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Welcome (Back) MODX Cloud!

Welcome (Back) MODX Cloud!

Welcome (Back) MODX Cloud!

The last year of focusing on the Community and upcoming software releases has taught everyone at MODX a lot. MODX is a great platform that truly delivers on the promise of creative freedom. An awesome, caring and growing Community has enthusiastically embraced MODX, and it is further supported by a strong ecosystem with both commercial support and talented developers worldwide.

The upcoming 2.3 release feels so much more than a minor point bump—it should accelerate MODX awareness and adoption even further and faster. And more than ever before, external contributors are pitching-in. After 8+ years of exploration, we have hit our stride, big time.

Lessons Learned

However, part of our learning process led to a conclusion that it is time for a strategic shift. After much consideration and with gratitude for the amazing platform SiphonLabs created, on July 4th the final call was made to move forward with its operations being reintegrated into the MODX team. Since then, we’ve dug deep into the platform and operations, and determined some key changes required for it to continue to thrive and improve.

Effective today, we are moving forward with the original vision of MODX Cloud—the ultimate way to start, build, migrate and maintain MODX projects. This is the only structure that meshes with our experience and bandwidth. It’s also the only way forward to be true to our purpose of helping people have amazing experiences on the web.

Immediate Changes

MODX Cloud is being distilled to its purest value. For example, rather than competing with every host on the planet, we will partner with others for production endpoints, joining the other awesome launch partners who have are already committed. (If you’re a host and are interested, please get in touch.) This will give MODX Cloud the global footprint its thousands of users want exponentially faster, especially as we near the 5-figure signups count.

For now, annual subscriptions will no longer be offered; streamlined plans will also launch soon that are simple and fair for everyone. These new plans will not include production Clouds—our production hosting partners have the deep support teams, experience and local infrastructure required for production environments. We’ll also add alternate payment methods if you don’t have a credit card, making MODX Cloud convenient for users in Europe, Russia and elsewhere.

Existing plans will be grandfathered, or we’ll help you migrate to new production hosts and MODX Cloud plans. If you currently have production sites, those won’t go away. If you have the ability in your current plan to buy/add production sites, that won’t go away either. Freemium Lab plans as they stand today will likewise be temporarily on hold until we launch MODX University sometime later—get one quick if you want one!

WordPress production Clouds are being retired, but WP Dev Clouds will remain available as an unsupported migration tool. And finally is being put on the shelf. MODX simply does not have the resources or experience to serve two masters well—so we won’t.

Helping You Crush It Moving Forward

MODX wants to see you crush it. We want to create tools like MODX Cloud that give you a competitive advantage and that generate revenues which directly fund ongoing development of the MODX software and ecosystem at large. MODX Cloud may not be appropriate for everyone, but it certainly fulfills a need for tens of thousands of web professionals that wish to focus on building their business instead of managing complex infrastructure and workflow.

So in summary, here’s where MODX Cloud stands:

  • The MODX ecosystem is thriving and is the right home for MODX Cloud
  • New Annual Plans are already gone, existing ones are grandfathered until expiration
  • New Dev-only plans coming
  • More ways to pay, including Paypal and non-credit card alternatives coming
  • Existing users are grandfathered in with what they have today
  • WordPress production Clouds and free Lab accounts are shelved for now
  • WordPress in Dev Clouds will remain available as a migration/testing tool
  • You’ll be able to “export” your projects to proven hosts for production endpoints
  • and branding will be retired

Welcome (back) MODX Cloud!

Ryan is a Christian, the lucky husband of an amazing wife, and father of two usually great kids. A native redneck from East Texas living in Dallas for over 20 years, he's lost a bit of the verbal twang over the years, but still loves to get back to his roots over charcoal with a chunk of meat and a few frosty bevs. Ryan co-founded MODX in 2004, where he works every day helping build the company and its products.


