Modx – An intriguing CMS

Published on January 25th, 2010 by admin

Modx is a relatively new content management system that is getting a lot of buzz around the internet. I've taken a look at it recently and it's showing a lot of promise.

What is Modx?

Modx is a content management system (CMS) as well as a full blown framework. Right now there are two versions available, the mature 1.02 and a 2.0 beta. I’ve tried them both out and they both have their own strengths and weaknesses. I like version 1 for its compactness but I like version 2 for it elegant code (which in my book wins every time).

You can find Modx at

You can find Modx at

Why Modx?

Recently I’ve been trying to find ways to make myself more efficient and deliver a high quality product. I’m a programmer at heart and I find myself obsessing over good coding practices, sometimes at the expense of time. For small projects this was costing me a lot of money so I decided that I should use a pre-built content management system to handle all of their content.

I searched around the web for a while and considered using the classics such as joomla!, Drupal and WordPress. While these were all solid solutions each of them had something that I didn’t really like. Joomla! was really bloated, I didn’t like Drupal’s user interface and WordPress was more of a blogging platform which wouldn’t always work. Then I heard about Modx and it was getting a lot of buzz on the net so I thought I’d check it out.

What I like about it so far

Everything is centralized in the program

It takes a very interesting approach to building websites, you pretty much add all the HTML and PHP that you’re going to use for your site right into the CMS. That way you can make global changes to the interface right from the program and don’t have to log into the ftp server.

Fantastic interface

The interface in both versions is very slick, especially in version two. I especially like that it uses AJAX in all its menus so it makes it very fast to find what you’re looking for.


Modx 2

A strong community

It already has an archive of useful modules and components that you can install right into the system. Saving you lots of time and money. I’m looking forward to adding some of my own components to their library.

What I don’t like about it so far

It’s very heavy on the database

The fact that you add all your HTML and PHP code right into the CMS means it all gets stored in the database. Which can cause some serious security and performance issues. I read somewhere that you can choose to have your HTML files stored on the server instead of the database but I haven’t tried that yet.

Version 2 is still in beta!

Modx 2 hasn’t been released yet! Right now it’s still in beta and there are some features that haven’t been built yet. It’s a fine CMS though and you can still create websites with it.

The documentation could be better

I’ve been having a hard time using their documentation. The articles could be easier to find and a little more thorough. I would really like to see some in-depth tutorials because I think that would be the easiest way to learn how to use it.

Maybe I’m just impatient. . .

My consensus?

Modx is perfect for those who are looking for a solid CMS for small to medium websites. The learning curve isn’t too steep compared to some other systems. It only took me about 3 to 4 hours to build a working website.

There’s more to come

I’ve actually only just started working with Modx so there’s still a lot of learning to do. I’ll keep writing some articles about this system in the future and maybe even a tutorial or two so stay tuned :).

What are your thoughts?

Have you used Modx? What do you think? Is there another CMS that you would recommend?

Further Reading

Modx Homepage
Goodbye Joomla, Hello Modx…

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  • Post by Derek on November 2, 2010

    So, I am wondering about your post about templates being bad for everyone. In that post you included Joomla and Drupal with templates. I thought you made some very good points in that post and I am wondering how you feel about Modx given the points that were made in that post?

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