New Sponsors: SimpleCart & ThemesMODX

I'm super stoked two announce that Bert Oost from SimpleCart and Menno Pietersen from ThemesMODX have agreed to sponsoring the MODX Weekend! The goal of sponsors is to help cover the costs of the conference, but also to add more value to your experience. And that's exactly what these two awesome people are doing!

Free SimpleCart License (worth €99!)

Bert will be providing each attendee with a free SimpleCart license during the conference, worth €99 + VAT! 

SimpleCart is a native e-commerce extra for MODX that lets you build webshops using tools you are already using in MODX, so you don't have to learn a new syntax. Your entire shop is managed from within the manager. 

Coupon codes to claim your free SimpleCart license will be distributed during the event. 

To make the most out of your free SimpleCart license, Bert is also giving a presentation! On Sunday at 14:45 in the Front-end track he will be talking about building a webshop with SimpleCart. He will also give an exclusive first look at the new 2.2 release which brings a lot of really cool new features to SimpleCart.

50% Discount on CORPO Theme

Menno recently launched his ThemesMODX themes shop and now he is sponsoring the MODX Weekend with branded water bottles, as well as giving a 50% discount on his CORPO theme! 

CORPO is a multi-purpose MODX template. It is responsive, ships with 19 templates providing a wealth of layout variations and over 40 settings to manage the colors, footer contents and other theme details with ClientConfig. It's a great starting point for further customisation or having a full MODX site up in no time. It has a fully functional blog, search and more out of the box features. Check out the video below for a complete overview of the theme. 

As with SimpleCart, you will also receive your coupon code to claim 50% off at the MODX Weekend in September.

If you don't have your ticket yet, grab your ticket today! With these two sponsor freebies and the free ContentBlocks license on purchase, you are now getting close to €200 in free licenses with your ticket, on top of an all inclusive package with hotel and more. 

Speaker Profile: Vasilis van Gemert

This is part six of a series of interviews with speakers that will be presenting at MODX Weekend, which will take place just outside of Utrecht, The Netherlands from September 19-22. This time: Vasilis van Gemert!

Vasilis is a web designer and instructor at the University of Applied Science in Amsterdam. He is well aware of the unpredictable and chaotic nature of the web, with the large variety of devices and browsers available to users everywhere.

At the MODX Conference in September, he will show attendees how to utilize the materials the web is made of to create stuff that will work for everyone. Vasilis draws information from other disciplines that have also worked with flexible canvases and unclear environments to see what we can learn from them.

Vasilis says he really enjoys teaching students. It has allowed him the time to start playing and experimenting with code and creating art again.

Vasilis will bring some unique and fresh perspectives to the conference, as he has never worked directly with MODX before. However, he admits he might get involved more with the community after the conference.

During the event I will be very involved and depending on my experience I might stay somewhat involved after the event.

Speaker Profile: Mark Willis

This is part five of a series of interviews with speakers that will be presenting at MODX Weekend, which will take place just outside of Utrecht, The Netherlands from September 19-22. This time: Mark Willis!

Mark Willis has only been using MODX for 12 months, but already has a strong grasp on approaches to using it effectively. At the MODX Conference in September, Mark will be talking about how he is currently using MODX in a high availability environment, running database "galera" clusters, and how distributive hosting across many servers allows for scalability depending on traffic, which ultimately leads to lowering costs.

Mark Willis can often be found in the #modx IRC chatroom helping out when he has time. His involvement with the community started when he joined Adido, as they decided to use MODX for all their ongoing client projects. Mark is a senior PHP developer with the digital agency. In addition to helping out in the IRC channels, Mark's involvement has extended to maintaining the Formz extra, along with a few other extras in the pipeline.

Mark sees the customizations that MODX allows as its biggest strength. However, he sees the general visibility of the platform as lacking a bit.

One of the more exciting things Mark is working on at the moment is related to the talk he will be giving at the MODX Conference in September.

Currently I am testing our High Availability infrastructure and working on some high "spikey" traffic sites (online ticket sales).

Speaker Profile: John Peca

This is part four of a series of interviews with speakers that will be presenting at MODX Weekend, which will take place just outside of Utrecht, The Netherlands from September 19-22. This time: John Peca!

John Peca, better known as theboxer, has been a member of the MODX core team since the beginning of 2014. In his talk at MODX Conference in September, John will be demonstrating how to get the best from ExtJS, how to extend it properly, how to override existing code, how to create custom Extras, and how to alter how the manager works.

John's curiosity with MODX started back in 2010 when he was searching for an open course CMS as a project. Given his background in PHP development, he shifted during 2011 to developing components and stayed with MODX as a main focus of interest.

In addition to his early contributions to the MODX core and extras, John was hired by  COEX and specialized in MODX backend development there as well. This accumulated experience ultimately lead to his position as a MODX core team member.

John sees the ease of tempting, and configurability and extendability as clear advantages. However, he also sees versioning as a weakness, although John notes that steps are underway to remedy this. John also admits that the learning curve for ExtJS is a bit high.

John is also excited about some other improvements and additions he has been working on lately.

I'm working on improving Tagger to become the best solution for tagging, and Collections which you can think of as a streamlined version of Articles that can be used for more than just blogging. I’m really enjoying it! Also there are pretty interesting client projects I continue to contribute to, that should lead to some great new Extras in the future.

Speaker Profile: Susan Ottwell

This is part three of a series of interviews with speakers that will be presenting at MODX Weekend, which will take place just outside of Utrecht, The Netherlands from September 19-22. This time: Susan Ottwell!

Susan Ottwell may not need an introduction. She is a true champion of the MODX community and has been involved since it was a set of extensions to Etomite back in 2003. We are super excited to have her on stage at the MODX Weekend. 

Susan's talk will be practical, focusing on interesting add-ons and concepts that will make site builds simpler and faster for people that work alone or in small teams.

Susan can often be found helping people in the MODX forums and through her collection of MODX-related content at sottwell.com

Susan sees the object-oriented core of MODX as one of its biggest strengths, but the core's complexity as one of its weaknesses at the same time. To help bridge the knowledge gap, one of Susan's more exciting projects at the moment is a collection of MODX Recipes, or a cookbook if you will, that helps with the lack of documentation of these powerful core processes.

I've wanted to do this for years, a "recipe" styled how-to book, based mostly on forum posts. I'm still working on basic content for each section, besides adding more and more "recipes". As soon as I get a commenting system up and running, I'll be eager to see what ideas and suggestions the community can offer

Susan's talk, How to Simplify Site Setups, is on Sunday at 2pm, in the front-end track.