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Tutorial: Install the latest versions of a set of ProcessWire modules at once

Once you've built a couple of websites with it, a set of your own personal must-have modules emerges.

For me, such a module and always the first install of the day is Soma's MarkupSimpleNavigation. But there's also MarkupSitemapXML. And so on. Depending on your usage of ProcessWire, the type of pages you build with PW or your customers, your set of modules may differ.

Installing modules and functionalities that you'll need in most instances should be an automated and easy process. ProcessWire itself offers a range of possibilities to do so.

First, there is installation via ClassNames: In Backend, chose "Modules", then "New" and paste or type in the class name the desired module established in the PW ecosystem, for example LoginPersist. From that point on, the particular module gets downloaded and installed within two clicks and just a matter of seconds. Rinse and repeat until your starter module set is complete, but be sure to memorize or note the correct class names.

Secondly, you can create an own starter site profile with your modules in it. This not only gives you the means to bootstrap in a module related way but also many possibilities for template and field groundwork. But a disadvantage (on the module site) remains: Unless you control and update all the modules in your site profile, only certain, possibly outdated versions will be installed - and you have to manually update them afterwards.

Some terminal output

For my last few projects I found a third way: Bundling all starter/must-have modules together in a git repo, using the modules as git submodules. After ProcessWire installation on my local machine, I just clone this bundle and recursively pull every module's master to its latest commit. An example (with my set of starter modules):

cd site/modules && git clone --recursive git@github.com:marcus-herrmann/ProcessWire-BootstrapModuleSet.git && cd ProcessWire-BootstrapModuleSet && git pull --recurse-submodules

What does this code do? At first, let's assume you've navigated via the terminal to you ProcessWire's installation root folder. Afterwards, these steps follow:

  1. Change directory to module folder
  2. Clone your bundle repo
  3. Change directory to the folder created by aforementioned bundle repo clone
  4. Pull all submodules to their latest commit

That's all. After you've created your own module bundle repo, you can even create a shell alias for this and accellerate the process even more:

alias getpwstartmodules='cd site/modules && git clone --recursive git@github.com:marcus-herrmann/ProcessWire-BootstrapModuleSet.git && cd ProcessWire-BootstrapModuleSet && git pull --recurse-submodules'

I possibly may have reinvented the wheel. But at least I haven't yet found such a way for CMS kickstarting before (apart from maybe pure bred package managers such as npm and composer). But if a better solution exists, please do not hesitate to drop a comment here in the blog, or ping me at @_marcusherrmann on twitter. :)