common features of web portals include chat, classifieds, personal profiles, and photo galleries.

Step 2

Decide on which portal software to implement. Most likely, you will be looking into open source web-portal scripts. Major open-source web-portal scripts include DotNetNuke, UPortal, LifeRay, and Dolphin Community.This can be confusing and overwhelming! The resources list at the bottom provides some good starting points.

Step 3

Upload the webportal software to your website and install it according to the script-specific directions. This is the part that requires mysql capabilities, as web-portals run on databases.

Step 4

Customize the web-portal's look and feel. Script-specific support forums can provide great advice and free templates for the web-portal software you've chosen to implement.

Step 5

Market your web-portal!This may be the most time consuming part, because website marketing is an ongoing and intensive process. Advertise your web-portal on every niche site you come across, subscribe to traffic exchanges, and include a link to it as the signature of your email address. If your portal includes community features such as forums, consider getting a few friends to act like enthusiastic users or make a few different user names to get the community participation rolling.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try installing a few different portals to test out the look and feel of each. When you find one you like most, delete everything and start over with that one installed.
  • A factor in selecting your web-portal script should be community support. If your site malfunctions, you may have an impossible time finding help if you're running an obscure webportal program.
  • Do you have funds to host the site as it grows? As people begin using your site, it will consume more bandwidth and it will outgrow standard $10/month hosting.