Let’s say you want to improve customer experiences, automate manual work, or boost staff engagement. Thankfully, you can achieve all this by developing a bespoke web portal. If you have in-house developers, that’s no problem. But otherwise you’ll need help from a web portal development company.
And that leads you to the question: how can you know which developers to trust?
As a company that’s been developing enterprise-grade portals for 30 years, we at Influential Software can give you some pointers. So read on to learn the skills we believe every good web portal development company should have.
The expertise needed for portal development
If you have a particular language or platform in mind, then finding web portal developers with that expertise is crucial.
On the other hand, you may be unsure about the best technical approach. In that case, it’s best to choose a web portal development company with many strings to its bow. That versatility means the developers will be able to adapt to your portal requirements.
As for the skill set a good web portal development company should have, we can break this down into six parts.
1. Front-end development
Your staff will be happier and more productive using an intuitive, attractive, and branded portal interface. That’s why front-end development experience is a major factor in successful portal development.
A web portal development specialist will know how to create easy-to-use interfaces that are consistent across devices. The developers will also have a good knowledge of content personalisation and interactive media. Well-structured navigation with good search functionality are another important factor for high staff adoption.
2. Back-end development
Portals are all about bringing workplace tasks and information together under a single umbrella. Back-end development skills are needed to connect the functionality and data behind the scenes.
One aspect of this is scalability. To provide long-term value, your portal’s back-end systems need to flex to meet any volume of users and data. This is why many businesses choose to host their portals in a scalable cloud such as Microsoft Azure.
Related to scalability is performance. A sluggish portal isn’t going to help get things done. Your portal developers should know how to build for fast and efficient data transfer.
3. Security and compliance
If you’re in a regulated industry like healthcare or banking, data security is particularly crucial. But in fact every company handles sensitive data in HR and accounts. A data breach can be damaging to your customers and your reputation.
So how can you know which web portal developers will protect your data? The answer is: by looking at their track record. If the development company has clients in banking and government, for example, that’s a sign of high security. Finance companies and government bodies wouldn’t work with developers who don’t meet security standards.
4. Cloud migration
While some companies have good reasons to stay on-premises, web portals often perform better hosted in the cloud. It’s also possible to keep some data on-premises and integrate that securely with the cloud.
Our experience has shown that Microsoft Azure is the most cost-effective, fast, and versatile platform for cloud-based web portal development. From climate change reporting portals to training management portals, we’ve built Azure-based portals for many uses and industries.
5. Digital integration
As well as unifying access to existing applications, a portal can also enable new interactions between your applications. A good web portal development company will be able to bring data from any source in to your portal. Your people can then view or interact with this data through the portal interface.
If it’s a customer-facing portal, for example, you might want to integrate e-commerce functionality and data from your customer database.
For an internal portal, you might need to link ERP and HR software to enable better financial reporting. A web development company with good systems integration experience will have the skills to make this a reality.
5. Ongoing support
A web portal is a long-term investment. And as your business changes over time, your portal will need to adapt. For this reason, you’ll get better value from a web portal development company that offers fully managed IT services.
This support might take the form of development hours for adding additional portal features. Or you might want a portal helpdesk service to help your staff with any technical challenges. A web portal support team will also monitor security and maintain backup and recovery processes.
Our web portal development experience
Influential Software has been providing business portal solutions for over 30 years. Take a look at our recent success stories: