What is a Web Portal?

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The non-local networks were been first used by the “Advanced Research Projects Agency” of Pentagon (the defense ministry of the state) in 1960.

By designing the network, the main goal was to connect each computer to two other stations, so the sent packet messages could be transmitted in

various ways. After a few times, this network changed gradually and shaped a new means that was the modern Internet.

At that time, there was nobody to believe that the whole network will be grew too quickly to be moderated that difficult and there is a necessary need to specialist and expert managers. The most important reason was the free space on the web!

But today, the “World Wide Web” theory is making all the users feel free to access the Internet without the requirement of technical information. In the other word, a complicated mission with an easy usability that makes the user mixed up between “Web” and “Internet” as two separated means.

The essential goal of “WWW” theory was the easy and simple access to online content and services by using a specified application with special capabilities. So the production of these applications was a great step toward online utopia and classification of services and context on the net.

The enhancement of Internet and web-based services is occurring too quickly that it is impossible for everyone to remember even the one tenth of current active website names because he have to remember daily more than 20,000 new domain names.

The ease of use and friendly application environment are the best reasons for each user to take part in using the network services. So it is not logical to expect a user to try surfing hundreds of websites to access various and different services or register for divers providers and be concerned about saving the privacy information of each registration.

So the web, reached to an unwanted new level that is called to be “Web Portal” era.

So I think that if we desire to result a new declaration of “web portal”, we have to translate it, word by word.

We are almost acquainted with the specified definitions of web and we know that web is a simple way to access virtual and cyber content or services.

But the question is the portal. When we talk about portal, we mean to a cyber gateway or doorway. In the other word, portals are trying to get advantages from numerous related websites and take them together in a unit place. A unit place that is implemented to provide the daily needed content and services and prevent the diffusion of content.

So from this definition we can understand that web portal is not a special product, but has a standard personality and nature that is being made by two structural concepts: Services and contents.

The definition above would make the common and inexpert user to get mixed up that every “links page” or each multi-usage website could be named as a portal that facilitates the access to other websites, but with regard to the main definition, we can claim that it is not correct at all to call the hyperlinks collection and site directories as web portals because the web portals have a known personality with the possibility of servicing and providing the desired content to their users.

The base goal of web portals is to categorize the information and making the access to them, easier than before. This could helps to prevent the user to be strayed and the information to be lost. This could be possible through accessing to portals by creating a digital identification and gathering a personal profile.

Most of web portals are common and joint in some items containing:

1- The variety of services

2- Rising funds and business plans

3- The way of user access to information

4- The way of service providing

5- The spread provide of information

These simple but vital items are the basic structures of web portals growth and activation that could results to a rough and interesting competition among portals.

The variety of portal services is much different in compare with a website that is working in a special and professional field. Due to the limitations of common websites to engage in various and different fields and issues, we can observe that the indoor workgroups of such websites are very smaller than web portals those have to share their attention in many directions and issues.

Below are the most important services, hosted by portals:

· Search engine

· Email services

· Free space and weblog hosting

· Information provide and advertising

· News

· Hot downloads

· Chat and messaging

But such web portals are trying hard to bring new innovations and provide modern services in order to avoid the user to be bothered and also to interest some new users and consumers.

To not lose the great amount of customers and users, web portals are trying to offer their main and domestic services for free so the chance of victory in the competition field with all the opponents will increases.

One of the other properties of web portals is the way of its services managing by the user. There is a single and unit way for user to access all the services such as blog service, radioblog, mail and chat, online shopping etc and that is his personal ID and Password.

It will prevent the user to create and save numerous Ids and remember all the security information for each of them and reduces the bothering among various cookies, cache files and security items.

But lets state that all the web portals that offer their services for paid types would fail strongly.

Also, the indirect access to Internet services is one of the great concerns of each 21st century user. One of the main duties of each web portal is to provide the user with wide-area and remote services such as SMS-2-Email and other mobility engines.

If all the preliminaries are provided, so we can say that our web portal is reached to the productivity level and we can take advantages of it. But the lack of financial programming and economic reasoning in a scientific way would threaten the whole life of the project.

With regard to the definitions above, it occurs a common and general question. How a web portal reaches to productivity? If all the services such as emailing, web-based search, news groups, radio and instant messaging are free so how it could be beneficial and financially useful to us as the owners of project?

But the answer is so simple. Web portals are in a straight relation with e-commerce techniques. So the return of net income and productivity is gained through electronic commerce.

But the make the issue clearer, lets define E-commerce once forever. E-commerce is the interchange of products and services with money by using the abilities of network!

It means that E-commerce equals the notification, advertisement, communication and exchange through the electronic and online data processing. The good examples for common e-commerce today are the online stores and e-shops.

It is a gross diplomacy for portal owners to upgrade their visitors and users amount by offering popular and favorite services and meet the financial needs and inquiries by gathering good advertisement from predominant companies and well-known brands.

Many think that portals are subcategorized into two columns: General portals and specialized portals. And it results the portals to be grouped into horizontal portals level and vertical portals level. But I think that it is not a correct arrangement and would make mistakes in specifying. Many other think that portals are divided into the groups of applied portals and informative portals. But it seems to be incorrect too, because the nature of portal demands on the brining information and services mixed together.

In the other hand, some others think that portals are divided into these categories:

· Business to customer portals (B2C)

· Business to business portals (B2B)

· Business to employer portals (B2E)

· Public portals

B2C ones are the most common portals with the feature of products and services exchange among users and companies. But the B2B portal is only limited to the inter-companies exchange.

In fact with such categorization, we defined a property and ability for few times and expanded the circle without any reason. We forgot that it is possible to have a more abstract and useful categorization.

Imagine that you are on of photo.net users. One of the most incompatible picture resources with the educative courses and being updated daily by thousands of users.

Now the site owners decided to offer the users with the free mailbox services. What is the accounting warranty for this offer?

Remember that the mailbox is just given to them who use and subscribe photo.net frequently and affect the progress and enhancement of it. By being the user disconnected to site, there is no value mentioned for him and his personal profile in the site.

The structure of portal is also considered in one of these items:

· Type of programming

· Type of project management

· Type of financial accounting of the site

The necessity of structure’s definition is preventing the occurrence of probably mistakes, high security provide and economic thriftiness.

There is not any single and unit building structure for all of web portals and it must be defined based on the cultural, financial and geographical conditions. So the portal’s structure is the presentation of it that provides us with the basic information about the configuration and management of project. These presentations are divided into two groups:

· Administrative management

· Customer management

The type of project management and used standards are the basic fundaments of portal. These standards are in a full-time interacting with together and breaking the rules and laws would damages whole the structure and bases intentionally.

– Reference: Web portal, recondite credit/ By: Toomaj Fraidoony, Publishers: Naghoos Co, Marva Book 2007

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