I'm planning on migrating a bunch of my Microsites and my main website to a Responsive Design framework (probably Bootstrap).

The folks in marketing are very keen on having our main Logo visible on every Microsite. It already is on most of these sites, it's just not in a standard place as each site is different.

So what I'm trying to do is have the logo and tagline in a consistent spot for every site. People can get back to our main site by clicking on the logo. While I need this, I also think its a good idea to display each local menu (microsite menu) in a consistent spot.

So below is what I came up with in Bootstrap 3. Two fixed-top navbars: 1 for the main website and 1 for the local microsite.


Can anyone critique this, give me pro's and cons of this implementation? Is there anything inherently wrong with it?

I'm not set on the colors of the Navbars, they can change, I'm more wondering about the functionality.

(also, maybe this question is off topic or too specific here, thought this was the best place for it though)

  • 2
    Questions asking for specific site reviews are generally off-topic. There's a good question in here, though - can you maybe refocus the question to be more about strategies for balancing the identity of the sites? Mar 14, 2014 at 14:31
  • I think this could be a valid question if it was re-phrased on not specific to one case and the code of this case. Just an idea: Two navigations on one site (but for two sites) might be confusing. For a long time Amazon had their logo disply "Home" or ".com" when hovering so it became clear the user would go to the home page. Logos are usually loading the home page and you could emphasize this fact like Amazon did while keeping the navigation mainly for the microsite itself. Downside: Hover effects don't work on mobile. Mar 15, 2014 at 20:40

2 Answers 2


We are doing something very similar at the organisation where I work (unfortunately I can't see your bootstrap framework due to my current system).

Like you we are using 2 navbars, one thinner at the top which will be present on every microsite and which will contain links globally to all sorts of microsites. This will also contain a global search tool and your name and photo (no-one likes this but it is a mandated feature for security reasons).

The second navbar will be a little larger and contain the links for that particular microsite. The company logo will sit the left of the second navbar and clicking on it always you to the company main landing page. Next to the logo will be the name of the specifc Microsite. Clicking on that will always take you to the microsite landing page.

This functionality allows consistency of UX for all staff (of which we have a lot) but allows the microsites to determine their own best navigation categories.

In addition we are defining the different TYPES of microsite which share common functionilty (some will be purely to display large libraries of documents, others will be for tasks and activities etc). Defining the diffferent types of microsite allows us to make their functionality and component locations consistent with each other, but not forcing them to all match one single global template for everything.

That way every time someone wants a new microsite built we aren't designing it from scratch but identifying which TYPE it is and then suggesting they work to pre-existing templates which we have already defined (and which users are already becioming familiar with on the other similar microsites of the same type).

So every time you go to a document microsite you will navigate in the same way as every other document microsite, but the experience will be different to (for example) a microsite where you update your personal details.

  • I think that makes a lot of sense. Especially when it comes to the types of sites and how they navigate alike. This is effectively what I want to achieve, all sites have menus in the same place but also be able to easily get back to the main website.
    – mmundiff
    Mar 14, 2014 at 18:09

Look at examples.

I literally just posted examples of this here: What is the best approach for a sitemap for a very large website?

University of Toronto does it: http://www.utoronto.ca

So does the government with different Ministries having different sites.

Additionally, Google with its different digital products and even StackExchange has done this with the different styles across the site with one main branding element being consistent.

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