MODx Web Development

MODx Web Development
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Simple, step-by-step instructions detailing how to install, configure, and customize MODx
  • Covers detailed theory from the basics, to practical implementation
  • Learn the most common web requirements and solutions, and build a site in the process

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 276 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : March 2009
ISBN : 1847194907
ISBN 13 : 9781847194909
Author(s) : Antano Solar John
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Web Development, Content Management (CMS), Open Source

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: What is MODx?
Chapter 2: Getting Started
Chapter 3: MODx Basics
Chapter 4: Templating
Chapter 5: Authentication and Authorization
Chapter 6: Content Aggregation
Chapter 7: Creating Lists
Chapter 8: Snippets
Chapter 9: PHx
Chapter 10: Simple Recipes
Chapter 11: Creating Snippets
Chapter 12: SEO, Deployment, and Security
Chapter 13: Plug-ins and Modules
  • Chapter 1: What is MODx?
    • Content management system
    • An application framework
      • Reusable program components
      • Abstracting logic from presentation
    • Web development methodologies
      • Old school—conventional three tiers
        • Advantages of the conventional three tiers
        • Disadvantages of the conventional three tiers
      • Templating
        • Advantages of templating
        • Disadvantages of templating
      • Application frameworks
        • Advantages of application frameworks
        • Disadvantages of application frameworks
      • Content management systems
        • Advantages of content management systems
        • Disadvantages of content management systems
    • Why MODx?
      • Why a CMS?
      • Why an application framework?
      • So, why Modx?
    • Overview of the book
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2: Getting Started
    • Setting up the development environment
      • Prerequisites
        • Linux
        • Windows
        • MAC
      • Verification
    • Downloading MODx
      • Installing MODx
        • Creating a database
        • Starting the installation
        • Installation status and diagnostics
    • Documentation
      • Official documentation
      • Community-driven documentation
    • Getting support
      • Web forums
      • IRC
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: MODx Basics
    • Site configuration
      • Configuring the site
      • Default Manager interface page
      • Noticing and fixing errors and warnings
    • Changing the name of the site
    • The basic element of MODx: Documents
      • Containers
    • MODx Manager interface
    • Using the HTML editor
    • Creating the Front Page
    • QuickEdit module
    • Documents revisited
      • Editing documents
      • Document properties
        • General tab
        • Page Settings
        • Meta Keywords tab
        • Preview tab
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Templating
    • Changing the template of a document
    • Creating a new template and giving it a category
      • HTML
      • CSS
      • Steps to create the new template
    • Making the Home Page use the created template
    • Choosing a default template
    • Introducing template variables
    • Modifying the template to add dynamic behavior
      • Changing existing templates
    • Template variables
      • Creating template variables
      • Template variable values
      • Data source binding
      • Widgets
    • Creating a blog site
      • Creating a document
      • Post a blog entry
    • Snippet and chunk basics
      • Generating output
    • Using a custom form for the Post a Blog ! page
      • HTML for the custom blog form
      • Steps to create a chunk
      • Using a chunk as a form template
      • Checking the Post a Blog ! page
    • Rich text editor for the blog content
      • Creating the template variable
      • Chunk and template variable
      • NewsPublisher and the Rtcontent field
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Authentication and Authorization
    • Create web users
      • Other user properties
    • Add the login snippet
    • Document group for friends
    • Restricting access for a document
      • User group: Document group
      • User: User group
    • Post moderation
      • Creating a role
      • Creating a Manager user
      • Checking the new role
    • User registration
      • Showing a signup form
      • Joining a default group
      • Link the signup form in the log in snippet
    • Snippets and authorization
      • NewsPublisher and authentication
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: Content Aggregation
    • Ditto
      • More flexibility with parameters
      • Aggregated data in a template
      • Theming MODx—chunks and placeholders
      • Introducing tagging
        • Creating a template variable to hold the category
        • Assigning documents to a category
    • XML formats
      • Machine-readable formats and readers
      • Readers
      • Formats
      • Ditto and XML formats
        • Creating RSS views for each category
      • Filtering
        • Multiple clauses
      • Extenders
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7: Creating Lists
    • Menu details in document properties
    • Authentication and authorization
      • Getting to know WayFinder
    • Theming
      • Creating a simple menu
      • Nested menus
      • Changing the name in the menu
      • Doc Manager
        • Removing pages from the menu
    • More theming using chunks
      • Breadcrumb navigation
    • Multiple calls
    • Summary
  • Chapter 8: Snippets
    • Working of snippets
    • Finding snippets
    • Learning about snippets
      • Jot with the minimal configuration
      • Snippet parameters
      • Placeholders
    • Using non-bundled snippets
      • Installing a snippet
        • Downloading and extracting a snippet
        • Adding a snippet
        • Copying required files
        • Using the snippet
        • Snippet without dependent files
      • Snippeting skills
    • Summary
  • Chapter 9: PHx
    • PHx in action
      • Installing PHx
      • Adding Family and Friends documents
    • The PHx notation
      • Simple usage
      • Conditional statements
      • Usage with the PHx placeholder
      • Multiple conditions
      • Summary
  • Chapter 10: Simple Recipes
    • Forums
      • Installing SMF
      • Installing the SMF module
    • Image gallery
    • Emailing from forms
    • User profiles
      • Installing WebLoginPE
      • Edit profile
      • List users and view profile
      • Link to edit profile
    • Similar posts
    • Summary
  • Chapter 11: Creating Snippets
    • Learning to create a snippet
      • Returning an output
      • Returning placeholders
      • Processing a chunk
      • Using parameters
    • MODx API
      • DBAPI
        • $MODx->db->select
        • $MODx->db->getRecordCount
        • $MODx->db->makeArray
    • Fortunes
      • Creating the table
      • Code for fortunes
      • Testing the snippet
      • Chunks, placeholders, and parameters
      • Using files
    • Summary
  • Chapter 12: SEO, Deployment, and Security
    • SEO
      • Search engine-friendly URLs
      • Meta tags and keywords
      • Site map
      • XHTML Strict
      • Other SEO tweaks
        • Using CSS to control the layout
        • Content first
        • Hidden text
        • Descriptive text
        • Tracking
        • Inbound links
        • Quality content
    • Deployment
      • Filesystem
        • FTP
        • SFTP
        • WebDAV
      • Database
        • Exporting
        • Importing
        • Configuration file
      • Configurations
    • Security
      • File permissions
      • Installer
      • Writable configuration file
      • Captcha
      • mod_security
      • Unused files
      • Manager configurations
        • User tab
        • File Manager tab
    • Summary
  • Chapter 13: Plug-ins and Modules
    • Plug-ins and events
      • Using an existing plug-in
        • Configuration
        • System events
        • Exploring other plug-ins
      • Using custom plug-ins
        • Learning about the plug-in
      • Creating plug-ins
      • Event-triggering snippets
    • Modules
      • Using modules
        • Creating a module
        • Executing a module
        • Module's Manager interface
        • Dependent plug-ins
      • Learning to use custom modules
    • Summary

