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 its members. Unlike websites, portals have advanced capabilities to manage members, analyze their activity as they engage with content, offer discussion forums, and use notifications and emails to stimulate engagement.

Portals act as engagement systems to reach large audiences, inspire 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 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.


  • Viewable by anyone
  • Have visitors vs. members
  • Content is generally static and added by a website administrator.
  • Presents the same content experience for all viewers
  • Websites provide information vs. engagement
  • Websites are a stand-alone technology.


  • Portals are private and require a login.
  • Portals have members or subscribers vs. visitors
  • Content is dynamic and added by multiple sources
  • Portals present a customized content experience.
  • Portals inform viewers as well as outreach & engage them.
  • Portals connect to other systems.

Explore the Differences in Websites and Portals