In Part I of Installing MODX, we’ll look at how to get the MODX files on the Arvixe server, though the steps should cover installation on almost any server.
Downloading the Files
The first step, as you might guess, is to download the current stable version of MODX from modx.com/downloads. If you upload this file to the server and unzip it, you’ll end up with your MODX files in a subdirectory named for the MODX Version. You don’t want that.
Instead, unzip the files on your local machine. Then go into the directory that’s created (it will be named something like modx-2.2.6-pl). You should see the connectors, core, manager, and setup directories and a few files. You may be tempted to use FTP to transfer the files to the server, but don’t do it. It’s very slow, and MODX is made up of literally thousands of files. Using FTP, the odds are that at least one of them will be missing or corrupted. Instead, we’ll create a new .zip file that will extract properly on the server.
The whole task of zipping, uploading, and unzipping the archive on the server will take much less time than using FTP to transfer the files, and the results will be infinitely more reliable.
Zipping the Files
Select all the directories and files and create a new .zip file containing them. In Windows, you can right-click on the selected files and pick the zipping tool in the drop-down menu. I use 7-Zip, but any zipper will do. The usual command is “Add to Archive” — select it to create the archive. Use mymodx-2.2.6 (with the actual version number) as the name of the archive. When the zipper finishes, you should see a .zip file with name like mymodx-2.2.6.zip in the directory. That’s the file you’ll upload to the server for your web site.
Uploading the Files
Log in to the cPanel at Arvixe using the credentials you received when you signed up. In the “Files” section, select “File Manager.” You’ll see a popup asking where you want to go. Before you click on it look at the two checkboxes at the bottom. Check both the “Show Hidden Files” checkbox and the “Skip this question” checkbox. We don’t need to see any hidden files now, but it’s a setting you’ll definitely want in order to work with MODX and we’ll need it for another part of this tutorial. The directory it wants to send you to is the last one on the list, the root of your web site. That’s fine. Click on the “Go” button.
Now, you’re in File Manager and it should be showing what will be the MODX root directory. At the upper left (next to the little house), double-check to make sure it says /public_html.
On the toolbar at the top, click on the yellow “Upload” button. You’ll see a dialog with options for the permissions. On Arvixe, they’ll be set to 644, which is what you want. On other servers, the default is most likely correct. Click on the “Choose File” button. You’ll be looking at some directory on your local machine, probably not the right one. Navigate to the mymodx .zip file you created above and select it. You should see a progress bar while the file is being uploaded to the MODX root directory on the server.
When the upload is finished, you’ll see the word “complete” in the message under the progress bar. Click on the link in the middle of the page to go back to the File Manager screen. You should see the uploaded .zip file in the panel on the right. Click on it to select it. It should be highlighted in blue.
Extracting the Files
On the toolbar at the top of the screen, click on the tan “Extract” button on the right side of the toolbar. Leave the options in the dialog at their defaults and click on the “Extract Files” button. After the files have been extracted, close the dialog box. You should see your MODX directories, connectors, core, manager, and setup, in the file list.
If you are familiar with MODX, you might be tempted to run the MODX setup program at this point, but don’t. First, we need to set up the database. That will be the subject of the next blog post — Part II.