  1. Aaron Ladage
    Jul 25, 2013 at 08:19 PM
    Man, you guys really had some follow-through on that five-month April Fool's joke.

    1. Aaron Ladage
      Jul 25, 2013 at 08:22 PM
      In all seriousness, though, this is great news, and I'm excited to see where you go with this. I agree that cloud has a ton of potential for developers and as a revenue generator for MODX, and I wish you nothing but the best. As one of those soon-to-be "grandfathered" customer, please keep us in the loop on how this will affect us and our clients. Good luck!

      1. Kris Sarratt
        Jul 25, 2013 at 08:32 PM
        That's really welcomed and exciting news. Glad to see we have the MODX team focused back on the MODX product itself. Hope we only see major growth and development from here!

        1. Menno Pietersen
          Jul 25, 2013 at 08:38 PM
          For me this is good news, too bad about all the time/fuss that has been spent on Siphonlabs but that is the road to learing and succes right?

          I love MODX Cloud and hope to say a big user for a long time!

          1. thingstodo
            Jul 25, 2013 at 09:32 PM
            I think that sounds like good news for modx.

            I'm not quite sure what "grandfathered" means! It doesn't sound good! What's going to happen to the production clouds, are we going to have to migrate them to different servers? What about the nightly backups, and creating and injecting snapshots, how's all that going to change?

            What about personnel, are all the SiphonLabbers returning to do stuff with MODX & MODX Cloud or are some moving on?

            1. Ryan Thrash
              Jul 25, 2013 at 09:45 PM
              "Grandfathered" is a term that means you keep what you already have if you wish; it's typically used when plans change so it won't disrupt existing users. In other words, we're not forcing any radical changes that you aren't happy making.

              Mike Schell is still on with MODX, supporting and leading all Cloud efforts now, along with others that've been in the MODX team for a while (you might have caught me responding to tickets in the last couple of weeks). Which brings to mind I think it's time to re-introduce the team in another post, and where we're looking to expand next. ;)

              1. Kelsey Ruger
                Jul 25, 2013 at 10:13 PM
                Are you keeping the Wordpress support?

              2. Exceleron
                Jul 25, 2013 at 10:27 PM
                The staff at Exceleron Designs are Excited to See MODX do MODX. If you walk like a Duck, talk like a Duck, you must be a Duck, no Peacocks HERE. Besides There is nothing wrong with a DUCK.


                It is all about style points, can wait to see what MODX will do next.

                1. Sebastien Daniel
                  Jul 25, 2013 at 11:24 PM
                  Just to be sure i'm understanding this properly (which I doubt).

                  MODx Cloud is dropping competition against every other host out there.

                  i.e. MODx Cloud will become THE place for developers to work on their MODx projects.

                  The part which confuses me a tad: "we will partner with others for production endpoints".

                  Does this mean that once my MODx site is ready for launch, I have to migrate it to another host? Will MODx Cloud seamlessly manage that task?

                  Does it mean that when I create a project, I choose which server/datacenter I want?

                  Just needs a little clarification.

                  On another note, I'm very happy to see that MODx is focusing on... MODx ;)
                  We made a similar move in the past 3 years business-wise. We realized that focusing on core value is much better. I'm very happy to see this move happening with MODx, even though it must be an administrative pain.

                  1. Mark Hamstra
                    Jul 26, 2013 at 03:49 AM
                    If I understand it correctly, instead of offering production clouds (which tend to have different and more demanding requirements), MODX Cloud will be partnering with actual MODX Hosts. You will be able of taking your dev cloud (which I presume remains hosted on the MODX Cloud infrastructure) and spin up a snapshot of that at one of the hosting partners for production.

                    So that means you can take advantage of the features Cloud offers that are great in development, and then easily move it over to people who have been working in the hosting business for years to handle the production environment.

