How to use Multisite
This page and its subpages explain how to use the Multisite module to set up and run multiple websites from one Magnolia installation.
In DX Core, the number of sites that can be used is defined by the number of sites purchased.
In the Community Edition, you can only create and use one site.
The page presents a few typical use cases for a multisite setup and the corresponding configuration required. Full working examples of certain use cases are in the subpages. We assume that you already know some basics about a Magnolia site definition.
Using multisite makes sense in the following scenarios:
You have minisites and run campaigns.
You have different websites for subsidiaries and country branches.
You have localized versions of the same website
You use handles and URI prefixes to get shorter URLs.
In the Multisite module, you configure two important elements:
The Multisite module is delivered with one default site definition called
fallback. When developing your multisite project, you configure your own site definitions. Every site definition can have its own theme and template prototype. A site definition contains a domain mapping and mapping to a node in a repository (URI2RepositoryMapping).
Site resolution rules
The site resolution rules ensure that Magnolia can properly assign a site for a given request. The Multisite module comes with a standard set of site resolution rules. The standard rules usually are sufficient. We strongly recommend you be careful if you choose to change these rules.
When a request is sent to Magnolia, MultiSiteFilter analyses the request to determine which site definition it fits. Once the site has been determined, it is set to the AggregationState from where it can be read during further request processing.
The following bullet points summarize what you need to do to set up a multisite environment with one Magnolia installation:
Create trees or subtrees of JCR nodes (usually pages) with different purposes.
Configure site definitions. For each one, define:
A mapping pointing to the tree or subtree of JCR nodes (usually pages).
A domain mapping to map a domain to the site.
Access the distinct content (sub)trees via distinct domains.
When the Multisite module is enabled, you must configure at least one site definition including a proper domain mapping. If you do not do so, pages are not served correctly on the public instance.
Magnolia is distributed as two web-applications: author and public. Among other things, editors create pages on the author instance and publish content from the author instance to public instances. Public instances serve the content to visitors. In a typical production setup you have one author and several public Instances.
In a production setup, the author instance and public instance are typically accessed via distinct domains.
In a multisite setup with one Magnolia installation, you assign multiple domains to the public instance. However, it is sufficient and recommended to have only one domain pointing to your author instance. The domain of the author instance is different from the domains of the public instance.
This sample below shows the difference between domains when pointing to author or public instances in a production environment.
|Site||Author Instance||Public Instance|
In a production environment, you access the public instance by requesting the root path of the domain. For example, when you request http://www.yourdomain.net.[www.yourdomain.net] you expect it to serve the webapp typically called magnoliaPublic. The same is true for the author instance: you expect author.yourdomain.net to serve the webapp called magnoliaAuthor.
If you run a bundle on localhost, you request the public instance using
http://localhost:8080/magnoliaPublic. In this case, the webapp
magnoliaPublic is served from
In a production environment, serve the webapps from the root context instead.
Application servers such as Tomcat generally only serve one webapp from root context within the same connector. However, in a production environment, you typically run the author instance and the public instance in different networks. Alternatively, you may run two Tomcat instances on the same host, or run one Tomcat instance with two connectors.
In a production environment, you typically use a web server such as
Apache in front of Tomcat. Read
httpd in front of Tomcat to get some ideas about such a setup. When
using the Apache HTTP Server (Apache httpd) and Apache Tomcat together,
mod_proxy_ajp can be used to redirect from Apache httpd to
In a multisite setup, where your public context serves content for multiple domains, you must map multiple domains to your application server (such as Tomcat). If you use a web server in front of the application, you must define multiple virtual hosts on the web server to redirect the request from Apache http to Apache Tomcat.
<VirtualHost *:80> ServerName www.best-comics.net ProxyPass / ajp://localhost:8010/ ProxyPassReverse / ajp://localhost:8010/ </VirtualHost> <VirtualHost *:80> ServerName www.best-vinyl.net ProxyPass / ajp://localhost:8010/ ProxyPassReverse / ajp://localhost:8010/ </VirtualHost>
In this example, the Apache modules
proxy_module are used to redirect the request to Apache Tomcat using
the Apache JServ
Protocol (AJP). The example shows two virtual hosts both redirecting to
the same Magnolia public instance.
