Quick Start Guide

This is a step-by-step walkthrough on installing and building a simple Statamic 3 site. It is focused on the fundamental building blocks and less on design and aesthetics.

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Overview

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 often 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 to hold content and set up routes to determine your URL patterns
  4. Stub out top level pages and map them to the proper templates
  5. Configure blueprints to hold fields that match your HTML (like title, author, date, content) and move static content out of your markup and into entries using the beautiful UI
  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.

There are a few ways to do it, but we’ll just go with the simplest, most copy & pasteable method – using Composer’a create-project command.

The command you’re about to run clones (makes a copy of) our empty starter site and then runs a few automated scripts to get your new blank site ready.

You should run this command from your Terminal application of choice (we like iTerm2 inside your ~/Sites directory or wherever you prefer putting your sites.

composer create-project --prefer-dist statamic/statamic cyberspace-place

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 a Composer error, try running composer global update and trying again.

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. We try our best to have answers to all the most common things you might encounter. Modern web development is amazing when everything is up to date, and can be pretty frustrating when it isn’t. We feel this pain too.

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. We like VS Code but there are a ton of great editors and IDEs out there.

Create your first user

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

Run php please make:user from the command line 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
You can customize user fields later.

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 matches an entry’s route rule, all of that entry’s field data is available automatically in the defined template. 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>
<html>
<head>
    <title>{{ title }}</title>
    <link href="https://unpkg.com/[email protected]^2/dist/tailwind.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
</head>
<body class="bg-gray-900 text-white text-lg font-mono">
    <div class="container max-w-lg mx-auto py-8">
        {{ template_content }}
    </div>
</body>
</html>

Your layout file contains any markup you want present no matter what page you’re on. It’s usually the best place to put your <head> meta markup, persistent site navigation, site footer, and other global things.

Think of layouts like a picture frame, and everything that changes from section to section, page to page inside the frame — goes into templates. In practice, templates are injected inline wherever you put a {{ template_content }} variable in your layout to create a complete HTML document.

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

Now let’s build a blog

You might have known it was coming next – it’s the staple of every CMS walkthrough. How easy is it to build a blog? You’re about to find out.

But first, let’s talk about what a blog is. A “blog” is a collection of posts that shares common traits or attributes. A typical blog post might contain a title, featured image, an author, a few tags, and the article content.

There also always a list (sometimes called an “archive”) of blog posts linking to each post’s unique URL, and sometimes the homepage has a short list of the most recent posts as well. Let’s detail exactly what we’re going to build, and then build it.

Here’s our todo list:

  • Crete a blog “Collection” with the following fields: title , featured_image , author , and content
  • Create a blog index page (/blog)
  • Create a blog detail page (/blog/why-i-love-mustard)
  • Add a list of the most recent 5 blog entries to the homepage

Create a new Collection

Head back to the Control Panel and click on the Collections link in the sidebar. Click the blue Create Collection button and then call your new collection “Blog”.

Creating a blog collection
Name it whatever you want, as long as you name it Blog.

Scaffold your templates

Let’s save you a minute or two and generate the index and show template. Click on Scaffold Resources

Link to Scaffold resources
Click it.

And then click the Create Resources button. The defaults are perfect.

Scaffold collection resources
Click the button.

Two new files will be created. We’ll be editing them soon:

  • resources/views/blog/index.antlers.html
  • resources/views/blog/show.antlers.html

Configure the collection

Next, let’s configure the collection to behave the way a typical blog should. Click Configure Collection.

Link to configure your collection
And now click this.

Statamic does its best to take a “turn it on and build it up” approach to features and settings, in contrast to other platforms that take a “turn it off and rip it out” approach. This means that Statamic doesn’t do everything right out the box, allowing you to customize how you’d like everything to work.

We’ll review some of the important settings, but we only need to touch two of them to make a blog:

  • Enable Publish Dates (the subs-setting defaults are perfect)
  • Set your route rule
Settings to make a blog
These are the only two you need to set.

