BoltWire is a FREE content management system written in PHP.

Its innovative architecture combined with best-in-class forms processing makes it ideal for creating complex, interactive, web applications fast...

Welcome Tour

Installing BoltWire
Working with Pages
Changing Site Layout
Formatting Content
Advanced Features
Forms and Actions
Extending the Core

Welcome Tour

Installing BoltWire

Ready to give BoltWire a try? The directions below will walk you through what you need to do to get started.

How BoltWire Works

Web pages live on special computers called webservers. When you purchase webspace from a webhosting company, they allow you to place your website on their webservers, so people can access it. This is how your site becomes a part of the world wide web.

BoltWire is written in a scripting language called PHP that only works on a webserver. Most servers have PHP already installed--so to get your site going, you just need to get some webspace, and put BoltWire in it.

To transfer files, you will need an FTP program. (Like FileZilla). Basically, it allows you to drag files from your computer to your webspace and vice versa. Your webhosting company can give you exact instructions on how to do this.

If you want to run BoltWire on a home computer, you will need to install a local webserver. BoltWire cannot run without this. Here's how to do this on Windows. And here is how on a Mac.

Many like to develop their site on a home computer and then use an FTP program to move the site to their webspace once they get it how they want. Similarly, you can update your site offline, and then copy over your changes all at once when they are finished.

If you do not want to bother with setting up your own webserver, just upload BoltWire directly to your webspace and you can start building sites immediately.


BoltWire is made available as a simple zip file. Just click the link in our downloads area, and the file should copy to your computer. When you extract the files, you will see a folder called 'boltwire', with several files and subfolders within it. Move this folder to your root web directory. Usually, it is a folder called HTDOCS or WWW depending on your server. If you are putting it online, use your FTP program to transfer it. Online, the root web directory may be called PUBLIC_HTML or something similar.

All you need to do to install BoltWire is extract it and put it in the right place!

Your First Site

To create your first site, open your browser and navigate to the start.php file inside the 'boltwire' directory. If you are doing it offline, try http://localhost/boltwire/start.php. If you are doing it online, go to

If everything is working properly you should see a screen that says "Welcome to BoltWire" and a request to enter a system password. You should enter a password immediately to prevent others from creating sites on your server--and jot your password down so you don't forget it.

Once your system password is saved, you can begin creating websites. Enter a simple site name, like 'mysite' or 'test'. Click "Yes" for encryption if want member passwords encrypted. Unencrypted passwords can be easily retrieved and reset. Encrypted passwords are more secure. You can not change this option easily, so choose carefully. You can also choose something beside 'admin' for your superadmin account.

There is also an option to create a .htaccess file for cleanURL's on your site, and/or a primary domain forwarder. Compare the two urls below. The .htaccess file will allow you to use urls like the first one, and have them work as if you typed in the second one. These shorter urls are called cleanurls. Read the tutorial here for more information.

The primary domain forwarder is a simple index.html file placed in your root directory, allowing users to type in, and have it automatically forward them to Obviously, this domain forwarder can only be assigned to point to one site.

Next, click 'Create Site'. If everything goes right, you will see a confirmation page saying your site has been created, with a link to your new site. Click the link and get building! That's all there is to it...

Check it Out

When you first visit your new site, BoltWire should create all the needed files and folders automatically. The link should look like If you are using BoltWire offline, try http://localhost/mysite/index.php.

Your first task should be to register and password protect the member account you assigned superadmin powers, to prevent someone else from gaining control of that account--and the site. Just click the register link at the top of your new site, and enter "admin" (or the admin id you chose) and a password for that user. You will be logged in and ready to go!

If you use your file manager or ftp program to explore your webspace, you will see a new folder has just been created with the site name you entered, side by side with the 'boltwire' directory. This folder has all the files specific to your new site. To create additional sites, just go back to the start.php script and enter a new site name. You can run as many sites off your BoltWire installation as you wish. For information about alternative ways of structuring your installation, read the tutorial on Farms and Fields.

Site Settings & Configuration

There are several special pages in your new site which control how things work. One of these is called code.settings. One of the first things you will want to do is visit this page and begin modifying it. You can change the site name, your slogan, identify a webmaster, change site colors, and more. You can learn more about these system variables here.

Another page you may wish to visit is site.config. This page controls many configuration variables. Usually the default values work fine, but there are dozens of options you can configure here. See this tutorial for more information.

Publishing Your Site

If you are running your site offline, no one will be able to see it but you. To publish it to the world, you need to copy it to your webserver. Because BoltWire does not require databases or any special programming languages (other than PHP) just transfer your files over using FTP, and your site should start working immediately. Hello world!

If you want to make a backup of your live site, simply use your FTP program to download a copy of everthing on your server. If something happens on your server, you can upload your backup or any part of it you need. Everything is instantly restored. Be careful about not overwriting files you do not want to change.

If your webhosting company allows addon domains, ask them for instructions about how to point each domain name you own to the corresponding site folder.

Lastly, if you have any troubles getting your installation to work, try this troubleshooting page. Or post a question on our Support Area. Someone will be happy to help.