Installing Statamic

Statamic is one of the simplest web applications to get up and running, but there are many different ways to run PHP apps, so we'll cover a lot of variations here. Feel free to skip around until you find your particular dev environment. It's unlikely that everything in this article will apply to your personal style.

The Screencast Version

Are you a visual learner? Watch how to install Statamic.


Statamic has a few server requirements. Not all servers are created equal and not all hosts play nice. Statamic v2 is built on Laravel, so as a rule of thumb — anywhere Laravel 5.1 runs, Statamic runs. You can even use Forge + Digital Ocean. We do, and we love it. Anyway, here’s what you’re going to need.

Server Requirements

  • A web server: (Apache or Nginx recommended)
  • PHP >= 5.5.9
  • URL Rewriting enabled (mod_rewrite, try_files, etc)

Required PHP Extensions

These should all be included in PHP 5.5.9+ by default, but in case you’re a tinkerer, you’re going to need these:

Optional (But Recommended)

Suggested Development Environments

You can (and probably should) run Statamic locally while you develop your site. There are a number of solutions that give you all the tools you need without having to compile anything by hand.

If you’re into that though, all the better. You can probably skip over the rest of this section.

Mac: Laravel Valet Our Favorite!

Laravel Valet is a development environment for Mac minimalists. No Vagrant, No Apache, No Nginx, No need to manually edit hosts file. It simply maps all the subdirectories in a “web” directory (such as ~/Sites) to .test or .localhost domains. You can even share your sites publicly using local tunnels with a single command. We use it ourselves and it’s brilliant. It is also available for Linux

Valet only supports running in web root out of the box, but if you need to run in a subdirectory you should check out the LionsMouth Valet Driver


If you prefer a GUI interface, the latest version of MAMP and MAMP Pro comes pre-loaded with Apache, up to date versions of PHP and all the modules you need. Download, install, and go.

Windows: WAMP

If you happen to be from the Microsoft camp, we hear WAMP is a good choice, and pretty similar to MAMP. We don’t do Windows so we can’t vouch for it personally.

Laravel Homestead

Prefer a virtual environment? You’re in luck, Laravel Homestead is a pre-packaged Vagrant “box” that provides you a wonderful development environment without requiring you to install PHP, HHVM, a web server, or any other server software on your local machine. No more worrying about messing up your operating system! If something goes wrong, you can destroy and re-create the box in minutes.

Homestead runs on any Windows, Mac, or Linux system, and includes the Nginx web server, PHP 5.6, MySQL, Postgres, Redis, Memcached, Node, and all of the other goodies you need to develop amazing Laravel applications.

Note: Homestead is not a fast local dev environment for applications that manage lots of small files due to NFS sync delays. For best results avoid file sharing and run Statamic directly in your VM.

You can try enabling NFS to speed up Homestead. In your homestead.yaml, add type: "nfs" to your folders array.

  - map: ~/Code
    to: /home/vagrant/Code
    type: "nfs"

CLI Server

Statamic doesn’t support Laravel’s native serve command, but you can use PHP’s CLI Server (for which the serve command is just a wrapper for). You must specify statamic/server.php to use as a router file.

$ php -S localhost:3000 statamic/server.php

PHP 5.6.10 Development Server started at Thu Jan 21 10:30:00 2016
Listening on http://localhost:3000

Command Line Installation

First, download the Statamic CLI tool using Composer. You only have to do this once.

Once installed, the statamic new command will create a fresh Statamic site in the directory you specify.

statamic new awesome-site

This will download and install Statamic into the awesome-site directory.

Manual Installation

Grab the latest version of statamic and let’s do this.

Step 1: Unzip files into your webroot

Unzip your Statamic package into your web root. You’ll see the following folders and files:

|-- assets/
|-- local/
|-- site/
|-- statamic/
|-- index.php
|-- please
|-- robots.txt
|-- sample.gitignore
|-- sample.nginx.conf
|-- sample.htaccess

Running in a subdirectory

Subdirectory installs are a little special. We’ve dedicated a whole page to it!

