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How to Install Craft CMS – Step by Step Installation Guide

Updated on March 9, 2023

7 Min Read

WordPress is the first choice of people looking for an optimized CMS for building their sites. But recently many content management platforms have arose, but none match the flexibility and performance of WordPress.

Craft CMS is among the recent platforms that pose itself as a WordPress alternates. But is it really a smart option? Let’s find out in this blog.

While many of WordPress competitors fail to meet the expectations, Craft CMS manages to outdo the competition by adopting a single-track focus on content management. Once you install Craft CMS, you realize its utility for building advanced web applications.

Powered by Yii, the well-known PHP framework, Craft CMS has managed to hold its own in the competitive market by providing an excellent environment that is both scalable and adaptable.

This blog guides the easy steps to install & host Craft CMS on your Cloudways server. Let’s dive into the steps, but before that, let’s learn the basics of Craft CMS to understand it better.

Nothing as Easy as Deploying Craft CMS Apps on Cloud

With Cloudways, you can have your Craft CMS apps up and running on managed cloud servers in just a few minutes.

What Is Craft CMS?

Craft CMS is a content administration framework for building bespoke web projects. With a plethora of CMS available online, Craft CMS differentiates itself by putting your content first, and giving an adaptable, custom-made experience for craft cms developers and content creators. The Yii2 framework powers craft CMS, and this easily manageable CMS allows users to customize their digital experience on the web and beyond. We can install Craft CMS very easily and connect its storage to MySQL or.


    As per the project requirements. Some of the features include:

  • A user-friendly panel for content creation and performing Admin tasks.
  • It gives a fresh start for content modeling and front-end development.
  • The CMS gives you full autonomy to structure your content the way you like.
  • Over 370 plugins are available.
  • A strong community of professional members.

How to Install Craft CMS

Follow the steps below to install Craft CMS:

Step 1: Launch a New Server

  • Go to the Cloudways platform .
  • Log in with your credentials or sign up for a new account.
  • Launch a new server with PHP Stack application where we will install Craft CMS.

DO installation

Wait for a few minutes to complete the server launch process.

  • Select the Application and go to the Application Settings.


  • Under General, edit the application folder name to craftcms and click Save

Step 2: Download Craft CMS

  • Go to your server and launch SSH Terminal.
  • Log in with your credentials.


Once you are logged in, head to the public_html folder and simply run the download command to download the Craft CMS project.


downloading craft cms via ssh Unzip the Craft CMS zip file that you have just downloaded.

  • Now change the folder name as required, like craft cms.
  • Open the .env file through FTP or SSH Access and change the DB_DATABASE, DB_USER, and DB_PASSWORD, to save a newly created database on our server.

  • Navigate to Application Settings on the platform and reset the permission.
  • You can either generate a security key by using the following command, or you can manually insert the key by accessing the .env file.
php craft setup/security-key
  • You can access the webpage by adding web/index.php/admin/install at the end of the URL to open the Craft installer.
  • A page like the below would indicate you’ve configured everything rightly.


  • Now let’s begin the installation by clicking the Begin button.
  • On the next page, create the admin account and click Next.


  • In the next screen, give the site a name, set up the site URL, and click Finish Up.


The craft will now start the installation.

complete installation craft

Once the process finishes, go to the Craft CMS dashboard.


The above message shows that Craft has been successfully installed on your Cloudways server. However, if you face any issues in the installation, leave your queries in the comment section below.

Craft CMS Plugins

Craft CMS offers more than 370 plugins, ranging from Autoresponders to Maps along with the developer toolkits. You can access these plugins from the Craft CMS dashboard, Most of the plugins are free, while some plugins come with a price tag.

Check out the recently added plugins to the Craft CMS repository:


FreshMail is one of the leading email marketing tools that helps users to create customized emailing campaigns. This plugin helps users to integrate their FreshMail account with Craft CMS and create personalized emailing campaigns with stunning built-in templates.

Vanilla Forums

It is a popular Craft CMS plugin that allows you to integrate Vanilla Forums with your Craft CMS website. The plugin provides Single Sign-On (SSO) integration with Craft CMS, meaning users are not required to sign in to the Vanilla Forums separately.


This plugin helps you to convert your Craft CMS websites into a static one. It provides a simple integration process with Sitesauce and gives you the freedom to sync both dynamic and static websites easily .

JavaScript Helper

You can easily output all static translations into JavaScript objects using the JavaScript Helper . It also allows you to transfer Twig variables into JavaScript without requiring any manual processes.

You can easily install the above-defined plugins and more by selecting the desired one from the dashboard.

Once you have installed the plugin, it will appear in the utility menu under System Report.

Craft CMS vs. WordPress

When we talk about a content-heavy website, it is not just about creating content, but also its management. Sure, WordPress is the biggest CMS for web apps, ut Craft CMS is emerging as a worthy challenger to WordPress.

WordPress came out in 2003 and quickly became popular because of being an open-source platform. Whereas, Craft CMS came out in 2012, offering the basic version for free and not being an open-source platform. When it comes to the community, WordPress has a much broader community as compared to Craft CMS.
The table below compares the strengths and weaknesses of craft-cms-vs-wordpress

Improve Your Craft CMS App Speed by 300%

Cloudways offers you dedicated servers with SSD storage, custom performance, an optimized stack, and more for 300% faster load times.

Design and Themes

Craft CMS does not provide themes, but designs. Their designs have a large variety and are easily customizable.

WordPress offers design restrictions but provides the themes, so it is easy for beginners.

Easy to Use

Craft CMS is lightweight and offers easily accessible plugins, but lacks the choice over themes and does not offer a strong community support.

WordPress has an abundanceof themes options and has more than 55K+ plugins. Moreover, it has a big community of professionals ready to give their assistance.


Craft CMS has custom fields, localization, tight integration, and built-in headless capabilities, which any e-commerce user can easily customize due to its user-friendliness.

With WordPress, you can customize in minutes. But if you are not using an optimized coding structure, you can not get the intended results.

Final Words

This blog has listed the easy steps to install & host Craft CMS on Cloudways . This highly advanced CMS platform enables users to build optimized web applications in minutes. Moreover, it also provides several plugins and templates to ease the website development process and help users quickly get started with the platform.

Moreover, I’ve also listed some of the best Craft CMS plugins and a comparison with WordPress to help you pick up the best CMS. Put the steps mapped out in the article into a simple to-do checklist to keep track of your progress and ensure nothing slips through the cracks. This seemingly minor thing will help you set up Craft CMS without a hitch, saving you countless hours on troubleshooting and tracking down technical and compatibility issues. If you still have more questions regarding this article, please feel free to ask them below in the comments section below.

Q. How to update Craft CMS ?

A: Craft CMS can be updated to newer versions within just a few clicks. Whenever an update is available, a notification appears in the Utilities navigation item in the sidebar. Just click on it and select Updates, it will display all the latest updates including platform versions and plugins.

Q. Is Craft CMS an open-source platform ?

A: No, Craft CMS is not an open-source platform. Only the basic version of the CMS is free, while the rest are paid.

Q. What are some useful Craft CMS plugins ?

A: There are many useful Craft CMS plugins available in the Plugin Store. A few of them to name are CodeMirror, ImageOptimize, SEOMatic, Splash, etc.

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

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Shahzeb Ahmed

Shahzeb is a Digital Marketer with a Software Engineering background, works as a Community Manager — PHP Community at Cloudways. He is growth ambitious and aims to learn & share information about PHP & Laravel Development through practice and experimentation. He loves to travel and explore new ideas whenever he finds time. Get in touch with him at [email protected]


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