MODX still remains one of the underappreciated content management systems in the game. If I have to choose WordPress, Drupal, Joomla (is it still relevant?) or MODX for a medium- to large-scale website, I would go with MODX without hesitation. The only downside to MODX is the tiny community. MODX still struggles to grow. Comparing to WordPress, MODX’s development is much slower because it doesn’t have contributions and resources like WordPress. Nevertheless, its platform and power take no backseat to WordPress, especially MODX Cloud.
The Law School migrated to MODX Cloud for over a year ago and the experience and the service had been exceptional. One of the best features on MODX Cloud is the ability to spin up a development cloud exactly like the production cloud in a couple of minutes. When MODX released version 3.0.0 back in April, I needed to spin up a development cloud to test first before making the upgrade to the live site. I am glad I did because I could have been screwed if I went ahead and upgrade from version 2.8.3 to 3.0.0 on the production cloud.
To create new cloud in MODX, I logged into the dashboard, hit the “Add New Cloud” button, gave it a name, changed the version to match the version of the production cloud, then hit the “Complete Cloud Creation” button. Once the new cloud was created, I went to the backup archive, chose the latest backup from the production site, then selected “Restore Backup Into” the new cloud. That was it. When the new test server up and running, I upgraded MODX from version 2.8.3 to 3.0.0.
Although the upgrade passed, the site didn’t work 100 percent. Third-party extras, such as getResource and Article, hadn’t yet compatible with the new MODX. This is where MODX falling behind WordPress. One of the best features of WordPress is the upgrade compatibility. In addition to MODX, the Law School also uses WordPress Multisite, which is currently powering 46 sites, and we never ran into any upgrading issue. We even set automatic upgrades for the core and all the plugins.
The Law School main website, which is powered by MODX, is much more complicated than the sites in WordPress, but a major upgrade shouldn’t break the site. I tried to fix the issues myself on the test site, but I haven’t had any success and MODX’s small community isn’t helping much either as I reached out for support. As a result, I have been holding off on making the upgrade to version 3.0.1 until the Extras get upgraded to MODX 3.0.1. So far I haven’t seen any progress on MODX to get the Extras work with the new MODX release. Though MODX continues to support version 2 with the release of 2.8.4 and I had made that upgrade.