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MODx CMS SEO, Extensions, Functionality Examined, Compared to Drupal, Joomla, WordPress

MODx CMS: Advanced In-Depth Report

As a follow-up to iMajestic’s article comparing the functionality of the brand-new MODx CMS to others like Drupal, Wordpress and Joomla, iMajestic goes a bit further into depth with their analysis of the perimeters that web developers will find more intriguing, such as Search Engine Optimization within the CMS, and its capability to accept Extensions, alongside what they actually do for the existing MODx installation.

The last analysis article detailed that as an out-of-the-box offering, MODx was more capable than any of the prior three CMS’s. This may be relevantly due to the advancements the developers of Joomla, WordPress and Drupal, as well as their shortcomings in these efforts, and perhaps even the suggestions from users that came their way as a result of all of the above.

MODx “Extensions”

Referred to as “Extras” and “Add-ons” dually, Extras refer to what would be called Modules in Drupal, and Extensions in Joomla.

This point is particularly relevant, mainly because of all the things that MODx comes prepared to do out of the box.

For example, though Joomla offers SEO perimeters that are superior to Drupal’s on default levels, the code output by Joomla is renowned as clunky, perimeter and variable intensive, and not necessarily what Google likes to see when crawling for optimized data.

Likewise, Drupal SEO perimeters are almost non-existent, requiring users of Drupal 6 to install modules for Page Titles, then additional modules to round out SEO perimeters in varied areas. Still, Drupal’s parsing of code and generation of pages becomes substantially heavier and presents a slight site speed issue once multiple Drupal modules have been installed on a production website.

Browsing the existing WordPress database of more than 6,300 add-ons, or “Plug-ins” as they are referred to, can be a daunting and somewhat aimless task considering the layout of their database. Searches for “SEO” reveal several WordPress Plug Ins targeting SEO perimeters, but with lack of cohesion and several different authors of several different Plug Ins, oversaturation of options may be more an issue than any Plug In you choose.

Enter: MODx.

MODx’s default functionality was the initiating factor in what generated my interest in this CMS, and it continues to remain an integral point in lieu of other CMS software. Considering the starting point of the MODx CMS development upon its public unveiling compared with WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, not only is the threshold for necessity for add-ons in MODx much slighter, but the lack of functionality inherent to other CMS software pushes MODx to the forefront of what it’s ready to do out-of-the-box next to the other three.

As the developmental community powering the MODx effort gains steam and develops more, the existing library of more than 600 add-ons will expand, and offer a more diverse array of expansion options for this CMS. However, because of the default functionality of MODx, this factor should not be considered pivotal when evaluating CMS options.

Search Engine Optimization in MODx

With as easy as it became to produce a quality website within an unreasonably quick timeframe thanks to CMS advancements, it seems that Search Engine Optimization perimeters within this web technology struck the developers as a secondary objective.

Content Management Systems essentially uses PHP coding (in many cases) to make calls to MySQL databases for data and information, after which it parses this data and generates website pages based upon the perimeters defined within the CMS configuration. However, there’s no effective guidance mechanism in place for Drupal, Joomla or WordPress to make sure that the code is generated effectively.

In this sense, effective code generation would mean a reduction in as many variable calls as possible within the generated code, as well as conformance to web standards and clean, valid xhtml output.

CMS’s these days tend to vary in the code they generate based not only upon the add-ons and extensions installed to further their capabilities, but also specific features within a given CMS that are enabled or disabled, per each individual site’s aim.

Despite that all three of the detailed CMS’s before MODx have overlooked what will eventually become a more integral component in how search engines see a website’s pages, MODx is the first CMS to truly address this initiative. Impressively, this is regarded by way of core functionality, and it requires no add-ons or extensions to be added to the CMS installation.

This is mainly due to the stripped-down template system that MODx utilizes, which defines the structure of the pages via simply inputted XHTML, then the style perimeters for fonts and colorations from a defined CSS file on the web server. The savvy CMS administrator, with knowledge of this system, can have his pages generated literally in whatever fashion he so desires.

Seeing as how MODx is the only one that will allow a CMS administrator or webmaster to determine exactly what order metatags, titles and content are generated in, excluding or including dynamic elements and variables only as they so desire, clearly MODx has soared to the forefront of what a CMS can do on automated levels in ways of Search Engine Optimization.

In our next piece on MODx, we’ll cover the more extensive perimeters of where this CMS consistently outperforms Drupal, Joomla and WordPress, and how it does this via use of its inherent, expansive Web 2.0 and Ajax support.

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