Trendspotting: the move from blog to “portal”

WordPress is increasingly being used as a content management system, and I think we’re about to see many blogs follow the trend we’ve seen recently in sites like Problogger, from simple blog to “portal”. These portal entry pages are more of an overview of all the content the site has to offer, featuring all the elements more equally, rather than the blog being pushed so far to the front and everything else being secondary.

Brian Gardner, who is one of the best theme designers out there, has just released a “premium” theme for WordPress called Revolution. The design is a step up from the simple blog theme, and would work well for anyone wanting to use WordPress as more of a content management system. It includes multiple page templates within a perfectly clean and sharp design that is characteristic of Brian’s style. This type of theme release is something I expect to see more of from designers in coming months, as bloggers begin to break out of the traditional “blog” mold.

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Who would benefit from a portal entry page?

I think this approach would work well for anyone who has more than one thing going on that they want to highlight. So often designers’ blogs, mine included, feature the writing prominently and the design work is off to the side, under a menu. The fact is that at least part of the reason many designers have a blog is to build relationships and credibility so they can generate business. Because this is the case, an entry page designed to feature not only our writing, but also our work is the perfect approach.

What’s important in a portal page?
  • It must first and foremost, focus on drawing the reader into your content.
  • The latest and greatest should be above the fold: Recent articles with compelling headlines and excerpts, popular posts and categories should be front and center.
  • Readers should be able to find the search and subscription options at a glance.

Is anyone else considering putting a front page portal on their site? Charity is- check out her article for links to some other good portal examples. Do you think there are drawbacks this portal concept?

Published on: August 17, 2007 | Category: Blogging