Bolt CMS is an open source project started in 2012 and uses latest Web 3.0 tech for developers and front end engineers to create fast functional sites.

It strives to be as simple and straightforward as possible. It is quick to set up, easy to configure, uses elegant templates, and above all: it’s a joy to use. Bolt is created using modern Open Source libraries, and is best suited to build sites in HTML5, with modern markup.

It also has a choice of databases and is not restricted to just one. In addition to the default SQLite install, there is an option to use either MySQL or PostgreSQL easily by editing the /app/config/config.yml file before installation.

It is installed locally via composer and serves the files from the public folder. With this in mind its probably best to install with composer then move all the files out in to the root folder, just altering the document root in Apache Virtual Host config file by adding “public” to the path. (That’s what I did).

You can also try it using the online tool available at Bolt with a few themes to play around with, and this will serve your test site using a Docker container for a few hours.

So what are the advantages of using Bolt over others?


Bolt isn’t blown with lots of features you dont need. It has a “Do it as extension” principle which leads to a cleaner CMS core and more specialized extensions.


Bolt is very high performance, thanks to its light and optimized database queries. It also comes with an built-in cache system which can be used to cache generated thumbnails and even whole requests.


Bolt uses composer packages like Silex and Symfony components to ensure quality and stability.


Bolt is written in object-orientated PHP, which leads to clean and maintainable code.


Bolt depends on highly adopted PHP packages to ensure the most possible security and fast bugfixes. It is not as heavily targeted by hackers as WordPress, so is easier to keep secure.


Bolt has this concept of ContentTypes, which will let you define everything on your own. Each ContentTypes you create gets its own database table with all the columns you define. This leads also in a much cleaner and less bloated database.

Better Templating

Bolt uses Twig by default. It’s easy to use for beginners and provides good documentation. It also leads to cleaner templates because you can’t do dirty hacks as with vanilla PHP.

There are lots of other advantages over WordPress but these are definitely the most important ones.

Whilst WordPress is a very mature and well supported CMS now, and has a ton of features, especially with the recent addition of the Rest API, there is definitely room for another CMS depending on the type of site you want to build, and Bolt is without question a good option to consider on some occasions.

You can get themes and extensions from the Bolt Store or you can create your own using Twig templates.

Below is an example theme called spatial.

And below is the admin backend as installed at local Virtual Host.

So give it try, I don’t think you will be disappointed at all with Bolt CMS.

Author: Paul Anthony McGowan

Web Technology & Linux Enthusiast, Javascript Afficiado, General Observer Of World Corruption. Builder Of A Variety Of Web Properties And Campaigner Against Serious Government Criminality. Founder of Vorteasy

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