From Exterior Design Features - http://www.nachi.org/exterior-design-features.htm#ixzz2eyyGNdlj
A porch is a wooden structure that forms a covered entrance to a doorway at ground level. A porch is typically located at the front of the house.
- Porches are often used as ante-rooms where muddy or wet clothes can be shed before entering the house.
- The word “porch” originates from the Latin word porta, which means “gate” or “entrance.”
A veranda is a long, roofed, open gallery built around a central structure and supported by pillars. Verandahs are often long enough to extend around the front and the sides of a structure. Their origins are uncertain, but they are known to be a hybrid of East Indian and European styles. The purpose of the verandah is social, although in a more relaxing, everyday sense than is the case of a deck or patio.
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:
1: a covered area adjoining an entrance to a building and usually having a separate roof
2 obsolete: portico
a usually roofed open gallery or portico attached to the exterior of a building
Oxford Online English Dictionary (British English, though US English has the same definitions):
a covered shelter projecting in front of the entrance of a building
a roofed platform along the outside of a house, level with the ground floor
The platform typical runs along the sides of the structures, no? I think given the definitions, veranda would sound like a better match.
Some other info: