Installing MODx (MODx Series Part III)

Here’s a video of me installing the MODx content management system. In case it wasn’t clear why I was doing this series, I REALLY like MODx and I find it the easiest CMS to work with both as a PHP developer and as a front-end designer. The video is my small contribution to make it easier to install this nifty CMS, and sometimes less is more. There are already a lot of high quality resources available for anyone who wants to try out this CMS. See the references below.

A video used to be embedded here but the service that it was hosted on has shut down.

References

There are already a lot of resources available to help people install MODx. Here is a list of what I feel are the most useful:

Download MODx here: http://modxcms.com/downloads.html (obviously, you need to be able to download it before you do anything else)

Official Documentation: http://modxcms.com/installation-and-configuration.html

Wiki: It’s a wonderful resource with a whole section for installation. http://wiki.modxcms.com/index.php/Category:Installation

Bob’s Guides: http://bobsguides.com/installing-modx.html — Bob is very active in the MODx forums and he knows what he’s talking about.

Bits of Wisdom

  • Write down your database name, user, and password. These are the 3 keys to the kingdom that many CMS applications depend on. If you ever forget a password or get into some sort of trouble with the app, you’ll need this information. I recommend storing it in a safe place, as discussed by one of our previous articles on KeePass
  • Install the Sample Web Site. Yes, if it’s your first time, you can learn a lot by looking through how the sample site works. Go ahead and break it. Demolish it. It’s really easy to install it again.
  • Visit the Wiki. Some people (including myself) have spent hours creating pages with details and instructions for overcoming a number of problems. The MODx Wiki lives here.

Problems Installing MODx

Nearly all the problems I’ve had in the 20 or 30 MODx installations that I’ve done have stemmed from webserver permissions. Basically, Apache needs to be able read every file and write to certain directories. MODx is very verbose about which files and directories it wants to see, so this is usually easy to fix.

The other problems I’ve run into have only been on dedicated servers that I setup. I’m not a Linux guru (well, except in those really wild fantasies where I’m on a Lear jet with scantily clad foreign courtesans), so some of these “problems” are more like “no-sh*t-Sherlock” annoyances for those with more experience, but they’ve boiled down to simply installing the correct PHP modules.

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