A vertical portal, also called vortal, is an online site that offers a huge range of content pertaining to a particular subject or industry such as healthcare, sports, science, construction, etc. in the form of articles, news, etc. At times, the subject focus could vary, but the format (videos, blogs, etc.) presented will be consistent. For instance, YouTube is a vertical portal that presents content encompassing a range of subjects, but only as videos.

Vertical portals want to appeal to a niche market. Such portals are also referred to as “interest community” sites since the users have a common interest: consuming or dispensing data about a particular industry or in a specific manner/format. Not to mention, vertical portals can prove to be repositories of comprehensive and specialized information and ideas. For instance, if a techie wants to learn the nuances of advanced web design, a vertical portal dedicated to web development is likely to feed him right.    

Vortals permit some level of customization, but are not as flexible as horizontal portals. For instance, notifications can be customized but the different pages and their components cannot be customized. Also, vertical portals could be used by specific department personnel for certain business functions like accounting or e-commerce.