MODx is a Web Content Management System (CMS) that’s highly configurable. It’s not as well known (or arguably as user-friendly) as the likes of WordPress and Joomla, but it does offer some unique benefits.
The big plus point in MODx’s favour is that you can use any static HTML theme as the basis for your website. You will find tens of thousands of free HTML themes, and just as many commercial options for specific uses. MODx makes it simple to implement one of these themes with little or no coding. This also makes MODx a great choice for designers who wish to “shoehorn” an existing HTML design into a content management platform.
There are also plenty of MODx-specific themes available, so you will never find yourself short of options.
In this article, we will take you through the basic steps of installing MODx on a Web domain of your own.
What You Need
You will need your own domain and Web hosting account upon which to install MODx. If you don’t have your domain yet, check out our step by step guide to obtaining domain and hosting services from HostGator. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this guide easily later.
For the purposes of this tutorial, we are working on the assumption that you are using HostGator for hosting services. If you are not, don’t worry. HostGator uses cPanel, which is the most popular Web hosting control panel in the world. Many other Web hosting services use it too, so there is every chance that you’ll still be able to follow this guide.
1. Go to your cPanel login link and enter your username and password. This information is provided to you by your hosting service provider in an email when you first sign up.
Even though the wealth of cPanel options can seem initially daunting to novices, it is actually very easy to use. Stay tuned on Make a Website for a comprehensive tutorial on cPanel that will follow soon.
2. Locate the “Software/Services” group of icons on the right. You will have to scroll down a fair way to find it.
3. Look for QuickInstall and Fantastico De Luxe, both of which are excellent automated installers for Web applications. For the purposes of this guide, we are going to use QuickInstall to install MODx.
4. Click the “QuickInstall” icon, and then locate MODx – you should find it in the “CMS Software” section on the left. Select it, and then click “continue.”
5. If you have setup your domain properly, you will see it in the drop down list. The blank field afterwards lets you specify a subdirectory in which to install MODx (i.e. www.yourdomain.com/MODx).
We will assume for the purposes of this guide that you want to place MODx in the root directory, so it appears as soon as people visit your Web address. For this reason, we will leave this field blank.
6. Fill in your chosen admin email and username. Make sure you choose an active email address, as the installer will use this address to send a summary of your installation details. Click on “Install Now” when you are ready.
7. Once the installation is complete, you will be provided with the URL of your MODx control panel and a confirmation of your admin username and password. Make sure you keep a note of these details.
If you’ve installed MODx very shortly after arranging your registration and hosting, and receive a “page not found” error when you try to access the site, don’t be alarmed. Your domain registration needs time to propagate across all the global DNS servers. The process can take anything from few hours to 48 hours. If you want to learn more about this, click on this link.
8. Once your domain propagation is complete, you should be able to access your MODx installation via the URL provided. Enter your username and password, and you will see a very easy to use dashboard. You are now ready to begin to configure your MODx site.
Soon, we will be doing a tutorial on how to use MODx to create a personal website. Stay tuned for the updates!