I'm building a site that has four different subsections, and one parent section that provides an overview of all of them. There will be one master navigation that lets people jump between different subsections, and that also links to content in the "parent" section (e.g. "About us", "News", "Events", etc.) Each subsection speaks to a different aspect of the topic. We want to separate out the sections because the content is pretty unwieldy and complex, and a single navigational structure tends to be really overwhelming.
Each subsection will have its own primary navigation menu that links to content within that subsection only, and possibly back up to the parent section. There will be minor cosmetic changes between each subsection (different banner, dominant colours), and the widgets will also only link to content from within that subsection or the parent section. The only way to get from one subsection to another is with the master navigation, which is very high level only.
However, one person will be administering content for all of this, and in terms of functionality (plugins, functions, etc.) each subsection will be pretty much identical.
Should I use a Multisite install for that? My concern about it is that the look and feel of the theme will largely be the same across all the sections, and I'm not 100% clear on whether or not data from the parent site can be fed into the subsections, and how easy it is to manage content from different subsections from one central location.
The other alternative would be to use Custom Post Types and manually call a different primary menu depending on what page you're on. I'm comfortable with the actual coding involved here, but I'm wondering if this solution has any headaches that I'm not foreseeing - for example, with how widgets handled segregated content?
Anybody have any advice?