Web portals, which may simply be referred to as portals, are pages which provide information and links from various pages.
These links and information may fall under a specific area of interest. The entity maintaining the portal organizes the information and resources in order to present them as clearly as possible to address their users’ needs. Thus, the main function of a portal is to disseminate as much useful information as possible to end users. Portals are also known as links pages, because they facilitate the easy access to several links.
Portals may also contain news, advertisements, special interest links, and other useful resources. Yahoo! and MSNBC are examples of web portals. These rose in popularity in the late 1990’s and are some of the most frequently-visited pages, especially since these usually serve as the starting page for many users.
Various forms of portals exist, depending on their intended functions. Horizontal portals, for instance, may be used by different companies working within the same industry. On the other hand, vertical portals facilitate the access of information from a very specific area of interest.
Another type of portal is the personal portal. This is labeled as such because it allows users to take advantage of personalized functions and directs them to specific resources. The main objective of a portal is to provide a pathway to the desired information.