Multisite Management Best Practices

Are you considering a multisite deployment?

Joel Varty
Joel Varty
Nov 4, 2022
Multisite Management Best Practices

Are you considering a multisite deployment? That's great. Following a multisite strategy is an excellent way of displaying different content to different personas or brands within the same company. However, multisite deployment can be tricky. You'll need to consider the individual needs of each site so that they can all run efficiently and support your strategy.

Implementing a multisite strategy can help you not only differentiate between two brands or locations of your company but also enter new markets and increase your market share. A solid multisite deployment also opens the door for your brand to scale in different regions or countries, attracting more local visits. This blog post will share the benefits of a multisite deployment, some best practices, and how to deploy a multisite in Agility CMS.

What is Multisite Management?

Multisites are websites hosted on multiple servers or domains operated by one company to serve different regions or target audiences. For instance, one example is Google which has sites in various languages and alphabets accessible from its main domain. 

However, maintaining –and managing– multiple sites separately will become cumbersome quickly, especially if you have many different sites with specific audiences and content needs. Multisite management is an excellent solution for this. It simplifies how you manage each site, enabling you to centralize information in a single CMS for greater visibility.  

Multisites also allow companies to serve niche markets without setting up separate hosting infrastructure. This simplifies management and reduces costs –all while maintaining a solid brand presence. 

Benefits of Multisite Management

  • Less Data Silos: In companies with multiple sites, data silos are bound to appear sooner than later. Proper multisite management practices and a multisite-ready Headless CMS can sharply reduce their occurrence because all the sitemaps and instances are housed within the same platform. 
  • Reduced Hosting Needs: Multisite practices enable you to host different websites in the same Hosting, reduce costs, and ensure a consistent brand presence across regional websites or business units. 
  • Increased Security: Keeping your websites within the same instance or sitemap will help you centralize every document and asset. It also allows you to control the different versions of the site and keep them updated and performant against malicious actors.
  • Reduced Load Time: Rather than loading every possible asset in your website, including sites from other regions, multisite management practices enable you to build and deploy each site separately to achieve better website loading speeds and a less bloated infrastructure. 

Multisite Deployment Best Practices

Don't Forget Multiuser Management

Multiuser management enables admins to make immediate changes to your user types which are customer personas associated with that specific sitemap or instance. With multisite management, you control who has access to which project and even invite external stakeholders, agencies, or contractors to your instance. 

Set Cross and Multisite Google Analytics and Domain Tracking

Cross-domain tracking is an analytics technique that combines different user journeys across related instances and sitemaps into a single session in Google Analytics. By setting cross-domain tracking, Google Analytics enables you to track individual website users and observe patterns in how your visitors navigate between pages and engage with your content.

Leverage A Multisite CMS

Managing multiple sites quickly plays a significant role in your brand consistency and your capacity to deliver a centralized experience to different visitors across multiple sites. A CMS that enables you to build multisite experiences and gives you granular content governance options provides content editors and managers with a neural center from which to publish efficiently. 

Deploying A Multisite in Agility CMS

In Agility CMS, you have two deployment options, multiple sitemaps or multiple instances. Let's see both:

  • Sitemap: Allows editors to manage multiple content destinations within a single instance. A content destination can be considered a website, application, IoT, or digital signage where editors can manage the pages and module components that make up their digital solution's front end.
  • Instance: This represents a dedicated area for your editors and developers to log in, create, manage, and publish digital experiences. They can also have their own set of web apps and hosting. Each sitemap enables the separation of concerns, and each instance can have a vastly different structure and different permissions. 

Deploying Multiple Page Management Sitemaps

Each Agility instance has the capacity for handling multiple sitemaps. You can use each sitemap for a different website. Managing content for multiple sites using a single instance makes sense if you have the same content team working on all those properties and want to share most of the content or assets between those sites. 

Some organizations utilize multiple-page management sitemaps in Agility to separate their sub-brands or microsites. They can easily reuse content and assets from the primary site in additional areas to allow for faster website building.

Deploying Multiple Instances In Agility CMS

Agility allows you to manage multiple instances utterly separate from each other regarding the content, assets, and content editing teams. In a multi-instance scenario, organizations can maintain a one-to-one ratio between an instance and a website while keeping security, permissions, and workflows different from each instance.

In many cases, it makes sense to have multiple instances where there is a primary instance that acts as the Content Hub for all content shared everywhere. 

Read More: How To Build a Content Hub.

Choosing between Multiple Sitemaps and Instances

Here's a simple guide to choosing whether you should be using a single instance with multiple sitemaps or multiple instances to manage content for more than one website.

Single-Instance, Multi-Sitemap

  • You have a single content team, and the content is similar across all your sites.
  • You have many similar websites with slightly different branding
  • You have many smaller microsites that pull content from a primary website

When working with multiple sitemaps, you can use each sitemap for your website's subdomains, or you can target completely separate domains. 

For example, if you are using subdomains:

  • Sitemap 1 => mysite.com
  • Sitemap 2 => subdomain1.mysite.com
  • Sitemap 3 => subdomain2.mysite.com

If you want to set up completely separate domains:

  • Sitemap 1 => mysite.com
  • Sitemap 2 => anothersite.com
  • Sitemap 3 => mythirdsite.com

Multi-Instance

  • You have separate teams or users to manage each website
  • Each website has an entirely different brand, content, or assets
  • Each website has a different workflow for managing content

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Nov 4, 2022

Multisite Management Best Practices

Are you considering a multisite deployment?

Joel Varty

Topic

CMSCMSHeadless CMSHeadless CMS
SHARE POST
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Agility CMS Trial

Manage all your websites from one instance. Save time by reusing components. Share content and code to launch your solutions faster.

Get Started

Multisite Management Best Practices

Are you considering a multisite deployment? That's great. Following a multisite strategy is an excellent way of displaying different content to different personas or brands within the same company. However, multisite deployment can be tricky. You'll need to consider the individual needs of each site so that they can all run efficiently and support your strategy.

Implementing a multisite strategy can help you not only differentiate between two brands or locations of your company but also enter new markets and increase your market share. A solid multisite deployment also opens the door for your brand to scale in different regions or countries, attracting more local visits. This blog post will share the benefits of a multisite deployment, some best practices, and how to deploy a multisite in Agility CMS.

What is Multisite Management?

Multisites are websites hosted on multiple servers or domains operated by one company to serve different regions or target audiences. For instance, one example is Google which has sites in various languages and alphabets accessible from its main domain. 

However, maintaining –and managing– multiple sites separately will become cumbersome quickly, especially if you have many different sites with specific audiences and content needs. Multisite management is an excellent solution for this. It simplifies how you manage each site, enabling you to centralize information in a single CMS for greater visibility.  

Multisites also allow companies to serve niche markets without setting up separate hosting infrastructure. This simplifies management and reduces costs –all while maintaining a solid brand presence. 

Benefits of Multisite Management

  • Less Data Silos: In companies with multiple sites, data silos are bound to appear sooner than later. Proper multisite management practices and a multisite-ready Headless CMS can sharply reduce their occurrence because all the sitemaps and instances are housed within the same platform. 
  • Reduced Hosting Needs: Multisite practices enable you to host different websites in the same Hosting, reduce costs, and ensure a consistent brand presence across regional websites or business units. 
  • Increased Security: Keeping your websites within the same instance or sitemap will help you centralize every document and asset. It also allows you to control the different versions of the site and keep them updated and performant against malicious actors.
  • Reduced Load Time: Rather than loading every possible asset in your website, including sites from other regions, multisite management practices enable you to build and deploy each site separately to achieve better website loading speeds and a less bloated infrastructure. 

Multisite Deployment Best Practices

Don't Forget Multiuser Management

Multiuser management enables admins to make immediate changes to your user types which are customer personas associated with that specific sitemap or instance. With multisite management, you control who has access to which project and even invite external stakeholders, agencies, or contractors to your instance. 

