Statamic is commercial software, so there are some terms of use rules to go over so you can be a kind, good-hearted person and help us continue to grow and support Statamic for millenia to come.

In a nutshell, you can use Statamic locally without a license key. We call this [Dev Mode][dev-mode]. Once you want to launch the site and put it on a public domain, you’ll need to buy a license and add your key to the site. You won’t be able to use the Control Panel until you do.

You can provide your license key in the Settings section of the Control Panel, or in site/settings/system.yaml as license_key.

How the license security works

If you want to know about the legal terms you can read those here. The rest of this article covers the technical aspects of the call-home features, domain restructions, and so forth.

The Outpost

Statamic will “radio in: to our web service we affectionately named The Outpost because we like to brand things. We collect just the license key and domain so we can validate that they are connected and everything is cool.

This happens just once an hour, and only when logged into the control panel. Changing your license key setting will force Statamic to ping The Outpost immediately. Tampering with outgoing API call will cause Statamic to consider your license invalid. We’ll also send our flying police monkeys to your office to throw poop at you. Maybe.

One License = One Website

A Statamic license entitles you to use it on one domain. You need to specify the domain you plan to use from the licenses area of your Statamic Account. This domain will be treated as a wildcard so you can use subdomains for locales and so on.

This also means that you can only use the Control Panel from your default locale.

If you attempt to use the site from another domain, you’ll get a notification inside the Control Panel informing you that your key is being used on more than one site, and give you some time to figure that out. You may change the domain associated witha license at any time.

Trial Mode

Trial Mode gives you access to all features of Statamic as long as you are on a non-public domain (e.g. your local computer).

Read more about Trial Mode

What is a public domain?

When Statamic calls home we use a series of rules to determine if the domain it’s running on is considered “public”.

If any of the following rules match the domain is considered not public (letting you stay in Dev Mode)

  • Is it a single segment? eg. localhost
  • Is it an IP address?
  • Does it use a port other than 80 or 443?
  • Does it have a dev-sounding subdomain? eg. test., testing., sandbox., local., stage., or staging.
  • Does it use a dev-related TLD? eg. .dev, .local, or .app

But you’re special, eh?

If everyone was special, then no one would be. But, we understand that sometimes your domains can’t be set up to coincide with our rules exactly because of client needs, backwards compatibility, SEO, or the humidity level in Denver. We totally get it.

For example, maybe your staging environment is on an entirely separate domain, like and That’s okay. You can comma delimit domains in your licenses page, like so:, Problem solved.

Last Updated January 26, 2017

Table of Contents
  1. How the license security works
    1. The Outpost
    2. One License = One Website
    3. Trial Mode
    4. What is a public domain?
    5. But you’re special, eh?