Silverstripe without composer

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Version 4.5


i have a webspace without SSH access. The only access ways are FTP and PHPmyadmin. I want to use silverstripe as CMS but I am not sure if this is possible.

Is Silverstripe useable without composer? How can I install a module or make an update?

Thanks your any help!


The best way, in my opinion, is to set yourself up a local development environment on your own computer (with something like WAMP, MAMP, Docker, etc) and use composer locally to manage everything. You can then sync your files to the server using sFTP in the usual way.

Using composer makes everything a lot simpler! I don’t think I’d want to try and maintain a modern Silverstripe site without it.


In addition, I’d recommend you to use FTP Deployment for your sync needs. It’s working wonderfully for my use cases.

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Thanks a lot for the anwsers.

I will create a local development setup with composer. The first deployment ist all files with sFTP and the database with phpmyadmin.
And the further deployments? Can I deploy new local content without deleting old content already on the site?

My plan ist to start with a simple page template for a standard page. Then other persones of our homepagecrew can add content. In the meantime I will create an new page type for reports (text plus photo gallery). But if I deploy the whole thing again, all content ist gone, or not?
I am not sure, what is stored in the database and what is stored in the filesystem and how to sync everything between the server and my local develompent.

Sorry for my poor english - I am native austrian.

Thanks for any help and support!

Once upon a time we would actively support using Silverstripe CMS without composer. But since version 4 was released, I would say managing a project without composer would be impossible.

It’s not only that you would have to manually download all the Silverstripe dependencies, you would also need to get the third party dependencies we now rely on. You would also need to manually exposes JS, CSS and image files from modules.

In terms of deploying to an FTP-only hosting provider, the “develop the project locally and FTP the files to production” sounds like a good approach.

Thanks for your support.

I have a local site already with composer. Deploying the files via sFTP is also no problem.
But what should I do with the database? If I copy my local databse to the host, it will overwrite all data on the host. Or is this no problem?

There is no magic database merge functionality, so if you copy the database from local to remote you will likely overwrite any remote changes eventually done.

What I usually do is to copy the database from local to remote only the first time and, after that, I only (eventually) copy the database from remote to local when required. And the same goes for the assets directory.

Not sure how others deal with it, but I don’t see any other way around. And this issue arises from any deployment, not only from SilverStripe.