Set Cross and Multisite Google Analytics and Domain Tracking

Cross-domain tracking is an analytics technique that combines different user journeys across related instances and sitemaps into a single session in Google Analytics. By setting cross-domain tracking, Google Analytics enables you to track individual website users and observe patterns in how your visitors navigate between pages and engage with your content.

Leverage A Multisite CMS

Managing multiple sites quickly plays a significant role in your brand consistency and your capacity to deliver a centralized experience to different visitors across multiple sites. A CMS that enables you to build multisite experiences and gives you granular content governance options provides content editors and managers with a neural center from which to publish efficiently. 

Deploying A Multisite in Agility CMS

In Agility CMS, you have two deployment options, multiple sitemaps or multiple instances. Let's see both:

  • Sitemap: Allows editors to manage multiple content destinations within a single instance. A content destination can be considered a website, application, IoT, or digital signage where editors can manage the pages and module components that make up their digital solution's front end.
  • Instance: This represents a dedicated area for your editors and developers to log in, create, manage, and publish digital experiences. They can also have their own set of web apps and hosting. Each sitemap enables the separation of concerns, and each instance can have a vastly different structure and different permissions. 

Deploying Multiple Page Management Sitemaps

Each Agility instance has the capacity for handling multiple sitemaps. You can use each sitemap for a different website. Managing content for multiple sites using a single instance makes sense if you have the same content team working on all those properties and want to share most of the content or assets between those sites. 

Some organizations utilize multiple-page management sitemaps in Agility to separate their sub-brands or microsites. They can easily reuse content and assets from the primary site in additional areas to allow for faster website building.

Deploying Multiple Instances In Agility CMS

Agility allows you to manage multiple instances utterly separate from each other regarding the content, assets, and content editing teams. In a multi-instance scenario, organizations can maintain a one-to-one ratio between an instance and a website while keeping security, permissions, and workflows different from each instance.

In many cases, it makes sense to have multiple instances where there is a primary instance that acts as the Content Hub for all content shared everywhere. 

Read More: How To Build a Content Hub.

Choosing between Multiple Sitemaps and Instances

Here's a simple guide to choosing whether you should be using a single instance with multiple sitemaps or multiple instances to manage content for more than one website.

Single-Instance, Multi-Sitemap

  • You have a single content team, and the content is similar across all your sites.
  • You have many similar websites with slightly different branding
  • You have many smaller microsites that pull content from a primary website

When working with multiple sitemaps, you can use each sitemap for your website's subdomains, or you can target completely separate domains. 

For example, if you are using subdomains:

  • Sitemap 1 => mysite.com
  • Sitemap 2 => subdomain1.mysite.com
  • Sitemap 3 => subdomain2.mysite.com

If you want to set up completely separate domains:

  • Sitemap 1 => mysite.com
  • Sitemap 2 => anothersite.com
  • Sitemap 3 => mythirdsite.com

Multi-Instance

  • You have separate teams or users to manage each website
  • Each website has an entirely different brand, content, or assets
  • Each website has a different workflow for managing content

Choosing a New CMS? Download Your 50-Point Checklist

Avoid mistakes. Use our Free Ultimate Checklist.

choosing a headless cms
About the Author

Joel is President at Agility CMS, a SaaS headless content management platform that combines flexible and fast Headless architecture with familiar and easy Authoring tools for editors.

Joel has over 20 years of experience in customer relationship management, product management, and has embraced cloud technology as a ground-breaking concept over a decade ago.

When it comes to cloud computing, development, and software architecture, Joel is as good as they come. Beyond his knowledge, Joel's diligence is enviable.

Topic

CMSCMSHeadless CMSHeadless CMS
SHARE POST
BlogBlog

Design Systems: The Big Benefit of Moving to a Headless CMS

Read More
Design Systems: The Big Benefit of Moving to a Headless CMS
BlogBlog

7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With a Headless CMS

Read More
7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With a Headless CMS

Agility CMS Trial

Manage all your websites from one instance. Save time by reusing components. Share content and code to launch your solutions faster.

Get Started

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