CMS or Portal?

It’s very common people confuse Portal tools and CMS when they need to decide what kind of tool they need to implement some features. On my career, based on Liferay Portal, I saw many bad uses of Portal, because many companies want to re-invent Liferay instead of use features that already exists on Liferay. But let’s go back to theme of this topic. It’s very important for companies make a good decision about tool to implement features. To help companies with that I will try to enumerate some vantages of each one.
In recent years portals have increased in popularity. And the question is, what’s the difference between CMS and Portal?
What is a CMS?
Custom Management System (CMS) is a tool to build and manage web pages. Most of them includes web based publishing, version control, media management, approval workflow of media and articles with a user friendly administration panel. Between most common tools we can find Joomla, Drupal and WordPress.
And What is a Portal?
Portal is a tool to build web sites and web applications. This kind of tool has a great advantage regarding CMS, because they have many native features like blogs wikis and forums, user permissions, document library. We can integrate on portals with many other tools like LDAP for example.
I venture to say that if a company does not want a very complex portal, can do it almost without producing a line of code. We have some native features on portals like:

  • Private and Public pages
  • Multiple sites/communities on same portal
  • User permissions
  • Content based on permissions
  • Media Library
  • Connection to different databases engine
  • And many applications that we can use to build our portal

One good example of portal is Liferay, and in this moment is an open source market leader. Liferay has a very user friendly interface, all of this features are available on portal and many more. In Polarising we work with Liferay and if you want to learn more about Liferay, and build a case study for use Liferay on your company don’t hesitate on contact us.
Some portal has capability to integrate with one or CMS to get content form there for example.
In conclusion, while there are features very similar between CMS and portal, the differences must be reviewed carefully determining the focus and the uses cases that will be available.

Vítor Lopes

Liferay Consultant and Evangelist at Polarising


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