The Concept behind Multi Site Architecture

The amazing features of Magento is always keeping up with our expectation in the e-commerce platform. It is surely one of the most favored forum for the e-commerce merchants. Magento brings you the concept of multisite architecture that provides a central management system from data and administrative perspective. In this article we will elaborate on the concept behind multisite architecture and will show how it works in Magento.

Multisite architecture is not only a concept but also a daily used business model. This concept enables businesses to maintain their hierarchical association among their websites along with the flexibility of creating a unique difference.

Business Control

Specialization versus uniformity:  In multiple websites or multiple outlet chain businesses, there is a top management person with his subordinate management staff to look after the operations. And they watch the expansion of their companies by using multiple approaches to control. One of the approaches is to see whether their business branches will maintain the company’s core standard uniformly throughout the hierarchy or whether the branches will permit specialization and localization.

I have chosen the below mentioned business case to specify the architecture that Magento uses and some of the concepts behind it, apart from the e-commerce world. Trust me it will be easier to relate it to Magento multisite architecture.

Let me take an example of a franchise model, hoping that you might be familiar with Franchise-Franchisee business models such as:

  • Franchise
  • Franchisee
  • Product line
  • Localization


  • Franchise:

For instance take any franchise with franchisees all over the world. For example, ‘Brown and Yellow’ is a chain of fast food joints.

  • Franchisee:

The franchise corporations do have some strict policy and guidelines to be followed and inherited by all the franchisees. All franchisees must bear the company color or logo for the restaurant’s entrance banner. This process also commands the franchisees to buy their groceries only from the licensed food vendors around the world.

However, the franchisees now need the space and flexibility to take the decision regarding the location and to modify the overall look of the restaurants in accordance with the image and expectations of the chosen neighborhood.

  • Product line:

The franchisees now need to modify the product lines that they are offering incorporating the local cultures and tastes.

For example, the Brown and Yellow restaurant in Singapore offers local staple breakfast in accordance with their food habits. So you get dimsum at the Brown and Yellow restaurant in Singapore whereas the same Brown and Yellow restaurant in France offers croissants.

  • Localization:

Localizing your product according to the place is very important. Language is the key factor to communicate with your customers. It is a prerequisite to have menus and signage printed in the local language. Also accepting the local currency is necessary.

Mapping to Magento

Confused with the franchise and Magento multisite architecture?

The concept is of inheriting versus differentiating:  Making your company unique is a key concept in Magento. In Magento, there is a layered structure where the inheritance model comes into the effect.

The magento business architecture hierarchy has four levels which has been covered in details in multisite concept in Magento module. Extending our examples, we see that the franchisee model maps to Magento four layers as shown in the below given table:

Franchise Model Magento model
Franchise Global
Franchisee Website
Categories/menu Store
Localization Store view

You may like it.

Magento 1.9 Upgrade- Common Problems and Solutions.
SAP Merchandise Sync With Magento – Part 1.
What’s new in Magento Enterprise 1.14.1.

Integrate NAV with eCommerce, Marketplace and CRM and magento