How to Install MODx CMS – Screencast

In this screencast, we will go through the process of installing MODx CMS.  While we will do this install on a local development environment using WampServer, the steps for installing on a remote host are exactly the same with two notable exceptions:

  1. On a remote server you would use an FTP client or something similar to upload the files
  2. Most hosts will add a prefix to the database name and database username, so you need to make sure you enter the full name including the prefix when preparing to install.

While MODx can create the database for you, I have found that this doesn’t always work on some servers, so in this screencast I create the database separate from the install and just let the installer detect and connect to the database I’ve already created.  I hope you find this screencast helpful.

Useful Links:

Beginner’s Corner Part 1 – Setting Up a Local Development Environment
Beginner’s Corner Part 2 – Creating Projects, Databases, and Users
MODx Beginner Tutorials

17 thoughts on “How to Install MODx CMS – Screencast”

  1. Hey Mary,

    want to thank you first for all your modx tutorials, I learnt so much of them, they told me the basic stuff (for example Ditto and then use Ditto with templates) and some things more.

    For further tutorials I would like to read about phx (used it yesterday the first time and it rocks =D), this is really helpful I think. Also interesting would be how to make snippets on your own…just if you are out of ideas =)

    keep up the good work!

    1. LuK,

      thanks for your feedback, I’m glad you’ve found the tutorials to be helpful.
      I haven’t really used PHx because I find other workarounds just using plain PHP, but I definitely plan to try it out some time soon.

      I have added your request to my to do list 🙂


  2. Mary
    the tutorials were great.. I would never have gotten past the initial steps without them. I followed all of the steps and was successful until I tried to log in to the back end and it locked me out.. not understanding why but it brings up a question of what to do from here. Im thinking that I should just delete everything and start over….. to see what the problem is.. is this something that you get into later ? Would not know where to start if I had to fix this problem.. the php my admin is a little confusing at first.

  3. john
    What error were you getting when trying to log in? Are you using the exact same username and password you created during the last step of the installation?
    Also, what version of MODx are you installing?


  4. I installed modx 1.01 with php 5.2.11 and I was getting pass not recognized but when trying to log in to http://localhost/Modx/manager/index.php?a=2
    user name and pass incorrect and then too many logins blocked
    the pass was set to 1234-
    I did correct a problem with the modx folder in www as I just tried to unzip the Modx to the folder that I created there but found that winzip had created another folder within the folder… now that its been corrected everthing works but Im unable to log into the back end… what would you recommend from here…. if I was using a remote host this would be a pickle and would mean reinstalling everything.

    1. john
      It’s possible that since you moved files around you may need to edit the config file, but if the problem is just that you can’t login because of too many tries, you can get yourself back in by following the directions in this thread:,275.0.html

      For the sake of getting off to a good start, especially if you’re new to MODx, I would recommend starting from scratch. Delete your database and all your files and start the process again.


  5. Hi Mary,

    Thank you for your great tutorials.
    I installed everything properly and it worked ok.
    but, I can’t log in to control panel today it says user name or password incorrect. Is there anything I can do for this.
    thank you

    1. Ramzeen
      Make sure that you’re using the correct username and password that you set when you created the website. If your browser saves passwords and such, try to retype your username and password manually. Sometimes also clearing your browser cache and cookies can help.


  6. hey mary, i’m new here, i installed the modx revolution, the last one, how many space does it takes on the server?? it shows me like it’s sized 45 mb and i just bought and small hosting service of 50 mb, what should i do?

    1. carlos
      My basic install is about 36mb before I add any addons or anything else. When you start installing addons and such, the files will use up some more space, as will any image files that come with templates or with your content. How much space you eventually need will depend a lot on the things you add to your site. Make sure that you’ve deleted the setup folder after installation is complete, it’s a security measure and will also free up some space for you.

      If you’re just playing and experimenting with Revo then you may be okay, but I definitely think you’d want more than 50MB for a proper site though, just to be on the safe side. You should be able to get pretty cheap hosting with more space allocation than that.

      Hope this helps

  7. Hi Mary, first of all thank you for doing these excellent tutorials. Your efforts are REALLY appreciated!!!

    Here’s the problem I am having, after installing the latest version of Wamp, WampServer 2.1e (32 bits), my installation of Modx Evolution 1.0.5 goes smoothly right up to the Pre-install validation. However, once I hit the install button I get error messages that look like this:

    Creating database tables: Database Alerts!

    MODx setup couldn’t install/alter some tables inside the selected database.

    The following errors had occurred during installation

    You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ‘TYPE=MyISAM COMMENT=’Contains data about active users.” at line 9 during the execution of SQL statement CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `modx_active_users` ( `internalKey` int(9) NOT NULL default ‘0’, `username` varchar(50) NOT NULL default ”, `lasthit` int(20) NOT NULL default ‘0’, `id` int(10) default NULL, `action` varchar(10) NOT NULL default ”, `ip` varchar(20) NOT NULL default ”, PRIMARY KEY (`internalKey`) ) TYPE=MyISAM COMMENT=’Contains data about active users.’.


    You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ‘Type=MyISAM COMMENT=’Categories to be used snippets,tv,chunks, etc” at line 5 during the execution of SQL statement CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `modx_categories` ( `id` integer NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT, `category` varchar(45) NOT NULL DEFAULT ”, PRIMARY KEY(`id`) ) Type=MyISAM COMMENT=’Categories to be used snippets,tv,chunks, etc’.

    I am using PHP version 5.2.11 with MySQL version 5.5.8, 5.0.88, 5.1.36, and 5.1.41. I have also tried PHP version 5.3.5 with all the above MySQL version and I get the same errors.

    Any ideas as to how I can fix this?

    1. My first thought is that you have a corrupted download. I would suggest you scrap your install, delete the files and the database and all that, and start from scratch. Download Evolution again and try to run through the install and see if that changes anything

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