One Instance, Many Sites: How to Get More From Every Confluence Instance with Refined

Segmenting Confluence users and use cases with Refined Sites could help you consolidate instances on your journey to data center. Here’s a look at how.

With Atlassian’s end-of-life announcement for server, Confluence server customers are staring down a deadline to migrate to data center or cloud.

Larger companies with complex deployments and rigorous security requirements, we suspect, will see a natural fit in data center. But there’s a catch: if you’ve accumulated a lot of separate Confluence server licenses over the years, moving each one to data center could be costly.

“I’m speaking to larger server customers with multiple instances and a lot of them are wary about the cost of migrating all of those instances to data center,” says Refined CEO Emil Sjödin. “Some don’t realize you can actually consolidate them when you move to data center, and then use Refined sites like you used instances to break out users or departments with permissions and sites and other features.”

You can actually consolidate [instances] when you move to data center, and then use Refined sites like you used instances to break out users or departments with permissions and sites and other features.

Some Refined customers are barely scratching the surface of what Refined can do for them from an enterprise IT perspective. Refined’s Site Builder goes beyond themes and skins—it’s a tool to manage your Confluence deployment on a large scale. From a single instance, you can build an infinite number of stand-alone (or connected) sites, each with its own purpose, users, and look and feel.

Build an HR resource center for employees in Sydney, a knowledge base for the product team in San Francisco, and a documentation site for customers everywhere. The use cases are limited only by your needs.

Consolidate Confluence Server instances with Refined for Data Center

Here’s how you can use Refined enterprise-wide to consolidate your Confluence data center deployment.

1. Organize Confluence spaces into categories and sites

Every organization has a unique hierarchy of information. Nevertheless, the graphic below demonstrates a typical Confluence Data Center site structure with Refined, broken out by regions, divisions, and functions.

Learn how to build an enterprise Confluence structure in this seven-step guide, and read our tips for organizing Confluence with Refined here.

2. Use permissions to segment users according to sites or categories

Admins can set permissions in Refined for sites and categories as well as sections of site and category home pages. You can make a site and category visible to anonymous users, logged in users or specified user groups. 

To configure permissions to users or user groups, admins must activate Manual Category Permissions in Configuration. Learn how to do it here.

3. Set start pages for users

Assign default start sites for users or user groups, so they’re directed to the site or space intended for them every time they log in to Confluence.  

Set it up so the HR team starts at the HR team home page, while the marketing team starts at the marketing team home. Set it up so users arrive at whichever destination makes sense for them, without having to sift through content and menus in native Confluence.

4. Delegate admin permissions to site owners

If you have a number of Atlassian admins, you can delegate Refined admin permissions to match your Confluence admin structure. That means site owners can easily manage the users and content in their sites without having to bug the top dog in the admin chain every time they want to make a change.

5. Use layouts and macros to design sites that match their purpose (knowledge bases, intranets, etc.)

Build an intranet, a knowledge base, and a documentation site. A dedicated project site. A customer-facing resource center. You can do it all from the same instance by pulling in a limited segment of content for each site and then using Refined’s content and layout modules—plus content macros from Refined Toolkit—to create custom, use case-driven user experiences.

Build an intranet, a documentation center and a knowledge base from a single Confluence data center instance with Refined for Data Center.

6. Theme sites for a custom look and feel

Apply custom themes to sites and all the pages within. Set sites apart with unique themes, or apply similar branding across all your sites for consistency enterprise-wide.

Learn how to theme sites here

Watch our site-building demo

Read more about sites