Version 4 supported
This version of Silverstripe CMS is still supported though will not receive any additional features. Go to documentation for the most recent stable version.

Directory structure


The directory-structure in Silverstripe is built on "convention over configuration", so the placement of some files and directories is meaningful to its logic.

Core structure

public/Webserver public webroot
public/assets/Images and other files uploaded via the Silverstripe CMS. You can also place your own content inside it, and link to it from within the content area of the CMS.
public/assets/.protected/Default location for protected assets
public/_resources/Exposed public files added from modules. Folders within this parent will match that of the source root location (this can be altered by configuration).
vendor/Silverstripe modules and other supporting libraries (the framework is in vendor/silverstripe/framework)
themes/Standard theme installation location

Custom code structure

We're using app/ as the default folder. Note that until Silverstripe 4.2, this directory was named mysite/, and PHP code was stored in a code/ rather than src/ folder.

app/This directory contains all of your code that defines your website.
app/_configYAML configuration specific to your application
app/srcPHP code for model and controller (subdirectories are optional)
app/testsPHP Unit tests
app/templatesHTML templates with *.ss-extension for the $default theme
app/cssCSS files
app/imagesImages used in the HTML templates
app/javascriptJavaScript and other script files
app/clientMore complex projects can alternatively contain frontend assets in a common client folder
app/themes/<yourtheme>Custom nested themes (note: theme structure is described below)

Arbitrary directory-names are allowed, as long as they don't collide with existing modules or the directories lists in "Core Structure". Here's how you would reconfigure your default folder to myspecialapp.

# myspecialapp/_config/config.yml
Name: myspecialapp
    project: 'myspecialapp'

Check our JavaScript Coding Conventions for more details on folder and file naming in Silverstripe core modules.

Themes structure

themes/simple/Standard "simple" theme
themes/<yourtheme>/Custom theme base directory
themes/<yourtheme>/templatesTheme templates
themes/<yourtheme>/cssTheme CSS files

See themes.

Module structure

Modules are commonly stored as composer packages in the vendor/ folder. They need to have a _config.php file or a _config/ directory present, and should follow the same conventions as posed in "Custom Site Structure".

Example Forum:

vendor/silverstripe/blog/This directory contains all of your code that defines your website.
vendor/silverstripe/blog/codePHP code for model and controller (subdirectories are optional)

Note: Before Silverstripe 4.x, modules were living as top-level folders in the webroot itself. Some modules might not have been upgraded to support placement in vendor/.

Module documentation

Module developers can bundle developer documentation with their code by producing plain text files inside a 'docs' folder located in the module folder. These files can be written with the Markdown syntax (see Contributing Documentation) and include media such as images or videos.

Inside the docs/ folder, developers should organise the markdown files into each separate language they wish to write documentation for (usually just en). Inside each languages' subfolder, developers then have freedom to create whatever structure they wish for organising the documentation they wish.

Example Blog Documentation:

vendor/silverstripe/blog/docs/_manifest_excludeEmpty file to signify that Silverstripe does not need to load classes from this folder
vendor/silverstripe/blog/docs/en/English documentation
vendor/silverstripe/blog/docs/en/index.mdDocumentation homepage. Should provide an introduction and links to remaining docs
vendor/silverstripe/blog/docs/en/Getting_Started.mdDocumentation page. Naming convention is Uppercase and underscores.
vendor/silverstripe/blog/docs/en/_images/Folder to store any images or media
vendor/silverstripe/blog/docs/en/Some_Topic/You can organise documentation into nested folders. Naming convention is Uppercase and underscores.
vendor/silverstripe/blog/docs/en/04_Some_Topic/00_Getting_Started.mdStructure is created by use of numbered prefixes. This applies to nested folders and documentations pages, should not have a prefix.


Silverstripe recursively detects classes in PHP files by building up a manifest used for autoloading, as well as respecting Composer's built-in autoloading for libraries. This means in most cases, you don't need to worry about include paths or require() calls in your own code - after adding a new class, simply regenerate the manifest by using a flush=1 query parameter. See the "Manifests" documentation for details.

Best practices

Making /assets readonly

See Secure coding