How to run Statamic in a subdirectory

Step 2: Set permissions

Every Statamic instance needs full write access to the following 4 directories recursively (e.g. all their subfolders and files).

  • site
  • local
  • statamic
  • assets

In order to have write access, the necessary permissions depend on which system user PHP is running as and which user owns the files and folders. Here are some recommendations. When in doubt (or on dev), throw caution to the wind with 777:

  • If they are the same user, use 744.
  • If they are the same group, use 774.
  • If they are neither the same user nor in the same group, or if you’re tired of messing with this and you’re still in dev, just use 777.

Apply the permissions recursively so Statamic can write where it needs to.

The simplest way to apply the permissions is to use the following command. (You may need to use sudo)

chmod -R 777 site local statamic assets

Step 3: Configure URL rewrites

Like most (if not all) PHP applications, all page requests are run through a single index.php file called a “front controller”. This allows the page to be dynamically displayed from the CMS.

Technically this means all your URLs are actually /index.php/about but they will get rewritten to /about. It’s better for SEO, and the index.php just looks silly, so you should remove it.

Note: Statamic’s default configuration assumes URL rewrites are enabled. If you notice that images and/or subpages aren’t loading, it’s probably because your server environment does not have URL rewrites configured. On Apache, you’ll need to enable htaccess, and on nginx you’ll need to set up try_files rules.


Make sure you have mod_rewrite enabled and rename the sample.htaccess file to .htaccess, taking special care to ensure that it’s in the same directory as your index.php file. They’re best friends, don’t separate them.

If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to tell Apache to activate/respect your .htaccess file. Here’s an article on how to do it.


Grab the settings from sample.nginx.conf and customize them as necessary. Nginx is a bit less “set it and forget it” than Apache, making further server configuration beyond the scope of this guide.

Disabling URL Rewrites

If for whatever reason you can’t or don’t want to use URL rewriting, you can configure Statamic to leave index.php in your URLs.

  • Open index.php and change $rewrite_urls to false.
  • Open site/settings/system.yaml, and add index.php to the url in the locales array.

Step 4: Set Server Access Permissions

Next, you’ll want to be sure you’re using the proper access permission rules in your server config. Ultimately your goal is prevent access to the statamic, local, and site (but not theme subdirectory) directories. There is more than one way to do that. You can refer to our included sample htaccess or nginx files and their code comments for some common ways to do that.

Step 5 Run the Installer

Technically there is no “install” process for Statamic, but we have a little tool that will check your environment for all the necessary requirements, file permissions, locales, and even help you get your first User created. Head to /installer.php and let it take care of the rest for you, if you want.

If you don’t want to (or can’t for some reason) use the GUI installer, here’s what to do yourself:

  • [Create an admin user][create-user]
  • Log into the Control Panel at {yoursite}.{tld}/cp
  • Visit your System settings (/cp/settings/system) and set/confirm your basic site settings

Step 6: delete installer.php

You must delete the installer file as it gives anyone who runs it the ability to create a super user on your site.

That’s it!

You’re done. Now for some things to note, and a few additional steps for running above webroot and multilingual sites.

About that License Key and Dev Mode

If you don’t have a license key, that’s okay! You can use Statamic in developer mode for as long as you’d like in your local environment. Just be sure to purchase and add the key to your system config before you launch, otherwise you won’t be able to access your control panel.

Site URL and Permalinks

Out of the box, Statamic will only use relative URLs as a way to get things going smoothly. However if you want to use permalinks (full URLs that include your domain) you’ll need to adjust it in site/settings/system.yaml in the locales array. Change the url from a relative to a full URL like If you ran the installer, you’ve probably already done this.

Moving Statamic Above Webroot (optional)

For extra security you can move your system files above webroot. This prevents system files from potentially being accessed through a browser.

Multilingual Sites

If you’d like to support multiple languages, head over to Localization for a few additional steps.

Clearing default site data

If you have used Statamic before and know what you’re doing, you can choose to clear the default content, storage, settings, theme, assets, and/or users.

Run php please clear:site inside your Statamic directory to initiate the clear process. You will be prompted to choose which data you would like to clear.

Last modified on April 10, 2020