What Is Multi-site Content Management And Why Should You Care?

Table of Contents

    Subscribe for Email Updates
    Designer, Developer, and Marketer

    Does your business or agency manage multiple websites? If so, you should strongly consider utilizing a multi-site content management platform. Many web content management systems, website builders, and web development tools meet the basic needs of managing a single website, but they often do not have the functionality to meet the challenges that quality multi-site platforms offer.

    Learn About Our Partner Programs

    Agency Partner Program            Channel Partner Program

    What Is Multi-site Web Content Management?

    Multi-site content management refers to the process of managing multiple websites or online platforms from a single centralized location. A multi-site management platform or content management system, sometimes referred to as a multi-tenant CMS, enables companies to operate multiple sites through a single software instance and interface, instead of each site being managed individually, with its own separate logins and resources. A multi-site CMS centralizes all the resources, including content where appropriate, making it available to all the individual sites if and when they need it.

    This approach can be very useful for organizations that have multiple websites that need to be developed, managed and maintained. Multi-site-focused systems can improve security, save time and costs, reduce the risk of errors, and help to eliminate inconsistent content. Multi-site tools help to streamline the process of updating and maintaining multiple websites by allowing administrators to make changes to all sites from that single interface. These benefits can make a significant impact for businesses with multiple locations, franchise networks, large corporations with multiple brands, and marketing agencies.

    Benefits of Multi-site Website Management Platforms?

    Content management systems (CMS) with multi-site capabilities offer significant benefits to anyone who manages multiple websites or online platforms. This includes business owners, marketing managers, web developers, and digital agencies, as well as industry-specific companies that offer website programs or services to their clients. Benefits of a multi-site website management platform include:

    Ability to Manage Hundreds of Accounts and Websites

    Easily manage hundreds or thousands of websites, as well as different accounts (key for agencies) from a SaaS platform without worrying about separate code bases or infrastructure concerns.

    Centralized Management and Single Login

    A multi-site CMS allows you to manage all of your websites from one central location and a single dashboard. Additionally, with a single login you can manage all your sites, accounts, content, assets, permissions, and users. This means you can make changes to content, design, and functionality across all of your websites at once, saving time and effort.

    User Roles and Permissions 

    With a multi-site CMS, you can assign user roles and permissions to ensure that only authorized users can make changes to your websites. Assign roles by a specific site, region, or section (like blog-only access). You can also assign agency partners by account or specific website.

    Consistent Branding and Design

    With a multi-site CMS, you can ensure that all of your websites have a consistent look and feel. Let your branding people control your brand, while writers and editors control content. In this way, your company can build brand recognition and trust among your audience.

    Fast, Scalable, and Secure - Marketpath Multi-site CMSScalability and Management

    A multi-site CMS is designed to handle large amounts of content and traffic. This means that as your business grows and you add more websites, you can easily manage them all from a single platform. Forget worries about slow websites and sites that can’t handle significant spikes in traffic due to promotions or seasonality. Some multi-site CMS platforms also provide a fully-managed infrastructure that includes load balancing, high availability, backups, monitoring, and regular updates. 

    Content and Code Reuse

    One of the main benefits of a multi-site management tool or multi-tenant CMS is the ability to leverage, reuse, and share assets between sites. Your team can copy or reuse a full site, and make minor adjustments to branding, location, or content. Or reuse individual components (landing pages, team pages, CTAs, services, etc.) across many sites, while keeping different general looks and feels to differentiate each one. With reusable themes and customizable templates, you can create an unlimited amount of unique designs and combinations, without actually having to fully customize each individual website from scratch. This saves significant time and money.

    Fast Development

    The benefits of content and code reuse don’t just apply to better site management. The ability to leverage and reuse themes, full site templates or packages, partial templates, and content allow both developers and marketers to launch new websites very quickly, with the perception that the site was custom designed and developed.

    Create A New Site in Under 60 Seconds For Free

    Create a Free Site

    Efficient and Secure Site Updates and Maintenance

    Think of the time spent updating each individual website’s code, as well as all the site’s plugins, and then testing each one separately. With a fully managed multi-site platform like Marketpath CMS, you can upgrade a single master package (codebase) and deploy it across multiple websites all at one time. General CMS updates are automatic, so you’ll get new features and functionality without any technology to update, manage, or worry about.

    SEO Optimization

    A multi-site CMS can help you to optimize your websites for search engines by leveraging features like meta tags, canonical URLs, and XML sitemaps, and reusing certain aspects across your many sites that have similar search optimization goals.

    Enhanced Security

    If you are trying to manage hundreds or thousands of websites, security should be a major concern. Hackers and malicious actors are always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit and each of your sites is a potential target with its own login and password, as well as plugins that present their own vulnerabilities. Some content management systems (like WordPress) have additional security issues because their back-end management and live front end are connected or “coupled,” meaning that a live site can be hacked to gain access to the back-end CMS.

