When it comes to the introduction of a business multisite, Drupal stands out with its cost- and time-effectiveness, great performance powers, and overall practicality. Managing a large-scale enterprise with themed branches, one online resource may not be enough to fully represent the whole range of business capabilities on the web.
On the other hand, making multiple full-on dedicated websites can be extremely expensive. And why bother anyway when there is a convenient alternative? This is where Drupal steps in, offering a multisite format to save costs without sacrificing the hype of all-around online presence.
Government, B2B, educational, and many other resources alike increasingly prefer this “business workaround” over other solutions. So let’s figure out how to help your B2B to be (pun intended) better, faster, and ultimately more available.
What is a Drupal Multisite in Essence?
On the technical side of things, one may need a multisite in Drupal when several existing websites need to be based on the same Drupal core version. In simple words, you can have a whole collection of web resources that can be easily managed (as well as created, deployed, and updated) in one place. No need to switch frameworks or to integrate various APIs over and over again. There’s no need for any excessive efforts whatsoever.
At the same time, any website performing under the single Drupal installation can be customized in its own way and even have a unique web address. The shared core implies that all resources work based on the same codebase, default modules and global themes (and the Drupal core itself, of course) while domains and URLs, additional modules and themes, databases, configurations, content, and user profiles can all differ from site to site.
Obviously, a website powered by Drupal still needs a separate server and database software, as well as a PHP interpreter to operate, but it is your own database and codebase that define all unique site contents. At that, while the database remains unchanged, your codebase is extended with a Drupal core update.
But enough with all that tech talk. In which cases exactly does a multisite in Drupal 8 come as the best option? Let’s find out.
Common Drupal multisite use cases
- A logical need in a bunch of “same yet different” sites. For instance, you run a B2B with a wide range of services that are all similar at the core, yet have extra differences that need to be highlighted separately.
- Tackling different TA echelons at once. Suppose, you have related offers that you need to subdivide to focus on several different levels of target audiences - e.g., small business consumers, mid-level businesses, and exclusive large clients.
- Representing different departments via a network of sites. It is only reasonable for a big multifaceted organization to use a Drupal 8 multisite to make the work of all departments equally highlighted and more accessible individually.
- Making an eCommerce manager’s life easier. An eCommerce or brand manager will find it most convenient to lead several projects from a single codebase and network interface, saving lots of time and client money.
- The multilingual needs. Targeting a wide global audience, a single multilingual site may not be enough for the utter business impact. That’s when the multisite format also helps to keep things individual and very custom for different echelons of clients.
- Advanced testing routine. Running different functionality additions in several themes at once to see how each feature fits different designs is a sure way to save testing time and make the whole procedure more universal as a whole.
Drupal Multisite Format Benefits for B2B
A Drupal multisite for B2B of a large scale is an ultimately optimal solution, making many of your eCommerce management tasks either obsolete or much easier and faster to handle. How in particular? We can point out a couple of benefits here:
- Fast global updates - no more updating every other website manually - a single codebase update covers all the interconnected Drupal resources in the network;
- Reduction of resource usage - it is utterly memory-efficient to manage a bunch of sites sharing the same opcode cache;
- Simple introduction of new features - a newly-added software module can be easily shared across all Drupal websites almost instantly;
- Cost-savings - save on hosting per codebase, on repeated implementation services, on updates, and all other resulting managerial investments;
- Extended testing - for instance, Simpletest as well as functional PHPUnit-based testing are greatly adapted to multisite principles;
- Boosted resource introduction speed - one can launch a subsite based on the existing infrastructure to tackle specific issues or urgently cover controversial/trending topics in no time.
Read also: Drupal for Enterprise Projects
Certain Drupal Multisite Risks
Along with the definite benefits and strong points of making your multisite in Drupal 8, there also come certain risks. You should consider these to avoid and prevent random mishaps that could undermine your online enterprise’s stability and reputation. Namely, the related community has been actively discussing such points as:
- Cross-influence or the “multisite butterfly effect” - for example, critical traffic spikes or security breaches may occur on one resource but affect all other connected websites at once. Preventing this fall completely on the shoulders of your security experts who should organize firm data protection from the get-go.
- Lack of uniqueness for users - as mentioned above, multisite resources may differ in content as much as you wish. But it becomes increasingly harder in terms of development and maintenance to introduce some truly unique changes to a certain site. It is still possible, though. So, if need be, a good developer and a reasonable investment should help just fine.
Don’t miss the latest news: Drupal 9 Release
Whether you are looking to establish reputable B2B online or to extend the reach and capabilities of the existing solution, a Drupal multisite will help you stay flexible, highly-available, and universal for your clients. It may also help you cover more target audiences, speed up many underlying website management processes, and facilitate management as a whole.
All these measures increase profits in the long run, getting all the unnecessary things out of the way to focus on the main things. On that note, if you need to build an outstanding multisite in Drupal 8, opt for true and tried professionals only. Let us handle your project and we will gladly expand your field of influence with a vivid, high-performance, attention-grabbing set of resources.