BoltWire is a FREE content management system written in PHP.

Its innovative architecture combined with best-in-class forms processing gives surprizing power in the tiniest of footprints.

Our software is ideal for creating complex, interactive, web applications fast...

Extending the Core

Documentation > Start Here > Extending the Core

Although BoltWire is amazingly robust right out of the box, there are times you may wish to give it new capabilities. Fortunately, this is easy to do.

There are several ready to use plugins, language files, skins, and more on our site that you can grab to add new capabilities to your engine's core. Click here for a full list of current extensions. You will also want to keep BoltWire updated to the most recent version, so you always have the latest features, patches, and fixes. For information about upgrading BoltWire, click here.

Listed below are some of the most common kinds of extensions.

Installing Plugins

Plugins fall into a number of different categories. Some are simple ready-to-use actions or forms others have developed using BoltWire's core functions. You simply cut and paste the markup into your page and they should start working immediately.

Others require a small php file to add some capability not in the core engine. To install one of these, drop the php file into your boltwire/shared/plugins folder. Once there it will be available to any site (field) sharing your installation (barn). If you only want it available to one specific field, put it in your field/config folder. To turn it on, go to your site.config page and add a line like the following to the bottom of the page:

enableBlog: blog*,main.blog

In this example, the Comment plugin is enabled sitewide. The Blog plugin is enabled only on blog pages and page main.blog. If your plugin requires additional steps (such as changing authorizations or site configuration), follow the instructions closely.

Some plugins come with a zip file of ready made pages designed to work with the new code. If so, simply extract the file and add the pages to the pages folder in your site (field), or in your boltwire/shared/pages folder. The first will only be available to that one site, the second to any site in your installation.

To disable a plugin, simply delete the appropriate entry from your site.config page, and delete any pages connected with the plugin that you no longer need.

If you know a bit of PHP, BoltWire makes it super easy for developers to write their own custom plugins. Here's a brief tutorial on the subject you may find helpful.

Installing Javascript

Javascript has several security issues, but it is also an extremely useful way to embed functionality in your site. Many sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google allow you to embed feeds, tweets, calendars, and more in your site by simply embedding a bit of Javascript. BoltWire has a simple but secure way to do this.

Copy the javascript snippet you need from the site and save it to a page with the name: code.embed.snippet_name and save. Code pages are used to store code, because they do not execute the code when the page is viewed or edited. Embed pages are special code pages you can retrieve into other sections of the site.

To display your snippet somewhere in your site, you just need to retrieve it with this markup:

[(embed snippet_name)]

Immediately your facebook feed or google calendar will display. That's all there is to it! There are also ways to embed code in the page header or body tag, and you can use the same approach to dynamically embed css. Using zones gives you even more flexibility. Check out the embed function in the handbook for more ideas.

Installing New Skins

BoltWire also offers a number of ready made skins you can add to your installation. And switching between skins is a snap.

First, download and extract the zip file for the skin you want and put it in your /boltwire/shared/skins folder. Each skin should come with a folder that contains an html and css page plus graphics and perhaps other files. If you correctly install the butterfly skin, for example, your installation would look something like this (plus any other skins you have):

Skins Folder
                         graphics, etc.

Once installed, a skin only needs to be turned on. Go to your site.config page, and change the skin parameter to the skin you want. In this case it should say "skin: butterfly". Save the change and your new skin will pop up immediately. To go back to the default skin, set "skin: default".

To create a new skin, model it on one of the existing skins, and drop the files into a folder with your new skin name. It's just that easy.

If you do not want a skin available to all your sites, you can create a skin folder in the field directory with all the graphics, scripts, stylesheets you wish, and then copy the code.skin pages to your pages directory. You will need to make sure all the paths in those pages point to the correct location.

For more information about developing your own skins, or about assigning skins dynamically using PHP, read this tutorial.

Installing a Language Pack

BoltWire can translate some parts of your site using a language file. Download one, and copy it to your boltwire/shared/pages directory. This makes it available to all your sites. Put the language file in your local pages folder, and it will be available to that one site only. The page should be named: site.language.some_name.

To turn a language on, go to site.config and set the language value to the language you want. See this tutorial for tips on how to set the language dynamically.

To create a new language doc, copy site.translate to site.language.some_name, add a translation for each term, and save. Move the file to your boltwire/shared/pages folder to make it available across your sites. Put it in your field pages directory to only make it available to one site. Upload it to the BoltWire extensions area to make it available to other users.

Premium Modules

Last but not least, BoltWire also offers a series of premium modules you can use to extend BoltWire. Some of the modules include:

Multi-Author Blogging
Chat & Instant Messaging
Newsletter Management
Advanced Member Tools
Social Media & RSS
Admin Dashboard

Each module is easy to install, supported, and optimized to work with BoltWire. And they are available at a small cost to help support the development of our software.


BoltWire gives you the best of both worlds. On the one hand, simple, intuitive markup and a flexible architecture that make web development easy. On the other, advanced tools, like conditionals, functions, and commands, that give you extraordinary capability. It's all designed to help you build something bold...

To learn more about some of the advanced features in BoltWire, please explore our handbook and/or our advanced tutorials.

This concludes our welcome tour! Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our software.