Portal or Web CMS: Which One Makes Sense for Your Use Case?

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Not all web properties are created equal. A corporate marketing presence, an e-commerce site, an intranet, a self-service customer hub portal, or a rich media site may all seem to end users like "just another website." Behind the scenes however, the use cases can differ dramatically. For example, some of these are content-heavy sites, and others are more transaction-oriented, application-rich sites.

Not surprisingly then, today's enterprise faces multiple options in terms of tools to power these properties. Most notably, you can use a portal platform or a Web Content Management System (a.k.a., WCXM, Web CMS, or WCM) - or both. Because the two technologies are converging (and vendors in both camps claim broad functionality), enterprises frequently struggle to make the right choice.

Nevertheless, while it may be theoretically possible to use a portal or a WCXM tool, usually one offers a better fit than the other. You must consider the subtle differences between these two types of tools, since each one provides a different approach to building and managing digital environments. You should also understand that there are rare occasions when you may need both a portal and WCXM platform.

This paper lays out guidelines to help you identify the best option(s) for you.