How to Install WonderCMS on FreeBSD 12

Updated on June 14, 2019
How to Install WonderCMS on FreeBSD 12 header image

WonderCMS is an open source, fast and small flat file CMS written in PHP. WonderCMS source code is hosted on Github. This guide will show you how to install WonderCMS on a fresh FreeBSD 12 Vultr instance with Nginx as a web server.


  • PHP version 7.1 or greater with the curl, mbstring and zip extensions.
  • Web server such as Apache with the mod_rewrite module enabled, Nginx or IIS. This guide will use Nginx.

Before you begin

Check the FreeBSD version.

uname -ro
# FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE

Ensure that your FreeBSD system is up to date.

freebsd-update fetch install
pkg update && pkg upgrade -y

Install the necessary packages.

pkg install -y sudo vim unzip wget bash socat git

Create a new user account with your preferred username (we will use johndoe).


# Username: johndoe
# Full name: John Doe
# Uid (Leave empty for default): 
# Login group [johndoe]: 
# Login group is johndoe. Invite johndoe into other groups? []: wheel
# Login class [default]: 
# Shell (sh csh tcsh nologin) [sh]: bash
# Home directory [/home/johndoe]: 
# Home directory permissions (Leave empty for default): 
# Use password-based authentication? [yes]: 
# Use an empty password? (yes/no) [no]: 
# Use a random password? (yes/no) [no]: 
# Enter password: your_secure_password
# Enter password again: your_secure_password
# Lock out the account after creation? [no]: 
# OK? (yes/no): yes
# Add another user? (yes/no): no
# Goodbye!

Run the visudo command and uncomment the %wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL line to allow members of the wheel group to execute any command.


# Uncomment by removing hash (#) sign
# %wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL

Now, switch to your newly created user with su.

su - johndoe

NOTE: Replace johndoe with your username.

Set up the timezone.

sudo tzsetup

Install PHP

Install PHP, as well as the necessary PHP extensions.

sudo pkg install -y php72 php72-curl php72-zip php72-mbstring php72-session php72-json php72-ctype php72-dom php72-hash php72-iconv php72-gd php72-openssl php72-simplexml php72-xml php72-zip php72-zlib php72-filter php72-ftp php72-tokenizer php72-calendar php72-phar php72-fileinfo

Check the version.

php --version
# PHP 7.2.15 (cli) (built: Feb 10 2019 01:13:27) ( NTS )
# Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
# Zend Engine v3.2.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies

Soft-link php.ini-production to php.ini.

sudo ln -s /usr/local/etc/php.ini-production /usr/local/etc/php.ini

Enable and start PHP-FPM.

sudo sysrc php_fpm_enable=yes
sudo service php-fpm start

Install Nginx

Install Nginx.

sudo pkg install -y nginx

Check the version.

nginx -v
# nginx version: nginx/1.14.2

Enable and start Nginx.

sudo sysrc nginx_enable=yes
sudo service nginx start

Run sudo vim /usr/local/etc/nginx/wondercms.conf and configure Nginx for WonderCMS.

server {
  listen 80;

  root /usr/local/www/wondercms;

  index index.php;

  location / {
    if (!-e $request_filename) {
      rewrite ^/(.+)$ /index.php?page=$1 last;
  location ~ database.js {
    return 403;

  location ~ \.php(/|$) {
    fastcgi_index index.php;
    include fastcgi_params;
    fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
    fastcgi_param SCRIPT_NAME $fastcgi_script_name;


Save the file and exit with Colon+W+Q.

Now we need to include the wondercms.conf file in the main nginx.conf file.

Run sudo vim /usr/local/etc/nginx/nginx.conf and add the following line to the http {} block.

include wondercms.conf;

Test the configuration.

sudo nginx -t

Reload Nginx.

sudo service nginx reload

Install WonderCMS

Create a document root directory.

sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/www/wondercms

Change ownership of the /usr/local/www/wondercms directory to johndoe.

sudo chown -R johndoe:johndoe /usr/local/www/wondercms

Navigate to the document root.

cd /usr/local/www/wondercms

Download the latest release and unzip it.


Move WonderCMS files to the document root directory.

mv wondercms/* . && mv  wondercms/.* .
rmdir wondercms

Change ownership of the /usr/local/www/wondercms directory to www.

sudo chown -R www:www /usr/local/www/wondercms

Open your site in a web browser and log in with the default password admin and change the default password afterward.