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Which Content Management System (CMS) should I use?

I know that there are a LOT of questions on SO about CMSs based on .NET but I have just one specific question.

I know that DotNetNuke supports multiple site creation on one installation. Of the other wellknown .Net CMSs...

N2CMS Composite C1 Umbraco Orchard AxCMS

...do any of them support this feature out of the box (or with relative ease)?

BTW, if you know of some low-cost non-free CMSs that would support this feature don't hesitate to give them a mention (as long as they are built on the Microsoft stack.)

EDIT Just learned that this feature is called multi-tenancy...thanks David. Thanks for your answers. Can anyone give clarity on whether N2CMS, Composite, or AxCMS support multi-tenancy.

Seth

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 20 '11 at 2:10

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marked as duplicate by danlefree Feb 12 '12 at 0:29

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Even though DNN supports multiple sites on one install, we never do this. "Supported" and "Works well in practice" are two very different things. For example, different sites have different requirements which lead to different additional modules being installed. If you go to upgrade an install to the latest version you run a very real risk of breaking some of your sites. Another example is when you have to modify the core styles for one site, but not another... I really wish DNN had finer grain control over those. –  Chris Lively Oct 19 '11 at 14:37
    
Chris, GREAT comment and thanks for the insight. My company is considering hosting micro-sites for each of our customers. The customers will have very limited theming and extending options. They would definitely not be able to add modules. We are talking 1000s of site. In that circumstance do you think multi-tenancy could be made to work? Seth –  Seth Spearman Oct 19 '11 at 14:53
    
no probs Seth. Presumably like multiple tenants in a building... –  davidsleeps Oct 19 '11 at 15:52

6 Answers 6

Orchard should support what you are talking about (or a concept very similar to it):

Setting Up a Multi-Tenant Orchard Site

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+1: That looks like a good alternative to dnn. I may have to investigate it closer. –  Chris Lively Oct 19 '11 at 23:30

Umbraco also supports multiple sites on a single install, and I use it as such, but at least in version 4.7 its not perfect - you can have completely different content/layout etc on multiple domains, but I do not believe you can restrict access to change the content for just a single site - in other words, if you have permissions to modify any site, you will be able to see(and change) some of the content/files that belong to other sites (i.e. the CSS).

For me, in how I am using it, its not a huge problem, as I am the only one that changes all the sites, but if you, for example, wanted to setup 100 sites, and have 100 different people have complete access to just one site, it doesn't work.

I have suggested this as an improvement for the next version, but not sure if it will be included as a feature or not.

If I have a customer that requires access to the admin functions of the CSS, I give them their own install.

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Moving this to an "answer" of sorts for no other reason than the comments aren't long enough:

To iterate my comment:

Even though DNN supports multiple sites on one install, we never do this. "Supported" and "Works well in practice" are two very different things.

For example, different sites have different requirements which lead to different additional modules being installed. If you go to upgrade an install to the latest version you run a very real risk of breaking some of your sites. Another example is when you have to modify the core styles for one site, but not another... I really wish DNN had finer grain control over those.

Another example is the html editor. DNN provides for several different ones.. But, only one can be enabled per install. This means you pick one and stick with it for everyone. The unfortunate thing here is that, at least with DNN, there isn't one editor that clearly outshines the others as they all have issues. Other areas are similarily impacted like friendly url's and the sitemap provider. This one may be a non-issue.

With regard to hosting 1000s of sites there are many things to consider:

  1. If one DNN site gets hosed, it takes everything down. This might impact your SLA.
  2. You'll need to make sure your worker process configuration can handle the potential traffic. The default IIS config in this area is not good enough for the scale you are talking about.
  3. Third, it is NOT easy to split out sites to separate DNN installs if you change your mind later.

The main upside I can see for hosting that many sites in a single install is the same as it's downside. Namely around upgrading the CMS. CMS's are like any other products in that security problems and other bugs are routinely found. A properly supported CMS will issue updates as problems are found and fixed.

Updating one install is obviously preferable to updating "1000s". However, the downside is that this introduces a potentially crushing risk.

First, ALL of the sites would be down during the upgrade.. If the sites are global in nature, this might cause your customers some pain. Not ideal. Second, if the upgrade goes awry (as happens all to often with such things) then you're down for longer than anticipated simply due to having to restore from backups.

You can mitigate some of the risk by testing the upgrade procedure in a staging environment, which you should do anyway. You could also split regional sites into separate DNN installs so you are impacting only a single region at any one time.

I'd say that you really need to think this through and proceed with caution.

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EpiServer but I don't remember it being very low cost.

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Sitecore supports multi-tenancy; but it's not cheap.

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Why not use the functionality in DotNetNuke for this? I realize you are looking for "other" options, but if DNN provides it, why fight it?

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