By enabling Publish Dates, Statamic will add a date field to your list of available entry fields (called a Blueprint), and will use the specified date to determine whether a given entry should be visible or not. Typical blog posts with a date in the future would be a scheduled post and not yet published, and one in the past is published, and therefore visible. This is how we’ll configure our Blog Collection, and is the default behavior when you enable this feature.

As you scroll you’ll notice a Content Model section. That template you scaffolded in the previous step is automatically selected as the default template for new Blog entries.

And finally in the Routing & URLs section you’ll find the Route setting. Here you can create the URL pattern that all of your entries will follow. You can change this anytime and use any of the Collection’s fields as variables in the pattern by surrounding them in single braces, {like_this}.

Here are some common patterns you could choose from:

Example URL Route Pattern Rule
/blog/2021-12-24/merry-christmas /blog/{year}-{month}-{day}/{slug}
/blog/2020/still-bored /blog/{year}/{slug}
/blog/happy-new-year /blog/{slug}
/evergreen-syle /{slug}

When in doubt, keep it simple. And then save your changes.

Creating your first entry

We like to make things work and then make them better. With that in mind, let’s make our first blog post and get it to show on the frontend before we add all configure all the custom fields and whatnot.

Head back to your blog Collection screen and click Create Entry.

Link to create your first blog entry
And finally, click this.

Now you can see all the default fields for your new Collection. They’re the same as the Home entry you edited a few moments ago. Go ahead and make a new blog post. Make two if you’d like! It’s up to you.

Field Notes
Title The required title of the entry
Content  A simple Markdown field
Author Defaults to whoever is logged in
Template When not explicitly set will use the Collection’s default
Slug Automatically generated off the title until you edit it manually
Date Defaults to today

Time for more frontend

It’s code editor time! Let’s get that list of the 5 most recent entries onto the homepage since it already exists and is one of our todos. Open resources/views/home.antlers.html and replace that lonely {{ content }} with this markup (don’t worry, we’ll explain what’s going on in a moment):

// resources/views/home.antlers.html

<h1 class="text-2xl font-bold my-6">Welcome to my CyberSpace Place!</h1>
{{ content }}

<section class="border border-green-400 mt-12">
    <h2 class="p-5">Recent Blog Posts</h2>
    {{ collection:blog limit="5" }}
        <a href="{{ url }}" class="flex items-center justify-between p-5 border-t border-green-400 text-green-400 hover:text-green-900 hover:bg-green-400">
            <span>{{ title }}</span>
            <span class="text-green-900 text-sm">{{ date }}</span>
        </a>
    {{ /collection:blog }}
</section>

If you refresh your homepage (and managed to name your placeholder entry or two the same as us), you should see this:

Link to create your first blog entry
We said it would look ugly, but we lied.

Let’s take a closer look at how this works. Stripping out all the styling in the example, here’s the most basic Antlers template snippet that fetches your entries.

{{ collection:blog limit="5" }}
    <a href="{{ url }}">{{ title }}</a>
{{ /collection:blog }}

Here you can see we’re telling the Collection Tag tag to use the blog collection and limit the number of returned entries to 5. Inside the tag pair is a loop that iterates over each entry with access to all the data available as {{ variables }}.

The url will follow the pattern you set in the route rule (/blog/hello-from-cyberspace perhaps?) and if you were to click it, you’d see a new page using the resources/views/blog/show.antlers.html template, which is empty so there’s not much to look at. Let’s edit that next.

The blog “show” template

Now that we’re on an entry’s very own unique URL, you no longer need that {{ collection:blog }} tag pair to fetch data. All of the entry’s data is available automatically. Here’s a really simple snippet you can drop in so you can see the data pull through.

