Setting up for local development

Need a little extra guidance?

We've built a four-part video series to help you get started. Take a look on our Vimeo channel.

Downloading the site from Site Factory

  1. Select Backup the site from Site Factory’s site card drop-down list, located to the right of the Log in button.
  2. Once the site has finished backing up, an email will be sent with a link to download the site.
  3. Click on the link or go directly to
  4. Click the “Download” link which will download a tar.gz file.
  5. If you are on a Windows computer, you will need a program like 7zip to open the file.
  6. Extract the contents to your computer and rename the folder to something useful.

Set-up your local environment

You will need a LAMP style development environment setup with Apache, PHP, and MySQL. The recommended tool is Docksal. This free, open-source app simplifies the process immensely.

  1. Install Docksal
  2. Open a Terminal window, and navigate to the root of the unpacked folder that you downloaded from Site Factory.
    • Be sure you're in the root of that directory. If you run the command ls -al you should see files with names: .docksal, acquia-pipelines.yml, composer.lock, etc.
  3. Run one command: fin themer/init

If you want to use something different, there are many options available such as MAMP, WAMP,  or Drupal VM . Just know that you will have to perform all the configuration that Docksal would otherwise do for you automatically. So it's a lot more work.

Drupal settings for local development

There are 3 files in the /docroot/sites/default/ directory that Drupal will rely on for doing local development: settings.php, settings.local.php, and services.local.yml. They contain additional settings that you can configure.

Docksal automatically downloads and configures them for you, and you would rarely if ever need to touch them.

Preparing a subtheme of “SiteFarm One”

Option 1: Manually

  1. Download a subtheme starter kit from
    • There are 2 starter kits: Basic and Advanced.
    • The Basic branch is a simple starting point for doing CSS, Javascript, and Templates.
    • The Advanced branch allows using Sass, es6 Javascript, and advanced theming with BrowserSync.
  2. Extract the starter kit into /docroot/sites/default/themes/ and rename the folder to site.
  3. Using a terminal, cd into your theme's site directory and type “git init”.
    • If you don't have Git installed on your computer, you can use Docksal's built-in Git. Simply type "fin exec git" instead of "git" for all your Git commands. For example: "fin exec git init". 
  4. Commit the subtheme code and push it to bitbucket or github.

Option 2: Wizard

  1. Open a terminal/command line.
  2. $ cd docroot
  3. $ fin drupal sitefarm:generate:subtheme
  4. Follow the prompts and it will create a new subtheme based off of your answers.
  5. Initialize a new git repository in the newly created subtheme (see steps 3 & 4 above).

Connect the theme repository to Site Factory

  1. Navigate to your site card in Site Factory (
  2. From the drop-down arrow next to the Login button, select Manage theme repository from Site Factory’s site drop-down menu.
    Location of the "Manage theme repository" button in your site card.
  3. Click Connect site repository.
  4. Grant access to the Repository
    • Bitbucket: Click Show SSH public key and copy it. Add this to a git repo.
      • Click “Settings”, then “Access keys”, and then “Add key”.
    • Github: Click “Settings”, then “Collaborators and Teams”.
      • Add "ietwebdev" to the "Collaborators" list.
  5. Add the git URL into “Git URL” like
  6. Add a branch or tag into “Branch or tag” such as “master”.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Clear your site's cache by selecting Clear caches from Site Factory’s site drop-down menu.

More information can be found here:

Local Dev Tips

  1. Use “Drush” in a console from the docroot directory with:
    $ fin drush
  2. Log in as an Administrator:
    $ fin drush uli --uri="sitename.local"
  3. Use “Drupal Console” in a console from the docroot directory with:
    $ fin drupal
  4. Create a subtheme using a wizard:
    $ fin drupal sitefarm:generate:subtheme
  5. The following modules can be disabled, but it is not strictly necessary to do so.
    • acsf_*
      • From the command line cd into the docroot of your site
      • Then use the following drush command:    $ fin drush pm-uninstall acsf
  • Acquia_connector
  • SamlAuth