Portals' Common Issues and their Solutions

Some general and most niche based portals require users to sign in to use the provided services. Most fundamental issue and point where most of users' time is wasted is the registration and signing in into the portal. Below we have listed the major issues categories and then we describe two most common issues in detail with explanations of how to solve them.

  1. Portal Signup or Registration Issues
  2. Portal Sign-In Issues
  3. Complete and Partial Service Unavailability
  4. No or Limited Commitment and Activity by Members
  5. Non-Authentic Published Content

Now we describe individual issues and what one can do to solve them when they are encountered.

Portal Signup / Registration Issues

Most portals serve specific purposes depending on the target users e.g. student portal, vendor portal, investors portals and Government’s citizen portal. The first step is to get yourself registered there. While other websites only ask for email and username etc. when you fill the registration form (called signup) but portals may require additional type of information and documents at the time of registration. For this purpose, many users get confused or require additional guidelines at the time of registration. Some example of additional documents include:

  1. National Identity Card Number given by the Government and its scanned image
  2. Student Identity Card number or Scanned image of the card
  3. Scanned Image of Utility Bill for address verification
  4. Scanned Image of Passport or its unique number only, specially if you are joining some international community
  5. Driving license number

So if you are asked for any of the above information and you are sure about the validity of the portal, then you shall provide the requested information of scanned images without hesitation. Otherwise, your membership request may not be submitted or may be rejected depending whether the missed information was optional or mandatory at registration form.

Portal Sign In Issues

If you have joined a portal successfully by filling the registration form. Online portals assign you a login name and password. Some portals allow email addresses to be used as a login name too. Whether you are a new member or an old member, you may have to face issues when you sign in on the portal. The sign in form may generate an error to indicate that you have not provided a valid user name or password or both may also be incorrect. If you face an issue at the time of sign in, and you believe the provided password is correct, then we suggest to look into following points to resolve the issue:

  1. When you try to login multiple times in a portal, many websites require you to enter Captcha. Its alphanumeric text is difficult to read because its objective is to ensure the form is filled by a human and not by a computer program. Many users make mistakes while entering the Captcha, because the Captcha is intentionally written to make it difficult to read. If the Captcha is not readable, we suggest you to reopen the sign in form or regenerate the Captcha and use it when displayed text is correctly readable. There is no issue to regenerate the Captcha multiple times.
  2. Make sure your keyboard’s Caps Lock is OFF. Sometimes, we forget to focus on minor things.
  3. Passwords are stored and checked in a case sensitive way, so if you have chosen a password that includes some small case letter and a few capital case letters, you must enter exactly in the same way. For example myPassword and Mypassword are two different passwords.
  4. Many malicious users make phishing sites that appear like the original website but they are developed to steal the confidential information of users. Links of such websites are sent in different ways e.g. using emails, marketing campaigns, in free softwares, asking to click some links to get discount coupons etc. If you are not able to sign in, you must ensure you have not opened phishing sites. The best way to make sure the opened site is the original one, open the website by typing its URL in the browser address bar. You must change your password immediately if you find that the credentials are entered in a phishing site. And if the original website provides Two Factor Authentication, you must activate it. Because, no one can access your account even if they get successful in stealing your credentials. Two Factor Authentication is explained below in a separate section below.
  5. Some portals require you to change the password periodically but often users forget that they changed the password recently. So make sure, you are not entering an old password.
  6. Modern web technologies (e.g. Progressive Web Applications, PWA) allow websites to store pages in the browser memory that are not changed frequently. So it may be, the login page is served from the browser but you are no longer connected to the internet. Though portals should raise valid errors that internet connection is down, but if it has missed handling the case, then the sign in issue may be because of unavailability of internet. So, make sure you are connected to the internet.
  7. Some websites record users’ city and country when they sign up. If later, they use the portal by connecting to a VPN, their sign in may fail because many websites do not allow users to use them via VPN. When using a VPN, you appear to portal from a city or country where you are actually not located. So try disconnecting from the VPN.
  8. If you have read so far, most probably, you are looking for the solution to a sign-in problem. You may think that you are entering the valid email and password, but make sure, the entered combination is also correct. These days, most people have multiple email addresses, it may be, you are entering a valid password but the given email or login name is not correct. This is again a minor issue, but still you should be careful about this. Otherwise you would not be able to login into the portal.
  9. When you sign in into a website, make sure the website is using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) connection. Browser indicates it showing a lock symbol before the URL in the address bar. If a website is not using SSL, you should not enter your credential or other confidential information (e.g. Credit Card Number and Expiry Date etc.) on that website. Why? Any intermediate device (e.g. routers, servers, etc.) can read the data you submit to non SSL websites.