August, 2015

Magic Web Portal Development!

+3 tips to develop the magic informations resources

Published: 04.08.2015 | 1966

The quality web portal is similar to a cool pool at 40 °C above zero. Getting out from there takes the Chuck Norris will power level, no less! And to become the proud owner of such a portal, instead of trying to get hand on a cheap or even free template with excess functionality, dive in to a custom developed resource.

The nailing it web portal should be like kitties, slow lorises and raccoons put together.

To develop such a Holy Grail, define your niche on the first place. When the website is kind of about everything – it in fact usually doesn’t provide anything useful; so consider it a lazy pass-through option. Think through the promotion strategy, and try not to delay it to the start of the development stage – what if you'll have to roll out a preliminary campaign to warm up your targeted audience? If you don’t take care of that in advance, you might miss out a great chance to gain traffic right in the beginning.

And now on to the development itself. Here are some specifics too, such as preliminary research and analysis, new technologies and interactive elements. Herewith, the assembled web portal-box should attract targeted traffic, prevent the bounce rate growth, don’t collapse in the case of overload, and in addition be functional and beautiful.

To rock this challenge, we have gathered our teammates’ thoughts and made a compilation of tips that will certainly be useful in the web portal development. And we don’t mind to share them! Huzza!

Website structure

Tip #1. Compose the Resource Structure

Impromptu in case of the web portal development is a bold, but not really smart idea. Any site that looks simple, convenient and understandable, is designed inside and out. It's like them girls wearing the “natural” makeup. You need to imagine accurately how the functional should look like; who your user is and what blocks are necessary. So sit down and think, draw, write, sketch! Here are the moments we advise you to pay attention to:

  • Plan your UI (User interface). Think it from the two positions. On the one hand, the user can enter your portal and get the information he needs – news, FAQ, services and so on. On the other hand, he should want to wander, read more and look around. Search for the non-standard options of inserting some Easter eggs, interesting and useful video materials, set up the interlinking.
  • Keep it simple. Always keep in mind that your web portal is available for a variety of users. And the more easier it is, the more likely it will be used. Therefore, don’t overload the resource with the tangled features, that would be interesting and understandable to only 9.9% of your visitors.
  • Optimize the navigation. When you create a portal, take into account the classification of categories. Provide a variety of options for users to interact with the resource’s information. It’s not necessary to stuff all in one single block and use the small unreadable font. You might also want to wander through your favorite popular resources, and analyze their usability. You’ll be able to compare your solutions and get some inspiration.

Navigation optimization

Tip #2. Take Control over Your Portal

You should be a full owner on your website, therefore responsibly treat the software and administrative part development. Entrust it to professionals in your team or outside it. Focus on these things:

  • Test the system. Put the website security at the forefront. Testing is essential here, otherwise how can you be assured in a resource’s resistance to, say, Dos/DDos attacks? Moreover, if your portal supports online payment or money transfer options, don’t even try to open a website for public access without a proper check! You only damage the brand reputation.
  • Take care of users. If your visitor can sign up and enter his personal information such as username, email address, password or phone number – then this data is vulnerable by default. Think about it in advance and prevent any data theft. The crash because of overload won’t give you any points, but it’s not that maleficent. However, if someone “borrows” your users’ information... you know better how exactly this threatens your reputation.
  • Mark the boundaries. Again, if your portal provides the registration option, consider what any particular user is allowed and prohibited to do. Without properly demarcated access control, the unauthorized users will be able to do all sorts of wrong things like commenting materials and viewing the personal information of other users. So close to the epic Bender's “theme park with blackjack and (ahem) beautiful women”!

Web portal access control

Tip #3. Set Up the Traps

The best response to your site is when the complete outsider tumbles on it and instantly becomes your evangelist, advising your brand everywhere. It’s the rare luck situation, but you can strive to it: keep up with the trends, use the triggers, optimize your content. Focus on social activity:

  • Provoke the communication. Give the users ability to share with you their ideas, complaints, wishes and desires. Standard option would be a feedback form. But it’s faceless and boring, forget about it. You can create something different to stand out from the competition. Think about the ways you want to get reviews and criticism, and in any case don’t ignore your visitors! If you have established communication via email, then try answering to everyone. At least set the original and funny answering machine if you can’t spend loads of time on that.
  • Go interactive. People enjoy taking tests, vote in polls, comment on interesting articles and watch videos with multiple endings. So yes, you need more “goodies”! July 7, Google offered its users to create their own cartoon robots, superheroes and monsters film. Great idea! Use the same approach to your brand, entertain the regular users and attract more newbies.
  • Socialize it. Allow the “word of mouth” work to its fullest! Add to your web portal the most popular social media buttons, connect the accounts and create a sense of presence everywhere. Users will occasionally run across a brand, and, depending on the context, form in their heads the cause-and-effect connections and a general idea of the resource.

Social media on website

Regardless of the type and content of your web portal, you have one specific mission – to show how cool you are. So the users will enjoy you, read you and return for more each and every day.

However, a good resource is not developed once and forever. You’ll have to constantly update it, while providing high-quality customer support and analyzing the metrics. So think about the cast of your dream team in advance, to understand who and what will do with the project after the launch. And with that you will surely succeed!