1. Scott Zeid
  2. Portal




Copyright (C) 2006-2015 Scott Zeid


Portal is a PHP script that displays a list of Web sites. It can be used as a personal home page, for example. Here are some features of Portal:

  • Each site can have a name, icon, and description.
  • The color scheme and various layout options can be customized.
  • Contains optimizations for smartphone browsers.
  • Contains a "minibar" mode that can be added to the top or side of your other sites as an iframe. The active site can be highlighted.
  • Supports Google Analytics with both new- and old-style code.
  • Supports OpenID header tags.
  • Validates as HTML 5 and CSS 3.
  • Free, open source software released under the X11 License.

To see a live example of Portal, go to https://more.s.zeid.me/. You may also look at its configuration file.


To install Portal:

  1. Copy index.php and portal-data to your document root or whatever folder you want to install it in.
  2. Rename portal-data/settings.yaml.dist to portal-data/settings.yaml.
  3. Edit that file to change the settings and add sites. (Documentation for settings.yaml is contained within itself.)
  4. Add icons to portal-data/icons and portal-data/icons/small. Corresponding icons in both folders should have the same file names. Icons in portal-data/icons should be 32x32 pixels in size, and icons in portal-data/icons/small should be 16x16 in size. If you only plan on using the small icons and/or minibar, you may leave out the large ones, and vice versa.

If you want to change the name or location of portal-data, you will also need to update the $CONFIG_DIR variable in index.php accordingly.

Query string parameters

Portal supports the following query string parameters:

  • device={android,webos,apple,apple-tablet} - force the mobile device type
  • minibar - render a minibar (see below for more info and related parameters)
  • mobile - use the mobile stylesheet
  • !mobile, nomobile - do not use the mobile stylesheet
  • narrow - force the Portal to be narrow
  • !narrow, wide - force the Portal to not be narrow
  • small - force the icons and text to be small
  • !small, large, big - force the icons and text to be big
  • target - use the specified value as the target attribute for site links
  • theme - use the specified theme name (must be a key in settings.yaml > themes)
  • 403, 404 - causes Portal to render a 403 or 404 error page
  • json - output a JSON object instead of HTML

OpenID support

If you use OpenID and your provider allows you to, you can use your Portal's URL as an alias for your OpenID. To set this up, you would look in your OpenID provider's help pages for something that looks like "Use your own URL", and then look for some HTML code that looks something like this:

<link rel="openid.server" href="http://www.myopenid.com/server" />
<link rel="openid.delegate" href="http://youraccount.myopenid.com/" />
<link rel="openid2.local_id" href="http://youraccount.myopenid.com" />
<link rel="openid2.provider" href="http://www.myopenid.com/server" />
<meta http-equiv="X-XRDS-Location"
 content="http://www.myopenid.com/xrds?username=youraccount.myopenid.com" />

Then you would copy the URLs from that code and paste them into the respective keys in settings.yaml > openid. You can omit either provider and local_id or server and delegate if your provider does not give you those URLs. However, server and provider are often the same, as are delegate and local_id.

For example:

    # OpenID server URL
    server:   http://www.myopenid.com/server
    # OpenID provider URL
    provider: http://www.myopenid.com/server
    # Delegate URL
    delegate: http://youraccount.myopenid.com/
    # Local ID URL
    local_id: http://youraccount.myopenid.com
    # XRDS URL
    xrds:     http://www.myopenid.com/xrds?username=youraccount.myopenid.com

Note that Portal sends the X-XRDS-Location URL as an actual HTTP header, and not a meta tag, because the latter would prevent Portal from validating as HTML5.


Portal has a "minibar" feature. This allows you to add a bar to the top or left (for example) of a Web page of yours that contains a miniature version of your Portal. Example HTML code for a horizontal minibar:

<div id="portal-minibar" style="width: 100%; height: 23px;">
 <iframe src="http://your.portal.example/?minibar&highlight=awesome-site"
   style="width: 100%; height: 23px; border-style: none; overflow: hidden;"

The highlight parameter is optional, and is the name of the key for the site you want highlighted. For example, if your sites section looks like this:

        name: My awesome site
        icon: awesome-site.png
        url:  http://awesome.site.example/
        desc: There's some awesome s*** here!

and you want "My awesome site" to be highlighed, you would use &highlight=awesome-site.

The default orientation is horizontal, unless you changed minibar-orientation to vertical in settings.yaml. You can also add &vertical or &horizontal to the URL to change the orientation. Here's an example for a vertical minibar that is fixed to the left-hand side of the screen:

<div id="portal-minibar"
  style="position: fixed; top: 0; bottom: 0; left: 0; height: 100%;">
 <iframe src="http://your.portal.example/?minibar&vertical&highlight=slug"
   style="width: 24px; height: 100%; border-style: none; overflow: hidden;"

If you do not want a site to appear in the minibar, add the following line to your site:

        minibar: False

If you want the site to appear in the minibar but not the main page, add this:

        index: False

You can also add both lines if you want to completely hide the site from your Portal. If the URL is not set, then the site will automatically be hidden from the minibar.