So, why ExpressionEngine? Here are four reasons that you may want to give it a shot for your next site.
Just about anything you can think of doing on a website can be done in ExpressionEngine. No, really.
In a nutshell, EE let’s you create as many “channels” and custom fields as you may need. A few examples may be in order. A channel can be a blog, a list of links, a photo gallery, products, magazine articles, youtube videos, and you get the idea. A custom field can be the title, an excerpt, a url, a photo, article text, author, release date, or basically anything else. So, you can create a blog channel that has fields for the title, an excerpt, and the main text, or you might create a photo gallery channel that has fields for the photo, caption, credit, and copyright information.
Getting data out of EE to display on your web pages is as simple and as flexibly as putting it in. For front-end web developers, the system is a dream come true. There are special ExpressionEngine tags that are inserted into standard HTML files where information needs to be displayed (like to show an article’s title at the top of a page). These HTML files are then saved in the system as templates. If you know how to build static HTML websites, it doesn’t take too long to become comfortable with ExpressionEngine.
To be fair, the flexibility of EE can leave you with more work than competing systems (like WordPress), particularly for simple sites and blogs. Because you build exactly what you want in ExpressionEngine, there is no way to use pre-built site themes. On the other side, for more extensive sites, starting from scratch is often faster than trying to hack a system that isn’t designed for the type of site you are trying to build.
For some more information on how ExpressionEngine works, I would recommend reading a good introduction.
2. Proven Track Record
ExpressionEngine has really gained a lot of popularity in the past year. Looking a some of the sites that have successfully implemented EE may help when it comes to making your decision. You’ll certainly be running in good company…
View the ExpressionEngine Showcase for more examples.
A lot of people talk about the awesome community behind WordPress, but ExpressionEngine has a dedicated, talented, and professionally-supported community that rivals anything on the market. Here’s some of the great things you can find:
- Thorough and clear documentation that is commented by users.
- Active forums that can answer most any question you may have.
- The number of add-on plugins, extensions, and modules grows every day. View the forums for the latest developments, one of the top developer sites, devot:ee, or a good round-up of people’s favorite add-ons.
- 3rd-party websites dedicated to training, add-ons, screencasts, and all things ExpressionEngine.
4. Continued Development
If the above points didn’t convince you to try ExpressionEngine, you should know that there are some big things coming. There are benefits to choosing software that has a full-time professional team behind its development.