What do you do when faced with the challenge of managing a myriad of websites, most of them organically grown over the years and now fiercely defended by tech teams at war with each other? Unfortunately this is the harsh reality that many CIOs and CTOs have awoken to. Two options are then available: integrate or consolidate technologies.
The consolidation option means moving all websites into just one platform. While it can be the simplest solution, it sometimes also results in a lot of heated discussions about which platform to standardize on, many HR issues as duplicate positions get eliminated, not to mention the exorbitant cost of migrating sometimes hundreds of websites into a new CMS and training your new staff on the new technology.
The other option is to find a way to leverage the various technologies already in use. This typically means integrating the different systems.
What Is Integration?
Integration refers to connecting all of your websites in an automated fashion so that content can be shared across platforms, with updates immediately displayed, and the ability for shared content to come up in search results.
Why Choose Integration
Integration makes your team’s lives much easier as it keeps critical information in sync everywhere and eliminates the need to copy and paste. It expands the reach of your content, thus making it easy for website visitors to see relevant and important content. Key benefits of an integration strategy include:
- Allowing content creators to share their best content across sites
- Providing an easier way to expose major announcements and alerts
- Keeping a single master copy of the content where it was created
- Avoiding duplicate content SEO penalties
A Few Pitfalls to Avoid
As always, beware of shortcuts. Here are some common stopgap solutions and their cons:
RSS allows you to share content across platforms, but it has limitations. For instance, you can’t easily single out individual articles to share, nor create a custom list of content from multiple locations, or control who and what sites can syndicate your content. We have written a separate blog post on RSS vs. integration if you want to know more.check out this blog post.
Copy and Paste
Copy and Paste is the go-to solution for most businesses that choose to integrate. But copying and pasting isn’t an effective use of your team’s time, especially if they have to make updates to the content after it’s posted. Updating content means going back through, page by page, and updating each website. It’s more hassle than it’s worth and if you aren't careful, that duplicate content will hurt your SEO. Not to mention legal issues that could arise from displaying out of sync and out of date information.
CMS Already Syndicates
Some CMSs already syndicate content, but they usually cannot syndicate content to other CMSs. If your organization uses multiple platforms, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to share between those technologies.
PushHub: Six Feet Up’s Integration Solution
PushHub is Six Feet Up’s solution for large organizations that need to integrate their web assets. PushHub allows you to share selected content across multiple CMSs, web applications and intranets without hurting SEO. It keeps all shared content on all sites in sync, and allows your teams to create and share content on the systems that they already use. Learn more about PushHub >
Integration is ideal if your organization has many sites, and it doesn't make sense to migrate everything on to one platform. If you have a smaller number of sites or would prefer to control them all in one place, you may want to consider consolidating everything onto one platform with a solution like WebUnity.