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How do Drupal Cloud websites get deactivated?


User Deactivation

Drupal Cloud websites are tracked in moira, with a single "owner of record". After the annual deactivation process deactivates user accounts, the Drupal Cloud maintainers examine the Drupal Cloud websites owned by deactivated users, and transfer them to new ownership or delete them.

We examine several criteria to determine the outcome:

  • Sites that appear to be test/development/sandbox sites, or unbuilt sites with no top level content are removed.
  • Sites that are resume or personal sites, owned by the user who is being deactivated are removed.
  • For sites that are published content belonging to departments, labs or student groups, we make a best effort to find an appropriate new owner. This is usually done by reaching out to the contact address given on the site or the other content managers for the site.

Stale Site Deactivation

Drupal Cloud shouldn't be used for hostname reservation; we reap stale sites as follows:

  • Sites that have not had a content manager login in a year, and are essentially blank are removed.
  • Sites that have not had a content manager login in three years, are removed if they appear to be advertising a past event, contain obvious lorem ipsum text or test content, or otherwise give indications of not being a finished design.
  • Sites that are redirecting at the top level are removed promptly (usually within a day of the redirect appearing) or locked into Drupal's maintenance mode at our discretion.

Transferring Ownership

If you own a Drupal Cloud site, and you wish to transfer "owner of record" status to another party, please send a request to

You may make as many "content manager" users on your Drupal Cloud site as you wish (and these users may be non-MIT account holders with a password). This is done using Drupal's account management while logged into the Drupal interface. As a nightly automated process, the "owner of record" for a site will be added as a content manager, if they are not already one. Content managers are not automatically removed from Drupal Cloud sites.

Exporting Content

Saving a copy of a Drupal Cloud site so that it can be loaded as a Drupal website elsewhere is possible, but is a manual request that must be handled by Application Delivery staff. Contact

If you request an Export, you will get a Drupal install and a MySQL database dump. It is not easy to examine the content without a full Drupal hosting environment (with Apache, PHP and MySQL). We will not be able to reload this content onto Drupal Cloud in the future.

Archival Backups

In addition to regular daily backups, we retain archival backups of all Drupal Cloud websites every six months (with a retention lifetime of five years), but as with the content export, reloading an old backup onto Drupal Cloud may be not be possible.

See also

A discussion of website archiving/sunset plans that includes Drupal Cloud as well as other active content websites: Archiving a Website (Drupal Cloud and Managed Server)

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

January 28, 2022

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