Grav - CMS with a difference

2 minute read

While I love Ghost as a blogging platform, it is not best placed for things other than blogs - after all that is the basic idea behind creation of this wonderful tool.

As I wanted to host a static website using tools that don’t require a database or rely on php, I went searching on interwebs. I came across a lot of options and the most popular one appears to be Jekyll and it’s variants (Nikola and such) but they require a lot of terminal activity which won’t go well for regular end user responsible for maintaining content of the static website in question.So I continued looking and came across this wonderful project called Grav.

Grav is super fast, very pretty and extremely easy to deploy and maintain. Additionally, it has very good documentation.

The key features that I absolutely loved are as below:

  1. Easy installation - * Easier than Ghost / Wordpress IMHO *
  2. Good help and documentation
  3. Responsive themes and skeletons
  4. Built-in Markdown Support and then some
  5. Lot of useful plugins
  6. Browser based admin page
  7. Active development
  8. Easy upgrade and back-up

My steps for installation:

  • Download a skeleton you fancy
  • Unzip the downloaded file into your server root and move it into a folder named grav:

    sudo unzip -d /var/www/html/
    cd /var/www/html/
    sudo mv grav-skeleton-appi-1.0.0/ grav/
  • Fix permissions (replace username with your user on the server. This is important to ensure files can be modified both from browser as well as from terminal. So create a bash file by issuing command nano and paste the following code in there.

    chown <username>:www-data .
    chown -R <username>:www-data *
    find . -type f | xargs chmod 664
    find ./bin -type f | xargs chmod 775
    find . -type d | xargs chmod 775
    find . -type d | xargs chmod +s
    umask 0002
  • Now make this bash file executable using chmod a+x

  • Finally run the bash file from within the grav directory:

    cd /var/www/html/grav/
    sudo bash /<>/
  • Open <server-ip-address>/grav from the browser and check your install is working
  • Once it is confirmed to be working, install admin plugin from terminal like so:

    /bin/gpm install admin
  • Open <server-ip-address>/grav/admin from the browser and create your admin login details

Working on Grav is an absolutely pleasing experience and the swift turnaround for a static website is phenomenal. Suffice to say, I hope that this project goes from strength to strength.


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