Setting up your Factory

Configuring and using Site Factory

When preparing to develop your new Acquia Cloud Site Factory-hosted websites, your development plan should incorporate all of the following actions to ensure a smooth and successful launch:


The Checklist for migrating your sites to Acquia Cloud Site Factory documentation page provides a list of specific, actionable tasks that correspond with these topics to help ensure a smooth, successful launch.

1) Perform governance assessment

Your success with Acquia Cloud Site Factory depends on a strong governance strategy, which ensures that your websites are architected and built in a sustainable manner. Review our product-agnostic governance strategy documentation and Governance on Acquia Cloud Site Factory to prepare for creating the infrastructure upon which your websites will be built.

2) Create your distributions and installation profiles

After creating a development plan, you should select a base distribution on which to base your websites’ creation. Acquia recommends that you use the Lightning distribution in conjunction with Acquia BLT, which allows you to create and manage multiple installation profiles. Profile inheritance enables you to create distinct sub-profiles for groups of websites that share baseline global functionality, but may differ in information architecture or features.


Develop your base distribution and installation profiles before you begin website development.

3) Create and manage theming

As part of your governance policy, your distribution of Drupal and installation profiles should provide base themes that provide the majority of layout and design. Each website in your platform should leverage an external theme repository to provide per-website branding and styling within the guidelines set by your platform’s base theme.

4) Familiarize yourself with the Site Factory Management Console

See Managing your Acquia Cloud Site Factory to familiarize yourself with the Site Factory Management Console, which helps you manage the configuration of your platform.

5) Configure users, teams, and roles

Your governance strategy should focus on defining roles that can be applied globally to all of your Acquia Cloud Site Factory-hosted websites, instead of providing website-by-website permissions. The Site Factory Management Console provides predefined roles to help you manage your shared infrastructure and websites. As part of your initial setup, you should perform the following tasks:

6) Create websites, and the groups and site collections to manage them

Best practices would have you create groups in the Site Factory Management Console before creating individual websites. Acquia Cloud Site Factory groups allow you to separate your websites into logical sets, and control user access to the websites in the Site Factory Management Console. For more information about managing your groups after creating them, see Managing site groups.

As you create websites, you can also create site collections, which bundle and organize related websites together for easier management. A site collection contains a primary website (usually the production website) and one or more secondary websites. By having these related websites in a site collection, you can associate the current production website with a custom domain URL. When the staging website is complete, you can promote the staging website to be the primary website in the collection, which will then be available at the custom domain URL you created for the site collection without needing to perform a DNS change.


Review the naming conventions in Organizing your websites, collections, and groups to ensure that your groups, site collections, and websites receive names that remain helpful as your platform expands.

7) Connect your platform to other Acquia services

As you develop on Acquia Cloud Site Factory, review the steps necessary to integrate your websites with other Acquia products and services, such as Acquia Search and Remote Administration.

8) Optimize performance

When developing multi-tenant websites in a platform architecture, it is important to ensure each website uses both Drupal and Varnish® caching to improve performance. You can improve performance by modifying caching settings or by incorporating additional performance improvements, such as a content delivery network (such as Acquia Cloud Edge).

9) Add and manage domains

You will need to create a Unified Communications Certificate (UCC) and provide the certificate to Acquia as you add custom domain names for your websites. Path-based domain names are also available.

10) Familiarize yourself with extended features

Acquia Cloud Site Factory offers extended features, such as the Site Factory Management Console and Acquia Cloud Site Factory hooks, which can help to simplify and automate your development process. Several monitoring and logging services are also available to help you troubleshoot and monitor your Acquia Cloud Site Factory infrastructure and websites.

Contact supportStill need assistance? Contact Acquia Support

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