How to Create a Portal Page

The definition of a website “portal page” varies in use but generally it refers to a “landing” page where website visitors first arrive and then find numerous links to other websites. Think of a portal page as the “lobby” of a business complex with an elevator to various firms leasing space in the building. Creating a portal page requires some skill or expertise in web page creation and web site development.

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A portal page is like a front door for your website.

Step

Search your preferred domain name for availability. A good domain name is short, memorable, and doesn’t require special spellings of words or characters like slashes or hyphens. The “dot-com” domain type is preferable to other domain types like “dot-net” or “dot-biz.” But good “dot-com” type website names are becoming increasingly scarce, so be prepared to use alternative names or spellings to secure something like the name you want. Avoid any domain names that are actually subdomains of a larger site like “http://bigtentwebs.com/mypersonalwebspace.” These kinds of long, tortured domain addresses are nearly impossible for people to remember.

Step

Secure your domain name. Purchase and register the rights to the available domain name of your choice. There are many domain name registration and hosting companies available on the web including 1and1.com, GoDaddy.com, and Yahoo.com. There is a charge for registering a domain name and then a monthly or annual charge for “hosting” the domain name and website files on their server.

Step

Set up a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) access account. Your website host will provide you with login information to access the space on the server reserved for you. Use a FTP software program to upload your website files to your folder on the server. There are many FTP programs to choose from, including SmartFTP, and CuteFTP; your web host may even provide you with free FTP software.

Step

Create your webpages. Webpages can be created in several formats. The most popular format is HTML, using authoring software like MS FrontPage, Adobe Dreamweaver, and other premium brands. Most HTML authoring programs make it easy to create at least a simple website. Another option is to use a special SQL format program like Joomla or WordPress. Both are usually associated with blog websites but can be tailored to act like regular websites too, without a blogging component.

Step

Build a portal page to serve as your first “landing” page. Design a page that contains links to other external websites belonging to other individuals, or internal web pages belonging to your group.

Step

Offer your visitor choices for where they want to go, once they arrive in your “lobby.” For example, if you want to operate a web site devoted to computer gaming, your portal page should feature links to other gaming websites as well as your own content. Make these portal links attractive with graphics; text-only links are not especially inviting.