What is an easy way to get a CraftCMS site up and running? I found this to be a rather simple method with help of ploi.io, a Hetzner CX11 virtual cloud server (max. € 4.51 / month) and DDEV for local development.
Beware: I'm a CraftCMS newbie! 🤓
- Install DDEV for local development
- Sign up for a Hetzner Cloud account
- Sign up for a ploi.io account
- Connect the Hetzner account via API key on ploi.io (as service provider)
- Create your first server via ploi dashboard
Create GitHub repository, clone it locally
Create a new GitHub project (with README), clone it locally and run these commands for the CraftCMS installation:
# Set up the DDEV environment:
ddev config --project-type=craftcms --docroot=web --create-docroot
# Boot the project and install the starter project:
ddev composer create -y --no-scripts craftcms/craft
# Run the Craft installer:
ddev craft install
Push the new files to your GitHub repository.
Dump the local database
For the initial installation we need a dump of the database. This can be achieved via
ddev export-db -f dump.sql.gz.
This database dump will be later imported into the live sites database.
But do not worry: After that initial DB import, changes to the data structure will be applied via files in git and by CLI migrate commands (for example
php craft migrate/all --no-content --interactive=0).
Create a new database on ploi.io (server)
Databases are managed via Server
Install phpMyAdmin, connect via DB user and password
Import the database dump file
Create a new site via ploi
You don't have to connect the real domain immediately, you can also generate a test domain later. Therefore you can also use "mysite.example.com" e.g.
Install from git repository
We use a git repository, not the 1-click installer for CraftCMS.
If you use a public repository, you can just paste the URL:
Adjust the deploy script
These are commands which are executed when you hit the "deploy now" button.
# ploi standard commands
git pull origin main
# NodeJS support, e.g. for vite
# npm install
# npm run build
composer install --no-dev --no-interaction --prefer-dist --optimize-autoloader
# deployment best practices by craftcms docs:
php craft update/composer-install --interactive=0
php craft migrate/all --no-content --interactive=0
php craft project-config/apply
php craft migrate --track=content --interactive=0
echo "" | sudo -S service php8.2-fpm reload
echo "🚀 Application deployed!"
Add .env values via "Edit environment"
Copy the .env values from
.env.example.production, add a security key and adjust the database connection settings. For the security key you can use a generator like Bitwarden Generator.
Add a free "Let's encrypt" SSL certificate
Optional: Add a test domain
If you haven't connected a real domain yet, you can also use a test domain freely provided by ploi.io (for test usage / development).
gitignore the license.key
One last thing I would suggest is adding
config/license.key to your
.gitignore, otherwise you will end up with "Your local changes to the following files would be overwritten by merge: config/license.key" after the first deployment.
Ready for deployment! 🎉
Hit the "Deploy now" button and pull the craftcms installation from your GitHub repository:
That's it. Open your site and enjoy developing with Craft CMS! 🎉
If you want to trigger auto deployment when pushing to GitHub, check out this guide: ploi.io - How to trigger deployments via GitHub actions
In future it would be cool to have a good and robust
ddev pull script to download media assets and live content into local development.
Also make sure to join the DDEV discord. 💚