Quick Start Guide

This is a step-by-step walkthrough on installing and building a simple Statamic 3 site. It is focused more on the fundamental building blocks and less on design and aesthetics. In fact, it will be an ugly site. Just brace yourself ahead of time.


Much of the documentation is intended to be used as a reference sheet for various features, explaining how they work and what options and settings they provide. But not this guide. This is for glueing it all together, assuming you know very little about how Statamic works. We’ll only make a couple of assumptions here before we get started.

  1. You are comfortable working with HTML.
  2. You have a local dev environment with composer installed.
  3. You can copy and paste a few commands into the command line.
  4. You have more than 5 minutes to spare. Let’s enjoy ourselves here.

What we’re building

We’re going to build a simple personal website for a fictitious young aspiring programmer named Kurt Logan. Kurt always has and always will live in the 1980s and is very excited at the prospect of having his very own place in Cyberspace.

High level approach

A high level approach to building a site in Statamic usually looks like this.

  1. Start with a static HTML site or series of different layouts
  2. Break static files up into the appropriate Antlers views (layouts, templates, and partials)
  3. Create applicable collections and routes to hold content
  4. Stub out top level pages and map them to the proper templates
  5. Add fields to your blueprints and start moving static content from HTML into their proper fields
  6. Keep going until your site is done!

Once familiar with Statamic, many developers begin building their static site right in Statamic, often blending all the steps into a smooth flowing river of productivity.

Install Statamic

Let’s start right at the very beginning. Installing Statamic.

First, we’re going to composer create-project command from the command line. This clones the statamic/statamic repo and then runs a series of scripts on it to automate steps you would otherwise need to perform manually if you cloned the repo directly. Nice.

You should run this command from your ~/Sites directory if you’re using Valet or a similar dev environment where directories map to .test local domains.

composer create-project statamic/statamic cyberspace-place --prefer-dist --stability=dev

If everything worked as expected, you should be able to visit http://cyberspace-place.test and see the Statamic 3 welcome screen.

If you encounter a 404 error, make sure your APP_URL is set correctly in the .env file.

If you encounter any other errors, Google them frantically and try anything and everything suggested until it magically begins working.

Just kidding, that’s a terrible idea. Please don’t do that. You should check our knowledge base and forums to look for a validated solution before resorting to such measures.

Statamic 3 Welcome Screen
If you see this you are right on track.

Next, in your command line navigate into the new site (cd cyberspace-place) and open the project directory in your code editor.

Create your first user

Now we can create a new super user and sign into the control panel and start creating some content to display on the frontend.

Run php please make:user from the command line inside that new project directory and follow along with the prompts (name, email, etc). Be sure to say yes when asked if the user should be a super user otherwise you’ll just have to do it again. And again. And again until you finally say yes. Never be afraid of committing to success.

Statamic 3 Make:User Command
We can customize user fields later — this is just fine for today.

Now you can sign in! Head to http://cyberspace-place.test/cp and use your email address and password to sign into the control panel.

Statamic 3 Login Screen
If you see this screen at /cp you've just earned 200 XP!

Make a home page

Next, let’s get some content of our choosing to show on the homepage. Head to Collections → Pages in the control panel and you’ll see an empty home page entry waiting for you. Click on the entry’s title to edit it. Type anything you want in the content field and then click Save & Publish.

Editing the home page
Don't overthink it. Just type some aedgaeduhadfubugra

Note that the entry is using the home template (you can see it there in the template field). Let’s edit it and reveal your new and incredible content to the browser.

In your code editor, open the file resources/views/home.antlers.html. This is the home template. The name of a template is the filename up until the file extension. Any view ending in .antlers.html will be parsed with Statamic’s Antlers template parser.

If a view file ends with .blade.php it will use Laravel’s Blade language. This same pattern applies for other template engines that could be installed in the future.

Delete all the placeholder HTML from the template and replace it with the following:

{{ content }}

Refresh the site in your browser and you should see your content in all of its glory. Each of those double curly tags is a variable. When on a URL that’s loading content from an entry, all of the content fields are available to you with their corresponding variable name (also called a “handle”). We’ll get into adding new fields in just a bit.

Your new home page
What did you write? Was it a dad joke?

Customize the Layout

You probably noticed that there is some very basic styling going on. That’s coming from the layout. Time to customize that too. Open resources/views/layout.antlers.html and replace it with this:

<!doctype html>
    <title>{{ title }}</title>
    <link href="https://unpkg.com/[email protected]^1.0/dist/tailwind.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
<body class="bg-gray-900 text-white text-lg font-mono">
    <div class="container max-w-lg mx-auto py-8">
        {{ template_content }}

Your layout file contains any markup you want present no matter what page you’re on, where you go, how far you travel, or loudly you sing. It’s the perfect place to put your <head> stuff, main site nav, and site footer bits.

You can think of layouts like picture frames for your website. Everything you want rendered into the contents of the frame — those things that may change from section to section and page to page — goes into templates. Those templates are rendered wherever you put that {{ template_content }} variable in your layout.

Your new layout
If copy & pasted properly you should see this 👆

Create an About page

Let’s make our first new page! Head back to our Dashboard to Collections -> Pages to add our new page. Above our table with our Home page click the Create Entry button.

We’re dropped into a blank Page form just like our Home page form from before. Here we’ll create our new page just as we did before.

You can add any title you like in the title box based on search engine optimization, marketing, and other wizardry; for now, we’ll stick with “About”.

Next, add a catchy description in the content box, something like “The greatest professional wrestling fan site, OOOOH YEAAAH!”

Now, scroll down to Template. From the drop down we have several options. We used “home” for our Home page, now let’s select “default” for our About page.

Click Save & Publish and you’ll see your new page titled “About” in the List.


Betterify this page on Github!