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Sharing the same codebase using Drupal multisite


EOL notice! Acquia will no longer provide updates or support for Dev Desktop after June 30, 2021. Acquia recommends transitioning to the use of Acquia Cloud IDE for a managed development environment on Acquia Cloud Platform. To learn more, see Migrating from Dev Desktop to Cloud IDE.

Acquia Dev Desktop supports Drupal multisite whereby websites share code (Drupal core, modules, and themes). Each website has its own database and doesn’t share content, configuration, settings, or displayed themes. For more information, see Multisite - Sharing the same code base on

To create a new Drupal multisite, complete the following steps:

  1. Select an existing website in the left panel.

    You will use the website’s codebase to create a new Drupal multisite with a new site name, database, and files.

  2. Click More, and then click New Drupal multisite.

    Click the More button

  3. In the Create new multisite dialog box, enter values for the following fields:

    Create a new Drupal multisite

    • Local site name: Enter a name for your local website. You must use characters valid for URLs, as the local website URL will be based on this name.
    • Database: Specify how to set up the database for your Drupal website. If you’re starting from scratch, select Create a new database. For information about other options, see Importing a database.
    • New database name: Enter a name for the database you want to create. The New database name field is visible only if you click the Create a new database item in the Database list.
  4. Click OK.

Working with a Drupal multisite

After you create a Drupal multisite, Acquia Dev Desktop will display a Multisite selector in the right panel.

Multisite selector

Use the Multisite selector to choose which website within your Drupal multisite you want to work with. When you change websites within the Drupal multisite, the local website URL and the name of the local database change, but the local code URL doesn’t change. In a Drupal multisite, all the websites share the same codebase.

Working with multisites on Acquia Cloud

You can create a Drupal multisite locally with Acquia Dev Desktop and then host it on Acquia Cloud, like a single website installation. If you already have a multisite hosted by Acquia Cloud, you can clone it locally, creating local copy of one website’s database and files to start and then adding the others.

After you have a Drupal multisite with both local and Acquia Cloud versions, you can sync them as you would sync a single website installation.