New feature: duplicate your site and create your own templates

Linea's picture

Submitted by Linea on July 22, 2010 - 11:24am

Drupal Gardens was upgraded yesterday and one of the exciting features you'll see is a Site duplication feature. You can build a site, duplicate it, and use the copy as a starting place for a new site. The duplicated site will have your theme and all your saved themes, your modules, and settings. Users who have the Site owner or Administration roles will be copied, along with the content they created.

Back when Drupal Gardens was still on the whiteboard, this was one of the features we thought would be great. Users agreed and it's been on the most requested features list for months. Being able to duplicate a site will save people days of work and give them a way to have consistent theme and branding across a large set of themes.

People are getting clever with how they'll use this feature. Here are a couple of stories from our beta testers:

The web team at a large university is flooded with requests for new sites. They'll create a set of site templates (faculty site, event site, project site) that have the university's branding and standard header and footer. Then they'll duplicate the relevant template each time someone needs a new site. This will save them days of work.

A web designer spends most of her time on large projects, but gets tons of requests from clients with small budgets. To make these small projects profitable, she'll let her clients select from a set of pre-designed themes. She'll duplicate the site that has the selected theme, use the copied site as a template, customize it a bit - and voila! The designer spends hours, not days, on the project and her client gets an affordable site. Everyone's happy.

To duplicate your site, go to your My sites page and click on the Actions link next to your site.


Anonymous August 5, 2010 - 3:36pm

Thank You.

Anonymous August 10, 2010 - 6:14am

Is there a way to duplicates your site and make changes while not having to be offline with domain not live?  Any advice would be helpful.

marilynlangfeld August 10, 2010 - 7:39pm

Great work, Linnea (and team). Thanks!

Best, Marilyn

joeshirley October 8, 2010 - 12:26pm

This is a great feature. And I'd like to request a further improvement.

I'm making three related sites, one hub, one diy support community, and one training support community. The support communities will be subdomains of the hub, (i.e. and 

This triad of sites will be in ongoing evolution. I can see the site duplication being useful at the outset, but once the two community sites are in place, there's no way to "push" changes in theme/design for example over to the satellite sites.

Is this something you could engineer? If so, I'd like to suggest putting it on the road map. I sure would appreciate the ability to design-once/duplicate-many into already existing sites.

Linea October 8, 2010 - 12:49pm

We have a feature to let you have a "master" theme that is applied to multiple sites - similar to what you described. When you make changes in the master (eg. change a logo, font style) the changes will propogate to all sites using the master theme. Almost every university we've talked to has asked for this feature and it's also important for people creating lots of marketing microsites. Thanks for mentioning it here.


joeshirley October 8, 2010 - 1:00pm

This sounds perfect. I'm having trouble finding any documentation on how to set up your master theme, though. Can you point me in the right direction?