Digital Transformation

Horizontal Portals vs Vertical Portals, a Series


In a number of industries, companies have built custom built web sites or portals.  I’ve seen it in healthcare and in government for example.  While I cannot claim to be a complete expert on every single vertical portal out there.  I’ve seen enough to get a broad general outline.   These types of portals can provide value and have the potential to do so at a lower price point than horizontal portal vendors like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Liferay, and JBoss.  However, that value is completely dependent on the overall needs of the client.  You should follow a general rule of thumb: Simpler needs with less modification lends itself well towards a vertical portal.  More complex needs and mods push you towards a horizontal portal.

Rather than start a comparison of each high level feature, I thought I would start with a couple of graphics that sets up the series and then I’ll tackle each point in successive posts. I look at the comparison a this:

Darker green = strength or less implementation effort

Lighter green = potential strength and perhaps less implementation effort

Red = more implementation effort or potential weakness


Strengths and Weaknesses of vertical portal

Strengths and Weaknesses of horizontal portal


Combined portal where vertical vendor uses horizontal portal product

I’ll go into more detail in later posts about the individual comparisons.  I’ll also ask for feedback from you all on where I’m off base in the comparison.  Stay tuned for more on this.


Thoughts on “Horizontal Portals vs Vertical Portals, a Series”

  1. Pingback: Horizontal vs Vertical Portal: Backend Integration | TechieOye

  2. Pingback: Horizontal Portals vs Vertical Portals,Supporting Multiple Sites | TechieOye

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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