A Story

For a long time, you’ve had PHP running directly off your computer. You’ve had some combination of MySQL and Apache running too, all of them set up and working, but you have no idea how. Maybe they were already installed on your computer.

Everything’s plodding along until one day, your host emails you to say they’re upgrading you to PHP 5.5. You know you should test your code to make sure nothing breaks, but you have no idea how to change it. You try to follow a guide online by typing out the cryptic commands, but it never works for you.

Weird errors start popping up on your live site. Warnings about things that you don’t get locally. Obscure bugs caused by something out of your control.

You’ve heard about this thing called “Vagrant”, so you try setting that up. Problem is, you don’t know the workings of Linux system administration. You try an existing project, but give up after waiting 30 minutes for it to set up.

Enter Chassis.


Chassis has a few important philosophies that guide it:

  1. Chassis is designed for everyone

    Developers may be at home on the command line, but not everyone is. Regardless of your skill set, Chassis should be able to get you from nothing to a working WordPress install. More than that, if you’re working on a project with a team, it should be able to get you set up to work on the project with minimal fuss.

  2. Chassis cannot be everything to everyone

    We follow a minimalistic philosophy with Chassis. While some projects like VVV include basically every tool you might need, we only include the essential tools needed to run WordPress.

    We believe that if you’re selling a flashlight, you should sell it with batteries included, but without the rest of the hardware store. Of course, if you want the other tools, we’ve included a flexible extension system to allow grabbing the rest.

    As a side-effect, this means Chassis is fast. The current initial boot time (after a fresh clone) is under 3 minutes.

  1. Chassis should be invisible

    Once you’ve set up Chassis, we want to make sure we’re out of your way as much as possible.

    You should never need to think about how Chassis works, or how to set up databases, or adding host entries for DNS. We take care of all of this for you. The exact way that we set up and run the server shouldn’t matter to you, unless you want to dive in and customise it.

    We also never touch your codebase. Chassis keeps your plugins/themes in a content/ directory and allows you to add extra configuration in this directory. However, we never touch this directory, allowing you to feel completely safe while using Chassis.