Antano Solar John

Antano Solar is a techie to the core—a tech evangelist who is passionate about using technology to revolutionize the learning experience! Antano has contributed to the open source community in terms of documentation, code, and support, with a variety of platforms based on languages such as PHP, Perl, Lisp, Python, and Ruby. He loves to share his tech excitement with fellow techies and non-techies, and does so through publishing papers, books, and delivering seminars at colleges, universities such as the IIT, and corporate tech events. He has published a paper on enhancing wireless networks in an IEEE Journal. His paper on an engine helping machines understand objectives by meta-modeling, using Neurolinguistic Programming principles and Deep Structure, is considered a landmark. An avid hacker, Antano has won two Yahoo hack-day awards. He recently won the award for developing a Hybrid Search Engine from scratch in 24 hours that uses Machine Intelligence and Social Intelligence to identify, search, and present the information in the required format. Professionally, until recently, Antano was a Consultant and a Trainer providing IT solutions and sessions on VoIP, Networks and Software Plaforms, and Languages. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer at NuVeda Learning. In his current role, he is responsible for the development and deployment of Learning Management Systems that are used by large MNCs globally. He also plays the role of a Chief Architect in the research and development of technologies related to the understanding and measuring of Learning. He is excited by the challenges of using complex technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing. Occasionally, when Antano needs to take a "Tech" break, he likes to train and tell stories!

Code Downloads

Download the code and support files for this book.

