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how to run strapi
User Experience

Here Is How To Run Strapi For Your Project

18 April 2024 by Daria Andrieieva

In today's fast-paced digital world, choosing the right Content Management System (CMS) is crucial for efficient content management and delivery. Learning how to run Strapi, an open-source headless CMS, is rapidly gaining popularity due to its flexibility, developer-friendliness, and ability to integrate seamlessly with various front-end frameworks. 

Join Kapsys as we explore how to run Strapi for your project, covering everything from initial setup to deployment, and ensuring you make the most of this powerful tool.


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What is Strapi?

Before getting into how to run Strapi, let's briefly discuss what Strapi is. Strapi is a Node.js-based open-source headless CMS. It is designed to work as the backend for web and mobile applications, providing RESTful or GraphQL APIs that can be consumed by any client that can connect to an HTTP endpoint. 

Unlike traditional CMSs like WordPress, Strapi allows developers to choose their tools and frameworks for the front end while managing the content through a customizable admin panel.

Read: Why Strapi CMS Is A Popular Choice For Developers

What is Strapi

Why Choose Strapi?

Learning how to run Strapi for your project can be beneficial for several reasons:

  • Flexibility: As a headless CMS, Strapi allows you to use your favorite front-end tools and frameworks.

  • Scalability: Being based on Node.js, it handles numerous simultaneous connections efficiently.

  • Community and Support: Strapi has a large community of developers and a wealth of plugins which can extend its functionality.

  • Customizability: You can modify the admin panel, APIs, and database queries to suit your needs.

Key Features to Know About

Learning how to run Strapi comes packed with essential features, making it a preferred choice for developers looking to build modern, flexible, and scalable applications. Here are some of the critical features of Strapi that you should know about:

Flexible content management

Exploring how to run Strapi, you can easily define and manage different content types using its built-in Content Type Builder. This feature provides an intuitive interface for creating and configuring content structures without writing code.

Role-based access control (RBAC)

Security is paramount in any application, and Strapi provides robust role-based access control. You can define different roles and permissions to control who can access or manage certain functionalities within your project. This is crucial for team collaboration and maintaining the integrity of your application.

Plugin system

Strapi's plugin system enhances its core capabilities. It has several official plugins for standard functionalities such as email, upload, SEO, and more. The community also contributes a wide array of additional plugins that you can integrate to add new features to your Strapi installation.


Learning how to run Strapi supports internationalization (i18n), allowing you to manage multilingual content. You can create content in multiple languages, making it easier to scale global applications and reach a broader audience.

File upload and media library

The platform includes a built-in file upload feature and a media library to manage media content such as images and videos. It supports multiple file upload strategies and can be configured to work with local storage or popular cloud storage solutions.

Before We Begin

Before you embark on learning how to run Strapi for your project, ensure your system meets the following prerequisites:

  • Node.js and npm: Strapi is built on top of Node.js, so ensure you have Node.js and npm installed on your machine.

  • Database: Strapi supports various databases such as MongoDBPostgreSQLSQLite, and MySQL. Choose the best fit for your project requirements and ensure it's installed and configured.

create strapi

How to Run Strapi in 7 Steps

Running Strapi for your project involves a few straightforward steps, from setup to serving your content via APIs. Here's a concise guide on how to run Strapi:

Step 1: Install Strapi

To learn how to run Strapi, you need Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager) installed on your machine. With these ready, you can install Strapi using npx, which comes with npm. Here's how you can set up a new Strapi project:

  • Open your terminal.

  • Run the following command to create a new Strapi project:

npx create-strapi-app my-project --quickstart

The --quickstart flag will set up a new Strapi project using SQLite as the default database and start the Strapi server immediately after installation.

Step 2: Access the admin panel

Once the installation is complete, Strapi will automatically launch the admin panel in your default web browser. If it doesn't automatically open, you can access it by navigating to http://localhost:1337/admin.

  • Create an administrator account when prompted. This step is crucial as it secures your Strapi instance and allows you to start managing your content.

Read:Strapi Update: What's New?

Step 3: Create your first content type

Learning how to run Strapi means exploring content types to structure the data. You can create content types through the admin panel with its intuitive Content-Type Builder:

  1. Go to the Content-Type Builder in the Strapi admin panel.

  2. Click 'Create new collection type' to create content where entries can be made multiple times, like blog posts, products, etc.

