Subsites in Jojo

Nov 11, 2007

I thought it might be worth giving a quick heads up on one of the new features coming in the next release of Jojo. While things might seem quiet on the release front, it's actually been pretty busy in the background.

Subsites

A major feature to be released in the next version is "Subsite functionality". Subsites refers to being able to manage multiple domains within a single Jojo install. Not to be confused with "multiple websites", this functionality is designed for websites that have content on several domains or subdomains.

Eg.
  • A website with both http and https domains.
  • A website that hosts secure content on a 3rd party domain
  • A website which has separate subdomains for forums, blogs, shopping carts or anything else
  • A website which has content that spans several domains
  • A network of sites/subsites that need a shared login system


The motivation for this came from a website I'm developing that has 1000 pages of content spread across 4 domain names. While this sounds unusual, these single word generic domains are just too good not to use in their full glory.

Seamless

There are a few tricks to getting the subsite functionality working. Firstly, we need to get the links correct, so that links within the same domain are relative and links between domains are absolute. There is also the issue of maintaining session state between domains without having to deal with ugly session IDs.
There is also the issue of being selective about which links are followed between the sites. We have found that if you use live links between related sites, Google treats them as a single website. If you add rel=nofollow on all the inter-site links, then there is the potential to get 2 sites showing up in any given search result. Ebay is the king of this, having all their content spread across powerful subdomains, and ranking well with several results in the top 10. This Jojo feature will give you the option to add rel=nofollow to all inter-site links.

We are working through these issues at the moment, and have a good working dev site running that we continue to test on. It's looking good so far - we hope to give the user a dropdown box to choose which domain the page belongs to, and everything else will happen seamlessly in the background.

What it's not

This update isn't a way of managing multiple Jojo sites from one admin interface, though we have had that request from a few people and would like to implement that in the future. The subsites do need to have the same basic look/feel and be reasonably tightly connected.

Next update

Look out for this feature in our next release.

Your Comments

Chris Giddings - Dec 15, 2007

For the session issues, have you considered checking the referrer and using that to grab the current session ID from the other 'owned' domain in order to use the same session ID concurrently between domains?

I'm not sure how it would work technically, but it's an idea I considered after reading this entry.

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