                    I'm guessing we'll hear more about the specific implementation of that in the coming time as that feature gets built and implemented but from the sounds of it, my preferred host is already on board.. :-)

                    1. Peter Bowyer
                      Jul 26, 2013 at 07:54 AM
                      It'll be interesting to see how this works technically - something like Docker being used to transfer sites from dev to production?

                      I'm not quite getting this infrastructure split - if I need a production host, why not develop on a local server and deploy to the production host?

                  2. Joshua Curtis
                    Jul 26, 2013 at 02:31 AM
                    Any plans on how fast the Wordpress production accounts will be disappearing? Just need to know how fast I need to make alternative plans!

                    1. Menno Pietersen
                      Jul 26, 2013 at 05:39 AM
                      Yes I have one production WordPress site running, should I start moving?

                      1. Nikolay Lanets
                        Jul 26, 2013 at 05:40 AM
                        Great news!
                        And i want to create small experimental cloud hosting in Russia :)

                        1. Gareth Jones
                          Jul 26, 2013 at 08:06 AM
                          Sorry, but this sounds like a complete mess to me. We have been moving all our clients over to modx cloud, I guess we will have to move again?!

                          1. nir-z
                            Jul 26, 2013 at 08:08 AM
                            This is great news, siphonlabs never felt right to me.

                            Btw, What is MODX University?

                            1. Gauke Pieter
                              Jul 26, 2013 at 08:28 AM
                              Congrats guys. I hope everything works out.

                              This really is a win-win: a more involved community (something MODX really lacked) and a committed core team to develop the long-term core of MODX, with involvement of the community of course. Am I thinking straight here?

                              1. Carolin Collins
                                Jul 26, 2013 at 08:43 AM
                                One of my favourite things about MODX Cloud is that I can upgrade a pile of sites, both development and production, at the click of a button. This has also been a major selling point for me towards my clients as I no longer charge them for upgrades because it's such a simple process. If my production clouds end up back with external hosts, am I back to running upgrades the old-fashioned way? Please tell me that's not the case?! That's such a pain and administrative hassle. Or will your 2.3 version have some sort of in-system upgrade option (like WP - I know, I hate making the comparison but in the case of core system upgrades it's far more convenient). And what about 1-click backup and restore. Another major feature and advantage of MODX Cloud at the moment that I'd really hate to lose for my production cloud and have also been a core selling point. Would feel pretty stupid towards my clients if I'd have to backtrack on all of these. Can you clarify that for me please? Thanks!

                                But very happy to hear that MODX Cloud is back at "home". Could never get used to calling it SiphonLabs ...

                                1. kaisersushi
                                  Jul 31, 2013 at 01:39 PM
                                  I would like to get an answer to these questions as well ...

                                2. Carolin Collins
                                  Jul 26, 2013 at 09:02 AM
                                  And another question :)

                                  Selling on my free included production clouds until now covered my costs to run the development clouds and therefore motivated me to be in the cloud in the first place and also sell further production clouds. Would no longer having production clouds included in my plans therefore mean that my costs of using MODXCloud as a development environment are now increasing for me in real terms? Perhaps I'm getting this all wrong?

                                  1. Ryan Thrash
                                    Jul 26, 2013 at 01:45 PM
                                    Thanks for all the thoughts and questions. If you currently have production sites, those won't go away. If you have the ability in your current plan to buy/add production sites, that won't go away either. The current plans haven't changed yet, but we'll keep talking to users about how they use MODX Cloud before we run off and create new plans out of thin air—and we certainly don't want customers to have a more difficult workflow for their MODX projects.

                                    WordPress is tough. The truth is there's very little actual use of it in Cloud. If you are one of them though, please reach out to me on Skype and let's discuss if you wish (I'm ryan.thrash there). We don't have the expertise, customer base or staff to support it flawlessly, so it's a much harder call. Not to mention there are many truly great WordPress hosts out there already! Regardless of what happens on the production front for WP, it will remain as a migration tool for those wanting to explore or move to MODX.

