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Craft CMS: Where Is My License Key?

10 min read
Where is my Craft CMS License Key

Struggling to find your Craft CMS license key and unlock full access? Without that unique code, your site remains stuck in restrictive demo mode. This guide will end license woes forever, walking through key retrieval, troubleshooting activation issues, and keeping your credentials updated seamlessly. Read on to instantly enable your Craft platform and finally build the capable site you envisioned.

Craft CMS requires a unique license key to unlock full functionality beyond demo mode. Keys are obtained via purchase email and entered during the initial install or in dashboard settings. Manage keys diligently, store confirmation emails securely, keep software updated, and leverage Craft support if activation issues arise.

Craft CMS License Keys

What is a Craft CMS License Key?

A Craft CMS license key is an activation code required to unlock full use of the Craft software and access key support services. The license key verifies a user's right to download updates, plugins and other Craft CMS features.

Without a valid license key, Craft functions only in Demo Mode which restricts site management capabilities. Every installed copy of Craft CMS requires its own license key for activation - whether that's on a development, staging or production server.

The license key essentially validates and authorises Craft CMS functionality for a particular site. Users cannot access the full power of Craft without entering their purchased license key first.

Like most software, Craft licenses need activating before use. The license key finishes the software installation, granting permission to harness Craft's content managing prowess.

Some key facts about Craft CMS license keys:

  • Also called a license code or activation key

  • Required for each separate Craft CMS installation

  • Enables full software access beyond Demo Mode

  • Unlocks downloads, updates and support services

  • Keys are unique codes purchased from Craft CMS

Without this special license key code, a Craft-powered site remains stuck in restricted demo mode. So always have your Craft license key handy before starting any new install.

License Key Requirements and Types

Craft CMS offers different license types depending on usage needs and budget. Some common options include:

Personal - For solo, low-traffic sites. Ideal for personal portfolios.

Pro - Adds features like multi-site and white-label branding. Perfect for freelancers and agencies.

Business - Unlocks enterprise features like Single Sign-On. Built for large companies.

Client - Grants CMS access for non-technical clients to update content.

Most licenses are available as either lifetime purchases or annual subscriptions. Lifetime licenses involve a single upfront payment, while subscriptions require yearly renewal payments. Craft CMS pricing will differ depending on the edition you opt for.

Craft's yearly licenses include full access to product updates and support during active subscription periods. Lapsed subscriptions will disable software access until renewal.

Some key facts about Craft CMS license types:

  • Personal, Pro, Business & Client options

  • Lifetime vs yearly subscription licenses

  • Yearly options include updates/support

  • Lapsed subscriptions disable software

  • Match license to project size and needs

Craft requires a valid license key before any site can exit limited demo mode. So choose the right license for the project during initial Craft CMS installation.

Managing Craft CMS Licenses

The Craft CMS user account dashboard enables full license management. Users can view, upgrade or downgrade licenses as needed per project.

The dashboard lists all active and inactive licenses tied to the user account. Dashboard controls make switching between licenses effortless - perfect for developers juggling multiple Craft installs.

Users can also add new licenses to empower additional Craft installs or sites within account limits. The dashboard provides a central hub to control every Craft CMS license with simplicity.

Some key facts about managing Craft licenses:

  • User account dashboard lists all licenses

  • Switch easily between licenses as needed

  • Upgrade or downgrade licenses as required

  • Add licenses to enable new installs & sites

  • Dashboard offers simple central license control

The Craft user account area takes the pain out of license management across multiple projects. With just a few clicks, users can enable or disable sites as required.

The dashboard also allows seamless license upgrades to unlock greater functionality or user numbers as sites grow. Managing Craft CMS licenses through the user account makes growth easy.

Finding and Entering Your Craft License Key

Obtaining Your License Key

After making a Craft CMS purchase, customers will receive their license key via a confirmation email containing the unique activation code required to unlock the software. For existing users who may have misplaced an old key, the Craft user account dashboard offers a reliable repository, listing all active and past licenses connected to that account.

By logging in, users can easily re-access any keys previously issued for safekeeping and reuse. If a key still remains irrecoverable through the dashboard, customers can contact Craft's support team directly. By providing details of the account email, original purchase date, and other identifying information, the Craft support staff can securely retrieve lost keys upon request.

Following some simple best practices around record-keeping helps ensure license keys remain accessible. After purchase, users should immediately file away confirmation emails and details for safe storage, enabling easy future retrieval. Keeping all past license keys catalogued in the user account area also gives peace of mind for reactivation down the track. With the proper administrative habits, there should be no such thing as a lost key in Craft CMS.

