Bacon Tacos, Unicorns and Creative Freedom

At MODX, we believe the tools and process of communicating on the web should be liberating, unencumbered by geeky assertions of how the web should work. We use “Creative Freedom” as our tagline, and over the coming days I want to share what creative freedom really means to us, and how it relates to everything we do.

Ryan's pet unicorn hard at work fetching bacon tacos

Quest for a Bacon-Taco-Fetching Unicorn

Nearly a decade ago, I began looking for a web content management system (CMS). In my search, I quickly became frustrated with complex theme systems, arbitrarily fixed content blocks, or being forced to use tables for markup when Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and Web Standards were the future of the web.

As an experiment, I refactored osCommerce to output pages using lightweight, semantic markup styled just with CSS, forgoing the use of tables, sliced images and inline styles. This resulted in a ~30% speed boost, and I was sold. Faster sites meant better conversions, happier customers, and outperforming competing sites in search engine ranking, all things being equal.

Speed and SEO aside, I also needed a CMS I could hand over to non-technical clients without worrying about things breaking. If they were capable of filling out a form, they should be able to manage and publish content on the web.

We Built It, and for Once, They Actually Showed Up

Eventually, I gave up searching for a system that was as mythical as a bacon-taco-fetching pet unicorn. So, along with a few other like-minded individuals, we built one that gave us the creative freedom that was missing from the CMS landscape, and we happily shared it with the world.

We had no aspirations of becoming one of the leading open source CMS platforms used by hundreds of thousands of websites, but that’s where we find ourselves today. It took dozens of releases over 7+ years, but we’re happy about where we are now, and eager to share what’s in store.

Now, we’re on a mission to find new ways to give creative freedom to the people that work on the web.

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MODX Diagnostics

MODX’s Open Source software is 100% free for anyone to download and use. As the team behind it for more than a decade, we know it inside, out, and then some.

Like any software, sometimes things break; we can usually fix them very fast. But, we do have to charge for our time to support our families and fund its ongoing development. There are almost an unlimited variety of things that can cause problems, including server upgrades, corrupt files, accidental changes, outdated software, database hiccups and more. We will save you a lot of time and frustration, and get you back in action.

With our MODX Diagnostic service, we determine the source of issues, and often fix them on the spot. For more extensive problems needing more time, like hacked sites or overdue upgrades, we provide additional estimates and guidance. MODX Diagnostics cost $99 for standard business hours support (US Central Time), or $500 for priority, rush or after-hours emergencies.

If you don’t have budget for professional support from the source, you look for answers in the MODX Forums or Documentation, or seek help from MODXers in the Community Slack, or from MODX Professionals near you.

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