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June 5, 2013

TYPO3 demo websites

Category: Server Admin Team

By: Fabien Udriot

By this post, I wanted to give some insight related to which got recently overhauled. Demo sites deserve care and love as they are quite important for the community by giving a good idea of the potential of the product in a straightforward manner and offer the chance attracting new people. Those packages are also a good opportunity collecting best practices for TYPO3 products.

First of all, the landing page was updated which looks more convivial and displays a list of packages giving more choice to the visitor. As instance, the Government package existed long time ago but was never brought as demo website. Besides, a new Bootstrap package which was under preparation for some time was also made available as demo website. Some more explanations are given below about the approach and motivation.

How it works?

The server is installed by a Chef cookbook which allows automatic deployment and easy maintenance of the server. The recipe is available on Github.

There is, part of the Chef cookbook, a script running every hour which resets the entire website including files and database. The script is pretty simple: it will download, unpack, reset, restore everything needed for each package:

        # Download the package and unpack tarball

        # Remove database and old files before re-deploying new instance
        rm -rm /path/to/website
        mv bootstrap-package /path/to/website       

        # Automatically go through the installer

For more information, check out the detail on-line.

Eagle eyes will notice the use of Behat for installing the package. In short Behat is a BDD tool which is used for feature testing. In this particular case, Behat will automate the installation by going through the steps of the installation, as a human would do. The code was also made public on Github with the various scenarios. As instance, the Government package set-up script looks like this which is surprisingly simple.

A new TYPO3 CMS Package

The Bootsrap package has been added as demo website. The work started with the modernisation of our Dummy package we were using in our company Ecodev. Our choices for this package were:

  • Have Twitter Bootstrap as HTML / CSS Framework
  • Use as much as possible Fluid for the rendering and the templating. Actually, it turned out we have reached the 100% thanks to the work of Claus Due.
  • Keep folder fileadmin clean from TS / JS / CSS files which should be for storing media only (images, documents etc…)

We wanted not only a package to demonstrate the capability of TYPO3 but also something useful so that it should save us from the tedious and repeating work when kick-starting a new website. The result is pretty much promising. More important we have made everything public with the idea that it could benefit to other people.


I have been maintaining for more than a year and believing the stats it looks the service is quite visited and plays its role. Some notes were added at the button of the landing page making it easier reporting issues and encouraging contribution to the Forge project. For instance If you would like to have your own Package listed here demoing special features of a TYPO3 product, don't hesitate to open a ticket there.


Every package can be downloaded through It is particular handy when it comes about scripting and automated deployment of TYPO3. Moreover, by the means of the scenarios, it is even possible to go an additional step by fully automating the installation.

Happy testing!



comment #1
Gravatar: Charles Coleman Charles Coleman June 5, 2013 18:18
Did I miss something? Why should there be no CSS/JS/TS in fileadmin... I thought that was the traditional and recommended location for the templates folder used by current industry (almost) standard, Templavoila. Please explain...

comment #2
Gravatar: Philipp Gampe Philipp Gampe June 5, 2013 18:34
Maybe we should create a demo site for each LTS + latest stable. Should not be that hard.

Anyway, this is really cool and the foundation is rock solid in regards to new features and a reworked install tool - awesome.

comment #3
Gravatar: Philipp Gampe Philipp Gampe June 5, 2013 18:36
@Charles, this is considered bad practice since a while because it makes it hard to deploy a website properly. Also it exposes those files easily as you can guess their location.

The recommended way since a while is to create an own extension and to put everything you need into that one.

comment #4
Gravatar: Sven Teuber Sven Teuber June 7, 2013 12:36
Is there any place outside the mailing lists where those "official" recommendations / best practises are available and updated in a decent timeframe?

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