Humanities Division Drupal Hosting Guide

This document is intended for groups or projects who are building Drupal sites/modules on their own/through third party contractors for hosting on the Division's production web cluster.

Site/File System Access

Generally there is no direct access to file systems on our servers. Drupal sites should be designed such that their code and config are built/edited on local development environments that push an artifact into a version control system for deployment to staging and/or production environments.


We currently support the University's central Bedework system. Our Drupal environment has some custom written Bedework modules that may provide a more integrated calendar experience than the default widgets from IT Services. Using our Bedework modules may require some extra CSS in your theme to get the calendars to better match your site.

Module Updates

Our monitoring systems alert us when any site has modules or themes that need to be updated. By default we will install all security updates immediately and any bug fix updates within a week or two of release. Usually updating modules either causes no problems or makes things better. Occasionally though, updating modules can break theme code that relied on bugs or APIs in old modules. For the most part we briefly test all updates on our test servers first before and will alert you if we think a module update might cause a problem. If you would like some other arrangement (i.e. more notifications about routine updates or specific instructions to not update certain modules, etc) let us know.


In order to work effectively, the test and production sites have different URLs. Specifically we use and All sites must have their own CNAME and its accompanying test CNAME (we can register these for you).
Using multiple URLs effectively requires avoiding absolute paths in the theme and site config. We can help troubleshoot issues with this and have a number of tips for removing many common uses of absolute URLs. We highly recommend the pathologic module for correcting user supplied internal links.