Session Details

Multi-headed Drupal

DPA9 Development, Programming and Architecture

Location: Pavilion Ballroom West

TUESDAY, 10:45 - 11:30 a.m.

A common challenge for large universities is IT's desire to have a single, centrally-managed web presence while academic departments want to maintain their own individuality, both from a design and management perspective. That leads to an inevitable tug-of-war between "one big site" and "lots of little sites". One of the strengths of the Drupal CMS platform is that it has several tools for managing "companion sites". Those could be entirely separate sites with some commonalities or one "site" that appears as distinct sites to visitors. Each approach has its own set of benefits and trade-offs. This session will explore several leading ways to build and manage a multi-headed Drupal installation, including Domain Access, Organic Groups, and Multi-site, including examples of organizations that have done so. It will also ask the question of whether a multi-headed Drupal is necessary in the first place; often it is not. Attendees should come away better-armed to evaluate how, and if, to roll out Drupal for a multi-part site at their institution.

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Larry Garfield
Senior Architect and Community Lead,

Larry Garfield has been building web sites since he was a sophomore in high school, which is longer ago than he'd like to admit. As a freelancer he worked mostly for Chicago-area politicians before graduating to full time consulting with At Palantir, he is a Senior Architect and Community Lead, developing solutions for medium to large cultural and educational institutions. He also works to represent both Palantir and Drupal in the broader developer community. Garfield is an active Drupal core contributor, including the principle architect of the Drupal 7 database system and the Drupal 8 Web Services Lead. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Drupal Association and the Drupal representative to the Framework Interoperability Group. Larry holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from DePaul University. Garfie is a co-author of "Drupal 7 Module Development" from Packt Publishing. He blogs at both and