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When and why to use Drupal 9 multisite?

Oleksandr Bazyliuk
Oleksandr Bazyliuk
Senior PHP Developer
May 08, 2022
6 min read
Website construction

What is a Drupal multisite ?

“Drupal has a feature that allows separate, independent sites to be served from a single codebase. Each site has its own database, configuration, files, and base domain or URL."

Drupal is so powerful and modern that it allows you to run many websites on the same codebase. This is what multisite is all about. Just a few content management systems allow you to run multiple sites from one CMS.

The advantages of multisite are numerous. A multisite development strategy reduces a company's total cost of ownership, promotes scalability, and streamlines its processes and operations. This makes it possible for universities, government agencies, corporations, and large organisations with multiple brands and sites to manage them all from one place. However, such settings require specific knowledge and experience. In other words, you can do it on your own.

We have compiled all the useful and necessary information about Drupal 9 multisite in this introductory blog post. This article aims to give you a better understanding of how multisite works when to use it, and what advantages it offers.

What is Drupal multisite?

Multisite is more than one site. Drupal Multisite is a platform where you can run many different websites using a single codebase. Codebase means a set of standardised elements and shared resources for websites. Instead of one site, you can have a bunch of sites that work as one. When you update this single codebase, you update all your Drupal sites.

Multisite might be good for you if you have several sites that generally look and work the same. You do not have to have 100% identical sites. Multisites are great if you plan to build many sites with the same features, publish similar content, and target the same audience.

When to use Drupal 9 multisite?

Here are a few scenarios where a Drupal multisite might be helpful:

First situation

You need to create a replica site. These sites will be almost identical. Only the theme, modules, and content will be different.

Second situation

There is a need to create a multisite to host several related sites. As an example, let's look at a university website. There are minor differences between the websites of different departments within the same university.

Third situation

You want to save money on hosting and upgrades. It was mentioned previously, or maybe not, that multisite uses one hosting, and updates are carried out on all sites simultaneously.

Advantages of Using Drupal Multisite

Re-use code and themes

With Drupal multisite, you can create a feature for one site and deploy it to all the others. All this is thanks to code reuse. In addition, multisite allows you to create a base theme for the leading site and then create additional themes. It takes only one click to update each site - you do not need to repeat it for each one. It applies to core updates, modules, themes, databases, and more.

Content Management

Regarding content management, Drupal is one of the most powerful CMSs. It offers simplified content management with streamlined editorial workflows as a multisite solution. Because of Drupal's multilingual capabilities, content can be distributed quickly across all sites, even in multiple languages, thanks to a single content editing interface.

Time, money, and energy saving

The Drupal multisite solution is for those who value their time, effort, money, and resources. All your sites will use the same hosting, contain the same code, and be updated simultaneously. What could be better than this?

Disadvantages of Drupal Multisite

Completely different sites

Building a multisite is a bad idea if you want your sites to be very different from each other. Multisite is not your option if you plan on getting completely different sites.

Heavy Maintenance

Building a multisite is bad if you want them to perform different tasks and have other functionality. In these cases, multisite can become a chore and is best avoided.

Chain reaction

When creating a multisite, remember that all your sites share the same codebase. If a problem occurs in one place, it is more than likely that it will appear in others. This is especially dangerous when it comes to security vulnerabilities.

How to set up a Drupal multisite?

Setting up a Drupal 9 multisite is not such a difficult task if you have a development team. Let's see the basic steps to get started with Drupal multisite.

Step 1

Install a root Drupal site. This should be the basis for another multisite. For example, let's call it Mother site. It will be reachable at mothersite.com.

Step 2

You will need to create a site called the first site within your multisite. You can reach it at site1.mothersite.com.

Step 3

Create or install a separate module for site1 outside the root site.

This is not a complete guide on how to build and run a Drupal multisite. Because each project and task are unique, which will already change the process of setting up a multisite. It is necessary to consider every nuance and wish to do everything right. You should consider a multi-site approach if you need to manage multiple websites. We are ready to do it for you. Contact us.

Get started with Drupal 9 multisite and the Meant4 Software House!

Large organisations selling goods and services should have more than one site. Having just one website doesn't allow brands to grow. It can be challenging to manage multiple websites and run more than one website simultaneously. Thanks to Drupal's multisite capabilities, we have one of the most efficient solutions available.

There are, of course, pros and cons to Drupal multisite. Creating a Drupal multisite for business offers fantastic opportunities if done correctly. Using a single codebase allows you to build websites faster and save money. The key is always to keep your Drupal installation up to date.

We already have experience creating a Drupal multisite and understand all its nuances. Use our multisite development services to build your own. Let's start talking about Drupal 9 multisite! Drop us a line here .