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Sites and Subsites Overview

In order to help manage the overall maintenance and accessibility of content contained within a Web site, CommonSpot supports the notion of sites and subsites.

A site, (commonly referred to as a top-level site), is a collection of pages and subsites whose content is managed in a common database within CommonSpot.  For each top-level site created in CommonSpot, a new Content database is created that holds all of the content for that site.  A top-level site can be broken down into logical sections, or subsites.  Subsites, in turn, can have their own logical sections.  This hierarchy maps closely to drives and directories.  Think of top-level sites as being drives, while subsites are the sub-directories under a drive’s root directory or other nested sub-directories.

The primary distinctions between sites and subsites are:

That being said, top-level sites and subsites are also very similar in that they both contain CommonSpot pages, and as such are managed similarly through the Site Administration and the Subsite Administration dashboards within the CommonSpot Administrator.  From these dashboards, administrators can set the following configurations/permissions:

If you have more than one logical unit that you wish to create Web content for, you need to determine the architecture within CommonSpot for structuring the content.  Two options are available:

  1. Create a top-level site with each main unit being a subsite
  2. Create multiple top-level sites, where each main unit is its own top-level site.

A Single Site with Multiple Subsites

This arrangement of a single site with multiple subsites allows for the sharing of templates, Elements, uploaded files, images, etc. between subsites.

This scenario may be more suitable for an intranet, where typically the department or business units – Human Resources, Customer Service, Finance & Accounting, Sales, Marketing, IT, etc. - define a subsite.  The site-to-subsite relationship allows for consistency across the site and no wasted time “re-inventing the wheel” for the similar efforts.

Multiple Top-level Sites

In a multiple site configuration, each site is isolated from the other. This means that each site’s templates, image repositories, uploaded files directory, and page categories cannot be shared with other sites.

Depending on your security constraints, this may offer a security advantage.  This scenario may be more suitable for an environment where the intention is to support more than one site, with different purposes, whether it is an Internet, intranet and/or extranet site.  Additionally, this separate site configuration allows a different Users database to be tied to individual sites, therefore keeping sites separate and distinct.  For example, an Internet Service Provider might use this structure to set up different sites for each customer at a hosted site to preclude any other customer from being able to share templates, images, etc. with any other customer.

For a more detailed list of the pros and cons of a site vs. subsite approach, refer to Sites vs. Subsites – Pros and Cons.


Related Links

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