Many large organizations manage a wide variety of products, brands, and services—each with their own digital experiences. Using multisites through CMS systems such as Sitefinity, allow organizations to create a network of subsites within a single instance of its enterprise website. They empower companies to build a standardized, scalable process while providing individual departments with a level of autonomy as they create unique experiences for their customers.
Here are some of the benefits of using multisites.
With multisites, developers use the same codebase for all multisites. Developers are able to reuse as much as they can from existing customizations. With a single codebase, developers can focus on less scattered and more well-organized code, which is easier to test with higher test coverage and better code quality control. Additionally, code enhancements are easily shared between sites increasing reusability and value.
For example, the University of Colorado Denver website has almost 300 multisites, with each program and department as an individual multisite. Could you imagine the time and cost of deploying almost 300 individual sites? And that’s not to mention keeping them maintained and updated.
Multisites allow organizations to share assets across all sites with a single click. Reusing content, templates, themes, and settings help employees be more productive and ensures consistency across all properties.
A great example of this benefit in action is franchised companies. The parent company can control the general site structure and content, and the franchise manages its own multisite. They won’t need to manage the general design or language, just the content that pertains to their location.
Sharing assets also means that a new multisite can be up and running in no time. In today's world of agile marketing, you can’t afford sites that take months to develop and release. With multisites, you can launch new sites by simply cloning and modifying existing resources. With the click of a button, you can create new sites that are based on existing sites. There is no need to recreate content and setup, so marketers can set up sites without contacting IT to get it started.
For once, siloed information is a good thing! If you use a CMS like Sitefinity, you can designate different review workflows for each of your multisites. This allows content to be managed by various departments, franchises, etc. Set groups of authors, editors, and reviewers and customize what your review levels look like. For example, you might need to run your content by the legal team or your point person at headquarters.
K. Hovnanian Homes, an organization we’ve previously worked with, is a good example of this. Each of their market areas has its own multisite with individual approvers and editors, but the workflow also includes a final review by staff at the general corporate level.
Multisite management decreases the cost of hosting fees. Multisites run off of the same server, allowing for better utilization of hardware resources versus requiring a server for each instance of a website. Plus, there's only one code base to maintain and upgrade for all your websites. The result is a significant cost and time savings for your business.
Even though multisites can utilize shared content and templates, they can also provide a completely different user experience if needed. Granular permissions mean that a multisite with different branding or digital experiences don’t affect the other sites. You can provide the rights to different people or teams to manage separately without worrying about any accidental changes affecting other multisites. This means that any isolated issues would be easy to correct.
If you’re struggling with the cost and complexities of your enterprise websites, our web professionals can help simplify your world through a proven, time-tested process that optimizes your software, leading to clarity and measurable improvements in team efficiencies and business growth.
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