Shared Hosting Environment

Shared hosting environments are often quite limited about configuration and directory structure. Still in most cases you can run Yii 2.0 on these.

Deploying basic application

Since there's typically only one webroot it is recommended to use basic application template. Refer to Installing Yii chapter and install application template locally.

Add extras for webserver

If webserver used is Apache you'll need to add .htaccess file with the following content to web (where index.php is):

Options +FollowSymLinks
IndexIgnore */*

RewriteEngine on

# if a directory or a file exists, use it directly
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

# otherwise forward it to index.php
RewriteRule . index.php

In case of nginx you should not need any extra config files.

Renaming webroot

If after connecting to your shared hosting via FTP or by other means you're seeing something like the following, you're most probably lucky.


In the above www is webserver directory root (i.e. webroot). It could be named differently. Common names are: www, htdocs, public_html. Since we have webroot in our basic application template named web we need to rename it to whatever hosting webroot is before uploading.

FTP root directory is writeable

If you can write to the root level directory i.e. where config, logs and www are, just upload assets, commands etc. as is.

Check requirements

In order to run Yii hosting should meet its requirements. The very minimum requirement is PHP 5.4. In order to check the rest copy requirements.php from root directory into webroot directory and run it via browser using URL. Don't forget to delete the file afterwards.

Deploying advanced application

Deploying advanced application to shared hosting is a bit trickier than doing it with basic application because it has two webroots which shared hosting typically donesn't have. Because of that structure could be adjusted a bit.

Move entry scripts into single webroot

First of all we need a webroot directory. Name it the way it matches your hosting webroot as described in Renaming webroot above. Then create the following structure:


www will be our frontend directory so move contents of frontend/web into it. Do the same with backend/web moving its contents into www/admin. In each case you need to adjust paths in index.php and index-test.php.

Separate sessions and cookies

Originally backend and frontend are intended to run at different domains. When we're moving it all to the same domain it is starting to share the same cookies creating a clash. It order to fix it adjust backend application config backend/config/main.php like the following:

'components' => [
    'request' => [
        'csrfParam' => '_backendCSRF',
        'csrfCookie' => [
            'httpOnly' => true,
            'path' => '/admin',
    'user' => [
        'identityCookie' => [
            'name' => '_backendIdentity',
            'path' => '/admin',
            'httpOnly' => true,
    'session' => [
        'name' => 'BACKENDSESSID',
        'cookieParams' => [
            'path' => '/admin',