Why Enterprises Prefer a Multi-Tenant CMS

Jason Smith

When it comes to choosing a content management system (CMS), retailers with multiple locations across the country and global companies seeking to enter new markets have to consider a lot more than smaller, local businesses. Managing content can be stressful and time-consuming for companies with tens, hundreds, or even thousands of websites across the country or the world. These organizations need a sound strategy and a robust CMS that makes things easier.

A CMS with multi-tenant architecture allows you to manage multiple websites and content applications under one CMS instance. In this article, we’ll explain how to choose the right multi-tenant CMS for your brand and dive deeper into how multi-tenancy can help you scale your operations.

What is a Multi-Tenant CMS? 

A multi-tenant CMS consists of a single software instance that serves multiple web properties, also known as ‘tenants.’ Multi-tenancy allows a brand to support more sites and teams without adding new CMS instances. This approach also allows for easier content and resource sharing.

In a multi-tenant CMS, each tenant shares a single CMS instance and, in some cases, a single database. Users who enter the data tag specific points in the database with identifying markers for a particular client, which helps the software determine the client to whom the data pertains.

Opting for an Enterprise CMS that provides a multi-tenant architecture allows you to operate hundreds, even thousands of websites that share the same resources, content, and functionalities cost-effectively to all your stakeholders. For instance, dotCMS not only provides multi-tenancy but also offers multilingual support to serve international markets using granular locale settings.

Why Enterprises Prefer a Multi-Tenant CMS

Having a multi-tenant CMS provides numerous advantages, particularly for enterprise companies:

Establish a Global Presence

A multi-tenant CMS enables brands to establish a global presence more easily. They can quickly launch new websites that cater to different brands or audiences in different countries without draining resources. 

Lower Total Cost of Ownership 

The alternative to a multi-tenant CMS is having multiple CMSs to handle different sites, which can quickly become very expensive. With a multi-tenant CMS, the total cost of ownership becomes much lower as hundreds of sites can be managed using a single CMS.

Better Scalability

Scaling with a multi-tenant CMS is smoother than with other CMS platforms. Hosting capacity can be quickly added if another site is needed while maintaining the same shared code. 

Easier Maintenance and Upgrading

IT staff only need to worry about one CMS instance when it comes to upgrading and maintenance. Software updates can be rolled out across every tenant using the CMS rather than dealing with each one separately. 

Key Things to Look Out For When Choosing a Multi-Tenant CMS

When looking for a multi-tenant CMS, be sure to look out for the following:

Proven Security Protocols

On top of its inherently secure architecture, your chosen multi-tenant CMS should offer security features that protect and isolate each tenant’s data in more ways than one.

Typically, a secure multi-tenant content management system can restrict access by tenant and content type or structure. The multi-tenant CMS must require each tenant to use their individual login to access their data and content. Content and assets should be shared across tenants; however, only with appropriate permission. The site administrator should be able to restrict which resources are shared and which are only available to the individual tenant.

Hybrid-Headless Architecture

Having a multi-tenant CMS with hybrid-headless architecture is now a necessity. A Hybrid solution blends the strengths of traditional and headless CMS, offering a versatile platform that caters to the requirements of both marketers and developers. Development teams should be able to choose to deliver sites either traditionally within the CMS or headlessly using their front-end framework of choice while still allowing marketers to make changes to pages and layouts.


While your CMO won’t pry too deeply into your CMS’s architecture, it’s vital to remember that marketers and brand managers are on the front lines of creating the content intended for your audience. Since these professionals rely on delivering professional content at speed and scale, your chosen multi-tenant CMS must also be easy to use. Content authors need a CMS that makes it simple to add, edit, arrange, and publish content quickly and efficiently, regardless of channel.

With dotCMS, global brands can leverage our Universal Visual Editor to empower marketing teams with in-line editing, page layout editing, and drag-and-drop interfaces—all in a headless or traditional architecture.

Trusted by Leading Brands

With so many CMS products on the market, it can help to know which companies have worked with that product and the clients’ results. When searching for a multi-tenant solution, look for testimonials and case studies that prove the resilience of the platform’s architecture.

Caliber decreases bounce rate and increases website traffic by replatforming multiple sites to dotCMS

Caliber, a multi-service automotive company, hosts their website on dotCMS to offer all its brands and services under one umbrella.

Read their story

dotCMS: The Market Leader in Multi-Tenant CMS

dotCMS platform was built with international growth in mind. The platform’s multi-tenant architecture allows tenants to create new hostnames and aliases for each tenant, just as if each tenant had their own site. The platform also provides independent storage for each tenant, which improves the protection of data and content for each tenant. The tag repository feature lets authors create their own tags or use shared tags to differentiate their data.

One of the main reasons the API-first architecture can help businesses manage multi-tenanted sites is that it enables fast and affordable development and maintenance. Reusability helps IT teams build more scalable and flexible digital experiences. If you need to launch a new site, pulling content from the repository is simple enough for marketers to do and publish without help from a developer.

Jason Smith
Chief User Experience Officer
April 18, 2024

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