Setting Up Tests

In order to get started please ensure you have a basic understanding of the following:

This guide can be used for setting up tests for a Craft site & Modules/Plugins.

# Step 1: Install Codeception 3.1 or Higher

Follow instruction 1 and 2 Codeception’s website (opens new window). Ensure you install codeception/codeception at 3.1or higher.

If you are setting up tests for a Craft CMS Site and not a module/plugin, when running composer install on production, add the --no-dev flag to avoid installing Codeception and its support libraries.

# Step 2: Create Required Directories

The Craft module requires a directory setup that is very similar to what an ordinary Craft project requires

  • In your tests/ folder create a folder called _craft
  • In the _craft folder create the following folders:
    • storage
    • templates
    • migrations
    • config
    • translations

Testing a Craft site? There is a good chance you can copy-paste your translations, templates, migrations, and config folder into the _craft folder.

# Step 3: Create Required Files

# Codeception.yml

Open the codeception.yml file and replace its content with the following:

actor: Tester
  tests: tests
  log: tests/_output
  data: tests/_data
  support: tests/_support
  envs: tests/_envs
bootstrap: _bootstrap.php
  - tests/.env
      configFile: "tests/_craft/config/test.php"
      entryUrl: "http://my-project.test/index.php"
      projectConfig: {}
      migrations: []
      plugins: []
      cleanup: true
      transaction: true
      dbSetup: { clean: true, setupCraft: true }

These variables are explained here.

# .env

Create a .env file in tests/ and ensure the following variables are setup:

PRIMARY_SITE_URL="http://my-project.test/" # Set this to the `entryUrl` param in the `codeception.yml` file.

You will need to have the vlucas/phpdotenv library installed with a minimum version of ^3.0. You can install this package using composer require --dev vlucas/phpdotenv ^3.0.

# Craft Constants

Create a _bootstrap.php file in your tests/ directory and add the following:


use craft\test\TestSetup;

ini_set('date.timezone', 'UTC');

// Use the current installation of Craft
define('CRAFT_TESTS_PATH', __DIR__);
define('CRAFT_STORAGE_PATH', __DIR__ . '/_craft/storage');
define('CRAFT_TEMPLATES_PATH', __DIR__ . '/_craft/templates');
define('CRAFT_CONFIG_PATH', __DIR__ . '/_craft/config');
define('CRAFT_MIGRATIONS_PATH', __DIR__ . '/_craft/migrations');
define('CRAFT_TRANSLATIONS_PATH', __DIR__ . '/_craft/translations');
define('CRAFT_VENDOR_PATH', dirname(__DIR__).'/vendor');

// Load dotenv?
if (class_exists(Dotenv\Dotenv::class)) {
    // By default, this will allow .env file values to override environment variables
    // with matching names. Use `createUnsafeImmutable` to disable this.


# Required Craft::$app setup code

Add a test.php file in the tests/_craft/config directory you created earlier. In this PHP file add the following:

use craft\test\TestSetup;

return TestSetup::createTestCraftObjectConfig();

# Enable the Craft Module

In your tests folder there are the following files:

  • acceptance.suite.yml
  • functional.suite.yml
  • unit.suite.yml

In each of them ensure that the Craft codeception module is enabled as follows:

    - \craft\test\Craft
    # Don't delete any other enabled modules.

# Setup Required Config

Craft requires a db.php file to be present in the config directory. To satisfy this requirement add a db.php file in tests/_craft/config/ and fill it with the following:


return [
    'dsn' => getenv('DB_DSN'),
    'user' => getenv('DB_USER'),
    'password' => getenv('DB_PASSWORD'),
    'schema' => getenv('DB_SCHEMA'),
    'tablePrefix' => getenv('DB_TABLE_PREFIX'),

The tests/_craft/config dir acts entirely the same as a normal config/ folder in a Craft application. The only difference is you cannot create a different configuration for web and console requests (I.E app.web.php vs app.console.php). If, for example, the project you are testing defines custom routes you can create a routes.php file which will be included in the craft configuration when setting up the test environment.

# Codeception Requirement

Create a _bootstrap.php file in the following folders:

  • tests/unit
  • tests/functional
  • tests/acceptance

And just place a <?php tag in the file.

_bootstrap in the specific directories will only run once Codeception is told to run that type of test. You can thus tailor setup work you only want to be done for a specific test suite in these _bootstrap.php files. i.e. if you want specific PHP code to run only before unit tests place it in the tests/unit/_bootstrap.php file.

# Step 4: Add a Test

Codeception provides a generation script for various types of tests which can be found in their documentation (opens new window).

For the purpose of this guide let’s create one test manually. Create a ExampleTest.php file in tests/unit/ and add the following content.


namespace yournamespace\tests;

use Codeception\Test\Unit;

use UnitTester;
use Craft;

class ExampleTest extends Unit
     * @var UnitTester
    protected $tester;

    public function testExample()


# Step 5: Liftoff

Run the following command:

codecept run unit

This will take a second to load as it has to install all of Craft’s database tables. Once completed it will say:

OK (1 test, 1 assertion)

# Conclusion

We have just created a unit test and tested a small part of the Craft codebase.

Codeception provides two other types of testing. A basic overview can be found in the Codeception documentation.

The Craft documentation contain many other useful tips for testing as well as explaining various Craft specific testing concepts. It is recommended you give them a good read before writing tests for your production code.