The multisite module provides a
fallback site. The fallback site is a
special site definition that is used when no site matches the request.
Do not delete or rename the fallback site.
When using multisite, it is common to have one main site and some additional sites. It generally makes sense to adapt the fallback site so that it extends your main site.
For example, the Magnolia
Travel Demo has two sites:
sportstation. When the
demo modules are installed, the fallback site is changed to extend
Without the demo modules, the configuration of the fallback site looks like this:
This section is about site definition configuration in the context of
multisite. It explains how to configure multiple, distinct site
definitions which require the definition of
We assume that you already know some basics about Magnolia
site definition configuration (such as
prototypes, themes, imaging variations and
Go to the Site app to configure a site definition.
If your bundle contains the Multisite module, the Site app shows the
/modules/multisite/config/sites from the configuration workspace.
When you open the Site app you see all configured sites as top-level nodes:
In this example there are two sites:
The node name of the site definition is called
If a site is properly configured, it can be accessed using the following URL:
Note that this only works if the domain part of the URL is different
from the domain that is mapped to the site of the given
domains nodes are required in a multisite context.
You must create a least one entry on both mappings and domains to ensure
a proper site definition for a distinct site.
The site defined above allows you to access:
Use different values for the
site-definition-name and the name of the
mapped node (
The mapping nodes define the JCR content nodes (usually page nodes) assigned to the site definition.
A mapping has the following properties:
Each site can contain multiple mappings. The name of a mapping node is arbitrary. (In the example above, the node name is website.)
The corresponding java class for a mapping is URI2RepositoryMapping.
Name of the JCR workspace the mapping applies to.
The path in the workspace the content is served from.
Creates a node handle based on a URI. By default, a content request that
does not contain a prefix is served from the node defined on
Note that URIPrefix configuration can also be applied in modules independent from site definitions.
Configuration in the site definition overrides the configuration in
A domain node assigns a domain to the given site definition. It defines how the above mapped content node(s) can be accessed by URL. You can map multiples domain to the same site.
A domain mapping has the following properties:
The name of a domain mapping node is arbitrary. You can apply multiple domain nodes per site.
Domain name such as www.best-comics.net.
Port represents the port the web application was deployed on.
Default is 80.
HTTP or HTTPS.
Default is HTTP.
The context path of the Magnolia instance webapp such as
The optional properties
Another configuration strategy is to have one site definition for your
main site with a
that you can then reuse on other site definitions. This is a common
alternative to having multiple independent site definitions.
In the example below,
site-3 inherit from
When extending site definitions, turn off inheritance for
domains by using @extends=override.
Make sure you have no unwanted virtualURIMapping redirections on the public context.
Use the Configuration app on
the public context and search for
virtualURIMapping. On a standard
Magnolia bundle you most probably find the node
/modules/ui-admincentral/virtualURIMapping/default which redirects to
/.magnolia/admincentral. You must delete the node to ensure a request
to http://<your-domain>/ really serves the root page of your site. (For
further details look at the
The site resolution rules ensure that Magnolia can properly assign a site for a given request. The Multisite module comes with a standard set of site resolution rules. The standard rules usually are sufficient.
If you change the site resolution rules, verify your changes on a test system before making any changes to your production environment. Errors in the site resolution rules can break your site.
The multisite site resolution rules are configured below the node
Note that every rule contains one or more configured
uri-starts-with-sitename rule is a cross-site-evaluation rule that
enables you to access a site using its site-definition-name from another
domain. This is desired and required on the author instance, which
typically runs on a domain different from the domain(s) mapped to a site
If you have two site definitions, this rule allows you to access site A from the domain which is mapped to site B. This is typically not desired on a public instance.
uri-starts-with-sitename rule in the public context.
Add an additional voter AdminOnlyMatcher to the rule. This way you can use the same configuration on both the author and public instances.
0 is set by default in the
as a second matcher to ensure the rule is applied in the author instance