Multisite setup in Kentico 13 Core

Geo Neeliyara asked on June 22, 2021 16:53


On our next project we have 4 website with similar layout. So i just wonder if anyone can give advice on this with best practice in Kentic 13

Is that good practise to setup 4 websites under one admin site? Do we need to have separate solution for each website?

Regards, Geo

Recent Answers

Juraj Ondrus answered on June 23, 2021 05:46

You can have as many sites as you want in one admin. There are no limits. You just need to be familiar how it works e.g. with global objects which can be used across all sites, shared settings and so on. So, if you will change object A used on all sites, the change will affect all other sites. The same for some other settings.
Then, for example contacts are global only. So, you cannot have restricted access to the contacts, e.g. if you want to have different clients in one admin.
If the admin app is not working for some reason, you won't by able to edit any of the sites. The same if you want to have all sites in one front end project. If something happens, all sites are down.
But on the other hand having all in one can be more comfortable when it comes to editing and doing some changes. This is really up to you.
Me personally and from my experience I would vote for fully separate instances. In general, but there are also project where sharing everything makes complete sense too but it is not that common.

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Brenden Kehren answered on June 23, 2021 15:23

Kentico Xperience handles multi-tenancy without issue. However, we evaluate each site based on the traffic and size of the site. If they will be performing any kind of E-Commerce or Enterprise related tasks (marketing automation, A/B testing, personalization, etc.) we will put them in their own instance.

For less taxing sites, we put them in one instance and each of those sites will have their own MVC app. I'd suggest creating a shared class library between those MVC apps with any custom code you may need, especially when it comes to creating widgets and such.

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Rui Wang answered on June 23, 2021 15:27

If the 4 sites share similar functions, layout and features, then it's fine to share on MVC code base for all 4 of them on the front end. Just make sure you utilize the site code name to make some unique adjustments, for example, if one site has a different CSS theme, then you can name your CSS files based on the site code name so they can be dynamically swapped. Also, you should consider building pages more with MVC widget so it gives you the flexibility when it comes to create ad-hoc pages for each site without writing additional code.

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Arthur Costello answered on June 23, 2021 16:56

Hi Juraj, Brendan and Rui,

Thank you for your quick replies.

I will add to my colleague Geo's original query.

We are new to developing in Kentico and are currently in the process of migrating a number of websites from a legacy WCMS to Kentico. This project will be our third Kentico project but first that could be a multisite setup. All the sites are brochure sites and have no ecommerce functionality apart from a ticketing vendor API integration - no front-end user logins required.

Our reasoning behind a multisite setup would be to allow super users to manage content across the different sites and also as they are all underpinned by almost identical designs, we thought it would be best to create a single setup.

However, there may be some level of marketing automation, A/B testing and personalisation required for each individual site rather than as a whole, so not sure if a separate instance would be recommended here. Also, all the sites would have a different theme/style but they do use the same library of widgets/templates/sections so either a shared library across all instances would be suitable or one instance.

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Rui Wang answered on June 23, 2021 17:03

Hi Authur

To your point of different theme/style, those can be handled dynamically as I mentioned above. Even use one CMS backend and multiple MVC front end can take care of that.

But when it comes to marketing features, the current Kentico uses global contacts, meaning multisite will share the same list of contacts. So your decision point would be if these sites can share contacts or they have to be unique/private to each, if so then you will have to setup separate instances of Kentico for each site.

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Arthur Costello answered on June 24, 2021 09:02

Hi Rui,

When you mention global contacts, does that mean if users sign up via a Kentico form on site A, then they are visible to all other sites? So then if the marketing team (content editors) in site B send a campaign out to signed up users, they could inadvertently send to contacts from site A and not just site B?

Across four of our sites, the base marketing team contact all the contacts from the other sites, however, each site have their own marketing team that only contact their own site's contacts. However, marketing on these sites have been using a third party supplier to capture these contacts that sign up rather than the WCMS sign up form due to limitations on the existing WCMS.

We will confirm this with the marketing team as they may continue to use the third party supplier to capture sign ups rather than the marketing tools in Kentico and if so, this will drive our decision.


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Rui Wang answered on June 24, 2021 16:57

In current Kentico, contacts are managed globally, meaning no matter which site in the same instance of Kentico you go to, you can see all the contacts from other sites. Activities are tracked per site for the contacts, but the contact itself is been shared across.

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Brenden Kehren answered on June 24, 2021 17:22

My suggestion Arthur, if you're using an external marketing automation tool like Hubspot or the like, then you could possibly have all 4 sites in one instance. If you plan to have all 4 sites use Kentico Xperience's Enterprise marketing functionality, you may want to consider have 4 separate instances for a few reasons:

  • performance between the sites
  • keeping contacts separated
  • keeping content separated

Now I'd retract this statement if you could possibly provide some analytics around the site and number of leads you're generating. If you have low numbers, then it's probably not an issue. If you expect or have high numbers, then you'd want to split things up. I can't specifically define what low and high numbers are but I know if you expect to have 1 million visitors to a single site every month and you want to perform A/B testing, personalization, contact activity tracking and marketing automation, I'd highly suggest having that site in it's own Kentico instance.

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Arthur Costello answered on June 25, 2021 09:17

Thanks Brendan.

The sites don't get too high traffic, pre-covid the largest one was getting approximately 800k per year, next largest 250k, then under 50k for the other two sites. However, for marketing leads the numbers were not high - I think the largest site had approx. 10 - 15k newsletter signups.

Due to our previous WCMS not having any real use marketing tools, our marketing teams went with a third party that manages all that for us. That is not to say that in the future they would decide to start using Kentico's tools so perhaps we are best future-proofing our setup and separating out all sites into their own instances.


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