We're pretty sure Statamic might be one of the simplest CMS's to get running, but there are so many different ways to run PHP apps that we need to cover a lot of bases here. Feel free to skip right to your particular dev environment. It's unlikely that everything in this article will apply to you.

The Screencast Version

Visual learner? Watch how simple it is to install Statamic.


Statamic has a few system 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 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, Nginx, or IIS
  • PHP >= 5.5.9
  • URL Rewriting enabled (mod_rewrite, try_files, etc)

Required PHP Extensions

These should all be compiled in PHP 5.5.9+ by default but we find it’s best to be thorough.

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.


The latest version of MAMP and MAMP Pro comes pre-loaded with Apache, PHP 5.5.9 and all the modules you need. Download, install, and go.

Mac: Laravel Valet

Laravel Valet is a development environment for Mac minimalists. No Vagrant, No Apache, No Nginx, No /etc/hosts file. You can even share your sites publicly using local tunnels. We use it, it’s brilliant.

Note: Valet supports the out-of-the-box Statamic directory structure. Subdirectory installs don’t work.

Windows: WAMP

If you happen to be of the Microsoft persuasion, WAMP is a good choice, and pretty similar to MAMP. So we hear.

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 leverage lots of small files due to NFS sync delays. It’s best to not use file sharing and run Statamic directly in your VM for best results.

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


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
|-- sample.web.config

Running in a subdirectory

Let’s pause for just a moment. Do you want to run in a subdirectory for the right reason? Using Statamic in a blog subdirectory in an existing site is one such reason. Not feeling like setting up a virtual host isn’t. We can’t stop you, but if you plan to run the site in webroot in production, you should do the same thing in development.

Professional advice given, here’s what to do:

  • Open index.php and change $site_root from "/" to "/your_subdirectory/"
  • Open site/settings/system.yaml and change the URL from / to /your_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, just use 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, 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: Out of the box, Statamic will assume you will be using URL rewrites. If you notice only your home page working, it’s usually because URL rewrites aren’t configured. Either set them up, or read how to disable them at the end of this section.

Most decent servers will support URL rewriting in some way. Choose your method below:


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’re most likely someone who doesn’t follow defaults and runs your own flavor of configuration. Google is your friend. If you’re really stuck, we’ll do our best to help you.


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.


We don’t use Windows ourselves, but we’ve been told the included sample.web.config works. Do your thing.

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: Run the Trailhead 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.

Once you’re done, delete installer.php.

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
  • Visit your System settings (/cp/settings/system) and set/confirm your basic site settings

There is no step 5.

You’re probably 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.

Last Updated March 20, 2017

Table of Contents
  1. The Screencast Version
  2. Requirements
    1. Server Requirements
    2. Required PHP Extensions
    3. Optional (But Recommended)
  3. Suggested Development Environments
    1. Mac: MAMP/MAMP Pro
    2. Mac: Laravel Valet
    3. Windows: WAMP
    4. Laravel Homestead
    5. CLI Server
  4. Installing
    1. Step 1: Unzip files into your webroot
      1. Running in a subdirectory
    2. Step 2: Set permissions
    3. Step 3: Configure URL rewrites
      1. Apache
      2. Nginx
      3. IIS
      4. Disabling URL Rewrites
    4. Step 4: Run the Trailhead Installer
    5. There is no step 5.
      1. About that License Key and Dev Mode
      2. Site URL and Permalinks
      3. Moving Statamic Above Webroot (optional)
      4. Multilingual Sites