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Four sites, all bilingual with different domain for each language


Guy Verville
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I know it is possible to have a different domain name for each language of a site. For exemple:

  • monsite.com (for French)
  • mysite.com (for English)

I know also that we can have several sites in one installation with the help of Soma's Multisite module.

I have a company who has four independent sites (four different companies under a same umbrella). The new design and structure of those sites will be practically identical. There will be different administrators for each site, but a lot of data will be shared, so using Soma's module seems to be a good idea. The problem is that those 4 sites have different names for the French and English version.

  • compagnieUn.com (for French)
  • companyOne.com (for English)
  • compagnieDeux.com (for French)
  • companyTwo.com (for English)
  • etc.

Will we shoot ourselves in our feet to develop with just one installation? Would it be preferable to make those sites able to talk to each other instead?

Your input would be very much welcome!

Edited by cstevensjr
Moved to General Support from Modules/Plugins
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There are a few things that come up in my mind right now.

Some things could even break everything or make things much more difficult.

 

Let's say... your client wants to offer everything on compagnieDeux.com in german and spanish now as well. 
How likely could this be?

Imagine hosting goes down and therefore 4 sites that don't earn any money.
If it's an eCommerce business I would separate everything.

Does everybody know about this company structure or doesn't it matter?
Imagine a sitemap entry from companyTwo.com within compagnieUn.com.

Will they take care of the content foreach EN and FR site or could it happen that two different companies have the exact same content on their pages?
Talking about duplicate content from a SEO perspective.

Will the content really be that identical or could even those identical parts end in chaos?
For example: different team members but the exact same company structure.
For example: different products but the exact same product categories.

What about GDPR-related liability issues in terms of collecting user data?

 

The more I think about it I'd probably go with 4 instances that talk to each other if necessary.

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Thank you for answering.

The client is a financial group. They are all in the same building and they all know that their site have to be in both languages (it's almost a prerogative for doing things in Canada...)

But I agree with you that I would got with 4 different instances. Since they will share the main design with perhaps difference in colors, there is certainly a way to make sure that the core CSS is identical.

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@wbmnfktr (had to copy the username 🙂 )  pointed up important questions. The other questions I may think are crucial to the developing effort are:
1 - Are the content updates very frequent and on all sites to justify a single database?

2 - Will be the content of the website entered in parallel? Or maybe one site is fully edited and can be copied to the other ones before people start working on them.

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16 hours ago, Sergio said:

@wbmnfktr (had to copy the username 🙂 )  pointed up important questions. The other questions I may think are crucial to the developing effort are:
1 - Are the content updates very frequent and on all sites to justify a single database?

2 - Will be the content of the website entered in parallel? Or maybe one site is fully edited and can be copied to the other ones before people start working on them.

For more complicated reasons than any other, the customer must divest himself of his four sites made with Liferay. We do not have access to this CMS and I have to evaluate on behalf of a consultant who does not yet have all the information. The people who will work on the site are not technically very advanced even though they have a lot, a lot of money, it seems, they want something simple to use (Facebook syndrome). Some people will be administrators for the four sites, but others will operate only one site. Boards of directors may be a mix of roughly the same people with additions. In short, a beautiful spaghetti as this evaluation promises!
I think the challenge is mainly to have a single connection for these four sites without using an LDAP server. I have to give an approximation of what the system might look like without doing the actual analysis at this time.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

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Disclaimer: I have never set up a multi-domain PW site myself.

However, I guess if you want to take a test-run yourself (without having to buy 4 new domains 🙂), you could do the following:

Install PW locally. Do the necessary steps as outlined by @Soma, and then edit your .hosts file with 4 dummy-domains. Configure your local Apache setup for the domains, then play around with different roles / users / permissions and multilanguage features. I guess you'll need modules such as AdminRestrictBranch as well.

Edited by dragan
added a link
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5 minutes ago, dragan said:

Disclaimer: I have never set up a multi-domain PW site myself.

However, I guess if you want to take a test-run yourself (without having to buy 4 new domains 🙂), you could do the following:

Install PW locally. Do the necessary steps as outlined by @Soma, and then edit your .hosts file with 4 dummy-domains. Configure your local Apache setup for the domains, then play around with different roles / users / permissions and multilanguage features. I guess you'll need modules such as AdminRestrictBranch as well.

Hi Dragan,

I have MAMP Pro and will do this without effort. I was just wanted to hear any experience on the particular subject. Remember that, apart from having 4 sites, each of them have two domains associated with them. Why keep it simple when you can make it complicated? 😉

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I have one multi-lingual, multi-site set-up running with Soma's module with the following config:

Two sites

  1. Company one
    1. NL -> domain.nl
    2. EN -> domain.com
    3. DK -> domain.dk
    4. DE -> domain.de
  2. Company two
    1. NL -> domain.com/nl
    2. EN -> domain.com
    3. DE -> domain.com/de

The only real caveat (other than the issues mentioned by Soma) I see is that you define languages a top level. So whilst we don't use DK on Company two the language is visible in the admin. I always wanted to create a solution for this, but since the client doesn't gave a high priority it is still an idea.

Another thing is I had to manually create xml sitemaps since the sitemap modules are not compatible with this set-up.

edit: Since the website at root parents pages allowing access to only one site is pretty easy using AdminRestrictBranch.

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I found the beginning of the solution. In ready.php, for example:

$domainsToSwitch = [
   'domainEnOne.local' => 'default',
   'domainEnTwo.local' => 'default',
   'domainFrOne.local' => 'francais',
   'domainFrTwo.local' => 'francais'
];
$host = config()->httpHost;
if(array_key_exists($host, $domainsToSwitch)) {
   user()->language = wire("languages")->get($domainsToSwitch[$host]);
}
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On 1/26/2019 at 8:17 PM, Guy Verville said:

Thank you for your input. Just to be clear, each site has only a page tree with three or four languages, right? Soma's module takes care of the domain changes between language or you have coded something along?

In my setup each site is a rootPage. So in my case there are two rootPages:

  • Home
    • Company one (NL, DK, DE, EN)
      • About us
      • Employees
      • Contact
    • Company two (NL, DE, EN)
      • About us 
      • Employees
      • Products
      • Contact

I also set the language based on the domain.

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