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Installing ProcessWire

ProcessWire installation is quite simple. There are various ways to get the latest release like traditional downloading, git, using, or with Since the more straightforward way is the traditional downloading we will use that method.

Downloading the Latest Version

You must go to and select the current version thats more suitable for your needs. The current 3.x version as the time of writing is 3.0.61.

Download Page

Which version should I use?

ProcessWire comes in two different versions. One with PHP namespaces and the other with no namespaces. A good number of modules where made before ProcessWire supported namespaces, but thankfully ProcessWire is smart enough and loads them without problems. Namespaces are quite handy for a more clean access to ProcessWire properties and methods and allow new kinds of arquitectures.

ProcessWire 3.x

Recommended when creating new sites or downloading ProcessWire for the first time. Namespaces enables using composer, so you can access the vast amount of code that composer brings. Also namespaces allow multiple ProcessWire instances (Access to another PW Installation).

The PHP namespace used by ProcessWire is:

<?php namespace ProcessWire; ?>

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ProcessWire 2.8.x legacy

Recommended when you want the same functionality as 3.x but in a non-namespace environment like in 2.7. Usually when old projects needs security updates and you don't need or want namespace support. No composer or multiple instances allowed in this version.

Dev or Master?

Master is the version with the most stable and tested code. Conversely Dev may contain new bugs because the adding of features. If you need something reliable use Master, if you want to try the new goodies use Dev. If you found a bug, need help or want to request a new feature please report them in the official github repository ( or the forums (

Server Requirements

ProcessWire needs a basic setup that is found on a great number of hosting providers.

The following are the minimum requirements:

  • A Unix or Windows-based web server running Apache.
  • PHP version 5.3.8 or newer with PDO database support (PHP 5.6+ preferable).
  • MySQL or MariaDB, 5.0.15 or greater (5.6+ preferable).
  • Apache must have mod_rewrite enabled (when applicable).
  • Apache must support .htaccess files (when applicable).
  • PHP's bundled GD 2 library (ImageMagick also supported).

Is Only Apache Supported?

Other web servers can be used. But the default configuration is only tailored to Apache. Users reported successfully running ProcessWire with or Web servers besides Apache should be used at your own risk.

Are other Databases besides MySQL (MariaDB) Supported?

No. Other databases like SQLite, Oracle, PostgreSQL or Microsoft SQL Server are not supported. The main reason is because ProcessWire is highly optimized and tailored to fit the MySQL technology. This enables storing huge amount of data and executing complex queries in a super efficient way.


We will assume that you already have a working PHP, Apache and MySQL enviroment that meets at least the minimum ProcessWire requirements. Popular PHP dev apps are Mamp, Ampps or Xampp We will use the command line for the MySQL configuration. Although you could use tools like PHPMyAdmin that comes in those applications for that task if you like. Also modern tools like Laravel's Valet are supported too see

Create a ProcessWire Database

With all the prerequisites in place, we can go ahead and create a new MySQL database and user for ProcessWire.

First, log into the MySQL Shell:

$ mysql -u root -p
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Now, create the database and user:


CREATE DATABASE processwire;
CREATE USER pwuser@localhost;
SET PASSWORD FOR pwuser@localhost= PASSWORD("password");
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON processwire.* TO pwuser@localhost 
IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
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A couple of things are going on here:

  1. Create the actual processwire database.
  2. Create the user pwuser.
  3. Set a password for this user.
  4. Grant all privileges of the processwire database to this user.
  5. Reload the new user settings.

Feel free to name your database or user differently.

Download and Copy the Files

We will go to the download page and grab the latest master And unzip it inside the directory used for development. If you prefer using the command line you could use (Unix compatible):


$ curl  -SL > && unzip && rm 
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If all went well you should see the following files: composer.json install.php site-classic wire
LICENSE.TXT htaccess.txt site-beginner site-default index.php site-blank site-languages

PW Files after unzip

Post Installation Modifications

After the installation all the site-* directories will be deleted and replaced by a single site with the chosen profile. Here we only will use the blank profile.

The htaccess.txt will be renamed to .htaccess (Only valid in Apache Server).

All these modifications all done automatically by the installer.php file.

Important Files and Directories

The following items are important. And should not be deleted.


This file enables the composer integration. Should not be deleted if you want to use that tool.


Holds the main script for ProcessWire. If you want to use ProcessWire functions and properties in another script you must include this file like this:




This directory contains all the core files. It should not be touched. Only for upgrading the core version.


All the files related to the site (templates, modules, logs, images) are organized in this directory.


Defines the routes and security rules for Apache. Do not delete if you use Apache.

Begin the Installation

Open your browser and navigate to your defined development directory. You should be welcomed by the ProcessWire installer. The first decision to make is selecting the desired profile. These profiles contain example code that you can explore further by your own. The profile we will use across this article is the Blank profile.

Profile Selection

Server Check

After selecting the desired profile, ProcessWire will check if your server is compatible with the minimum requirements. If something is missing you should check your server configuration and try again.

Server Checks

Database Config

If all the server requirements were met, now you will need to tell ProcessWire the database credentials (user, password, server address, server port) and optionally, the database charset and engine.

Database Config

Which engine is better, MyISAM or InnoDB?

The only reason ProcessWire doesn't default to InnoDB is because PW makes significant use of fulltext indexes, and InnoDB didn't support them until MySQL 5.6.4. If you want to use InnoDB just make sure that both your development and production environments support it before choosing the option.