Submit Errata

Please let us know if you have found any errors not listed on this list by completing our errata submission form. Our editors will check them and add them to this list. Thank you.


- 8 submitted: last submission 29 Apr 2014

Errata type:Language | Page number: 71

"Open the Learning MODx blog template...." should be "... Learning MODx default template..."


Errata type: Typo | Page number: 74

[*blogRT*] should be [*BlogRT*]


Errata type: Code | Page number: 76

"tvblogRT" should be "tvBlogRT" in the code "[!NewsPublisher? &folder=`47` &makefolder=`1` &formtpl=`blogform` &rtcontent=`tvblogRT` !]" The download code also has this error


Errata type: Typo | Page number: 94

[!websignup!] should be [!WebSignup!]


Errata type: Code | Page number: 116

[[Wayfinder?startId=`0`]] should be: [[Wayfinder? &startId=`0`]]


Errata type: Code | Page number: 119

[!Wayfinder?startId=`0` &level=`1` %rowClass=`menu`!] SHOULD BE [!Wayfinder? &startId=`0` &level=`1` &rowClass=`menu`!]


Errata type: Code | Page number: 123

The code at the bottom of the page and also the downloaded code is:
[Wayfinder?startId=`0` &level=`2` &outerClass=`outer` &innerClass='inner' &lastClass=`last` &firstClass=`first` &hereClass=`active`!]
There should be an "!" after the open-bracket (like this: [!Wayfinder?...) and "&" before "startId" (like this: [!Wayfinder? &startId....)





Sample chapters

You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

Frequently bought together

MODx Web Development +    Scratch Cookbook =
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Buy both these recommended eBooks together and get 50% off the cheapest eBook.

What you will learn from this book

  • Build a complete, feature-rich website using MODx
  • Manage content easily using documents and containers
  • Manage users and access with authentication and authorization
  • Create templates to customize the look of your site
  • Learn how to enhance your website quickly with dynamic content such as recent posts and dynamic menus using core snippets
  • Learn the powerful templating language PHx to extend logic to templates
  • Use custom snippets to add more functionality such as forums and image galleries
  • Learn to create your own snippet for unique functionalities
  • Deploy a search-engine-optimized and secure site

In Detail

MODx is a content management system and PHP web application framework rolled into one. With the ease of a CMS and the extensibility of a framework, MODx allows you to develop professional-looking, intricate websites with its easy-to-use interface and flexible architecture. MODx provides reusable code called snippets most of which are so generic that, without any modification, they can serve multiple functionalities. The generic nature of the snippets makes it possible to get the perfect customization that is so hard in other content management systems.

This book will get web developers up-and-running with MODx. With step-by-step examples and illustrative screenshots, you will be guided through installation, configuration, and customization. By the end of the book, you will have created a powerful, dynamic website by using the individual elements of MODx, without the need for programming know-how.

Starting with a walk-through of installing MODx, you will quickly learn how to develop your site without having to use any programming language. Logical, step-by-step instructions will show you how to create your own unique site by adding and editing documents using the inbuilt TinyMCE editor. Change the look and feel of your site by creating your own templates using HTML, CSS, and widgets. By following the example of a blog site, you will learn how to extend your templates to allow rich user interactions through comments, posts, and forms. The book teaches a few core snippets such as Ditto and Wayfinder in detail. These powerful and flexible snippets will enable you to add multiple functionalities to your site. The book will also introduce you to many more snippets which will help you build some of the commonly required web functionalities such as forums and image galleries. Manage your users with authentication and authorization and make your site user-friendly with user groups, forums, and the use of PHx notations to embed logic in templates.

Through following this easy-to-use, step-by-step guide, by the end of the book you will have a fully functional, feature-rich MODx site with professional-looking, dynamic web pages that are totally customizable.


This book is an example-driven tutorial, which will take you from the installation of MODx through to configuration, customization, and deployment. Step-by-step instructions will enable you to build a fully-functional, feature-rich website quickly and without any programming language.

Who this book is for

This book is ideal for those who want to learn to use MODx. Both beginner and experienced web developers will benefit from this comprehensive guide to MODx. No knowledge of PHP programming or any templating language is needed, but the more advanced chapters towards the end of the book will allow more confident developers to extend their applications even further by creating their own snippets.

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