                                    1. Jörg Lippmann
                                      Jul 26, 2013 at 05:27 PM
                                      Without the quick path from dev cloud to production cloud, an easier and faster way to export and import MODX-installations is needed.

                                      I was always quite puzzled by the fact that there is no "pack-and-go"-Button in modxcloud already. You had to ssh into your server, delete the cache, create tgz, sftp it down, login to phpmyadmin, export DB, upload everything to new server, edit paths in config-files by hand …, all stupid, tedious tasks that should be easy to script. Such a letdown if you see how quick and easy the rest of modxcloud is.

                                      (I guess it was a deliberate omission to keep people in the cloud. But this is not valid anymore.)

                                      My wishlist:

                                      1. one-click export archive of a complete cloud, DB and all as a tgz- or zip-file.

                                      2. Easy deployment script inside this archive that sets correct paths and installs DB on the new hosting site, just like the usual setup script, but for an exported cloud.

                                      This would make modxcloud development a real time-saver.

                                      Apart from that: Good move to focus more on modx! And thanks for keeping us all informed about what's going on inside modx.


                                      1. Malcom Reno
                                        Jul 26, 2013 at 05:58 PM
                                        But SiphonLabs still remains ... "a sustainable revenue source that could potentially provide the primary means to contribute to the ongoing success of the MODX open source Content Management System (CMS). In the same way that Automattic and Acquia are the #1 contributors and commercial support arms of the WordPress and Drupal projects, SiphonLabs will become this for the MODX project." ?

                                        1. Bob Ray
                                          Jul 26, 2013 at 10:53 PM
                                          This sounds like all good news to me, especially in the long run.

                                          Having MODX be an ISP, competing with all the established ISPs out there, never made sense to me and I always thought it couldn't help but drain resources from the MODX platform.

                                          I look forward to seeing what the MODX landscape looks like after things shake out a bit.

                                          1. Treigh P.
                                            Jul 26, 2013 at 11:02 PM
                                            @Ryan Thrash -- I salute you and the MODX team for making a very tough call. There's wisdom in learning from mistakes and moving forward. I call that leadership. And yes, MODX rocks!!

                                            1. Joshua Curtis
                                              Jul 27, 2013 at 12:50 AM

                                            2. Helen Warner
                                              Jul 27, 2013 at 07:57 AM
                                              One thing's for certain there's never a dull moment being part of the MODX community - looking forward to what comes next!

                                              Could this be the basis for a MODX book or soap? There's been enough twists and turns.

                                              Perhaps "How to Build a Opensource CMS - And Survive!"

                                              1. Ryan Thrash
                                                Jul 27, 2013 at 06:28 PM
                                                The tentative title actually is SOS (Surviving Open Source). ;)

                                              2. Thomas Carlsson
                                                Jul 27, 2013 at 09:41 PM
                                                I have just recently started using MODx and the MODx Cloud and I have been so impressed that I am already discussing a production cloud with a client. I guess that I now will have to wait until more information is available on what the "production endpoints" will look like since the Cloud model is the best way for me and my clients.
                                                As clients still prefer a hosting service in their own country I would be happy to see you announce a partnership with a Swedish hosting provider sometime in the future (let me know if you need suggestions).

                                                Good luck!

                                                1. eli guide
                                                  Aug 02, 2013 at 10:04 AM
                                                  Agree! I'm also working in Sweden, today I contacted one potential host partner, City Cloud, asking for partnering with Modx Cloud. I'll let you know if they are interested, we may stay in contact evaluating similar options:

                                                  Leif Hjerpe


                                                2. modxjr1
                                                  Aug 04, 2013 at 04:09 PM
                                                  Sorry but can't resist to make fun of it.
                                                  "Not to mention there are many truly great WordPress hosts out there already!"
                                                  I coulda told ya so already. It don't take no rocket scientist in Marketing to figure that one out (or is it faucet-heads?).
                                                  Good luck wif it.

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