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Managing Many Sites from One Contensive Site

First, this is not about having multiple domain names pointing to one website. That is a bad idea. This is about multiple websites 'within' your one Contensive site.

Most organizations maintain multiple websites. Unlike many light weight CMS platforms, with Contensive you can host all these sites under a single Contensive site. This means one set of site statistics and one set of users to track. And when you login to one site, you are automatically logged into all the sites -- automatic single signon.

An Example

We have several websites we use internally that are all hosted on the same Contensive site. For instance, www.Contensive.com, Support.Contensive.com and our Intranet appear to be very different sites but are actually the same site with three different sets of template. They all work from the same set of users.

When an outside salesman uses the call center interface and converts a prospect to an appointment, the contact is updated and appears as an account on the support site. The data does not have to be downloaded from one site and uploaded into another and no error prone database sync is needed.

The outbound calling list on the intranet website is the same prospect list that we drop promotional email to from the marketing site (www). We have one set of records that shows their prospect activity as well as their visit activity on all the sites.

Creating a Multi-Site Environment

When someone lands on the site from a designated URL, the site selects the correct landing page and template based on the domain name. Setting this up is pretty straight forward.

Adding Additional Domain Names

Contensive has one domain name that is used internally for monitoring, etc. called the default domain. It is configured when the site is setup and generally never changes. We are now using the domains that end in SiteFPO.com for new default domains. For instance, our main site is Contensive.SiteFPO.com

Additional domains can be added to Domains in the settings section of your admin site. There are several features here that we will cover in another post. In the case of my example, we have three entries:

  1. www.Contensive.com - the main marketing website
  2. Contensive.com - setup to forward to www.Contensive.com
  3. support.contensive.com - the main support website.

Adding Templates for each Look-And-Feel

In the admin site under Manage Design, there are several templates for this example. One for the home page of the marketing site, One for the tier page of the marketing site, and Two for the support site, home and tier.

Setup the Home Page For Each Site

Each site has it's own home, or landing page. When creating alternate home pages, just go to Manage Content in the admin site, click on pages and hit add.

In the control tab of all pages there is a checkbox to set the page to the default home and page-not-found page. Although this is convenient, in the case of multiple domains you need to bypass the default setting by configuring the home page and page-not-found page for each domain. This is done in the domain record.

Setup Unique Page-Not-Found Pages for each Domain

Just as we added new home pages from the admin site, we also added multiple page-not-found pages (this is the page a user sees if they navigator to a page not found on the server). These are also configured in the domain record.

Posted By Jay Kidwell | 10/4/2011 5:47:34 PM
 

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