Content Management System

MODX puts the power of managing content into the hands of the people that create the content rather than tying up valuable IT resources.

By The MODX Team
December 2, 2011
Content Management System

There's always a conflict between Marketing and IT. Marketing want's constant website updates, but IT simply doesn't have the time.

And often, that's because they're busy fixing the CEOs computer or patching things up after the latest Exchange meltdown. For bloggers, developers and other members of the digerati looking for more, MODX can help take your website projects to the next level quickly and easily. And for normal, non-technical end users, if you've ever cringed when "calling the web guys" to make simple site updates, chances are MODX fits equally as well, too..

by Ryan Thrash

Do we really need another open source PHP Content Management System?


I think we do. I also think MODX is truly disruptive technology. It's a compelling Content Management Framework that non-hard-core-coders can actually use and understand.

I looked for years for an open source PHP-based CMS that could output exactly what I wanted: really tight, accessible XHTML/CSS layouts. I also wanted a framework for building custom applications that could be deployed on just about any shared server.

Nothing really fit the bill.

So the founding team decided to build it with a few guiding principles:

  • Enable it to output super clean code (or table-tag-soup if you wish),
  • Make it flexible and let devs work in a way that's comfortable,
  • Really listen to and encourage outside input, and
  • No YAPS: Yet Another Portal System.

MODX makes it easy to build CSS sites and custom web applications. There's no complex template system to learn, and has a laudable API. Its next release should continue to make it more flexible and simple, and one of the best platform for out of the box Ajax-enhanced, accessible, XHTML/CSS sites.

The Unblog/Anti-YAPS Paradigm Shift

Blogs are big these days. The way I see it, a blog is just another bit of content, usually with commenting attached to the end. It could just as easily be a series of press releases, articles, software downloads, FAQ questions, songs, podcasts or ... you get the point.

I perceive a few problems with most solutions, and others tell me they agree. While there's lots of good blogging platforms, there's some limitations that crop up quickly. It's easy to get stuck with a certain "look" or structure. You're also frequently out of luck if you want to deviate much from blog-site functionality ... unless you want to start hacking away at the core code.

MODX's "unblog" tool is called Ditto: it simply summarizes and serializes other pages found elsewhere on the site. Our commenting tool is another little "snippet" of code, that appends the comments as a child page of the original source. They're both easy to customize and extend.

Similarly, the whole YAPS syndrome is out of control. They're wonderful for your local Quake clan (or whatever the FPS-of-the-moment is), but have fun sorting out a site that doesn't fit into their blocks/channels/portal/"insert lingo here" paradigm.

I'm not the only one that finds these things (and more) questionable; Jeff Veen does a better job of going over the not-so-subtle-nuances of what's broken with so many Open Source CMSes. Are they all fixed in MODX? Heck no, but they're all on the radar and under the knife so to speak. Jeff, I hope we make you proud.

MODX gives you total freedom to build sites like you want, and there's typically 3-4 ways to get to the same end result. It's embraces flexibility and bucks conventional website management software patterns.

Ultimately, it boils down to thinking differently about online problems and our philosophy of embracing flexibility and simplicity.