Gone are the days when we used to send clients catalogs and CRM data through mails. And that too, collecting data for each client and sending them individually. Portals have molded all these processes, making them more organized and efficient. It has not only saved time for businesses but also reduced the chances of errors and mistakes that can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. Also, security of data while sharing confidential information to the customers was a bit challenging. You can also get benefits of the web portals by developing it. Here we have mentioned the steps that you can follow to develop the best web portal for your business.
To develop or establish any new thing, research is the initial and most crucial part. The deep research will help in understanding it in depth and make execution of that knowledge easy later on. Here are the steps that you can follow to research well.
First and the foremost thing required before you move any further towards a web portal is to be clear about the niche. Having a clarity on target audience, market status, competitors in your selected niche, will help you decide the level of research and efforts that will be required.
Identify Client’s Needs and Expectations
Anyone seeking to develop a portal must understand their clients/customers requirements well. Having a brief on what your customers want from you or what more you can offer them will help define the features, flow, and the complexity of the portal.
To simplify all these, start asking questions to yourself, customers, and the experts in these fields. Receiving insights from different minds helps in understanding requirements from different perspectives. The portal will let you know:
- What all services you must deliver
- Who will be your customers
- What will they be expecting from you
- What features you can add to attract them
Thus, this will help you provide the top-notch service to your customers.
Also, it is time that you decide whether it will be just a domestic portal or an international portal as well. Because if you have both then you can reach more customers. Once you have answers to all the questions, you will have more clarity on the required finances.
It is time to execute the research and data that you have gathered. We have given a few steps that will help you with the execution process.
Finalize the Domain Name and the Hosting Company
First thing you need to do is select a domain name for your web portal. It must be unique, meaningful, and something that gives understanding about your business. The memorable brand name will leave an impact on your customers and the best way is to include your brand name in it. You can purchase the domain name or rent it on a yearly basis. After you finalize the domain name, it is time to find a hosting company as the upload time and the output depends on them. It will help with SEO and traffic management.
Choose the Technology and Start the Development Process
Now is the right time to decide what technology you must use. There are various factors on which you can finalize it like scalability, reliability, ability to handle complexity, pricing, etc. You can also choose between open-source or private platforms. The open source platform will save you money while the enterprise or paid versions will give you better security. The popular open-source platforms that businesses use are PHP based like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.
There are companies or developers developing web portals using core PHP. This helps them customize content as per their requirements. The next thing is to actually get it built. First thing to focus on while designing is that the designs must be creative, easy to understand, and clean. If you want your customers to spend more time on it, it is important to offer them a rich experience. If you mess up here, your customers will find the flow confusing and they might leave before buying. Having a clear flow and clean UI is all you need.
Frontend and Backend Features
The next thing on the list is developing the features step by step for both frontend and backend. Here we have listed must have features that will go with every business.
The must have features for the frontend are:
- Login: Provide your users a secure login and sign up for new visitors.
- Support to CRM modules: Apart from supporting the default modules from the CRM, it must enable custom modules in the CRM by establishing relationships with the contact module.
- Case Deflection: The portal should allow the users to search their query first, rather than directly generating the ticket. Thus, reducing the burden on the support team.
- Proposals: The portal should generate the proposals in the portal by offering catalog for the customers. It should allow them to choose the product, quantity, and then send the proposal to the admin.
- Custom Dashboard: Customers can customize the appearance of the portal and choose the module of their preference.
- Push Notifications: Notifying the customers about all the latest actions from the admin.
- Multi-language Support: If you are targeting audiences all over the globe, multiple languages will help you serve them better. Having the option to choose language while adding messages from the backend helps in engaging the user.
- Knowledge Base: Share informative content in front of videos, blogs, FAQs, etc.
The must have features for backend are:
- Role-based Access: Restrict the modules to specific user base only.
- Credential Generation: The admin must be able to generate the credential in bulk and pull the records from the CRM and export them to a CSV file.
- Module Configuration: The portal must configure the custom module in the backend without additional expenses.
- Dynamic Layout: While fetching the data from CRM to the portal, the portal just allows to range fields and the layout in the modules.
Proper Project Management and Testing the Portal
You can integrate the portal with your existing CRM. If you want one for your business, we recommend Dynamics 365. You can leverage Dynamics 365 portal for your business as it is a reliable and secure platform.
Project management plays a vital role in designing and development of the web portal. It ensures the timely delivery of the updates.
Once the development process is done, it is time to test the portal. It is important to test all the features extensively, and then make it live. You do not want a portal with bugs or improper functioning of certain features.
Now that you are ready with your web portal, it is time to establish marketing strategies that will make the presence of your portal successful. Marketing helps you highlight the portal in front of the right audience. For that, you can use online marketing and SEO tools to increase the profit margins over time. It can be time consuming, but if executed right, it will be beneficial to your business. Thus, make efficient SEO strategies to reach your target audience and mark your presence among the customer base.
Businesses have realized the importance of portals and that is why they wish to develop the same for their business. Strategizing all the process step by step can reduce the chances of errors and bugs in the portal. And proper planning helps in saving the money spent behind steps that are actually not required. After proper research and plan, develop the portal with all the needful features and once the development is done, marketing it to the right audience.