Best Practices - Mura Docs v6

Best Practices

The "Default" Site

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is: "Should I use the Default site or create a new one when deploying a site in Mura?" We consider not using the Default site at all as a "best-practice" for deploying sites in Mura. There's a number of reasons for this.

The primary issue is when creating a new site in Mura, it literally copies the Default directory for the new site. Because of this, we recommend keeping your Default site updated and always create a new site for any new deployments, even if it's the only site in your Mura installation.

Alternatively, if you need an easy way to deploy sites that must have their own codebase, customizing the Default site and using it as a master is a completely valid approach. Keep in mind that sites in Mura can share resources and operate off the same "includes" directory, making it possible to maintain code in a single place.


Mura CMS can update it's own software using the "auto-update" feature. Just to be clear, auto-update does not mean that it will update itself whenever a bug fix has been found, or if a new feature has been added. Auto-update means that it can update itself, when you ask it to do so.

Since Mura CMS is an open source project, updates can occur at anytime. Sometimes, days can pass without any updates, and other times, several updates can occur throughout the day. So it's best to come up with an internal strategy on how your organization would like to keep the software up-to-date.

Tip: Before performing any kind of update, please be sure to back up the Mura installation. This includes all files and even the database. If possible, we recommend testing the update on either a "Dev" or "Staging" server before doing this in a production environment.

Software updates are broken up into two distinct types:

  1. Core Updates
    1. "Core" refers to the essential directories and files of Mura that make it run. Pretty much anything that's not a site directory or plugin would be considered "core." For example, the admin and requirements directories are definitely "core" areas of Mura.
  2. Site Updates
    1. "Site" refers to the directories and files located directly beneath any "SiteID." However, site updates will not touch any directories or files located beneath the "themes" directory. See the Staying on the Upgrade Path section for details.

Update Core Files

To update the Core files, follow these steps:

  1. From the global utility navigation, select Settings > Update Mura Core

  2. When completed, Mura will display a confirmation and a listing of all the files that have been updated.

Update Site Files

You can update your core files and not update your site files without issue. If you have customizations in a site and everything is working just fine, don't feel compelled to keep your site files up-to-date. There may be times when it makes sense to update your site, such as wanting to take advantage of updated functionality, but it's absolutely OK not to.

Tip: Always update your CORE files BEFORE updating your site. Otherwise, you will most likely run into issues since site updates may be dependent on the existence of core functionality.

In Mura, you have a couple of ways to update your site files. To update your site files, choose one of the following options:

  1. One Site at a Time
    1. From the primary admin navigation, select Site Config > Edit Site

    2. On the Site Settings Screen, select Update Site Files to Latest Version

    3. When completed, Mura will display a confirmation message and a listing of the site files that were updated.

  2. Multi-Site
    1. To perform updates on more than one site at a time, select Settings > Global Settings from the global utility navigation.

    2. Select all, or click the checkbox next to each site you wish to include in the multi-site update process.

    3. When finished, Mura will display a confirmation message and a summary count of the files that were updated. It will not, however, provide a complete listing of files that were included like it does for the "One Site at a Time" method.