While there are many benefits to InnoDB relative to MyISAM, it is admittedly rare in the ProcessWire world that we experience the relative drawbacks of MyISAM. But you'll likely notice real benefits from using InnoDB if working with a high traffic site that needs to perform a lot of saving of pages (whether automated, or from a team of people making edits at once). You might also see significant benefits on sites that need to do regular automated imports of data that update a lot of pages. Why? InnoDB doesn't need to lock the entire table in the way MyISAM does to perform such operations, so there's real potential for improved performance in these installations. For this reason, ProcessWire has always used InnoDB on certain tables (like those for user sessions). But now you can specify that ProcessWire should use InnoDB for all tables.

Be careful with the InnoDB selection because it could be a real problem if your development server is running MySQL 5.6.4 or newer, while your production server isn't. In such a case, the production server wouldn't be able to import the development server database.

Which charset is better, utf8 or utf8mb4?

To use utf8mb4 charset, you'll need MySQL 5.5.3 or newer. When in use, it enables ProcessWire to store 4-byte characters rather than just 3-byte characters as in utf8.

Why would you need utf8mb4 relative to utf8? Most probably don't, but there's been demand for it specific to some languages as utf8mb4 greatly expands the number of characters that can be represented. Outside of language needs, it's what would enable you to use emoji in ProcessWire, for instance.

Because utf8mb4 uses more bytes per character, it places new limits on the length of indexes used by ProcessWire. ProcessWire has several 255-character index lengths, and the maximum allowed by utf8mb4 are 250 with MyISAM and 191 using InnoDB (MySQL Prefixes can be up to 1000 bytes long with MyISAM and 767 bytes for InnoDB tables. Since utf8bm4 is up to 4 bytes the key length should be up to 250 chars 4 * 250 = 1000 bytes in MyISAM, and 191 chars in InnoDB 4 * 191 = 764 bytes). For this reason, all of the core Fieldtypes use no more than 250 length indexes in MyISAM or 191 length indexes in InnoDB in order to support utf8mb4. However, it's possible that 3rd party modules might be using index lengths that aren't compatible with utf8mb4, so this is something to keep in mind.

Like with the InnoDB selection, before using this option, you'll need to make sure that your MySQL versions are new enough between your development and production servers. Though since the requirements are for MySQL 5.5.3 or newer, chances are most will be okay here. However, because not many are currently using utf8mb4 support in ProcessWire, you should consider using it only if needed.


Modules and time related fields like $page->created use this timezone info for displaying date and time correctly. You should select the one that makes more sense for your need. The default value displayed in the installation depends on the php.ini setting value. Example date.timezone = "America/Santiago".

File Permissions

When ProcessWire creates directories or files, it assigns permissions to them. When you install ProcessWire, it performs a check to see if the install.php file is writable. If it is, then there's a good chance (though not a guarantee) that Apache runs as your user account. If it detects this, it will recommend the 755 permission for writable directories and 644 permission for writable files, as a starting point. This translates to directories and files that are writable only to you, but readable to everyone else.

If the installer populates 777 and 666 permissions, this translates to directories and files that are readable and writable to everyone, which is not a good scenario in shared environments. But without knowing more about the hosting environment, they may be the only permissions that we know for certain will enable ProcessWire to run. In either case, you should read the file permissions docs for more details.

Usually we only will need the default recommended values that are 755 permission for directories and 644 permission for files.

Host Names

What host names will this installation run on now and in the future?. You may also choose to leave this blank to auto-detect on each request, but we recommend using this whitelist for the best security in production environments.

The recommended choice is leaving it blank on development enviroments and only fill it when executing on production. If you leave values used in development (example localhost) in this list, some properties like $page->httpUrl could contain localhost addresses even when your are using your production enviroment. Also recommended is that you fill all the possible subdomains (, or you will get a warning message when you log in the admin panel.

Last Step

Finally the only configuration left is the administration url and admin user config. For additional security it's recommended that the Admin Login URL should be other than admin or processwire and more related to your site context. For example in a food related site the admin page could be called kitchen. Hiding your admin URL is a good practice. But if strong passwords are used, as they should be, there's no security problem with having a known admin URL either. It's recommended that you remove all the installation files and unused profiles.

Last Step

Reset Admin URL or Password

If you forgot your admin url or user you can set new values by putting a script inside a template or the site/ready.php file.

Reset Admin Password

$u = $users->get('admin'); // or whatever your username is
$u->pass = 'your-new-password';

Show Admin URL

echo wire('config')->urls->admin;

If you want to use a separated file instead. Create a file named reset.php in the same directory of index.php.


require "index.php";
$admin = wire('users')->get('admin');
$admin->set('pass', 'your-new-password');


ProcessWire versions 2.6.9 and up could also use this shorter form:



require "index.php";
$admin = $users->get('admin'); // or whatever your username is
$admin->setAndSave('pass', 'your-new-password');


Remember to delete those codes when the job is done.

Jobs Done

Congratulations!, you now have a fully functional ProcessWire site. You can now visit you admin url and start creating awesome sites. It's recommended on production enviroments that you config.php is configured with the correct permissions. (See File Permissions docs for more info).

Jobs Done

In the blank profile you will only see a Blank page with the Title Home.


The admin panel will look similar to the following image.


Installation Completed

The installation of a typical ProcessWire system is easy and short. There are many ways like using a custom made site-profile or using wireshell ( For the majority of the developers the previous step by step installation process will be good enough for their needs.

More Info

Special Thanks

I want to thank fbg13 for it's corrections in the PW Forums :)

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