Getting Wolf CMS installed on your server or hosting package involves a number of steps. Fortunately, the steps are fairly simple and are applicable to most hosting providers.

(Most of the steps below are illustrated in this 4m45s video, also available on YouTube, which demonstrates how to install Wolf CMS (0.7.3) with mySQL as the database on localhost.)

Creating a database

Wolf CMS depends on a database being available. Creating one yourself1 or having one created for you depends on your exact environment or hosting provider and is beyond the scope of this document.

For our installation purposes, we will assume that you can or already have created a database for use by Wolf CMS.


If you are using MySQL, it is probably best to have the db prepared before proceeding with the rest of the installation instructions. You will need to know:

  • The database name
  • The database username
  • The database user password

If your specific environment differs from what Wolf CMS expects, you may additionally need to know:

  • The database server name or IP address
  • The database server port number

Make sure that your database is using a Unicode collation type (e.g. utf8_general_ci).

SQLite 3

If you are using SQLite, it is probably best to create the db during the Wolf install process. Wolf's installation screen will suggest a location and filename for your db outside the Wolf directory structure. You will need to create the folder/file that the Wolf install screen recommends, or alternatively, another one of your own choosing.

In any case, this needs to be an absolute path, with full write permissions for Wolf to be able to use it. Ensure this has been done before proceeding to the final "Install" step.

Uploading the software

After having retrieved the Wolf CMS software from our download pages, you will need to copy it to your webserver. Unzip the package in the appropriate directory on your server.

This will usually be a www or public_html directory or a subdirectory of that. Wolf CMS is quite happy to work inside a subdirectory.


If you want to use clean URLs (e.g. no "?" in the URL), then you will have to:

  1. Rename _.htaccess to .htaccess
  2. Update, if necessary, the RewriteBase parameter in the .htaccess


For installations in the root of your site (e.g. the RewriteBase entry should be /, for installations within a sub-directory (e.g. this should be /my-wolfcms/.

Use of magic_quotes_gpc

It is highly recommended to switch off magic_quotes_gpc since this feature is deprecated starting PHP 5.3 and will removed starting PHP 5.4. If it is not already turned off by the server operator, you can try to do this in the .htaccess file by adding a line php_flag magic_quotes_gpc off.

Many servers are configured to not allow changing settings using .htaccess and the install will fail.


Your hosting provider may allow the use of a custom php.ini to add this setting as magic_quotes_gpc off. If using such a custom php.ini file produces a blank screen, you should contact your hosting provider to inquire how to disable the magic quotes feature.

Running the install routine

After you have copied the files onto your webserver, you will need to run the installation routine.

  1. Open your browser and go to the root of your Wolf CMS installation. An automatic redirect should take you to the /wolf/install/ section of your new site.
  2. Answer all the questions after reviewing them carefully.

After finishing the installation, you will get a message that includes a link to the admin section of your new site. That page also shows you the administrator's username and generated password.

Post install steps

A number of post installation steps are required and/or advised for you to do. These will help secure your Wolf CMS installation.

  • Delete the /install and /docs directories.
  • Remove all of the write permissions for the config.php file.2
  • Run the security check to determine any other steps you might need to take.

You can now login with the administrator's username and generated password which was displayed on the post installation confirmation page.


You should always change your administrator's password to something private and secure!


You may optionally also wish to change the location of your admin section to further enhance the security of your new Wolf CMS website. Please see the optional post-install configuration section below.

  1. If you are using mySQL for your db, phpMyAdmin is a good tool for this. 

  2. Removing the write permissions from config.php is a mandatory security measure & Wolf CMS will refuse to execute until you do this. 

Optional post-install configuration

Renaming admin area url

The default path to the administration backend for Wolf CMS is
however, that can be changed with a minor change in the configuration file.

For our example purposes, we will change our path from /admin/ to /system/.

  1. Temporarily make your config.php file writable and open it.
  2. Find and edit the following entry: define('ADMIN_DIR', 'admin');
  3. Now change the value admin to system.
  4. Save the changes and remove the write permissions again.

Now your administration area will be available at


Do not rename the .../wolf/admin folder. The administration area uses a virtual url path. This is configured through the ADMIN_DIR setting.