Portal A Portal, Gate or Gateway were traditionally a physical entry point into a (fortified) city. This physical idea was extended to the metaphysical realm. e.g. Gates of Heaven and Gates of Hell. Portals and gateways became metaphors. More recently, these imetaphors have been extended to the electronic world. Since 2000, Portals (q.v.) have become a new fashion in web sites. Traiditonally books had Tables of Contents. Portals are becoming a digital equivalent of such Tables of Contents in the realm of electronic resources.