// resources/views/blog/show.antlers.html

<h1 class="text-3xl bg-green-400 text-center text-green-900 font-bold mt-6 p-6">{{ title }}</h1>
<div class="border text-center text-green-600 border-green-400 mt-8 p-3 text-xs uppercase">
    Published on {{ date }} by {{ author:name }}
</div>

<article class="space-y-4 mt-8 text-sm text-green-400 leading-loose">
    {{ content }}
</article>

A few cool things to note here in this code example:

  • The author’s name is being accessed by reaching into the {{ author }} object. You can retrieve any data (but not password) on a user this way. Pretty cool.
  • The content field is being automatically converted from Markdown to HTML because we’re using a Markdown field. If you were to use a generic Textarea field, you’d need to transform the Markdown yourself by using a modifier. It would look like this: {{ textarea | markdown }}.
A blog post
How close does your look?

Blog Index

Next, let’s make that blog index page. Head back to the control panel and go to the Pages collection. Create a new entry and call it “Blog”, “My Blog”, or even “My CyberBlog” — just make sure the slug is blog. Set the template to blog/index.

Back to your code editor — open up the resources/vies/blog/index.antlers.html template and drop in this snippet. It’s essentially what we built on the home page, but without the limit.

// resources/views/blog/index.antlers.html

<h1 class="text-2xl font-bold my-6">{{ title }}</h1>
{{ content }}

<section class="border border-green-400 mt-12">
{{ collection:blog }}
    <a href="{{ url }}" class="flex items-center justify-between p-5 border-t border-green-400 text-green-400 hover:text-green-900 hover:bg-green-400">
        <span>{{ title }}</span>
        <span class="text-green-900 text-sm">{{ date }}</span>
    </a>
{{ /collection:blog }}
</section>

And stop right there. We’ve now duplicated a whole chunk of code save for one little tiny bit — limit="5'. Let’s DRY this up (reduce code duplication).

It’s totally fine to duplicate code sometimes, especially if you have to make some code significantly more complex to reuse it. Just keep that in mind. We’ll keep this simple.

Your first partial

Partials are reusable template chunks. Create a new file named _listing.antlers.html in the resources/blog/ directory. Prefixing a template with an underscore is a common convention to indicate that it’s a reusable partial and not a full layout. You could also create a subdirectory named partials — it’s up to you. Just be consistent.

Inside that new template file, copy and paste the entire <section> chunk that includes the Collection tag pair from either the homepage or blog index. Or this guide. We can create a variable on the fly here so when you use your partial you can specify your desired limit. Replace that second line with this:

{{ collection:blog :limit="limit" }}

By prefixing the limit parameter with a colon we’re telling Statamic to look for a variable named “limit” as the argument. If there isn’t one it will be null, and not add a limit — just how we want it on the blog index template.

Your blog index template can now look like as simple as this:

// resources/views/blog/index.antlers.html

<h1 class="text-2xl font-bold my-6">{{ title }}</h1>
{{ content }}
{{ partial:blog/listing }}

Now let’s dry up the home template. We know we need to pass that limit in, but if you recall (or visit the homepage), we had that extra <h2> above the collection:blog tag. This is a perfect opportunity to add a “slot”.

Switch to your new blog/listing partial and add {{ slot }} to the line right above the collection tag, like so:

// resources/views/blog/_listing.antlers.html

<section class="border border-green-400 mt-12">
    {{ slot }}
    {{ collection:blog :limit="limit" }}
...

Back in your home template, you can now replace that chunk of markup with a call to the partial, setting the limit, and using it as a tag pair to send the contents in as the slot. A super helpful little pattern.

Here’s your entire home template:

// resources/views/home.antlers.html

<h1 class="text-2xl font-bold my-6">Welcome to my CyberSpace Place!</h1>
{{ content }}
{{ partial:blog/listing limit="5" }}
    <h2 class="p-5">Recent Blog Posts</h2>
{{ /partial:blog/listing }}

The nav

We’re almost done, but before we head back to the control panel to add a few more fields to your blog blueprint, let’s add a nav.

Your home and blog entries are both in an “ordered” Pages collection. If you look at this default collection’s config you’ll see that it has the Orderable setting on and that the root page is considered the home page. This let’s you have a page with a slug of /.

We can use the Nav tag to fetch the entries in the Pages collection in the order you have them arranged.

Open up your layout file and drop in this nav snippet, right after the open body tag.

// resources/views/layout.antlers.html
// ...

<nav class="bg-black text-xs uppercase text-green text-center flex items-center justify-center space-x-4">
    {{ nav from="pages" include_home="true" }}
        <a href="{{ url }}" class="p-2 block hover:text-yellow-200">{{ title }}</a>
    {{ /nav  }}
</nav>

The nav tag works very much like the collections tag. It loops through the entries and gives you access to all the data inside each.

Customizing your blueprint

We’ve got a pretty functional site going here, but so far we’ve only worked with default fields. Few sites can be so simple, so let’s spice it up a bit.

Head to the Blueprints area in the sidebar and click Blog. Now you’re looking at all the fields you’ve been working with, organized into Tab Sections.

Tab Sections let you group fields into Tabs which can help you stay organized, keep similar fields together, or help push optional, unusual fields out of mind for most authors. It’s up to you how you’d like to organize these.

A Blueprint and its default fields
This is content modeling right here.

You can drag, drop, and rearrange fields inside and across your sections. This order will be how you see the fields in the publish screen.

The Sidebar is a special section. It controls the fields shown in the publish sidebar when your browser is wide enough, and collapses those fields to a tab when it isn’t. If you delete the Sidebar section, you won’t have one — and if you create a new one called “Sidebar”, it’ll work just as before.

Let’s create a new field called featured_image.

Click Create Field in the Main section and behold! A big list of fieldtypes! You can learn more about each Fieldtype elsewhere in the docs, but here are a few quick tips on narrowing down what you’re looking for.

When this screen is opened, you’re automatically focused in the search box, so you can start typing the fieldtype name if you know it (Hint: you could type assets now). Or, you can narrow the fields down by type – All, Text, Media, and Relationship. You’d find the Assets fieldtype inside Media.

A list of Statamic's fieldtypes
Over 40 different types to pick from!

Find the Assets fieldtype and click it. Assets fields let you pick from and upload new files.

Next, give the field the Display name “Featured Image” and you’ll see the Handle get slugified automatically to featured_image. This will be the variable name you will use in your templates to get the asset’s data. The only additional setting you should tweak for now is to set Max Files to 1. When you’re done, click Finish.

Configuring an Assets fieldtype
Every fieldtype has shared & unique options.

Head back to your Blog collection and edit an entry (or create a new one if you’d like). You’ll see your new field right there. Upload any image you have on your computer. If you need a dummy image, we recommend Google Image Searching for “rad 90s kid bedroom”. That’s a gold mine right there.

Hover over the thumbnail for your new image and click the Edit button (it looks like a pencil). There you can make a few adjustments to the image – like setting an Alt tag.

Adding an Alt tag to an image
Ducktails!

Assets can have Blueprints too!

When you’re done, Save & Publish your changes.

Wiring up the new field

Head back to resources/views/blog/show.antlers.html in your code editor. Add the following snippet anywhere you’d like in the template. Either before or after the {{ content }} variable is probably a good place.

// resources/views/blog/show.antlers.html
// ...

<img src="{{ featured_image }}" class="border-2 border-green-400 p-1" alt="{{ featured_image:alt }}" />

Refresh the page and there you have it — a basic but fully functional website. Hopefully you’ll have a better idea how the basics fit together, as well as the relationship between the control panel and the frontend. There are so many more things you can do – like add Taxonomies, Forms, dynamic image manipulations, fetch data with JavaScript with our Content API and on and on.

And make sure to not miss the list of Tags and Modifiers that do all sorts of powerful things in your templates.

Going Deeper

We have a screencast series that covers getting started but goes much further and deeper. Feel free to check that out here. Good luck!

Betterify this page on Github!