Sharing the same codebase using Drupal multisite


End of Support notice! Acquia has stopped support for Dev Desktop on June 30, 2021. Acquia recommends that you transition to Cloud IDE for a managed development environment on Cloud Platform. For more information, see Migrating from Dev Desktop to Cloud IDE.

Acquia also provides limited integration with open source alternatives to Cloud IDE for local development. For more information, see Local development solutions.

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:

  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.

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

    • 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.

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 Cloud Platform

You can create a Drupal multisite locally with Acquia Dev Desktop and then host it on Cloud Platform, like a single website installation. If you already have a multisite hosted by Cloud Platform, 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 Cloud Platform versions, you can sync them as you would sync a single website installation.