How to Setup WonderCMS on Ubuntu with Nginx and PHP 7.2-FPM

For those who want to setup WonderCMS with Nginx and PHP 7.2-FPM support, the steps below should be a great place to start. Our previous post showed students and new users how to configure WonderCMS with Apache2 HTTP and PHP 7.2 support.

WonderCMS is a fast, responsive, single flat file CMS (Content Management System) built with PHP and jQuery, allowing users to create websites without the need of a separate database. It offers features that may not be available to other PHP based CMS, like WordPress Joomla or Drupal.

For one, it doesn’t need a database server, call it database-less CMS. It also provides native markdown WYSIWYG support, SEO friendly, flexible CSS framework with no installation required.

For more about WonderCMS, please check it homepage.

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to install WonderCMS on Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.10 / 18.04 LTS with Nginx and PHP 7.2-FPM support.

When you’re ready to get WonderCMS working, continue with the steps below:

Step 1: Install Nginx HTTP Server on Ubuntu

Nginx HTTP Server is probably the second most popular web server in use. so install it, since WonderCMS needs it.

To install Nginx HTTP on Ubuntu server, run the commands below.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nginx

After installing Nginx, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable Nginx service to always start up with the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop nginx.service
sudo systemctl start nginx.service
sudo systemctl enable nginx.service

To test Nginx setup, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address and you should see Nginx default test page as shown below. When you see that, then Nginx is working as expected.

Step 2: Install PHP 7.2-FPM and Related Modules

PHP 7.2-FPM may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories for some systems. if you need it, you will have to get it from third-party repositories.

Run the commands below to add the below third party repository to upgrade to PHP 7.2-FPM

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.2-FPM

sudo apt update

Next, run the commands below to install PHP 7.2 and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.2-fpm php7.2-common php7.2-mbstring php7.2-xmlrpc php7.2-sqlite3 php7.2-soap php7.2-gd php7.2-xml php7.2-cli php7.2-curl php7.2-zip

After installing PHP 7.2, run the commands below to open PHP default config file for Nginx.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.2/fpm/php.ini

Then make the changes on the following lines below in the file and save. The value below are great settings to apply in your environments.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
memory_limit = 256M
upload_max_filesize = 100M
cgi.fix_pathinfo = 0
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

After making the change above, save the file and close out.

Step 3: Restart Nginx

After installing PHP and related modules, all you have to do is restart Nginx to reload PHP configurations.

To restart Nginx, run the commands below

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Step 4: Download WonderCMS Latest Release

Next, visit WonderCMS site and download the latest package. or run the commands below to download WonderCMS pckages from github.

After downloading, run the commands below to extract the downloaded file and move it into a new WonderCMS root directory. After that, change into WonderCMS root directory to install PHP required packages.

cd /var/www/html/
sudo apt install git
sudo git clone 

Then run the commands below to set the correct permissions for WonderCMS to function properly.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/wondercms/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/wondercms/

Step 5: Configure Nginx WonderCMS Site

Finally, configure Nginx configuration file for WonderCMS. This file will control how users access WonderCMS content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called wondercms

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/wondercms

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted line with your own domain name and directory root location.

server {
    listen 80;
    listen [::]:80;
    root /var/www/html/wondercms;
    index  index.php index.html index.htm;

     client_max_body_size 100M;

    location ~ database.js {
	return 403;

      autoindex off;

     location / {
	  if (!-e $request_filename) {
		rewrite ^/(.+)$ /index.php?page=$1 last;

    location ~ \.php$ {
         include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
         fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
         fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
         include fastcgi_params;

Save the file and exit.

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below

Step 6: Enable the WonderCMS Site and Rewrite Module

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below, then restart Nginx server.

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/wondercms /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Restart Nginx

sudo systemctl restart nginx.service

Next, open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address and you should see WonderCMS page. Login and change your password.

WonderCMS ubuntu install


WonderCMS is a databaseless flat file content management system. Its structure allowed you to have just the amount of functionality you needed in a flat file CMS solution, adding extensions (blade packs) for further functionality, whilst allowing setup on simple servers with no database.