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  • So Ive been using MODX for several years (since .94 I think) and I use it exclusively for all of my interactive projects. Im recently in the middle of a project for a small client (book author) who wanted something pretty basic built in wordpress. I’ve had some exposure to wordpress (and a lot of exposure to CMS development in general) so I though no big deal. Ill just buy a template and adjust as necessary. 7 hours (hes a friend).

    I subsequently found a template on Themeforest, installed it thought Id make a couple of tweaks and we’d be good to go. Man, was I wrong. way wrong. So wrong in fact its comical. Making simple changes to a template required me to dust of my PHP manual (what I thuoght this was supposed to be easy) to figure out the logic behind how all of the parts fit together. It would probably be better if I wanted to make no changes to the look, but a simple header replacement was ridiculous. I have to add all this proprietary code garbage, code syntax makes zero sense whatsoever, templates, referencing includes, referencing plug-ins, and all of that is for a pretty basic front end template. and at this rate this project will cost me more than it brings in but I shoulda known. I understand that it may not be entirely wordpress’ fault and more the coding skill of the template developer, but jeez, there is zero continuity throughout the workflow and how templating works in that framework.

    As a front-end designer and developer MODx has always shown time and again how to effectively separate content from presentation. The mechanics are simple: design, code using industry standards (html/css), cut and paste into template and bang thats it. 98% of the work requires no advanced programming knowledge at all (languages, syntax, etc) which other than learning the tags, you currently can go right out of the box if you have any skill whatsoever. With the release of REVO, that process has been extended and even more seamless and, ahem, logical.

    So Once I get down ’rasslin with wordpress, I’m coming home, and if I ever say Im developing in anything other than modx, feel free to kick me in the nads.

    • There’s always the option to take the outputted HTML and convert it to MODX. Bet it’d take less time, too. wink
        Ryan Thrash, MODX Co-Founder
        Follow me on Twitter at @rthrash or catch my occasional unofficial thoughts at thrash.me
      • Hi,
        That’s a good tale. I use both systems equally, and Wordpress isn’t too hard to theme for me. But it does take quite a bit longer than MODx, and I explain that on my blog in a comparison chart. My time estimates for WP are always larger - for templating, it can easily be twice as long, even if you know what you’re doing. If anyone’s not comfortable touching PHP code, then avoid theming Wordpress. I help out on their forum, and it’s littered with newbies who have done the canned Godummy WP install, and then want to make all kinds of changes, but don’t even understand what a file or FTP is. To some degree WP is becoming a victim of its own success, and time will tell if MODx does or not.

        The other thing is that there are many more built-in components that are almost inherent to the system if you want anything more than extremely basic functionality, so they may need additional templating and CSS.

        We tend to be spoiled with MODx, because nothing on the planet is easier to template. In the grander scheme of things, I’ve tested many CMS systems, and I would rate Wordpress as one of the easier ones to template. CMS Made Simple is almost as easy to template as MODx, as are a couple others. But you should see how awful many systems are to template. It’s gruesome.
          MODx and Wordpress development
          Linux, PHP 5.2, MySQL 5.0, Evo 1.05, Revo 2.08-pl, Firefox 4
        • I think the secret with messing/adapting/modifying Worpress Themes is be VERY SELECTIVE in choosing the right candidate theme in the first place. Some are much easier to work with.

          But, yes, MODx is much simpler to design for...
          • pwx - I think you are right to a certain degree, of template selection, but the problem is that even after doing a bunch of research and selecting one which I though would be the best fit, (through samples and feedback) it was a mess once I opened it up...so its tough to really know until you get it, which I guess was my mistake.

            But on that note, templates (and templating) should be focused on the presentation layer only, rather than determining which components they have access to, which should be driven by the framework. Now how to accomplish this globally in any given framework is hard to say. But Im sure that logically there is a correct way to go about it. Would I recommend wordpress to Joe sown the street who doesnt care about the presentation layer? Sure. But for any client that has even the slightest desire for something anything other than a stock template (with no mods) then definitely not.

            I think we have gotten too caught up with trying to make every client a designer/developer "looky I can change this! and that! add blink tags, and more footer columns!" That we have forgotten (or given up really) that our clients should be concerned with the content more than presentation or functionality, and its our experience allows us to make those judgements as to the effectiveness of "widgets" and "plug-ins" and the like.

            @RT funny says the mad genius...

            • LOL! I made the mistake of starting from the default Kubrick theme when doing a friend’s web site (http://cookbookandlook.com). What a nightmare. Whoever thought that the Kubric theme should be in the default install ought to be shot, along with its creators.

              I admire the WP back-end UI and the way so many plugins just work, but I never want to see the guts of WP again -- It was like looking at a mass murder done with a chainsaw.

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              • He he. Funny. I should start a start coding horrors website, you dont even want to look at the head includes of this template Im using, Yikes.

                But I do hafta admit the plug-ins thing is kind alright, but with those a lot of the presentation layers are hardcoded and require cracking them open as well to do even a simple task...

                • Quote from: Fatknuckle at Feb 23, 2011, 09:28 PM

                  He he. Funny. I should start a start coding horrors website, you dont even want to look at the head includes of this template Im using, Yikes.

                  But I do hafta admit the plug-ins thing is kind alright, but with those a lot of the presentation layers are hardcoded and require cracking them open as well to do even a simple task...

                  I think you’re onto something there.... we geeks would enjoy seeing little bits of code that created terrible disasters. Of course, the disaster is much more fun than the code. Maybe somebody’s already doing that somewhere.

                  Yeah, that Kubrick was truly evil from almost every standpoint, especially CSS. Stanley would not approve. In fact, if you uninstalled the default themes, WP stopped working. Pitiful! It was only recently that WP has a new default theme that actually doesn’t suck. Of course the problem with that is that newbies use it, and then when they do auto-update to WP, their changes are trashed because, well, it’s the default theme that comes with it, and they weren’t "informed". smiley

                  I’ve always thought that the themes that "ship" with MODx were, well, I won’t say it. smiley But it’s less important when it’s so easy to make a new theme. And for me, the key to enjoyment of WP theme development is to use a quality theme framework, and do all your coding with child themes. Frameworks start very plain vanilla, so you can get as designer-y and crazy as ya wanna be, and still take advantage of many nice pre-built parts. Best of all, it’s upgrade-proof, safe from either theme or WP auto-updates. Hacking apart a WP theme that someone tells you that they like, no matter how well-constructed, is not as much fun, and more re-work (with a couple exceptions).

                    MODx and Wordpress development
                    Linux, PHP 5.2, MySQL 5.0, Evo 1.05, Revo 2.08-pl, Firefox 4
                  • I’m actually working full time on WP and i have to agree, the billions API hooks are overwhelming.

                    There are a few things that I would like in MODx:
                    - I Like the plugin default markup for sidebars in order to maintain look and feel easily without having to touch the HTML code.
                    A simple widgetizer would be nice (Not native).
                    - The admin is a breeze to customize. Far more easier than MODx for simple tasks.

                    Other than those 2 points, MODx is way better.

                    • Personally I don’t think wordpress is hard to theme as long as you understand how it outputs things.

                      We build all our sites in either MODX or Interspire for shopping carts, once the main sites are coded I can take that and put it into wordpress for the blogs in about a hour, that doesnt include the plugins etc but anything in the side bars are done in ul li’s so you just need to code for that.

                      If I had my way everything would be done in MODX as I prefer that and one thing I do think should be included in the core code is a RSS feed, but hey thats just my 2c .