The dictionary defines the ‘portal’ as ‘a grand and imposing entrance (often extended metaphorically)’. Web portals function as the starting page that provide gateway to a large number of related or assorted links to other resources. As the internet is an infinitely immense, unorganized, decentralized and chaotic entity, we would want to start our online journey through a coherent doorway. The doorway tells us where something might be available and, thus, is our online guide. Portals typically provide personalized capabilities to their users. Many business portals allow collaboration of work in workplaces. Such business platform may be built for multiple platforms for increased accesibility.
Portal development started as soon as the Web became a consumer oriented medium. After the proliferation of web browsers in the mid-1990s, many companies tried to build or acquire a portal, to have a piece of the Internet market. The web portal gained special attention because it was, for many users, the starting point of their web browser, and thus it could be used for brand positioning by the owner company. Shortly thereafter search engines and directory services became the most popular portals. Commercial sites added features like chat, forum and gave customization controls to the user to make them stay longer and generate ad revenue. Later on regional portals, targeted towards specific regions or nations, grew.
In the early 2000s, a major industry shift in web portal focus has been the corporate intranet portal, or "enterprise portals". There were many advantages to this approach, like single touch-point for all services, collaboration between members, content and document management, personalization, and integration. Enterprise portals may be referred to by the community they serve. For instance, an employee-facing portal may be described as a "Business-to-employee" portal, or B2E portal.
In this section we provide a list of portals on many special interests, from horoscopes to B2B portals.