We publish four local food and drink magazines, each with its own website and related web content. Even though the content across all four titles shares a common mission, there is little overlap in actual stories. That is, each site has its own story content, events calendar and business listing guide.
Still, since we share an editorial staff and a common look among all four, we are debating the pros and cons of a few different wordpress and SEO configurations, and would welcome the community's input on the pros and cons.
Here is what we are considering for the WordPress configuration:
- WordPress Multisite - concerns about 10-15% performance hit, incompatibility with certain plug ins, need to more ‘expert’ development
- InfiniteWP - concerns that adding a 3rd party plugin to the mix might complicate things
- Parent / child themes
- A single wordpress site with different content subfolders for each locale - simplifies events / guide listings / seo, but too much in one place?
Problems with current config (four different wordpress installs across four different base domains - ediblemanhattan.com, ediblebrooklyn.com, ediblelongisland.com, etc)
- SEO value is currently spread across four base domains
- Four different wordpress installs / upgrades / templates / plugins must be managed separately
- Four different namespaces for registered users make cross-domain registration more difficult, less usable
- The independent site approach is potentially problematic if we were to decide to combine certain site features - for example guide and event listings - into a single site experience filterable by zip / location
WP config: independent sites vs. multisite vs. parent/child themes vs. other?
SEO config: should we move to shared parent domain? If we do, should we use locale-based subfolders or second level domains (brooklyn.ediblemag.com vs. ediblemag.com/brooklyn)?
Operations: We think there are SEO advantages to move all four sites share the same base domain - ex, ediblemagazine.com, but are there operational disadvantages we are not considering?
Ability for local site editors to work within their locale section only
Ability for ad sales to target a single locale, example, run of site display ads on specific locales
Ability to segment users by their locale - ex. enroll users in email lists for edible brooklyn only