  3. Define the fields for your content type. Strapi offers field types like Text, Rich Text, Number, Date, Boolean, Media, and Relations.

  4. Save and publish your content type.

Step 4: Add content

Once you've set up your content types, you can start adding content:

  1. Navigate to the appropriate content type on the left-hand menu of the admin panel.

  2. Click the ‘Add New’ button and fill in the defined fields.

  3. Save or publish your content to make it available through the API.

Step 5: Access your API

Learning how to run Strapi automatically generates RESTful APIs for the content types you create:

  • Access your content through the auto-generated endpoints. For instance, if you created a content type named Article, you can access it at:


Step 6: Customize and extend

Strapi is highly customizable. While learning how to run Strapi, you can customize APIs, add custom controllers or services, and enhance your Strapi application with plugins:

  • Modify API responses by editing controllers in the ./api/your-content-type/controllers directory.


  • Install plugins via the admin panel or npm to extend the functionality of your Strapi project.

Step 7: Deploy

When you're ready to go live, you can deploy your Strapi project to various hosting services:

  • Choose a hosting provider such as HerokuDigitalOceanAWS, etc.

  • Configure your database and other environment-specific settings using environment variables.

  • Deploy your application using a CI/CD pipeline or manually through your hosting provider.

Exploring how to run Strapi requires familiarizing yourself with its environment and experimenting with its many features to best suit your project needs. This setup provides a robust starting point for managing and delivering content via a headless CMS.

Read: Building a Simple Strapi Custom API

Best Practises to Follow 

While learning how to run Strapi, adhering to best practices enhances your application's performance and security and ensures that it remains scalable and maintainable. Here's a compilation of some of the best practices for running Strapi effectively:

1. Follow security guidelines

Security is paramount, especially when dealing with content management systems that handle sensitive data. Some critical security practices include:

  • Use environment variables to store sensitive configurations like database credentials and API keys.

  • Regularly update Strapi to the latest version to benefit from security patches.

  • Configure Strapi's built-in role-based access control (RBAC) to limit permissions appropriately.

  • Enable SSL/TLS to secure HTTP traffic, especially if you are handling sensitive information.

  • Use strong, complex passwords for the admin panel and enforce similar user standards.

2. Optimize performance

To learn how to run Strapi effectively, lean into performance optimization,:

  • Choose the correct database. While SQLite is fine for development, a production environment may benefit from a more robust solution like PostgreSQL.

  • Implement caching strategies to reduce database load and improve response times. Redis is a popular choice for caching with Node.js applications.

  • Use efficient queries and limit the amount of data returned from the API to what is necessary. Utilize pagination to handle large datasets.

  • Scale your application horizontally by running multiple instances of Strapi behind a load balancer as your traffic increases.

3. Use version control

Implement version control using tools like Git to manage and track changes to your Strapi project. This practice is crucial for collaboration, debugging, and maintaining the history of your project. Ensure that changes to the codebase go through a review process and that your main branch remains stable.

4. Regularly backup your data

While exploring how to run Strapi, lean into backups for disaster recovery:

  • Regularly back up your database and Strapi configurations.

  • Test your backup procedures to ensure that they work correctly and that data can be restored effectively.

  • Consider using cloud services that offer automated backups and high availability.

5. Implement CI/CD

Setting up a Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline can significantly enhance the development lifecycle of your Strapi applications:

  • Automate testing to catch bugs and issues early in the development stage.

  • Use continuous deployment tools to automate the deployment of your Strapi application to different environments. This ensures a smooth transition from development to production.

  • Manage releases through different stages (development, staging, production) to control how new features and updates are rolled out.

Read: How To Create A Blog With Strapi In 7 Practical Steps

strapi cms


Strapi offers a flexible, scalable, and efficient solution for content management in modern web and mobile applications. By following this guide on how to run Strapi, you can set up, develop, and deploy a Strapi project tailored to your specific needs. 

Whether you're building a blog, an e-commerce site, or a custom web application, Strapi provides the tools to manage your content effectively and integrate it seamlessly with any front-end framework. Embrace the power of a headless CMS and take your projects to the next level with Strapi.

Keep up with Kapsys to learn all about Strapi and other leading CMS.