Grav: a Databaseless free Open-source WordPress Competitor

Grav is an open-source CMS and web publishing system which uses Flat-file to store content and data instead of a Database.

If you are familiar with WordPress, then you know it has a rich community, a vast extensions libraries, free and commercial and a numerous list of themes. The main reason was it is a user-friendly system and does not take much time or effort to install and run.

Grav CMS resembles WordPress in many aspects:

  1. Clean admin interface
  2. Multi-languages support
  3. Dozens of supported themes and extensions
  4. One-click installation for extensions and themes
  5. One-click upgrade
  6. Built-in SEO support
  7. and a powerful content editor

Unlike many flat-file CMSs, Grav also features a built-in simple backup and restore system which makes the process smooth and reliable.

A strong community of users and developers is what makes  WordPress popular, but so as Grav. Because, it features a developer-friendly API for building themes and plugins as well as a rich documentation, community developers keep post new  themes, extensions and upgrades.

Grav Features

  1. Easy to setup, configure and upgrade
  2. Built-in backup and restore system
  3. Built-in statistics
  4. Full-featured dashboard
  5. User login with automatic password hashing
  6. One click upgrade
  7. WYSIWYG editor
  8. Markdown editor
  9. One-click theme setup and upgrade
  10. Page and posts creation, editing, deleting, duplicate and copy
  11. Media support: file upload and download
  12. Syntax highlighting
  13. Theme manager
  14. Plugins manager
  15. ACL for admin user access
  16. 2-Factor Authentication
  17. Comments with advanced comments' manager
  18. Caching engine
  19. one-click cache reset button
  20. Logs and reporting
  21. Scheduler

Extend Grav with plugins

Grav has an impressive long list of plugins and many of them are officially tested and released by Grav team. Most of them are essentials in any website which we highly recommend.

However, you may consider checking and using the official plugins first before the community ones, as some of unofficial community plugins crashed the site (which was the reason why switched to another system).

Here is a list of some useful official plugins created by Grav team:

  1. RSS Feed
  2. CDN
  3. Custom CSS
  4. Archives
  6. CORS
  7. Custom HTTP headers
  8. Data manager
  9. DNS Block List
  10. GitHub integration
  11. GitHub Sync manager
  12. Images Lightbox
  13. Lightbox gallery
  14. Instagram feed
  15. Login LDAP
  16. Auth2 Login
  17. Page ToC (Table-of-Content)
  18. Related pages
  19. Search
  20. Revisions
  21. Maintenance Mode

Install Grav CMS in a few mins on DigitalOcean

Before I install Automad, one week ago, I had a good smooth run with Grav, I really like how it takes control of everything starting from configuration, content management and backup. It took less than 4 mins to get it up and running at a DigitalOcean Server.

All is required is having your Docterfile ready, we recommend using the official image:

  1. Clone the repo
  2. Build the image docker build -t grav:latest .
  3. Run your Grav image with the latest Grav Admin docker run -p 8000:80 grav:latest
  4. Optional: If you want to run it with a custom volume: docker run -d -p 8000:80 --restart always -v grav_data:/var/www/html grav:latest
  5. Head to http://localhost:8000 and create your first admin account.

Don't forget to configure your Ngnix and domain SSL.


Grav is an open-source project released and distributed under MIT license.


Grav is a features-rich CMS solution for enterprise and individuals. It is highly customizable, extensible and modular. Moreover, it has a large supportive community.

Without database, you don't need to worry about SQL injection, malicious plugins  or other issues of using a popular software like WordPress as a target.



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