    A multi-site CMS, with centralized account and site management, and user logins, can significantly reduce the number of potentially vulnerable entry points. A fully-managed CMS without plugins can further reduce potential vulnerabilities because plugins are the #1 access point for hackers. Finally, a decoupled CMS with multi-site capabilities can limit the potential damage if a hack does occur. 

    Who Should Care | Use-Cases For Multi-site Website Management

    A multi-site website management CMS platform can be useful in a variety of scenarios. Here are some use cases where a multi-site CMS can be particularly beneficial:

    Global Organizations and Multi-Brand Companies 

    Large organizations with a global presence may need to create localized websites for each region, or country they operate in. A multi-site CMS can help to manage all of these websites and ensure they are optimized for each region's language, culture, and audience while leveraging and sharing structure, templates, and some content.

    Organizations Managing Multiple Brands can gain efficiencies via code and template reuse, and by sharing certain corporate-wide assets, while allowing for unique, brand-specific components and content on each site. Global organizations can benefit by sharing microsites and landing pages for promotions.

    Multi-site CMS Platform For Agencies - Manage Hundreds of Websites EfficientlyAgencies and Web Developers

    Agencies and web developers who manage multiple client websites can benefit from a multi-site CMS to streamline their workflow and manage all client websites from a single platform. This can save time and increase efficiency, allowing them to serve more clients and grow their business. Agencies that serve unique industries or niches may gain additional benefits by reusing themes and templates for similar client types.

    Franchises and Multi-location Businesses

    Franchises or businesses with multiple locations may have different websites for each location. A multi-site CMS can help to manage all of these websites from a single platform, ensuring consistency in branding and messaging across all locations, while leveraging shared assets and templates to gain efficiencies and reduce costs. These organizations can manage brand or franchise assets once, but share them across multiple sites.

    Franchises can also develop flexibility in how they market and manage content, while protecting their brands. For example, certain parts of each site could be managed by the franchisor to provide brand consistency, while allowing the franchisee to manage certain types of content (menu items, specials, events, etc.) to add value for the local business.

    Businesses that Offer Website Programs for Specific Industries, Niches

    Industry-specific software or service providers that offer website programs or services as part of their industry offering can benefit from a multi-site CMS in many of the same ways that an agency can. One example of this type of business is a company that provides management software or scheduling software for a specific industry (construction, cleaning services, food service, etc.), as well as website services. Software companies benefit by leveraging shared assets, themes, templates, content, and system integrations across multiple websites in the same industry that have similar needs and objectives. They’d also save time and increase efficiency by streamlining their workflow and managing all their clients' websites from a single platform.

    Interested In A Website Program For Your Business?

    Channel Partner Program

    Educational Institutions

    Educational institutions like universities may have multiple websites for different departments, faculties, and programs that often have shared components or assets. A multi-site CMS can help to manage all of these websites from a single platform, ensuring consistency in branding and messaging across all departments.

    Government and Non-profit Organizations

    Municipalities and non-profit organizations may have multiple websites for different programs, initiatives, or departments. A multi-site CMS can help to manage all of these websites from a single platform, ensuring consistency in branding and messaging across all programs.


    While manageable on a small scale, single-tenant website solutions are hard to scale. Each website instance has its own set of templates, folders, code and content repositories, logins and passwords. This means you have to manage each site individually which isn't very efficient, especially if you are managing a large number of sites.

    A multi-site or multi-tenant CMS platform can add significant value in any scenario where there are multiple websites to manage. The multi-site toolset will enable your organization to operate multiple sites through a single software instance and interface, centralizing your assets, and making them available to all the individual websites as needed. This will help streamline your processes, ensure consistency in branding and messaging, save time and effort, and improve security, while also providing powerful tools for customization and optimization.

    Multi-site CMS For Agencies and Businesses

    Marketpath CMS - a fully managed, multi-tenant content management platform with automated non-breaking updates, daily backups, and unlimited support.

    Our Programs:

    Multi-site Channel Partner Program  Marketpath for Agencies


    Related Tags:

    About the Author

    Kevin Kennedy

    Kevin Kennedy, Marketpath’s VP Marketing and Professional Services, has been working on business strategy, digital marketing, and website technology for over 20 years. Prior to joining Marketpath in 2009, Kevin worked for Delta Faucet Company, including roles as Director of E-Business, where he led the company's technology strategy, and Director of Interactive Marketing. 

    Kevin graduated with a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and received his M.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University. In his free time, Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife, Bridget, and their five children, travel, and various sports activities, while also participating on the non-profit boards for The Children's TherAplay Foundation and Juega Como Campeon.

    Subscribe for Email Updates