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Your Drupal installation has a folder named sites. The sites folder is where Drupal looks to see what domains and subdomains it is supposed to handle. During installation, I instructed you to use the sites/default/settings.php file for your site configuration. This is fine, as long as you need to run only one site with your Drupal installation. Now, since you are learning to run multiple sites, you need to create a subdirectory in the sites folder for every site that you wish to run with this installation. Each of these subdirectories will bear the name of the domain. Each subdirectory contains a separate settings.php file (the configuration file), as well as other resources such as custom modules or themes. When Drupal receives a request from the server, it looks through subdirectories of sites and uses their names to match the incoming URL to the correct configuration file and other resources. Once Drupal has matched a domain with a subfolder in the sites directory, it will use the resources (modules, themes, and so on) in that directory before using any corresponding resources in the shared codebase. This allows you to have web sites that share the majority of the codebase but use different versions of a certain module or have different themes available. At the very minimum, each of the subdirectories representing different sites must have a settings.php file. This is where Drupal gets the information needed to make the database connection, and also where the $base_url variable is defined. These two bits of information are the bare minimum configuration information that Drupal needs in order to get running. The directory structure shown in Figure 6-1 represents three different sites: sites/default/settings.php sites/domain.com/settings.php sites/otherdomain.net/settings.php sites/thirdsite.org/settings.php
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CHAPTER 6 MAINTAINING YOUR SITE
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Figure 6-1. Directory structure with sites subdirectories
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Each of the sites domain.com, otherdomain.net, and thirdsite.org would have its own database, and they would function as three completely and unrelated sites. If Drupal ever received a request from the web server that asked for a different domain one that didn t match any of the three domain-specific configuration folders the settings.php file in the default directory would be used. The steps for adding a new site are as follows: 1. Configure the web server to direct requests for the new URL to the Drupal document root. 2. Create a subdirectory in sites for this new domain. 3. Copy the sites/default/settings.php file into the new subdirectory and modify it according to the configuration instructions in 1. This involves, at a minimum, setting the database connection configuration and the $base_url parameter. 4. Create a files directory in your new subdirectory: sites/yoursite.net/files. This will be used to keep uploaded files for yoursite.net separate from those for the other sites. 5. Update the File System Path setting on the site settings page (admin/settings) to reflect the files subdirectory change. The path will look like this: sites/yoursite.net/files. Table 6-2 shows some examples of domains, the subdirectory of sites that you should create, and the $base_url variable for settings.php. Table 6-2. Examples of Subdirectories and Base URLs for Domains
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http://www.domain.com http://www.yoursite.net http://blog.domain.com
Every domain/site that you want to run off of a single Drupal installation needs its own database. Refer to 1 for the instructions on creating databases and importing the table definitions. The details for the database connection (user, password, and database name) need to be updated in the appropriate settings.php file that you created in a subdirectory of sites.
CHAPTER 6 MAINTAINING YOUR SITE
HOW DRUPAL FINDS SETTINGS.PHP
Exactly how does Drupal match incoming URLs with directories in sites Drupal treats the domain of the incoming request as a hierarchical construct (which it is), and leaves open the possibility that you will configure your sites in the same way. The domain is therefore systematically broken down into less specific fragments until a matching configuration directory is located. The first configuration directory that is found is used. If no matching configuration directories are found, the default directory is used. The URL http://www.testsite.com/drupal is a typical base URL for a site, hosted at www.testsite.com and installed in a subdirectory called drupal. The fragments that will be used for matching when looking for settings.php are www, testsite, and com. Here is an example of a URL and the steps Drupal will take to find the proper configuration directory: http://www.testsite.com/drupal 1. www.testsite.com 2. testsite.com 3. com 4. default Drupal looks for directories in the sites folders with names from the list and uses the first match found. It is interesting to note that you could have a configuration directory named sites/com that would not only handle the URL in this example, but also handle any other .com URL that came to your site.
Once you have created and configured a settings.php file in the appropriate subdirectory of sites, including creating the database and importing its definition, you should be able to access the new site in the normal fashion by entering its domain in your browser.
Note When running many sites off of the same codebase using the multisite functionality, you should
take care to make separate directories for each site to store uploaded files. A good location for these files is in the sites directory, in the appropriate site-specific subdirectory: {drupal installation}/sites/ yoursite.com/files.
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