Quick start

Nesta is written in Ruby, and you'll need a copy of Ruby installed in order to use it. Ruby comes pre-installed on Apple Macs and is available for Linux. It's easy to install, but if you'd like a bit of extra help have a read through our article on Installing Nesta with RVM.

These instructions have been written for people using Linux or a Mac. If you're using Windows you'll need to substitute mr-sparkle for rackup as mr-sparkle doesn't run on Windows.

When setting up a typical CMS you install it on your server, then use your browser to login via the admin interface in order to start editing your content and designing your layout. Nesta is different; you get a copy of your site running on your own computer first, and then deploy to a web server when it's ready. So let's get on with installing it on your computer...


Begin by using the gem command to install Nesta and Bundler (don't type the $ characters; they represent your command prompt):

$ gem install bundler
$ gem install nesta

Create a new folder to contain your new website (in this example the folder will be called mysite.com, but you can call it anything you like):

$ nesta new mysite.com

If you intend to use git to version your changes, add the --git switch:

$ nesta new mysite.com --git
$ cd mysite.com
$ bundle

If you were to start Nesta up now you'd have a working web site, without any content. That's no fun -- let's get something to read.

The demo site

Nesta comes with a small demo site that you can have a play with to get yourself going. It's stored in a Git repository (so you'll need git installed). Install it into your project with:

$ cd mysite.com
$ nesta demo:content

The site will be downloaded into the content-demo folder.

Browse your new website

Fire up your web server...

$ bundle exec mr-sparkle config.ru

...and have a look at your new site: http://localhost:8080/.

Now what?

You can experiment by editing the files in the content-demo/pages folder. When you're ready to start on your own site you'll be better off if you leave the content-demo folder behind and make your pages in the content folder. You'll also need to edit the config/config.yml file to tell Nesta that it should be looking in content, rather than content-demo.

Why not: