No two companies are the same, but the answers to these questions can help you decide on the best site structure for your organization.
Confluence and JSM administrators using Refined have a choice: address all your users’ needs in one site, or build unique sites that cater to specific subsets of users.
Absent obvious indicators like whether the site is for internal or external audiences, it can be difficult to decide which route is best. Throw in the fact that admins may also have personal preferences or design philosophies that sway their decision, and it’s easy to see why there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the question of whether multiple sites are preferable over a single site.
While every organization is different, it can be helpful to hear about what others are doing. For reference, about one-third of Refined customers have opted to build more than two sites, and the highest number of sites we’ve seen a company build is 25.
To help you power through the one-vs-multiple choice, I developed a simple framework to help you decide on the right number of sites for your deployment. Watch as I explain it below or read on for a summary of the takeaways.
Questions to help you evaluate whether you need multiple Refined sites:
- What does your audience look like? If you have a wide cross-section of users, it’s likely they will have different needs. The C-suite folks may be interested in vastly different things than the HR team, for instance, and it could be hard to offer them a coherent product with only one site. Also: are your users internal, external, or a mix? If it’s the latter, you’re almost certain to need multiple sites.
- What size is your organization? Large enterprises with multiple locations and divisions are likely to have a more robust Confluence/Jira Service Management structure than small and less complicated firms, and therefore, are more likely to need multiple Refined sites.
- What’s the site’s core purpose? If you can name more than one, you may have a chance to streamline the user experience with multiple sites.
- What are your use cases? Multiple sites are a common-sense way to accommodate multiple use cases—for Confluence, especially. For example, you may want one intranet site for employees, and a separate documentation site for customers.
- Where are your users located? Is your company located in one place or spread out—say, with one office in Sweden and one in the U.S.? If it is the latter, it may make sense to build separate sites in Refined, based on geography and language.
- How integrated is your organizational structure? The key here is to think about overlap: if your site’s user base is highly segregated (i.e., there is no overlap in needs), then you may be better off with multiple sites. If, on the other hand, your organization does have overlapping needs—or if there's a transparency imperative across teams—it’s best to keep everyone in the same place.
To review, here are the common motivations for opting for a single- vs. multi-site approach:
A single-site approach might make sense when:
- You want one, centralized home for your content.
- You have one, clearly defined use case
A multi-site approach might make sense when:
- You want to accommodate multiple use cases with Confluence and/or Jira Service Management
- You’re catering to separate audiences with unique needs (ex: internal vs. external customers)
- Geography, languages, and/or organizational structure/size results in distinct user groups with distinct needs.
- You’re building special-purpose sites, such as temporary sites for projects or events
Explore more site-building strategies
So, to stick with a single site or to embrace multiple sites? The answer is multifaceted—based on all of these different factors. For more advice and additional strategic site-building tips, check out our full Site Building Live webinar here, or reach our to our support team.