Entering Your License Key

The initial software installation presents the first opportunity to enter a Craft CMS license key, fully unlocking the platform's capabilities. The installer will prompt users to either login to an existing Craft account or create a new one. After this account creation step, an activation window appears requesting input of the valid license key. Entering the unique key code finalizes the installation, validating access to enable all Craft features beyond the limitations of demo mode.

For those managing existing Craft installs, the license key field can be conveniently found within the control panel dashboard settings. This allows the seamless ability to swap license keys and adjust access levels accordingly. If project needs change over time, users can easily upgrade or downgrade to different license types by inputting newly issued keys in the familiar settings section. With the license key in place - whether on initial setup or further down the track - Craft CMS springs to life, ready to supercharge a site's content potential.

License Key Best Practices

Maintaining a few simple diligent practices for managing license keys prevents disruptions down the track:

  • Save unused keys securely in a password manager until needed for installs.

  • Double check license keys before input on production/live sites.

  • Be ready to smoothly transfer keys when migrating existing Craft installs.

  • Share access with team members by adding as users to the Craft account.

  • Use separate keys for each individual Craft CMS installation.

  • Stay on top of renewing active subscriptions to prevent functionality loss.

  • Keep all purchase confirmation emails safely backed-up for license restoration ability.

  • Regularly check the user account dashboard for new keys needing activation.

With the proper organizational habits, developers can focus purely on building websites, not hunting down keys. Storing keys securely avoids lost credentials while retaining email receipts enables the peace of mind of account restoration if ever required. By following some simple diligent practices, Craft CMS license keys can be tamed for the long haul.

Troubleshooting Craft License Issues

Common License Key Errors

When attempting to activate Craft CMS using a license key, users may encounter errors like "Invalid License" or "Could Not Connect". Don't panic - these issues can be easily resolved with some basic troubleshooting.

An "Invalid License" error appears when the entered key does not match Craft's records. Double-check the key was copied correctly and matches the email receipt. Try re-entering the key slowly character-by-character to avoid typos derailing activation.

"Could Not Connect" typically means a firewall or plugin is blocking Craft's activation servers. Temporarily disabling plugins and firewalls during key entry often resolves this. Confirm the server has outgoing HTTPS access to https://dashboard.craftcms.com too.

For any error, retry activating with the suspect plugin disabled. If success, enable plugins one-by-one until identifying the problematic code. Outdated plugins can sometimes obstruct licensing, so update to the latest versions.

If errors persist, try manually deactivate then re-activate the license key through your Craft account area. This often refreshes stuck licenses, re-opening access.

Getting Help with License Key Problems

If your license trouble persists beyond basic troubleshooting, Craft CMS offers various support channels for aid.

The quickest assistance comes directly from Craft via the support contact form. Explain the issue being faced and the steps attempted. Support can diagnose deeper underlying problems.

Craft's authorised solution partners worldwide can also provide specialised troubleshooting services for difficult cases. Partners have deep expertise to resolve niche technical issues.

The Craft CMS community forums contain threads covering various common license problems. Search past posts to see if any match your specific error for handy solutions. Fellow users are often eager to assist.

For immediate live discussion, the Craft Discord chat server has an active community and developer presence. Join the #support channel to describe your issue and prompt responses.

If your license key was purchased through a third-party like Vanilla Forums, their support team could help track down any missing keys or account complications.

Don't spend hours stuck on a license issue - leverage the experience of Craft's many support avenues to get problems resolved promptly.

Keeping Your License Key Updated

To maintain full access to support services, updates and cloud features, Craft CMS license keys must be kept renewed and valid.

For lifetime keys, renewal isn't needed but double-check the license is associated with your current Craft account if migrating. This prevents losing access down the track.

For the annual subscription license, renewals can be purchased from the Craft account dashboard before expiry to retain ongoing functionality. Expired licenses disable access until renewed so track dates carefully.

Some tips for keeping keys and access updated:

  • For lifetime licenses, ensure keys migrate with your Craft account details if switching email addresses.

  • Note the annual renewal date of paid subscription licenses to maintain service continuity.

  • Renew expired subscription licenses as soon as possible to regain immediate access.

  • Confirm renewed licenses are properly activated in your user account area and installs.

  • If migrating servers, transfer keys to the new install and deactivate old installs.

With licenses renewed and regularly checked, there's no disruption to your Crafty work. While the dashboard offers a centralized hub for easy license administration, sticking to simple diligent practices is key.

Shape April 2022 HR 202
Andy Golpys
- Author

Andy has scaled multiple businesses and is a big believer in Craft CMS as a tool that benefits both Designer, Developer and Client. 

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